Dunany

Dunany

DunanyThis Web site is sponsored by The Dunany Community Association (DCA), created in 1963, for all who share an interest in Dunany and the DCA objective of "conserving the environment, values and quality of life in our Community".

Dunany, is a "little piece of paradise", just over an hour drive northwest of Montreal in Canada's Laurentian Mountains, 10 km north of Lachute, Quebec.

The DCA is a community based organization, with a volunteer Board of Directors, which is made up of people who reside in proximity to the Dunany Country Club and its surrounding lakes; Clear, Boyd, Black and Curran.

Will the Beavers Find their Favorite Food on your Shoreline?

15 June 2017

This is my spring beaver report. I will answer the question at the end of this Post.

As of last weekend, there were beavers on every lake except Boyd, usually the beavers favourite lake. A miracle of sort. Touch wood!

But they have been active in the other lakes, especially on Curran where they never stop building a dam in the outlet. Our trapper hopes to have the problem solved by the end of June.

A colony has also taken residence on Black but no damage has been reported yet. Again, more work for our trapper.

Finally, I saw a couple on Clear a few weeks ago and they have feasted again on my shoreline where their favourite food is still abundant. This year they decided to gulp a really pretty dappled willow. The lady did not appreciate at all!

The beavers favourite food is definitely alder.

Here is what it looks like on my shoreline.

If they cannot  it find it, they will eat birch, cherry trees, poplar, willow, aspen and cottonwood.

One piece of advice. If you have valuable trees on your shoreline it would be a good idea to protect them. Here is an illustration as to how to do it. The 2×2 inch mesh should be about four feet high. And leave room for the tree to grow.

We will always have beavers in and around our lakes. Our trapper cannot be everywhere. All we can do is control the beaver population and prevent serious damage to our assets.

And do not be afraid of them, they are herbivores. Don’t even eat fish!

 

Lots of Activities for you in Dunany this Summer.

13 June 2017

If you wish to meet old friends, make new ones and really enjoy this coming summer, look no further. Just read this line up of activities put together by our own Chief Volunteer Organizer (CVO), Lois Finch of Black Lake.

She has prepared a summary chart of the whole summer program which you will find here. DCA Seasonal activities_2017

  • The Bike Club – now the Dunany Chippers Bike Club – has a full program. If those happy and joyful folks don’t convince you to join, nothing will.  Look for details here.
  • Then there is  SPANK (Superior Paddlers and Notorious Kayakers) now in seventh season. This year, we will be doing our four lakes beginning with Black on July 7. See full schedule here. Events will be listed on the continuously updated Calendar, directly to your right on the Home Page. Details will be posted here.
  • The Dunany Studio Artists who, I suppose, you all know, is already at work. Dates of their upcoming late August Show and Sale are also on the Calender. Details on this page.
  • The Glee Club is another dynamic initiative. More information is available here. First rehearsal in on Monday July 3 at St.Paul’s Church at 3 PM.
  • And then, there is the Walking Club every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. All you need to know is here.
  • If you enjoy gardening, go this page and contact the organizer.
  • This list would be incomplete without Men’s Cribbage. Look for details here. If you are not one of them but want to play or prefer Scrabble, join Claudette Hay, Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM.
  • And finally, there is the Vie Active program with Taras and Mary Chuprun (450 562 9297). Fun (sometimes hilarious!) exercise classes are held every Monday and Thursday at 10 AM at the Wentworth Community Center.

Have a great summer!

A Cozy Nesting Platform for our Loons on Black Lake.

4 June 2017

We all love the common loons and their very unique cry on our lakes even when it is heard in the middle of the night!

Listen if you wish!

As far as I know, there is only one nest in Dunany. It is on Curran. So, when we were approached by Développement ornitologique Argenteuil who proposed to install a nesting platform on one of the other three lakes, I said sure.

By the way, this NGO is strongly supported by the MRC – which pays for the platform – and the Townships of Wentworth and Gore.

Black Lake was chosen because it has a large inhabited area – so-called Frenchies bay – where loons can reproduce away from their natural predators (that includes us). By the way, loons lay their eggs in June.

