Mar 27 Online Member’s Meeting – The Logic of Black Ash

Our next member’s meeting is on Monday March 27, 7:00pm via Zoom. If you are an NSWFS member, you should receive an email towards the end of the prior week with a Zoom link to the meeting. If you do not receive it, please contact

Many people have never seen a black ash tree. As Ecologist Nick Hill says “truth told, I was in my fourth decade of Nova Scotian botanical fieldwork before I noticed one. Why?”

The black ash, “wisqoq” of the Mi’kmaq, can be large bottomland trees in the Great Lake states and along the St John River but there is only a scattering in Nova Scotia and they are rarest in the acidic southern uplands. Nick will summarize and interpret the findings of the latest field research and try to answer:
Why is the black ash rare?
How can it survive?

Nick Hill PhD has worked Post-Doctorate and as an Associate Professor in Botany/Ecology. He is currently a self employed Consultant Ecologist and has Adjunct Status at Dalhousie and St. FX Universities

He has been Project Coordinator for: 1. Bog Restoration, Globally Imperilled Avens, 2. Wetland delineation and assessment, 2. Botanical inventories (rare plants), 3. Ecological assessments , Monitoring, Restoration analyses, 4. Wetland training courses

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NSWFS Field Trip Balancing Rock Trail MOVED AGAIN, now Saturday March 25, 2023

Our annual field trip to Digby Neck Balancing Rock Trail to find the first bloomers of spring: early flowering skunk cabbage and dwarf mistletoe, has been moved to Sat March 25, again due to weather. 

Register with Charles Cron if you would like to attend. Call 902-477-8272 and leave a message with Name & phone number or email

Note New Directions: 4hr drive from Halifax to Balancing Rock including free ferry crossing at East Ferry.
Ferry crosses once an hour on the half hour. No other stops required, except for gas if needed.

We will meet at the ferry for the 9:30 crossing or at the Balancing Rock Parking lot around 10:00 AM. Follow the road signs and ignore previous instructions. The site is well marked with a large sign 1Km past Tiverton on Long Island.


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Feb 27 Online Member’s Meeting – Botanical Tales and Climate Change in Nova Scotia

Our next member’s meeting will be via Zoom at 7:00pm on Feb 27. Invitations will be emailed to members closer to the date.

David Garbary is a Professor of Biology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. He will be giving a talk about climate change in Nova Scotia. This is from published work where Nick Hill and he looked at the temperature record for the province starting around 1960. He is then going to talk about wind and how storms have changed over the same period. This is new work that he is currently preparing for publication. He is then going to relate climate change to a couple of plant stories including late flowering plants, some changes in the seaweed flora, and the implications for Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii).

 Eastern Mountain Avens – Geum peckii  Photo by Bob Kennedy

Born in Ireland, David arrived in Canada at the age of three. After brief stints in Toronto and Cape Breton David arrived in Wolfville where he completed high school (Wolfville and Horton District) and went on to both BSc and MSc degrees at Acadia University. With an aversion to animal dissection, he managed to complete his degrees without any animal biology courses. After mentoring by Darryl Grund (mycology), Sam Vander Kloet (plant taxonomy), and Jack McLachlan (phycology), David went to England to complete his doctorate at Liverpool University in seaweed taxonomy. This was followed by six years as a research associate at the University of British Columbia where he focused on the red algal flora. David arrived back in Nova Scotia in 1984 for a faculty position in plant biology at St. Francis Xavier University. Over his almost 50-year career he has taken up a wide range of topics including seaweed ecology, physiology, and cell biology, but with major departures into the evolution of land plants, flowering plant phenology, climate change, and seashore erosion. He has published over 200 papers and five books, and for six years was the editor of the international algal journal Phycologia. He enjoys mentoring students and introducing undergraduates to research. His favourite places in Nova Scotia are all seashores, especially Brier Island and Tor Bay. He enjoys collaborating with fellow botanist and wetland ecologist Nick Hill who inspired him to branch out to study rare species that grow in Nova Scotia wetlands.

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Member’s Slide Night

Tonight (Jan. 30) is our member’s meeting and slide night.

If you are a member, you should have received an email with the link for the Zoom meeting.

We seem to have had some problems with the emails, so if you did not receive one please contact


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Eagle Hill Field Seminars for Summer 2023

Join the people at Eagle Hill this summer for a week-long, natural history seminar taught by expert field biologists. Eagle Hill is located on the coast of Maine, between Acadia National Park and Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge. For more details click here

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Nov 28  Online Members Meeting: The Diverse Bees of Nova Scotia 

Our next member’s meeting will be via Zoom at 7:00pm on Nov 28. Invitations will be emailed to members closer to the date.

This is the talk that was cancelled in Sep due to hurricane Fiona. Bees pollinate many flowers that are important for people. There are far more bees that share NS with us than most people appreciate. We will explore what bees are in NS and how we can provide habitat and resources for bees to increase pollination.

 Perplexing Bumble Bee – Bombus perplexus      Photo Bob Kennedy

Alana Pindar, is an early career scientist and recently appointed Weston Family Visiting Professor in Ecosystem Health and Food Security at Cape Breton University.  She has been studying changes in wild bee communities in Eastern Canada for over 15 years.  In 2016, She led a provincial report on the Status and Trends for Pollinator Health in Ontario for the Ontario Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs was awarded the Webster Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Sciences for her work.

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iNaturalist Project – Late Bloomers Nova Scotia 2022

How many plants are still in flower after 01 November in Nova Scotia? This question, plus the why? and are there more plants flowering recently? have fascinated David McCorquodale. This project collects observations of plants in bloom (petals look alive, potential to be still producing nectar and pollen). To be included indicate under plant phenology that it is flowering. Many plants will be simultaneously flowering and fruiting, You can check both.

Some plants retain dry petals after setting fruit (e.g. Pearly Everlasting) and likely are not flowering in November.

Created by:dbmcc09 – October 26, 2022

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Nature NS asks us to “Take the Challenge: Biodiversity Challenge Badge” 26Oct2022

It’s pretty simple and would likely mesh readily with the nature exploration & enjoyment activities of the NS Wild Flora Society and many more nature-oriented folks in NS: “basically, the challenge is to observe the natural world around you as you hike. To earn the badge, you have to do 10 hikes and submit 10 observations from each hike via iNaturalist”

Read more about it in an article by Jonathan Riley, Hike NS Board President.
Continue reading

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Field Trip to Polly’s Cove Now on Oct. 29 or Oct. 30

The field trip to the Polly’s Cove Trail (between Peggy’s Cove and West Dover) has been reschedule to either Saturday Oct. 29. or Sunday Oct. 30. The call for which date will be made a few days before once Charlie sees the weather forecast.

Meet at Parking area: 10:00 Am

Take route 333 from Upper Tantallon St.Margaret’s Bay Road about 23 km to site, a little past Peggy’s cove (< 1km) ,Parking for 5-6 cars on the right seaward side of the road. Area is filled with granite whale backs,barrens,bogs,small ponds etc. The seacoast also has a wide variety of coastal flora. 2-4 hrs. Bring lunch.water, binoculars,camera etc. Dress for the weather. Bogs are dry at present and hiking boots may be ok.

Please contact Charlie Cron to let him know that you plan to attend.

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Celebrating the McLarens & the Wild Flowers of Nunavut

Click on one of the photos above to see the full collection. Ian passed away in 2020, Bernice earlier this year. Today there is a celebration of their lives. They had their honeymoon at Ogac Lake, shown in the lower photo above, where Ian was conducting  limnological studies; together they collected wild flowers as a hobby (and as formal herbarium records for the National Museum).  – David P

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