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Earth Day Tickets Now Available

Are You Looking for a Last Minute Gift?

Give the Gift of Knowing Nature Better

Tickets $10. each, are now available at:

Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library, Sheila Gunby’s Paper Cut Designs at Owen Sound Farmers’ Market, & Suntrail Source for Adventure in Hepworth or at OSFN Indoor Meetings.


Nature Club News for November 2023

by John Dickson

Well-known local astronomer and former high school teacher John Hlyaniluk will present “Galapagos” at 7pm Thursday November 9, at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Galapagos is one of the most exceptional environments on the planet, with its ecology, geology and scientific value. The most important theory in science, expressed in Darwin’s Origin of Species, was supported by his observations there. Hlyaniluk’s talk will focus on several areas, including the discovery of the Galapagos Islands, their geology and how that has produced the distinctive species of organisms that exist there. Especially of interest are the current efforts to maintain this unique ecosystem, which is under threat from various sources. And much to their credit, the inhabitants have made the islands accessible to tourists in a wonderful harmony of nature and conservation.

Also of note, the Maher family will be on hand to make a special memorial donation to OSFN, as outlined here by Brian Maher:

“Nels and Jean Maher loved the outdoors, in particular the wilds of Grey and Bruce.

With a family of 6 children in tow we enjoyed camping, hiking, canoeing and cross country skiing together. There is a little family joke about children being conceived on camping trips.

Mom and Dad were first members of Saugeen Field Naturalists and attended meetings in Hanover, Durham and Dornoch, often with Joe Johnson carpooling with them. 

When Owen Sound started a Club they became Charter Members and later Honorary Members. They loved the club members and many activities and participated in building Boardwalks, Guiding and attending hikes, and running OSFN booths at community events. Often displaying Dad’s Fern Prints and Owl collection and selling Club books. The Publication Committee team was their favourite. The Club produced many world class nature books and as a career printer dad was deeply involved in publication of these at his business. His favourites were the Orchid and Fern Guides. 

In recent years Mom continued to get calls from folks looking to buy them. So she knew they were out of print. So when I sat down to discuss her estate planning as the Executor we agreed that a donation towards the reprint would be a nice Legacy to Nels’ memory. 

Jean attended her last meeting in March and Died just after her 89th Birthday in April ………..happy and active till the end. 

On behalf of the Maher Family I am so pleased to donate $10,000 from Mom’s Estate for the reprinting of The Ferns Of Grey and Bruce.

Thank You.”

Jean Maher (Supplied Photo)
Nels Maher (Supplied Photo)

Admission is free, with donations welcome. The evening presentation will also be available on Zoom and if interested, please request a zoom link by emailing, in advance with Galapagos in the subject line or visit
During the months of November and December, the display inside the doors at the Artists Co-op at 942    2nd Avenue East (the McKay Building), will feature OSFN publications, NeighbourWoods North, promotional materials and more that director Marsha Courtney has installed there.

Congratulations once more to Bob Bowles, one of four to be inducted this past week into the Orillia Hall of Fame. 

Originally from the Markdale and “Bowles Hill” area, ( I first knew him in High School there) Bob will also be OSFN’s keynote speaker to celebrate Earth Day,  on the Chi Cheemaun in April 2024. 

Bowles is an award-winning writer, artist, nature photographer, educator, and naturalist best known for his lifetime commitment and dedication to preserving and conserving nature and as the founder and coordinator of the Lakehead University Ontario Master Naturalist Certificate Program.

Thank you to Marsha Courtney for this report: On October 29 the Young Naturalists had an Aquatic Invertebrate lesson in Harrison Park with John Bittorf from Grey Sauble Conservation (GSCA), during which we found side swimmers, aquatic worms, caddisflies of various stages, scuds, and many more, and examined them with microscopes. Bittorf engaged the youngsters in the process by showing them the scientific steps of the process, followed by questions that were sometimes simple, and sometimes more challenging, to which they responded well.