Here I want to thank Maurice Pilon who happily volunteered to help install the platform and will handle the maintenance, including the removal in the fall and the re-installation once the ice is gone. The man with him in the pictures that illustrate this Post taken on June 1 is Martin Picard, the biologist who runs the DOA.

Let us hope some loons will like this new home.

As for us, if you wish to have a look at it, look from afar, use binoculars. Getting close to the platform will scare away the loons and defeat our purpose.

 

Michel Caron, pharmacist, craftsman, will long be remembered in Dunany.

26 May 2017

Michel Caron passed away peacefully on May 23 at l’hôpital d’Argenteuil de Lachute. He was 87.

He has left an indelible mark on Dunany, and especially it’s little Church: St. Paul’s.

A pharmacist and pharmacologist by trade, Michel was also a superior craftsman. In 2009 he co-managed with Robert Percy the exhaustive renovation of the church and made a very personal contribution: the windows. He crafted each of the six windows in the church. His contribution was recognized by the MRC (Ordre d’Argenteuil), the Wentworth Township and,  evidently, St. Paul’s.

Like many of you, I have known Michel for many years and to me he was the perfect gentlemen. I found out he worked as a young pharmacist at la Phramacie Demers in Quebec City very close to where I lived. Years later he worked as a pharmacologist at Ayerst, McKenna, Harrison (later Wyeth and now Pfizer)  in Montreal with my uncle Roger Gaudry. It is a small world indeed.

 

Funeral will be held Saturday June 3 at Église Sainte-Anastasie, 174 Bethany Street in Lachute at 10:30

Family will receive condolences from 9:30-10:30.

A lunch reception will follow the service in the church basement.

 

Meet the Winners of the “Dunany Black Fly Open”.

22 May 2017

The Dunany Black Fly Open is how our friend Maurice Pilon described last Sunday’s Pray and Play tournament, the fundraiser for St. Paul’s Church. Believe me, the Black Fly Open  is a totally appropriate name for the venue as there were certainly millions of black flies on the Dunany Country Club golf course last Sunday May 21.

Our 2016 winners, Chairman and lay reader  are all smiles and really happy because this picture was taken inside the church! Most of you will have recognized Cathy Leslie, Caroline Roy, Ross Leslie and Judy Hammond . They are seen here with our beloved Wendy Crooks and this year’s Honorary Chairman, Scott Pearce, mayor of Gore and Prefect of the MRC d’Argenteuil.

The champions of the 2017 event will be honoured  next year but you can already congratulate them. They are a trio: Barbara Armstrong, Angie McLeod and Maureen Cameron.

This year again, there were many returning sponsors whose support for St Paul’s has been steadfast over the last 5 years. Gourmet Baron, Cathy’s Kitchen, Hadleys Christmas Trees, Gym Max, Cantons de Gore and Wentworth, Marks and Sons, Mackimmie Funeral Home, Big Pine Fish and Game Club, FBL accountants, The Gloven’s and IGA Lachute who once again donated and prepared the lunch of burgers and hot dogs. Great thanks to them for a solid contribution to St. Paul’s.

But the person who deserves the greatest thanks is Robert Percy.

Without his commitment, his dedication and boundless energy this event, which is now in Dunany’s DNA, would just not happen.

Three cheers to you Robert!

 

An inventory of aquatic plants on Clear lake: all’s clear!

19 March 2017

When the MRC launched its program to identify invasive and indigenous plants in the lakes of  Argenteuil, I raised my hand and proposed to include Clear lake. The 56 page interesting report drafted by the CRE Laurentides (Environment Council)  has just been made available and if you wish to practice your French, you will find it here.

The inventory was done in 25 lakes – including such lakes as  Louisa, Bixley, and Hugues –  and, thank God, no exotic or invasive plants were found in the lakes surveyed. This is comforting but we should not forget that 40 lakes in Laurentians have to deal with Eurasian Watermilfoil, an extremely invasive plant that can destroy a lake. Also, there is some of it in a couple of landing stages on the Ottawa River in Brownsburg-Chatham. So we must be very vigilant!

