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Nature Club News March 2020

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Nature Club News March 2020

by John Dickson

Please note – This NCN Originally Submitted March 10th. Due to COVID-19, most of the March events were postponed or cancelled. Please see individual listings for their current status.

There are many Nature related activities – for humans, that is – lined
up over the next while. Here are some which may be of interest to you
and/or your entire family:

This Thursday March 12, the Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) host
their Members’ Night, featuring as many as seven brief presentations
as diverse as Bill Moses using Phragmites to enhance habitat choices
for bees; David Morris pointing out “armed and dangerous” plants that
should be avoided; Bruce Peninsula wildflowers and photography
guidelines with Lyn Reket; Forest Bathing and Nature Therapy with Neil
Baldwin; Dorcas Bay Road wildflowers with Barbara Palmer; a Piping
Plover update with Norah Toth; and shades of green and gold with John
Dickson. Starting at 7PM, in the Bayroom of the Harry Lumley Bayshore
Community Centre, everyone is welcome, and encouraged to arrive early.
Admission is free, although donations are very welcome. For more
details please visit www.osfn.ca

Then on Sunday March 15, begins a four part lecture series featuring
Dr. Thorsten Arnold, a local farmer scientist, plus climate and food
systems advocate.

The entire series is entitled How Can Food Systems Regenerate Our
Earth? The lecture begins at 1:30PM at the Harmony Centre, located at
the corner of 9th Street and 4th Avenue east, and the topic is
Biosphere Self Regulation of its Climate. Admission is on a Pay What
You Can basis.

The dates and topics of the other three lectures, all at 1:30PM are
Sunday April 5, Regenerative Agriculture and the Biosphere; Sunday
April 26, Food Systems for the Biosphere; Sunday May 3, Making
Holistic Land Use Decisions. Arnold is known for the eloquence and
substance of his talks and his articulate presentations.

Support for this lecture series has been provided by Eat Local Grey
Bruce, Climate Action Team of Bruce, Grey and Owen Sound, Grey Bruce

Sustainability Network, OSFN, and St.George’s Anglican Church


On Friday March 20 at 2PM Grey Roots Museum and Archives, as part of
their March Break feature Back to Your Roots, is offering a chance to
“Learn about moths and what they do in the winter” with a fun
presentation by Brian Robin, in the Grey Roots theatre, co-presented
by the Young Naturalists club.

On March 24 Grey Roots begins its Spring Lecture Series with Dr. David
Holah asking  How Green is Green Energy?

Our hopes of moving away from fossil fuels lies with the increased use of green energy (solar and wind) and the production of batteries for
electric cars. Success will largely be dependent on a few metals of
which most people have never heard and which come with a significant
environmental cost. This presentation is part of Grey Roots’ Spring
Lecture Series taking place on Tuesday afternoons following March
Break, March 24 through April 14, in our Theatre and are Free with admission. Talks take place at 1:00 p.m. and are repeated at 2:30 p.m. Complimentary refreshments following this talk, are provided, courtesy of Owen Sound Field Naturalists. 


On Saturday March 28, Grey Roots is also presenting a chance to learn
more about hibernation, with popular speaker and naturalist Jenna
McGuire, also co-sponsored by OSFN.


The Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation is hosting its 5th Annual
Earth Film Festival. The Festival will be held at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound on Thursday, April 30, 2020.This year the festival follows one week after the Earth Week Celebration. The theme for the Earth Film Festival is the beauty of the monarch butterfly. 

During the day, there will be two school matinee performances at the
Roxy. Students from grades 6 to grade 8 will be invited to attend. The evening starts with a social from 6pm to 7pm, during which guests can view displays, view draw prizes, and participate in a silent auction. At 7:00 pm the night will begin with an interactive butterfly presentation by Audrey Armstrong and photographer Willy Waterton. Following which the featured movie “Flight of the Butterflies” will be shown.

