Nature Club News for December 2022

by John Dickson

Sarah McComb-Turbitt, was born in Chatsworth and her love for Nature, the ocean, and painting began at a young age.

Now an accomplished scientist and visual artist, she will be the Owen Sound Field Naturalists’ ( OSFN) featured presenter of “Catching Penguins and Diving into the Icy Cold, plus Wildlife Art for Conservation”, at 7pm Thursday December 8, at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre.

She will share her research into individual variations in the winter foraging behaviours of Gentoo Penguins, while she camped beside the penguin colony in the Falkland Islands.

Having developed her skills as a wildlife photographer out on the ocean, earned a degree in marine biology, and a certificate in animal behaviour she combines her Science and Artistry to share the stories of the species she has studied so closely.

Now an accomplished scientist and a busy visual artist too, Sarah McComb-Turbitt received her initial training at OSCVI here in Owen Sound. She excelled as an art student with her teacher Jim Sebesta in high school, and at University she majored in the natural sciences to work in the Nature field.

Having recently returned to Owen Sound, she has been concentrating more on her Art career. This has included the installation of an amazing and beautiful mural in downtown Wiarton, and this past summer she was also on the conference committee for the Society for Marine Mammalogy where she coordinated the art exhibit, the online auction and also presented research on pilot whales.

Sarah is also a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation, based in Vancouver where her painting was selected for the front cover of their 2023 Environmental Calendar, which is still available – for more info please visit

This is a family and children friendly event and everyone is welcome to attend, at the Bayshore, 7pm Thursday December 8, and admission is free or by donation. OSFN also plans to offer the presentation on zoom, and a zoom link can be requested by emailing with Penguin in the subject line.

The Young Naturalists are a hearty bunch to head out for a hike in rain! It was quite the adventure that ended with smiles and a few wet feet. November 27 near Woodford.

Photo by Jody Johnson Pettit

Annual Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs)

This year, Christmas Bird Counts are scheduled between December 14, 2022 and January 5, 2023. The CBC is North America’s longest running Citizen Science project. Volunteers record and submit sightings which contribute to an understanding of population trends and bird distribution. Become a Citizen Scientist by getting involved! Here are many of the local CBC’s with the dates, and contact details for the Compilers for you to consider:
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 – Tobermory – Tyler Miller –
Thursday, December 15, 2022 – Kincardine – James Turland –
Saturday, December 17, 2022- Owen Sound – Erik Van Den Kieboom –
Saturday, December 17, 2022 – Hanover/Walkerton – Gerard McNaughton –
Sunday, December 18, 2022 – Wiarton – Jarmo Jalava –
Wednesday, December 28, 2022 – Meaford – Lynne Richardson –
Thursday, December 29, 2022 – Pike Bay – Andrew Keaveney –
Friday, December 30, 2022 – Cape Chin – Andrew Keaveney –
Wednesday, January 4, 2023 – Saugeen Shores – Kiah Jasper –

Or visit this link to find a CBC near you.
Participate and Become a Citizen Scientist!

Thank you to Norah Toth for compiling and sharing this information.

Photo of Beaver near Benallen by William Gray November 28

Each year at this time, I usually purchase a few “extra nice” Calendars, with local connections, for myself and for gifting. This year there are at least three of these I will be considering, that especially feature Nature and Art too. 2023 Calendars. They are:

The Tom Thomson Art Gallery’s fundraising calendar this year features much loved works sponsored and selected from the Collection. Always a winner! Visit them at Tom Thomson Art Gallery 840 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound or Phone: 519-376-1932

As mentioned above Sarah McComb-Turbitt is also a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation, based in Vancouver where her painting was selected for the front cover of their 2023 Environmental Calendar, which is still available – for more info please visit

The exquisite bird photography by David Turner of Local Colour/Flesherton Art Gallery and Beaver Valley Birding – Calendars are available for pick-up (or can be shipped) at Flesherton Art Gallery 20 Collingwood Street Flesherton, Ontario N0C1E0 Tel. 519-924-3560

Cardinal photo by David Turner
Photo by David Turner

To close, a Nature quote from Welcome to Owen Sound, Fern Capital of Ontario, by Nelson Maher (1933-2005). Green and graceful, ferns embody a charm that is also universal. The lush symmetry of their arching fronds draws many a weary city-dweller back to woodlands, escarpments and streams, even if the tired traveller is unable totell one fern from another. And ferns are somehow the emblem of a shady forest, a symbol of its cool solitude and repose, inspiring a poetical turn of mind in even the most prosaic of us.

Bald Eagle – November 29, near Tara
Photo by Margaret Wolf