Back to Clear lake. Thirteen varieties of plants were found, according to the report. In all the 25 lakes, the count is between 9 and 32. Which is to say there are not that many.

Clair carte herbier

The verdict of the biologist who directed our work was non equivocal: dam nice lake! If you look carefully at the map, your will find that the plants are concentrated in five bays around the lake.

I have prepared for you a page with pictures and names of the plants that you will find here.

Any questions?

PS. I have twelve pictures, not 13, because I think there is some confusion around the many varieties of Pondweed. There are so many varieties. Like Heinz products!

 

Dunany North – Dunany South: One Great Community.

12 March 2017

Two worlds!

Brave and proud Dynanyites coming out of Dunany woods frozen solid (-15) at Stan and Caroline Roy’s Annual Ski Disaster but later rewardeded with great comfort food and drinks.

Ski Disaster

Happy residents of Dunany South celebrating Bruce Blake’s Birthday hosted by Angie and Bruce Macleod and, as you can see, deliriously happy!

Yes, two worlds, but one great community!Dunany South 2017

And then, come late spring, we shall all be togather in Dunany.

Remembering your Best Summer Moments in Dunany!

14 September 2016

When this summer is over – which unfortunately will happen very soon – you might want to remember some of the great moments of this glorious time of the year.

What better way to do this than listen to a few songs from our own Glee Club performing at the Dunany Studio Artists Show and Sale held in early September. The Glee Club, so aptly led by Cathy Ashley, has become a major attraction in Dunany with a presence at most of our events.

This 7: 42 minutes video was shot by John Parsons in the crowded hallway of the Dunany Country Club.

Here are a few other tidbits:

  • A few beavers had to be taken away on Black and Curran where one is still active. Our trapper hopes to catch him this week. There is also some activity on Boyd as always. It will also be looked after.
  • Robert Percy expects to start work on the Dunany Trail – from the Church to Curran – this fall.
  • Clarity in our lakes is excellent this year. On September 7 we measured 7 meters in Clear lake (6.1 and 4.2 at about this time in 2015 and 2014)
  • So far, we have collected 80% of dues and hope to reach our goal of  90%. If you forgot to make your contribution, just click here.

Finally, our condolences go to the family of Michael Dussault of Black lake (Ross Road) who passed away early this summer.

 

Dunany now has a Community Book Exchange

14 August 2016

It is all in this little box, corner of Boyd and Dunany Dunany Road.

Even though they are a recent (2009) idea, there are now more than 10 000 of those Little Free Libraries or Free Book Exchanges around the world, according to Wikipedia. The idea is simple: you put a book in, you take one out. In other words, it is a way to share books with one another.

The Dunany project initiator is Lois Finch who proposed the idea to the DCA and got Wentworth Council to approve it and provide the necessary permit. The box itself was crafted by John Wilson.

As you can see, there are already many books in the box.

Book Box

The rest is up to you, members of the Dunany Community. Especially those who live here year long.

Put a book in, take one out!

 

 

A Really Friendly Crowd at our 2016 AGM

25 July 2016

The DCA’s 53rd AGM, led by a cheerful 😀 John Riviere, was well attended with 70 residents in the hall.

Here are some highlights:

  • Robert Percy presented a project for a walking/biking  trail from the Church to Curran lake that was enthusiastically received by those attending. The project is still in the development stage. Robert is working hard with the property owners involved to initiate the first phase in 2017. The following Google Earth map shows the projected path of the trail. Click to enlarge.

Dunany Trail Google Earth

  • Beavers are a bit shy this year. Probably because our trapper was so effective last year. So far, there are none on Boyd, their favourite lake, same on Clear. A couple have been removed from Black (in cages) and a couple of juveniles have been spotted on Curran. Monitoring continues.
  • Discussions are ongoing between the Township of Wentworth and the Department of Transport to make the Boyd Road intersection safe. However, mayor Marcel Harvey, who was in attendance, added that dealing with the MTQ was – well – challenging. Indications are that they will resurface Dunany Road within the next two or three years.
  • Quality of the water in our lakes is very good but close monitoring of septic systems is critical. Selective septic tank cleaning is preferable and most companies now offer it.
  • There have been a few break ins close to Curran Lake and an SQ Office was in attendance to advise.
  • We have a new vice president: Stan Roy, a long time resident of Curran Lake. Welcome to the Board Stan.
  • Finally, dues are staying at 40$. If you have not paid yet, click here to do so.

