Galwegians May 2023

The Galway Hall continues to be a venue for a variety of activities- meetings, fundraisers, and groups. The Kinmount Community Volunteer Management Committee’s fundraiser was held on Saturday, April 29th. An overview of this event will appear in June’s article. The Friends of Galway (FOG) had a meeting on March 31st. Only 3 people attended. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 23rd at 7 pm.

Did you enjoy the week of summer-like weather right after the Easter weekend? It was pretty sweet! How hot was it? It was hot enough to make all the ice in Crystal Lake and all its bays disappear in less than five days. It was also hot enough to bring out the first batch of mosquitoes. Yuck!                                                                                                         Just prior to the Easter weekend, there was a brief freezing rain/ice pellet event in our area on the Wednesday, April 5th. Eastern Ontario and western Quebec suffered a much more prolonged and damaging ice storm on that same day. Have you ever heard of the term ‘graupel’? Recently, our area had a brief flurry of this phenomenon. Graupel is a German word. It is also called soft hail, hominy snow, or snow pellets. This type of precipitation forms when supercooled water droplets freeze upon falling snowflakes, forming balls of crisp, opaque rime. Graupel is distinct from hail and ice pellets in both formation and appearance.                                                                                              At this article’s deadline date, we are 15 days into keeping track of the accuracy of the weather lore about the way the weather breaks/wind blows on Good Friday morning. Good Friday morning 2023 had sun with some cloud and cold temperatures with winds from the west/northwest. To date, 6 of the 15 days have been cold and only 3 days have had winds from the WNW.

In the USA, two of the three races of the “Triple Crown” of horse racing occur in May. The Kentucky Derby is on May 6th and the Belmont is on May 15th. The Preakness takes place on June 10th. Did you know that a jockey’s riding position is called the ‘Monkey Crouch’? This position was universally mocked when American jockey, Tod Sloan, introduced it in 1897. The Monkey Crouch ended up revolutionizing the sport as it puts the jockey’s weight over the horse’s shoulders and front legs instead of the middle of the horse’s back. In 1898, Sloan won a remarkable 48% of his races!

What’s in a name? Recently, there was a conversation online about the origins of the names Swamp Lake and Crystal Lake. Upon further investigation with a representative from Parks Canada, it appears that the original name was Swamp Lake which was later changed to Crystal Lake. This representative noted that a few lakes within the Trent-Severn system have had dual names. According to Parks Canada data, the first known dam-like structure was built in 1902. The thinking was that this structure may have been used for aiding the log drives that occurred, using Nogies Creek. The first dam constructed by Parks Canada was built in 1925. The purpose of this dam was to turn Crystal Lake into one of the many reservoir lakes needed to ensure adequate water levels throughout the Trent-Severn waterways system. Swamp Lake was the name that appeared on the Parks Canada map from 1925.

McGill University’s Digital Atlas Project covers the Post-Confederation period in Canada. It shows that Galway Township was opened in 1857 and surveyed between 1857 and 1860. Cavendish Township was opened in 1862. It was surveyed in 1861-1862. The name Swamp Lake appears on a Galway Township map of 1879 found in this atlas project.

Grace, a Snapping Turtle from Haliburton County, has gone missing. Grace has only one eye and her age is estimated to be around 125 years old! She was not spotted in her usual territory in 2022. Habitat loss could be the contributing factor to her disappearance due to a recent land development project. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests, they are hopeful that Grace has moved to a new territory. However, The Land Between’s Turtle Guardian spokesperson does not share the MNRF’s optimism.

This is a good time to remind all Galwegians to be wary and mindful that this is the time that turtles are on the move. Please remember to use caution and be safe if you choose to assist turtles across our roadways and highways.

Looking skyward in May, the Full Moon occurs on May 5th. This is the Flower Moon but is also known as the Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. On May 5th and 6th, the Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower occurs. The nearly full moon will be an issue, potentially blocking out all but the brightest meteors. On May 29th, Mercury is at its highest point above the horizon. Curiously, Mercury will be low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.Looking ahead, Mars is in the ‘Beehive’ June 1st and 2nd. The Full Moon is on June 4th. Venus is best viewed also on June 4th. The Summer Solstice occurs on June 21st at 14:51 UTC.

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