John Bittorf of GSCA had a great hands-on set up. The kids all got to play around and we had some adults join in as well. (Photo by Marsha Courtney)

The second half of their afternoon included a successful nature hike to search for Fungi, and we found lots. Trying to keep it simple can be difficult as each one can be named differently depending on which book or app that is used. The kids had keen eyes to find them. More spaces are available in the Young Naturalists club, and to learn more please email Coordinator Amanda Eriksen at

We found lots of fungus. Trying to keep it simple can be difficult as each one can be named differently depending on which book or app that is used. The kids had keen eyes to find them. (Photo by Marsha Courtney)

BPBO fundraiser 

The Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory has announced a Fundraising on-line Auction, on November 21-27, and are saying “Get your Christmas list ready! There will be unusual treasures for all. We are also looking for items to auction, so if you have any treasures, please email us at  Stay tuned for more details!”

I was able to sit and watch this handsome coyote forage the edge of a field for its midday meal yesterday.
It was very thorough and managed to catch what appeared to be several mice in the 20 minutes or so I observed it.
A privilege to see it go about its daily routine .
(photo by Les Anderson 10/13/23)

Each November, I watch for and enjoy  the many shades of gold displayed by Tamarack trees. Insects are still evident – we had a praying mantis here until just after the heavy snow arrived. I jogged over to check some attractive red apples just off trail recently, but when I inspected two of them I found each had a large cavity containing what looked like a house fly in one and two in the other. A wasp was foraging on the leaves of a bloomless rose bush here just a few days ago too. I also had the pleasure of seeing two Clouded Sulphurs, and a few Cabbage White Butterflies fluttering nearby on a recent bike ride in behind Hibou. 

Of course, the bird migration continues with many sightings of shorebirds especially Dunlins, foraging as they pass their way through here, with many keen birders on hand to document their passing, with their eyes and their cameras too. 

To close, a Nature quote from John Terpstra’s Daylighting Chedoke – Exploring Hamilton’s Hidden Creek – “We paddle to the mouth of the creek through patches of lily pads and past conclaves of cormorants perched on the dead arms of fallen trees that have washed into the marsh, then glide under a bridge for the Waterfront Trail. Almost immediately Daniel spots a black-crowned night heron, the first of several … The heron flies off upstream as we approach…. We feel bird-led, or lured. We note a beaver lodge to our right. Yes, a beaver lodge…. We keep our eyes peeled for discovery.”  

A Clouded Sulphur on the rail trail near Storybook Park road this morning. Nothing special about the butterfly nor the pic, but November? November 5 photo by Rob Wray

Notice of Bylaw Review & Revision at AGM

Government legislation is requiring changes to the Bylaws for not-for-profit groups and charities. 
The Annual General Meeting will be held on June 8, 2023 at 7 pm at the Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound. In order to be prepared for the Update to the Bylaws and the institution of new Club policies, please read the message below from Club President, Brendan Mulroy and review the Bylaws in advance of the meeting.  The policies that have been adopted by the Board are listed below. The Agenda and Club reports for the AGM will be sent out closer to June 8th.

Dear Members:

In order to comply with government legislation, your OSFN Board has undertaken a review of the club bylaws.

Download the PDF of Proposed changes.

I ask that you review this document in advance of the June 8th meeting.  If you have any questions, suggestions or revisions with regard to the document, please send them to me prior to the meeting at:

The document will be presented at the June 8th AGM, whereupon membership will vote whether to accept the revised Bylaws of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists.

Thank you,

Brendan Mulroy, President

On behalf or the members of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists, The Board of Directors has adopted the two policies listed below.

OSFN Code of Conduct:
All members of OSFN have the right to feel safe, and be safe, when participating in OSFN events.  With this right comes the responsibility for everyone to be accountable for their actions.

All members have a responsibility to promote a safe environment.

No member shall engage in activity that endangers the safety of other club members.

All members are to be treated with respect and dignity.

All members have a responsibility to resolve conflicts in a way that is civil and respectful.

Any member who does not adhere to this member Code of Conduct will be asked to leave the event, at the time of the infraction.  Repeat violations of the Code of Conduct may result in revocation of the individual’s membership with OSFN.

OSFN Screening Policy
The obligation to Duty of Care can be accomplished by adopting a screening process that identifies individuals who may be considered a risk to certain segments of society.  In particular, these individuals may pose a risk to the Vulnerable Sector Person group.

