Winter 2015, President’s Message

As I compose this message for the Winter Issue, I am still enjoying the Autumn Colours, and there have been some wonderful displays – my red and green cabbages, orange carrots,  red potatoes; yellow, green and purple beans; beets and kale – my, what a palette! When we look around we see the beautiful red, orange and yellow leaves against the blue skies, while the orchards present their bounty of fruit in all the shades of scrumptious!

In November, the first week was amazing, featuring plenty of warmth and sunshine – eminently suitable for enjoying Nature, whether birding, cycling, or hiking trails. When I finally got out of Owen Sound on November 2nd, I discovered that my favourite fall features were well underway – the tamaracks had turned to gold against the green background of cedars and pines, while the sumacs were already a bright crimson.

As an added bonus Dennis Knight and I witnessed a most intense double rainbow, as we returned from a regional meeting of Ontario Nature Member Clubs.

The several OSFN club events this fall, have been wonderful opportunities to learn – Ray Robertson’s Tour of Agricultural Initiatives of the 90’s demonstrated effective methods to use Nature’s materials and human ingenuity to enhance water quality, and control erosion. Freeman Boyd led and then fed, while providing valuable instruction about wild mushrooms.   Dennis Knight shared his keen interest in ferns, plus other plants, critters and geology, on an exquisite section of the Bruce Trail, with even a half dozen garter snakes sunning on a hillside within the woods.

Fred Jazvac gave insightful instruction on bird identification, while Ducking around the Sound.

At Indoor Club Meetings we learned about cryopreservation and invitro conservation techniques. We also learned just how much can be achieved when the Youth of Today, harness their thoughts and their passions. We used this opportunity to honour all of the many people who initiated and then have nurtured our vibrant Young Naturalists Programme for so many years.

We were fortunate to be able to present the Reptiles at Risk Workshop for many of you – a learning experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

I am looking forward to our upcoming events with you – as we transition from our Autumn Colours activities to a whiter wintry canvas, where we will learn again how to enjoy Knowing Nature Better.


With a Song in My Heart,


John Dickson

December 2015