All funds raised benefit local conservation projects and student education grants supported by the Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation. Tickets are $25 and are available from the Roxy Theatre, contact 519-371-2833.

For further information, please contact Don Sankey, Chair, Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation at 519 376-1348


Also celebrating Earth Week, OSFN presents renowned ecologist and
singer/songwriter Jarmo Jalava, on board the Chi Cheemaun, starting at
2PM, Saturday April 18. Entitled Relationships with Nature, as told through slides, stories and song, tickets for this event, which has limited seating,
are only $5 each and are still available at these ticket outlets –
Ginger Press, OS Farmers’ Market and the OSTC office at Springmount.
Ticket sales are starting to pick up again, now that Spring is in the
air. Sponsored by Caframo, proceeds will be directed to OSFN Youth
Projects.


There have been many special sightings in the area recently. Jim
Hastie from the Leith area, reported his first Redwing Blackbird on
March 4th.

First year male King Eider Duck.  March 9, by David Turner

The Juvenile King Eider is still seen regularly at Southampton Harbour. Many Red-Tailed Hawks have been observed busily engaged in breeding activities; 

Red-tailed Hawk, Photo By Bruce Edmunds

Tundra Swans are showing up in LambtonCounty, and in South East Grey. David Turner sighted nine Tundra Swans at Lake Eugenia, March 10, following a parallel path towards crossing Lake Huron.  Peter Middleton was successful in photographing a pair of Golden Eagles in Bruce County. Along with many Bald Eagles, HornedLarks and Robins have been seen throughout the area, and at least a couple of chipmunks have been observed, out of hibernation.

Tundra Swans, Mar 9th, Thedford Bog, Photo by Peter Middleton

Stew Hilts had a very nice sighting with a Red-tailed Hawk, to see the full story, head to his Seasons in the Valley blog.

Red-tailed Hawk, Photo by Stew Hilts

A tracking hike led by Jeff Kinchen last Saturday drew this assessment
from Julie Lamberts –

“I really appreciated Jeff’s insight around interpreting animal tracks
to understand not only the type of animal but how an animal is
behaving.  This insight gives you the opportunity to more deeply
understand that animal’s story, forming a deeper connection with them.
This was a very informative and enjoyable experience!” And, from Marilyn Betteridge – “Jeff was so enthused to share his experiences and accumulated knowledge it made learning and retaining so rewarding. Personally, I went out the next day looking for tracks and an otter slide he told us about. Finding two wildlife treasures was a highlight!!” 



Jody Johnson reported that on February 23, the Young Naturalists Club
spent a beautiful afternoon exploring the area around Jones Falls, led by Judy Robinson. The kids experienced life as either a porcupine, fox, skunk, coyote or rabbit – looking for food, shelter and avoiding prey. They also created nature art of their selected animal.

Young Naturalists’ Artwork, Photo By Jody Johnson

Also, looking back to February 13, Peter Middleton, in immense gratitude and warm recognition of his outstanding legacy,  received a lengthy standing ovation from the assembly of 200, who were on hand for his final lecture/presentation at the Lumley Bayshore.  They had been enthralled by the story of his recent trip to Brazilwith his wife, Jan. The trip had been well researched in advance and they were successful in observing most of the target species they were aiming for. Along with Peter’s superb photographs he made their adventures come alive for the audience as he imitated the sounds of Howler Monkeys and various anteaters and shared stories of behaviours they observed. Thank you, Peter, for generously sharing your nature experiences and gifts with us!


To close, a Nature quote from Sam Llewellyn’s The Sea Garden – “From
the foot of the donjon walls the gardens sweep away. They are
twenty-one acres of Paradise, of flowers and scents gathered from the
Cape of Good Hope, and the Canaries, Australia and the Azores….”

Lecture Series: How Can Food Systems Regenerate Our Earth?

Saturday, March 14th, 2020


Harmony Centre Owen Sound

Regenerative Agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil.