 

Why you Should Absolutely Wash your Boat…

12 June 2016

Yes, you should clean your boat every time you use it in another lake or river. And not just your boat! Same applies to paddles, fishing gear, motor. Needless to say, it is even more true for any boat brought to your lake by a visiting relative, friend, guest and, even more important, a renter!

Why? To make sure that our lakes never look like this!

Miriophylle a épis mddelcc

This aquatic plant is called Eurasian Watermilfoil. As the name implies, it is exotic, non-native, and very invasive since it has no predators. It can be found in 40 lakes in the Laurentians. Thank God, none in Argenteuil. It is almost impossible to get rid of, the only defence is prevention.

Hence, boat washing!

Remember these four steps: inspect – drain – clean – dry

Inspection is the most important. If you look carefully, you will probably locate exotic plants or molluscs. Drain to make sure the is no leftover water at the bottom of your kayak, for example. Clean with fresh water and a bit of bleach. Finally, let dry in the sun for a few days.

All this should evidently be done at a good distance from the lake.

Identifying Eurasian water-milfoil is difficult because there are at least five native water-milfoils that, at first glance, look pretty similar to it but are not really invasive.

This Guide (in English) should prove very helpful.  eurasian-water-mmilfoil-guide

 

 

 

 

A new and Interesting Map of the Dunany Watershed and it’s Wetlands: have a look!

12 May 2016

This map is a section of a larger one of the Wetlands of the Laurentians produced by Ducks Unlimited, the world’s largest private, non-profit, waterfowl and wetland conservation organization,  and Abrinord, the organization responsible for the management of the North River Watershed.

Wikipedia defines a wetland as a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability.

Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

Bassin versant de Dunany et ses mielieux humidesThe map is only available in French. Key words in the legend are marécage, marais (Swamp), Tourbière (Bog), eau peu profonde (shallow water) .

It was produced though 3-D imagery. It is quite precise. For example, there are small bogs with trees (tourbière boisée) on and close to  my property and they are clearly shown.

I am sharing this information with you as the health of our lakes is inseparable from the preservation of our wetlands as they play vital functions such as water filtration, water storage, biological productivity, and provide habitat for wildlife.

To view the full map, just click on this link.

 

Our Lakes: It Was a Very Good Year…

11 March 2016

When I first read our 2015 Reports from the Volunteer Lake-Monitoring Program (VLMP) – yes they now have an English name and page – the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s wonderful classic It Was a Very Good Year came to my mind. Listen to the first few bars if you wish!

The weather last summer was OK and our numbers are there to prove it. Clarity is much better. Phosphorus count (micrograms per litre) is way lower. 3.5 on Black, 3,9 on Boyd, 2.9 on Clear and 3.1 on Curran. Thus, all of our lake are in the oligotrophic*   category.

Reflexions on Curran , Lois Gamble

Reflexions on Curran , Lois Gamble

Do take a minute to have a look at the Reports.** There are two of them for each lake . One  – the sa-su –  give you the 2015 results. The other one – pcp – is the multiyear chart; definitely the most interesting as you can see the trend.

These numbers are very good but – there is always a but – they have limitations as we only take three samples each summer at a depth of one meter, always at the deepest spot of the lake as per the official protocol.

That being said, we now have 10 full years of data that show almost continuous improvement in the quality of our water, we can have more confidence in the reliability our our data.

Bottom line: you all deserve congratulations for good lakeside behavior. Keep it up: make sure your septic system is in good working  order and regularly cleaned.

Continuously reinforce your shoreline protection band. Do not use pesticides and fertilizers anywhere near the lake and make sure your property is well drained to limit runoff.

