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Nature Club News September 2019

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

NATURE CLUB NEWS September 2019

by John Dickson

Peter Thoem’s Owls Around Us presentation on August 25th drew a capacity crowd to the Grey Roots theatre for his entertaining and enlightening talk. Thoem has been a volunteer ambassador for the Owl Foundation since 2016.

Barred Owl (Supplied Photo)


The Bruce Birding Club has been out twice recently with both tours being led by Kiah Jasper.

On August 28th twenty one club members visited the Exeter and the West Perth Lagoons. Fred Jazvac reported that “Today was a great shorebirding day seeing 13 species, with the Baird’s Sandpiper seen at Chalmers Pond getting plenty of excitement as it was in Bruce County, making the eBird listers very happy.  The Red-necked Phalarope was the first phalarope of the year for the BBC, and that bird was well photographed.   Considering we were only in shorebird habitat, the total of 56 birds was excellent.” 

Gull complaining about the cold wind??? (Photo by Marilyn Ohler)

On September 4th – Kiah was once more the leader taking the group from Southampton to north of Elsinore, to Wiarton and Isaac Lake,

The best bird of the day was a flyover, early arrival Black Scoter.  A Lesser Yellowlegs gave lessons on patience, showing close-by observers,  how to swallow a large tadpole.  Two American Kestrels proudly showed off their new families to us.  65 species were recorded for the day.


Stephane Menu, Station Scientist at the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory reported that migration still seems slow, but a few highlights including Common Nighthawks, Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, and a Gray-cheeked Thrush have been documented. Another observation was “On August 26, we were surprised by a large group of a species not usually seen in such numbers at Cabot Head: six young Bald Eagles were soaring together! These birds were all hatched this summer, and must have come from several nests on the Bruce Peninsula.” You can meet Stephane and other staff and volunteers, at the Observatory when they will be hosting their annual Open House on Saturday September 28, from 9AM to 2PM. Witness bird banding observations and see where the migrating birds stream in for a rest. For more details visit www.bpbo.ca


Photo by Brian Robin

On August 30th, the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores held another Community Tagging Day, with 50 Monarchs tagged and released. Out of town visitor Joan Gamey-Langrell posted this:

Yesterday was an amazing morning. I got to learn about the Pod Squad and see them in action. What an amazing group of people. They are doing great work for the monarch butterflies. They catch them, tag them and release them. I got to send my first tagged butterfly south. It was very emotional for me. It is a great experience. Bring your children and grandchildren out to take part. It will be a forever memory. I know it will be for me. Thank you


Beth Gilhespy with Tortoise (supplied photo)

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists Club kicks off its monthly speaker series at 7PM Thursday September 12 at the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library. Guest speaker Beth Gilhespy is the past CEO of the Bruce Trail Conservancy and is a geology enthusiast. Her presentation will highlight the geology of the Niagara Escarpment. She will also lead a leisurely Owen Sound Bruce Trail hike on September 28.

Beth Gilhespy (supplied photo)
Geology Hike with Beth Gilhespy (supplied photo)

In addition, there is a plethora of outdoor activities planned for September, including an floral excursion in Sarawak, an Autumn Ramble at Anglesea Nature Trails & Managed Forest, and an introduction to Forest Bathing. For membership details and more please visit www.osfn.ca


In addition the The Young Naturalists’ Club is scheduled to begin on September 29, and is for children aged 7 to 12 years old. Younger and older children are welcome, however ages under 7 must be accompanied by an adult during each meeting. We typically meet once a month from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm (please note offsite trips are planned), but for some events the times may vary. The program operates from September to June but with no meeting in December. Parents or guardians are encouraged to stay and participate or volunteer if they wish.  For more information please visit www.osfn.ca or contact  the Young Naturalists Coordinator Jody Johnson Pettit at jljohnson@hotmail.com



Recently I have heard from three different sources mention of some negative effects on the wildlife along the rail line west of Benallen, from ATV traffic. In particular that many frogs are being killed as well as the deterioration of the trail conditions for cycling, etc., from the unevenness that results from this usage. There have also been some suggestions about efforts to make this a more harmonious and less deadly sharing of the trail, since the wildlife use it too. 

Female Walking Stick (Photo by David Turner, Flesherton)

To close, a Nature quote from an upcoming OSFN speaker Alexis Burnett,

The Earth is the ultimate provider and for countless generations our ancestors knew how to survive and live in harmony with nature. By learning and practicing these skills we begin to experience nature in an ancient and meaningful way.

Dog-Strangling Vine Educational Outing, Aug 7th.

