By guest author Matt Ellerbeck Although they are rarely given much thought, and often overlooked when they are, salamanders are in a terrible crisis. Around half of all the world's salamander species are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These species are all facing a high risk of extinction. A further 62 species … Continue Reading ››
Greetings to all, Goodbye summer, hello fall. Come to think of it, where was summer this year? Summer was not a wow for those of us who like it hot (tomato crops were poor, moth numbers down), but we are seeing some very pleasant weather now that September has arrived. The trees have at least been able to take up sufficient moisture to encourage new growth after the ravages of winter, and I expect the fall colours will be especially good this … Continue Reading ››
By W.D. McIlveen About two years ago, there was an event that made a notable item in the news. This was the phenomenon where the planet Venus traces a course across the face of the sun. This happened on June 5, 2012. A similar transit took place on June 8, 2004. Transits of Venus are rare events, occurring in pairs about eight years apart but separated by periods of over a century. As notable as this recent event might have been, … Continue Reading ››
By Don Scallen Great egrets evoke notions of southern swamps - of alligators, bald cypress trees and Spanish moss. And yet, they are now common inhabitants of Ontario wetlands. At this time of year, post- nesting egrets are assembling at foraging sites, prior to their southward migration. Sandy Gillians and I counted about 50 egrets along the Beaver River near Kimberly recently. Other late summer roosts include Luther Marsh and Cootes Paradise. Great egrets are a balm to disillusioned naturalists all too … Continue Reading ››
By W. D. McIlveeen During the summer of 2014 (May 26 to August 25), a total of 14 evening walks were organized for various areas of Halton and Peel Regions. The site locations are listed in the following table along with the names of the leaders and the numbers of participants on each walk. An attempt was made to alternate sites in the south and the north part of the area. Overall, there were five different leaders (Ray Blower, Kirsten Burling, … Continue Reading ››
The weather is warm, overcast, and humid - conditions that female snapping turtles in our region apparently consider ideal to unload their burden of eggs on the gravel shoulders of rural roads.
On my way home from dropping my son at school yesterday I found three snapping turtles laying eggs along the side of the road. One was at a fast and quite busy intersection. … Continue Reading ››
HNPNC members took the final meeting of the 2013-2014 season outdoors on Tuesday evening (June 10th) with a walk through Scotsdale Farm. While we were there we checked several of the nest boxes that we installed on May 19th. To our delight we found that 50% of the nest boxes were occupied even though we put them up a bit late for the nesting season. Most of the occupants were Tree Swallows but one box appeared to have been claimed first … Continue Reading ››
Registration is now being accepted for the Fall Fungi Workshop at the Queen's University Biological Station. It takes place Sept. 30 - Oct 3 and the instructor is Richard Aaron. Learn about edible and medicinal species and see up to 150 species. The workshop is now in its 5th year and is suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Register now!