OSFN members who are in regular contact with youth under the age of 18 or with other vulnerable sector participants, and/or act in positions of authority and trust in club activities, will be required to undergo a Vulnerable Sector check with their local police group.

In particular, the leader and assistant leader of the OSFN Young Naturalists group must undergo this screening.  In addition, the President and Treasurer of the club will be subjected to a police check.

The results of the Vulnerable Sector Screen or the Police Check will be shown to the President by the applicant.  The President will confirm there are no issues of concern.  The President will advise the Secretary that the volunteer has been screened for documentation in subsequent minutes.  The original form is returned and retained by the applicant until such time that they cease to be involved with OSFN as a volunteer/board member.  They will immediately report to the President if there are any offences that have occurred after the initial screening.  They will also sign a Criminal Background Declaration on a yearly basis. This will be submitted to the President.  Information gathered from the screening process will remain private and confidential.

Updated Nature Guides (Coming Soon)

Owen Sound Field Naturalists Creates Updated Nature Guides!

The 5th edition of the Vascular Plant List Bruce & Grey is a keystone publication of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists. It is an essential reference for naturalists, botanists, life science inventory specialists, land use planners, resource management agencies and consultants who are working within Bruce and Grey Counties. The OSFN contracted Tyler Miller, Field Ecologist to digitize, revise the list and update our 5th edition. It includes 1611 taxa (species, subspecies and hybrids) for 131 families, which are listed including all locally and provincially rare plants found in the counties. This new release is designed in spiral bound print format, PDF and – for the serious botanist – a fully annotated digital compendium with dataset. All three versions will be available this spring through


By John Dickson

Twenty years ago this Spring, I registered for my first Huron Fringe Birding Festival (HFBF). Having just turned 50, I had decided to take up birding as an active pastime, and this wonderful festival helped me to rediscover the learning and pleasure I had somehow left behind at the age of ten.

Spring is truly here now, Osprey on nest on the Lake Eugenia causeway. Please don’t get too close if you go out to see it.
Photo by David Turner, April 8

This year, due to COVID-19, and generous sponsorship, the 23rd HFBF has announced these seven exciting and free webinars scheduled for 7:00 pm on each evening of the Festival Virtual-Lite, which will run during their normal Festival dates of May 28 – 31 and June 3 – 6, 2021.  

They are: May 28 – Birding in Algonquin Park with Michael Runtz

May 29 – Black Bears of the Bruce Peninsula with Dr. Martyn Obbard 

May 30 – Fifteen Years of Ontario Piping Plovers with Andrea Gress 

May 31 – A Holistic Approach to Learning Bird Songs and Calls with Ian Shanahan

June 4 – Birders Gone Wild: 24 hour Bruce Peninsula Birdathon with Ethan Meleg 

June 5 – Bird Banding at the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory with Stephane Menu 

June 6 – The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas -3: Focus on the Females with Mark Peck 

To learn more and to register, please visit –

With the arrival of Spring there has been a flurry of shared observations: trees beginning to leaf out; Scarlet Cup and other colourful fungi popping up, sometimes overnight; wildflowers already blooming; choruses of toads, frogs, and insects; migrating birds stopping here for a brief visit, or perhaps like many of us, they consider this area an ideal one in which to stay and raise their families.

Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca)
Photo by Peter Harris

Sightings of note here include Eastern Meadowlarks, American Kestrels, Sandhill Cranes, a few Trumpeter Swans and several hundred Tundra Swans that staged this year at Lake Eugenia, plus Eastern Bluebirds. I had my first sighting this year of an Eastern Phoebe, just this week, as well as the newly brightening yellow feathers of a male American Goldfinch.

Trumpeters Swans: a rare but welcome visit. April 8
(North of Kimberley)
Photo by Ingrid Remkins

Congratulations to Bob Bowles, formerly of the Markdale area, on the recent naming of the Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre near Orillia. Bowles has created a wonderful legacy of nature learning through Naturalist Clubs, his Ontario Master Naturalist Certificate Programme through Lakehead University of Thunder Bay and its satellite campus at Orillia, plus his popular television shows. Here is an excerpt from their recent announcement “at the new Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre (formerly Green Events and Programs) on Saturday, March 20, 2021, the first day of Spring for our ‘Signs of Spring’ workshop. Spring arrives in the northern hemisphere this year at 5:37 A.M. EDT, marked by the vernal equinox. Award-winning writer, artist, photographer and naturalist Bob Bowles will lead us in our discovery of spring signs.”