On Twitter, our hashtag*** would be #vigilance4Dunanylakes

Finally, we wish to thank our dedicated collaborators on each lake. John Parsons on Black, Rick Havill on Boyd, François Côté on Clear and Sheryl Jacksom-Caron on Curran. This year, Jim and Lois Finch will take over on Black. Thanks John for all you have done during all these years.

* An oligotrophic lake is characterized by a low accumulation of dissolved nutrient salts, supporting but a sparse growth of algae and other organisms, and having a high oxygen content owing to the low organic content.

** The Reports are only available in French at this time. Numbers are different from last year’s but not the text which you can read in English in 2014 Lake Reports..

***A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and micro blogging services which makes it easier for users to find a message.

 

 

Where was Dunany 13,000 Years Ago?

15 February 2016

Underwater, my friends.

The de-glaciation process had recently begun and given birth to the Sea of Champlain which was a temporary inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, created by the retreating glaciers during the close of the last ice age. This sea of saltwater was born about 13 000 years ago when the glacier began melting. It slowly shrank allowing the rebounding continent to slowly rise above sea level.  The sea was home to crustaceans, seals, walrus and belugas whose fossils were found in the Lower Laurentians.

Mer de Champlain. 6_Extension_Champlain

In 2001, the skeleton of of a 10 700 year old beluga was found in Saint-Félix-de-Valois, 118 kilometers east of Dunany. It was the best preserved of the 21 specimens found to date. Interestingly, it proved to be morphologically identical to the belugas found today in the St-Lawrence River. The vegetation found around the shores of this salted inland sea was pretty similar to the tundra now found in Northern Quebec.

Lake Lampsilis (known today as Lac St-Pierre, east of Montreal) is the name given to the body of fresh water that was left after the sea of Champlain had retreated. The sea lasted from about 13 000 years ago to about 10 000 years ago and shrank continuously during that period. The actual shoreline of the St-Lawrence took today’s shape about 8 000 years ago.

The melting of all this ice – about two kilometers thick – removed a lot of weight permitting the earth’s crust to slowly lift.  That is how the Laurentians and their thousands of lakes were created. If you wish to see how this evolved over time, have a look at this simulation.

As you can see, our geological history is pretty recent considering that humans were living in Europe more than half a million years ago!

Sources: Biodôme de Montréal, Wikipedia

A Report on the Beaver Situation in Dunany.

16 October 2015

The hot topic in Dunany these days is beavers!

Beavers on Curran! Beavers on Clear! Beavers on Boyd! This is not surprising since this is their most active time of the year. Beavers are getting ready for the winter. So they cut trees and build huts. Late this summer, they were especially active on Clear where they cut alder on my shoreline to bring it on the other side of the lake. The action is now on Curran where they have developed a fondness for birch tress.

beaver-trapping

I can report that our trapper Marcel Gauthier has been very active recently on these three lakes and captured a good half dozen of them. But there are still a few left and the goal is to have all of our four lakes beaver free by November 1. There were some beavers on Back but they showed up early this summer and the problem was solved. He will also remove the new dam on Boyd in the coming days.

By the way, you should know that our trapper respects Quebec’s laws and regulations scrupulously.

Many of you have had the opportunity to meet with him and he has asked me to thank you all for your collaboration. This is essential because he wants to be absolutely sure that you know what is going on and that no dogs or cats get hurt in the capture process.

By the way, chicken wire can be useful to protect valuable trees on your  shoreline. If you chose this method, use the 1 sq. inch type.

If you have specific questions you can continue to write or phone me.

Majestic Loon on Black Lake. Watch closely!

8 September 2015

Many of you chose the loon when we held the contest to select the emblematic bird of Dunany. The Pine Warbler won but the loon, which came in second, certainly has a special place in our lives as we see and hear this bird – albeit sometimes loudly in the middle of the night – all though the nice season.

This video was shot by John Parsons on Black Lake and he has agreed to share it with you so you can run int when you are away from Dunany and have the winter blues!

 

 

Thank you John.

