Nature Club News August 2020
by John Dickson
“If you’re feeling unsettled about the return to work/school or are just interested in learning about GSCA properties and how being in nature can help during stressful times, this hike series is for you!
First up in the hike series is Hibou Conservation Area!
Join GSCA and the Friends of Hibou to explore the trails, take deep breaths, and enjoy all the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature at a GSCA property.
August 25, 2020: Learn about Nature – All ages are welcome (10:00am – 12:00pm)
Walk with Bob Knapp along the shoreline loop (The Point Trail) across from the pump house parking lot at the south end of Hibou where you will see views of the changing rough shoreline (approx. 45 mins). This will be followed by an optional walk along the Interpretive Trail where you’ll hear a description of the geography and plant life, as well as how the trail came to be (approx. 1.25 hours). – total 2 hours.
September 1, 2020: Forest Bathing – Ages 12 + (10:00am – 11:30pm)
Experience a deeper connection with the forest on a slow, almost meditative walk with Marie Knapp along the shoreline loop (The Point Trail) across from the pump house parking lot at the south end of Hibou. You will be guided through a few experiences as you relate with the forest in new ways and experience reduced stress (approx. 1.5 hours).
Advance registration is required. Please RSVP at email@example.com (space is limited to ensure physical distancing). More information will be provided upon registration.
Pack a lunch and enjoy Hibou beach following the hike”
The Sources of Knowledge Forum in Tobermory has also been affected by COVID-19 and has this message on their website at www.sourcesofknowledge.ca Attention all 2020 Forum registrants: Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic the SOK Board has decided to move this year’s forum. Our administrator will be directly contacting attendees and sponsors shortly. We plan to reschedule this year’s forum topic for April/ May 2021. Please stay tuned for more details and stay safe.
On July 30th the Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) offered a Moth Night called “Introduction to how to attract and identify moths” led by Alan Macnaughton. Held in the late evening at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, the event was very successful, and Alan has offered to hold more Moth nights for the club in the future, possibly even this September. Butterflies are also being observed in many areas these days. Chris Rickard reported:”Today I was at our cottage on the Bruce….After the rain stopped, there were 7 White Admirals on the buddleia bush simultaneously!”
On August 19th OSFN’s Julie Lamberts offered What bugs are living in the stream? specifically the Indian Creek in Georgian Bluffs. Julie demonstrated the “kick and sweep” method for collecting benthic invertebrate samples. Her sample was divided up among all participants, who had the opportunity to sift through and identify bugs using a magnifying glass and some charts. Benthics were identified to family level. Discussions about how benthic communities are used as bioindicators of stream health took place. John Bittorf of GSCA, was also on hand, and provided additional information including local conditions affecting stream health.
OSFN has more field trips planned with some of them filling up very quickly. David Morris has offered to repeat both of his planned flora themed outings, for August 25th (invasives), and September 15, (goldenrods and asters) on the next day. Plans are also underway for monthly outings with the Young Naturalists Club.For more details on any of the above, please visit www.osfn.ca
The Bruce Birding Club members and those with the Beaver Valley Birding Club have been observing many of the migrating shorebirds, some locally, and others in such areas as Mitchell, and in the Luther Marsh, where a special treat this year was a Swallow-tailed Kite, having strayed north from its usual habitat in the USA.Various blackbirds have been seen in small flocks recently, and very large flocks have been seen in Meaford in the first week of September for several years. Tiny hummingbirds have also been busy visiting flower blossoms, while I have been seeing more Red-tailed Hawks recently, circling among the clouds.
To close, two Nature quote from Rod McKuen:
The long tall grass
Waving in August
Blessings in shades of green
And the marvelous clouds sail by
Aloft in the soft summer sky