 Female Red-winged Blackbird: They are back! 
April 8, north of Kimberley
Photo by Ingrid Remkins

Barbara Palmer shared this report about OSFN’s March 21 Birding the Waters of the Beaver Valley, during Spring Migration.

“On a lovely, early spring Sunday, David Turner led an outing to some of the Beaver Valley’s birding hotspots.

First, we checked out the birds on Lake Eugenia from the Causeway. We were not disappointed, as there were good numbers of tundra swans swimming and vocalizing. These beautiful white swans with black beaks and straight necks are always a welcome sight as they stop to fuel-up for their high Arctic destination. Several species of ducks were identified, including the ubiquitous mallard, black, common goldeneyes, pintails,redhead, and ring-necked ducks. We were thrilled to see a couple of sandhill cranes flying in the distance and a couple of bald eagles were spotted. There were lots of Canada geese too. Cackling geese were spotted earlier in the week, but weren’t seen on this trip.

Our next stop was the Kimberley Sewage Lagoons, where a pair of trumpeter swans greeted us as we parked. They were exhibiting courting behaviour, bobbing their heads in a graceful dip. The lagoon had a number of Canada Geese which took off as we approached. All was not lost though, as a northern shrike was spotted on a wire. It appeared to be hunting. Various other birds were noticed, including robins, red-winged blackbirds, crows, a raven and a turkey vulture.

All in all, a wonderful morning of birding.”

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists, (OSFN) have three presentations lined up for this month, all offered free to the public via a ZOOM link sent to members or available on request at

Foraging for Edible and Medicinal Plants, with Alexis Burnett at 7PM Thursday April 8, via ZOOM. This focus of this presentation is on learning how to ethically harvest plants for food and medicine from the wild. Burnett will talk about both native and non-native plants and explore what it means to work with these groups of plants in a way that helps to sustain and regenerate local populations.

2PM Saturday April 17, via ZOOM: OSFN’s 6th Annual Celebrate EARTH WEEK event – An Afternoon with Beth Gilhespy: Reflections on Wildlife and Wild Space Conservation Keynote Speaker Beth Gilhespyshares her experiences and insights.

 Gilhespy is a former CEO at Bruce Trail Conservancy, who, in 2019 gave a Geology presentation to a full house OSFN audience and led a complementary field trip. She also shared this comment about her new work: “There is so much excellent work being done at the Toronto Zoo to increase the numbers of endangered Canadian species in wild – Blandings turtles, wood turtles, loggerhead shrikes, and many others.  Plus the many other programs that are helping improve the lives of endangered animals worldwide through education and conservation research. Lots to tell people about!” Our sincere gratitude to the ongoing generous sponsorship of this event by Caframo.

This is a ZOOM webinar. Details of how to join will be sent out in an eHerald closer to the event. The webinar will be open at 6:45pm to sort any technical difficulties.

Didn’t receive an e-herald but would still like to participate? Please contact

7PM Thursday April 29, via ZOOM as a special bonus presentation: Peter Middleton with: Peacocks, Tigers and Temples – Birds in the Heart of India.

This is a ZOOM webinar. Details of how to join will be sent out in an eHerald closer to the event. The webinar will be open at 6:45pm to sort any technical difficulties.

Didn’t receive an e-herald but would still like to participate? Please contact 

Thanks for your patience as we change with the times! 

   Red-winged Blackbird  
Photo by Mike Tettenborn, April 8

To close, Nature quotes from Sailing Alone Around the World, by Captain Joshua Slocum, who sailed from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on July 2, 1895 aboard the sloop Spray. On July 5, having cautiously skirted the deadly shifting sands of Sable Island, Slocum “ …was in a world of fog, shut off from the universe.” and later that day Spray “dropped into a smooth lane, heading southeast, and making about eight knots, her very best work…

“The fog lifting before night, I was afforded a look at the sun just as it was touching the sea. I watched it go down and out of sight. Then I turned my face eastward, and there, apparently at the very end of the bowsprit, was the smiling full moon rising out of the sea.”