 

 

Inside Black Lake: have a look!

26 August 2015

If you have attended our latest AGMs you have often heard talk about the Purple Bladderwort (Utricularia Purpurea) in Black Lake. It is a carnivorous plant found in many places in the Eastern part of North America, but only in a very few lakes in the Laurentians. When abundant it can be bothersome but it is otherwise harmless.

This 2,5  minute underwater video was done in the far east section of Black Lake last summer. The author is none other than Dr. Richard Carignan, Quebec’s foremost lake expert. He is also an active member of the GRIL (Group for Interuniversity Research in Limnology and Aquatic Environment)

He has identified in French the plants seen in the video. I am providing you here with the appropriate English names. First, in order of appearance, is  la (Vallisnérie américaine, (Vallisneria Americana),  Brasénie de Schreber,  (Schreber Watershield), Potamot à large feuilles, (Large-Leaved Pondweed)  then lots of Purple Bladderwort. Finally,  a composite of the latter, plus vallisnérie américaine (Tapegrass) and some potamot émergé (Ribbonleaf Pondweed). All of these plants, except the Purple Bladderwort, are common in all our lakes.

 

We do not know how long the Bladderwort  has been living in Black lake. Certainly decades. Maybe centuries. Our expert Richard Carignan, professor at University of Montreal and Quebec’s foremost lake expert, does not recommend any action at this time. But he will follow its evolution with us and advise accordingly.

 

 

The First Dunany Triathlon: an Event to Remember

7 August 2015

The weather was good; spirits were high and the results were impressive. Fifty-four participants competed in the first ever Dunany Triathlon, supported by a host of volunteers. Thanks to the Burks, especially Dianne, who put their hearths into this and made it such a great success.

Dunany Triathlon 2015

The day began with a swim across Curran Lake, followed by a cycle up “The Glen” and finished with a run around the lake. Participants challenged themselves with the “Try a Tri” or “Sprint” distances or their own personal goal. The day ended with a BBQ to celebrate not only our athletic achievements but also the fund raising effort towards building a school in Ethiopia.

As Dianne wrote, we built up ourselves through this community event, we also helped transform another community – creating new opportunities for 400 students!

The Dunany Triathlon – Swim, Bike, Run – Build a School!

Who first developped Argenteuil? The French? The British? The Americans?

12 January 2015

The man charged with this mission was Charles-Joseph d’Ailleboust des Museaux owner of a Burgundy castle in Argenteuil-sur-Armaçon,  a bodyguard and nephew of Louis XIV, king of France. In 1680, he was awarded the Seigniory of Argenteuil, a territory of 54 000 acres located between the Ottawa and North Rivers which he was supposed to develop. He never set foot there. His son Pierre bought it from him in 1697 but it is his wife Marie-Louise who built the first Seigniorial manor. By 1740, only five French families inhabited the territory.

Early in that century, the French had allied with the local tribes: Algonquinians, Micmacs, Hurons, most of whom were gradually exterminated by the ferocious Mohawks. Peace only came to New France after the French and their allied indian tribes signed La Grande Paix de Montreal with the Mohawks in 1701.Seigneurie2

Bottom line: it wasn’t the French.

The Seigniory changed hands many times until it’s purchase in 1793  by Major Patrick Murray, a commander of Fort Detroit and then by James Murray in 1803 and then again by Sir John Johnson who encouraged the American Loyalists to move in. Thus Massachusetts citizens, mostly of Scottish descent, loyal to the defeated British in the United States began development in St. Andrews where they built the first paper mill in Canada. Then came Carillon and Lachute.

The Americans were followed by immigrants from the UK , mostly Scottish and, later, Irish. They became the nucleus of development in the Seigniory of Argenteuil. In 1854, the Province of Quebec, officially abolished the Seigniorial Regime and replaced it with counties.

So, the real developers were Americans.

The Seigniory is long gone but the Comte d’Argenteuil is alive and well in France. He name is Alain Chebroux an he hosts an excellent web site (in English, if you please) that you might want to look it if you want to know more. Needless to say, he is my main source of information.