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019



Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 at 10 am Invitation to become familiar with Dog-strangling Vine, walk the site, assess the efforts thus far including spraying, digging, tarping, removing flowers and pods and monitoring. Come and learn about this invasive species new to Grey Bruce. Bill Moses and Nancy Brown will share ways in which others can help. See slide show below for views of the plant, the root, the flagging for dug and sprayed sites and tarping. Location is Tom Thomson Trail 100m north of 26th Street E. Roadside parking.

Owls Around Us

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Date:  Sunday, August 25, 2019
Time:  2 pm – 4 pm
Location:  Grey Roots Theatre, Grey Roots Museum & Archives

Description:  It is said that if you’ve got squirrels in your neighbourhood, then you also have owls! Really? How come I never see them? Naturalist Peter Thoem’s  presentation, on behalf of the Owl Foundation,  includes dozens of spectacular shots of owls taken here in Ontario. It shows you how owls are everywhere in our culture; they have even made it into our government. The show also deals with the mishaps (mostly man-made) that befall owls. And how the Vineland-based Owl Foundation is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned owls.  

This program is hosted by the Owen Sound Field Naturalists.

Regular admission rates apply. FREE for Grey Roots Members and for Owen Sound Field Naturalist Members.

Resilience: Transforming Our Community

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Date:  Sunday, July 28: 2019
Time:  2 pm – 4 pm
Location:  Grey Roots Museum & Archives

Description:   Join us at for a special screening of  a different kind of climate change film. Resilience: Transforming our Community focuses on climate change in the Grey and Bruce region, but applies to all communities. Marine scientist Dr. John Anderson makes this global crisis a personal issue, right in our own backyard, and is designed to inspire action. This uplifting film, directed by Liz Zetlin, offers ways to build resilience in ourselves and our community by transforming the way we live. 

“It’s so hard to know where to start,” says John. “Change our light bulbs? Drive less? Eat less meat? But the trouble is if we act as individuals, it’s just too little. If we wait for governments to act, it will be too late. But if we work together as a community, it might just be in time.”

Danuta Valleau will moderate a community discussion after the screening. See https://resiliencedoc.info for more info.

This film is hosted by the Owen Sound Field Naturalists.

Regular admission rates apply. FREE for Grey Roots Members and for Owen Sound Field Naturalist Members.

Space Available in the Ontario Master Naturalist Program

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

There are a few spots available in the Summer 2019 Certificate Program of the Ontario Master Naturalist Program.

A few details below, to register or find out more, head to Lakehead’s website.

Date: Sat. July 13 to Sat. July 20, 2019

Location: Red Bay Lodge, 462 Huron Road, South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario N0H 2T0

Module topics:

  • Geology and Anthropology
  • Flora
  • Mammals
  • Amphibians and Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Insects and other Invertebrates
  • Water, Wetlands and the First Nations and Métis Peoples

*Please note that modules may change or be modified based on instructor availability.

Fee: $999 (plus HST)

Find out more at Lakehead’s website.

NeighbourWoods North Presents Feast in the Field

Thursday, July 4th, 2019

A one-of-a-kind culinary event supporting the NeighbourWoods North Healing Path Initiative

ENJOY a sumptuous four-course meal expertly prepared by renowned Chef Zach Keeshig

Zach is a culinary innovator who draws inspiration from indigenous traditions, while gathering natural ingredients foraged from Grey County woodlands and supplied by local producers. At this event you will enjoy a selection of dishes delicately flavoured with fruity and savoury highlights that will delight the palate and excite the senses.

TASTE local wine at Gleason Brook Winery — Grey County’s newest startup vineyard

Thirty minutes from Owen Sound, Gleason Brook Winery is set in the lush, rolling countryside characteristic of the Niagara Escarpment’s unique dolomite cap ecosystem. Sample local wine expertly paired with your meal in a beautiful sheltered setting with live music that will enhance the evening’s flavours and stunning venue.

SUPPORT a unique grass-roots initiative that’s creating usable, accessible greenspace

NeighbourWoods North volunteers have already planted more than 3,000 trees around the Owen Sound Hospital. Now the group intends to build, through the growing forest, a 2 km crushed-stone Healing Path, complete with benches and interpretive signs. All proceeds from this event will go towards The Healing Path.

Event Details

Date & Time
Saturday August 10: Reception at 5:00 pm. Dinner will begin at approximately 6:00 pm.

Location
Gleason Brook Winery, 30 minutes from Owen Sound (map provided when tickets purchased). Carpooling is available upon request.

Cost
$100 per person. $50 tax receipt and two drinks included.

Entertainment
Live music featuring Al Crawford. Door prizes, and silent auction.

