Nature Club News For February 2022

by John Dickson

For anyone seeking a brief escape from Winter, Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) invite you to Zoom to Zanzibar: A World of Spices – A Dream Trip Realized, for a visit hosted by OSFN President Pam Kinchen, 7pm this Thursday, February 10. This is Pam’s “See it All – Before it’s Gone! Three weeks of – Pinch me – I’m really Here!” experience, Part Two. Learn about the culture, customs, wildlife, and the important role of spices in Zanzibar. 

Photo by Pam Kinchen

This free, virtual presentation is open to the general public, and is available only on Zoom. OSFN club members will be sent the “ZOOM LINK”. Non-Members and the General Public may request a “ZOOM LINK” in advance by emailing with “Zanzibar” in the subject line.

Many of these Zoom presentations have been recorded and posted on the OSFN Youtube channel, for viewing at your leisure. These include Pam Kinchen’s talk and photo tour of Tanzania (Part One) from last year, plus the Gitche-Name-Wikwedong Great Sturgeon Bay presentation from this past September, and many more. 

I am also announcing that environmentalist, author, artist and explorer Hap Wilson is the keynote speaker for the 7th Annual OSFN Celebrate Earth Day/Earth Week event which is scheduled to take place  at 2pm Sunday April 24, 2022 at the Bayshore Community Centre, and is, once again, sponsored by Caframo.  Entitled  50 YEARS  ~ 100 RIVERS: Guidebook Pathfinding, popular guide Hap Wilson’s talk will cover: Fifty years in conservation, mapping Canadian wilderness and covering almost half the land-mass in the country. The ups and downs of guidebook writing as an environmental tool. Working with and against a political mindset that affects the integrity and sanctity of our wild places. Working with First Nations in understanding the importance of traditional territories and respect for sacred places.  

Details about attending this event will be shared in this space when we have greater clarity on the public health guidelines in place in April. 

A mink seen recently on the Beaver River, north of Kimberley (Photo By Ingrid Remkins)

The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) continues to celebrate 25 years of conservation, and has also selected Robert Burcher as its Volunteer of the Month, in recognition of his position as a steward of EBC’s Trout Hollow Nature Reserve in Meaford. Robert has been visiting the area for the last 30 years and giving history tours on site for the last 20. Robert is also well known to OSFN as a leader for field trips, a lecturer and an author, specializing in the activities of naturalist John Muir in Ontario and in the Meaford area in the 1860s. Again, congratulations to Robert and to EBC!

EBC’s Volunteer of the Month: Robert Burcher giving a tour of Trout Hollow Nature Reserve.

Continuing their free virtual Seminar Series, Grey County Master Gardeners present Seminar 2: Gardening for Wildlife on Saturday February 26, at 11:00a.m. via Zoom, featuring Laura Thomas of Hidden Habitat, a nursery of Ontario native plants. Laura also provides ecological landscaping and design for the home gardener. She graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Environment and Resource Studies program, is a Certified Master Naturalist and will present on strategies to attract wildlife to the home garden, the importance of native plants, which ones are preferable and how to create beautiful and functional wildlife spaces. For more information and to register, please visit

Feeding Wild Turkeys…around Grey Road 3, Jan 29 (photo by Fely Clarke)

A joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Birds Canada, the Great Backyard Bird Count is back for its 25th year in 2022, beginning on Friday, February 18th and continuing until Monday, February 22nd (Family Day).

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird enthusiasts of all ages around the world in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Anyone can participate, from beginners to experts. You can count for as little as 15 minutes on a single day, or for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy – and it helps the birds! The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon with Canadian partner Birds Canada.

Visit Great Backyard Bird Count to learn more and get started!For more information contact: Kerrie Wilcox
Great Backyard Bird Count Coordinator

Cedar Waxwing – February 7, Owen Sound (photo by William Gray)

Snowy Owl photo by Catherine Tolton, Bruce County, January 24 

To close, two Nature quotes from Sherlock Holmes, as scripted for him by Arthur Conan Doyle – “One’s ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature.” and “How sweet the morning air is! See how that one little cloud floats like a pink feather from some gigantic flamingo. Now the red rim of the sun pushes itself over the London cloud bank. … How small we feel … in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!”

Red-tailed Hawk February 7, Owen Sound area (photo by William Gray)