The Earth’s climate system depends on the regulating function of the biosphere. While fossil fuel emissions must be reduced, Thorsten advocates that more attention must be given to these biosphere functions: the soil sponge, vegetation and animals, and the small water cycle. Humans can regenerate the biosphere and rebuild landscape resilience to climate change. A series of talks offer a hopeful message that is much needed in today’s world, with many intervention points for communities and planners. The talk series is divided into four lectures, and will be hosted at 1:30pm on four separate Sundays at the Harmony Centre in Owen Sound. Below is a more detailed look at what each talk explores.

1) How the biosphere self regulates its climate: March 15th 2020

Did you know that vegetation actively builds a soil “sponge” that regulates watershed functions? With a functioning soil sponge of a landscape, rainfall events hardly ever lead to flooding and drought. Also, plants cool their own environment by transpiring water – between 250 and 500 times stronger than the global greenhouse does, at least locally. Temperature, moisture, wind patterns, and rainfall are all influenced by how we manage our landscapes — an overlooked opportunity in the debate how we can confront the global climate crisis.

2) Regenerative agriculture for biosphere self regulation: April 5th 2020

Agriculture covers more landscape area than any other land use. How we do agriculture thus also defines our landscape’s biosphere functions and climate resilience. New findings in how the soil actually works are leading to a massive shift in understanding of how we can grow plants – with deep implications for how we farm and manage our lands. Learn about the mycorrhizal revolution, about regenerative farming principles for crops and livestock, and hear about local leaders in this regenerative revolution!

3) Food systems for biosphere regeneration: April 26th 2020

Farm businesses require markets, and the “rules of the game” of their markets define what farmers can do and what they cannot do. Biosphere regeneration through agriculture can only happen if food systems send the right signals to farmers, or at least do not pose market barriers. This talk discusses barriers, opportunities and steps for establishing a food system that works for regeneration, with considerations for regulators, citizens, small businesses, donors,and regional governance.

4) Transforming land management and ourselves for biosphere regeneration: May 3rd 2020

Humans are very effective in engineering and managing complicated systems – it took us one century form using a steam engine to setting foot onto the moon. At the same time, we struggle with managing complex systems that self-regulate at all scales, starting with our immune system and guts or soil, community and watersheds dynamics, up to the global climate. This talk highlights strategies how we can holistically manage complexity and how we may better align our personal impacts with the needs of our only planet.

Each lecture will take 90 minutes of talk, plus 30 minutes of discussion, questions, and brainstorming. All talks are providing in-depth knowledge in an accessible format. Talks build on each other. While there will be a repetition of core concepts as a refresher, regular attendance is recommended.

The event is Pay what you can, no one will be turned away due to a lack of funds. Please be in touch if you have any questions or access needs.

Who is apart of organizing the series: – Eat Local Grey Bruce – Climate Action Team Bruce Grey Owen Sound – Owen Sound Field Naturalists – St George’s Anglican Church Owen Sound

…………………………….

About Thorsten: Thorsten Arnold has dedicated his work-life to promoting climate resilience in its various facets and seeks to build strong communities by sharing his learnings with others as writer, consultant, and educator. With his wife Kristine Hammel, they co-own Persephone Market Garden, an ecological vegetable farm that produces healthy, fair and simply good food. They have big goals of building the farm into a community hub and have already integrated a summer farm camp, farming workshops, and now a private farm & forest school that offers holistic education in sustainable living.

Thorsten received academic training in environmental engineering (BTU Cottbus) and Earth Systems sciences at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the sea (ICBM) in Oldenburg, Germany. He later pursued a dissertation in watershed sciences and agricultural economics (Uni. Hohenheim, Germany). His academic training uniquely bridges the two pillars of climate dynamics: the global greenhouse gas forcing and the role of regional land use and agriculture. Thorsten advocated against selling public water utilities to international investors and against some destructive aspects of global trade deregulations and worked with national and international development agencies around climate change and sustainable agriculture.

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