The Octagon – February 2020

I hope you had a happy Palindrome Day yesterday! …… 02/02/2020 (A palindrome being a word or sequence that reads the same backward as forward).

Not only was it a Palindrome Day but it was also Groundhog Day. Are we in for an early Spring? That depends on which groundhog you rely on! I just know that I saw my shadow yesterday and if the marmots at Fintry emerged from their cozy dens I’ll bet they saw their shadows as well, so it sounds like we have six more weeks of winter to contend with!

Here’s an event to get you out of the winter doldrums. BC Heritage Week is always held in February …. this year from February 17 to 23rd and the national and provincial theme is “Bringing the Past into the Future”.  It is unfortunate that the Fintry Manor House is still in the depths of winter but we encourage everyone to participate in events taking place in your community. The Central Okanagan Heritage Society is holding its “Kickoff” at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Monday, February 17th from 11a.m. to 3p.m. with music, a scavenger hunt, heritage displays and hot drinks! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our local heritage…and it’s free! For a full list of events, visit the Heritage Week in the Central Okanagan Facebook Page at

We usually choose an historic item from the collection as a short feature for the newsletter, but this time we have a newer piece. This picture shows an up-to-the-minute meat cutter’s glove. This was given to us by Richard Konechny of Calgary who was unable to continue using it due to a minor bit of damage. It is of interest as one of the rare modern uses of the ancient idea of chain mail armour. WCB regulations require meat cutters to use these gloves for obvious reasons while at work. Viking warriors were not slow to appreciate the protection that this kind of armour afforded and indeed chain mail armour has been in continuous use in parts of West Africa right up to modern times.

The Viking re-enactors at the Fintry Fairs will be delighted to let you examine the details of the armour that they have made and use in their performances.

Following is a note by Dr. David Ensing who has been reporting on the presence of “garlic mustard”, a noxious weed that has been found in some areas of the Fintry Delta.

In collaboration with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are conducting research on the invasive alien plant , garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) in Fintry Provincial Park. Garlic mustard is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, but relatively limited in western North America, with a few restricted populations known from BC. One of these populations is in and around Fintry Provincial Park. Garlic Mustard is an aggressive invader that may disrupt other species. Notably it releases chemicals from its roots into the soil that inhibit important associations between native plant species and beneficial fungi (mycorrhizae). This strategy allows garlic mustard to colonise diverse habitats and exclude native plant species from growing in those locations. Given its widespread distribution in North America, herbicides and mechanical means of control were deemed both impractical and unsuitable. As a result, a biological control programme was initiated. Recently, the root crown mining weevil, Ceutorhynchus scrobicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) was approved for release by both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture, who have jurisdiction in Canada and USA respectively. This weevil only attacks garlic mustard in the wild and there are no close relatives or other species that it can successfully feed and develop on in North America. Our research in Fintry Provincial Park involves careful monitoring of the population for abundance and density of mature and juvenile plants and the incidence of any feeding or disease on the plants. We have installed environmental monitoring equipment (temperature, relative humidity) and will compare our data with monitoring efforts in populations across the world via the Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey ( Our research will clarify what facilitates invasion and control of this problematic species in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

David Ensing, PhDBiology Study Leader – Weed Biocontrol
Summerland Research and Development Centre,

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada | Tel: (250) 404-3341 | Cell: (250) 859-0749

The Friends of Fintry Board is busy planning for the 2020 season; we are applying for grants for summer students so that we can be open most days of the week. We often hear from people that they have come for a tour of the Manor House only to find us closed, but when we only operate with volunteers it is difficult to staff more than just weekends. That being said, we are constantly looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of running the Manor House, the events etc., as well as new Board members. If you are at all interested in helping to keep our history and heritage alive, please contact myself (Kathy) at 250-309-7868 or Dan Bruce at 250-766-2081 for more info.

‘Til next month….

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *