swan- by John Dickson, OSFN Programming

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.Red tailed Hawk

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 bythe 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.

golden eagles in Bruce CountyAlso 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 Projects.

There have been many special sightings in the area recently. Jim Hastie from the Leith area, reported his first Redwing Blackbird on March 4th. The Juvenile King Eider is still seen regularly at
Southampton Harbour. Many Red-Tailed Hawks have been observed busily engaged in breeding activities; Tundra Swans are showing up in Lambton County, 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, Horned Larks and Robins have been seen throughout the area, and at least a couple of chipmunks have been observed, out of hibernation.

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!!"cooper hawk

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.

peter middletonAlso, 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 Brazil with 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...."




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