Format
Sit-down four-course meal under an events tent. Ample off-road parking.

Ticket price includes two glasses of wine. Beer and wine available for purchase.

Tickets and more information available at… https://www.neighbourwoodsnorth.com/feast-in-the-field and at The Ginger Press, Downtown Owen Sound (cash only)

Seats are limited… act soon!

Feast in the Field is presented by NeighbourWoods North with generous support from Gleason Brook Winery.

NeighbourWoods North is a project of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists.
Find NeighbourWoods North on Facebook, or contact them directly at info@neighourwoodsnorth.com.

3rd Annual WATER DOCS Where-You-Live in OWEN SOUND

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

A message from the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library:

The Library is pleased to partner with the Owen Sound Water Watchers, a grassroots community group, working to raise awareness and take action on local water issues, in presenting the 3rd Annual Water Docs Where-You-Live in Owen Sound film series.

This event takes place in the Library auditorium, September 18th and 25th.Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Films start at 7:00 p.m.  After each screening there will be a chance to talk about the film. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The series kicks off on Tuesday, September 18th with the American documentary, A River’s Last Chance.  This compelling film shows the amazing recovery of the Eel River in Northern California, a haven for wild salmon.  The river and salmon have weathered decades of over-fishing, abusive logging, catastrophic floods and droughts, and a hydro power dam that diverts water out of the basin.  Today, the Eel’s recovering wild salmon compete for water with the region’s underground multi-billion-dollar cannabis economy and the multi-billion-dollar wine industries of Sonoma and Mendocino.  According to film maker Shane Anderson, the film is rooted in the belief that we can live symbiotically with our watersheds and encourage both a river’s recovery and economic future.

A River's Last Chance

On Tuesday, September 25th, the evening begins with Just Add Water, a presentation by Master Gardener, Pat Wyszynski.  Pat has been watching her property transform with different water features that she has added over the years.  Bring your questions and be prepared to be inspired.

Fix and Release explores the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, a small turtle trauma centre in Peterborough Ontario as it fights to even the odds for survival that freshwater turtles face in a modern world. Most turtle species in Canada are endangered due to loss of habitat and collisions with cars and boats. Dr. Sue Carstairs leads a team of dedicated staff and volunteers as they develop their own ground-breaking approach to reptile medicine. This visually beautiful film shows turtles in a way that few have seen before – highlighting their amazing ability to recover from catastrophic injury and hinting that these ancient creatures may be more complex than previously thought. Turtles are vital for healthy wetlands and every saved turtle makes a difference. As Dr. Carstairs says, “We are saving the world one turtle at a time”.

Fix and release

We will close the evening with local water-themed shorts.

We’re grateful to our partners who make this event possible- the Toronto-based Water Docs International Film Festival, Scenic City Film Festival, and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

For more information about these events contact Carolin Brooks, cbrooks@owensound.library.on.ca, 519-376-6623 ext. 214.

Neigbourwoods North: Water Brigade July 8 at 19:00 – 20:30

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

Neighbourwoods North is putting out another call for watering assistance at the spring hospital planting:

Saturday, July 8th, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, at the Owen Sound Hospital.
The Fire Truck will be there to accelerate the filling of the barrels.
Bring a 3-5 gallon bucket if possible.

But most importantly bring yourself!

A tree at each of these mulch locations at the hospital in Owen Sound (Photo by John Dickson)

A tree at each of these mulch locations at the hospital in Owen Sound (Photo by John Dickson)

Petrel Point Accessible Boardwalk Unveiling, May 26th w/Ontario Nature

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

A message from Ontario Nature:

Join us on Saturday May 26 from 11:00am to 1:00pm as we unveil our new 200-metre wheelchair-accessible boardwalk at Petrel Point Nature Reserve. Located on the southern Bruce Peninsula, Petrel Point is often described as a garden of wildflowers. But we’re not stopping there. We will continue working this summer to extend the boardwalk so that people of all abilities will be able to enjoy this incredible property.

A poster with more information (please note the RSVP date has changed to May 23rd):

Invite-to-Petrel-Point-2018

Neighbourwoods North Looking for Trees

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Let’s Build a Forest!

Do you have a tree/shrub sapling or seedling you are willing to dig up and donate? You can add to the tree biodiversity of our hospital forest, by making a donation on Saturday May 5th or 12th, between 9am to noon at the NW corner of our hospital grounds. For more information contact Lloyd Lewis at 226 256 8804 or rhiandlloyd@gmail.com.

Interested in helping plant trees? Neighbourwoods North is also looking for volunteers May 5th, 12th and 19th!