In the first week of April 1896 “With the vessel in good trim, though deeply laden, I was well prepared for another bout with the Southern, misnamed Pacific Ocean…

“On April 14, the Spray making good headway on a northwest course, Hurrah for the Spray! I shouted to seals, sea-gulls, and penguins; for there were no other living creatures about, and she had weathered all the dangers of Cape Horn.”

Ontario Nature Update

OSFN wants to keep you informed.  Ontario Nature has asked its member organizations to advocate for nature.  Become aware of the issue below: 

While Ontarians grapple with the social and economic impacts of a global pandemic, the Government of Ontario is quietly setting the stage for development projects to proceed without public consultation or the right to appeal. Without alerting the public through notices on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO), the government has been issuing and revoking Minister’s Zoning Orders – effectively eliminating public participation in each planning decision.

A Minister’s Zoning Order allows the Minister to directly zone land for particular purposes. The Minister does not have to give notice or consult with the public prior to issuing or revoking a zoning order.

Please join Ontario Nature in urging the Government of Ontario to curtail its use of Minister’s Zoning Orders for land-use planning. As Ontario deals with COVID-19 and prepares for our recovery, the focus should be on enhancing community resilience to climate change and potential future pandemics. Enabling and supporting public participation in determining the future of our farmlands, forests, wetlands and other natural areas will be vital to advancing this outcome. Expediting development while keeping Ontarians in the dark does not serve the public interest. 

Ontario Nature has created an opportunity for you to become better informed and to sign a letter to voice your concerns related to curtailing  the misuse of Minister’s Zoning Orders. 

Check it out at:

Invitation to OSFN Members and Any Nature Enthusiasts from Don Rawls of Anglesea, Forest and Trails

Don will not be personally organizing hikes through his Managed Forest at Anglesea this spring. However, OSFN members, and indeed any nature enthusiasts, are welcome to stroll his trails, either self-guided or with a pre-arranged accompaniment by Don. 

The property at Anglesea in Springtime is rich in ferns and flowers, trees and fungi, birdlife, geology and history. As it is located in the Klondike Hills, southwest of Chatsworth, the marked trails do include some slopes, both up and down.

Small pre-arranged walks at Anglesea are more than welcome and folks merely have to check with Don a couple of days prior to the proposed walkabout. 

Please contact Don Rawls at  Anglesea, located in the Klondike Hills southwest of Chatsworth, 782358 Sideroad 3, West of Highway 6, Chatsworth, Ontario

To reach the Rawls family: phone: 519-794-0561 or email Don at

Nature Club News March 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

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

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….”

Webinar Series: How Can Food Systems Regenerate Our Earth?

A webinar series by Eat Local Grey Bruce, featuring Dr. Thorsten Arnold. For tickets and more information, please visit Eventbrite.

About this Event

Targeted to farmers and non-farmers, this talk series is designed to lay out why regenerative agriculture has massive potential to benefit our planet at large – healthy people, healthy biosphere, healthy climate, resilient community. Recent insights in microbial science give new rigor to what keen nature observers have suspected for long. A series of talks offer a hopeful message that is much needed in today’s world, with many intervention points for communities, entrepreneurs, and governments.


The webinar series includes four lectures, hosted at 1:30pm on four separate Sunday afternoons. See content and days below.

Each lecture will take 60 minutes of in-depth knowledge in an accessible format, plus 30 minutes of discussion, questions, and brainstorming. Talks build on each other. While there will be a repetition of core concepts as a refresher, regular attendance is recommended. Payment is on a sliding scale, please support Thorsten’s and our organization’s [Eat Local Grey Bruce] work as you can.

1) How the biosphere self regulates its climate: April 5th 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 19th 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.

Some resources sent by Thorsten:

In order to get up to date and understand some of the concepts that I am using, please consider watching the following videos:

If you have more time and interest, some movies I highly recommend, but you have to pay a little for these:

  • Symbiotic Earth (link)
  • Fantastic Fungi (link)

Dog-Strangling Vine Educational Outing, Aug 7th.

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.