Previous Monthly Presentations now Online

For those that missed the October and November member meetings, we have now posted recordings of the Zoom sessions under Programme: Videos of Presentations

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We lose a beloved naturalist, Bob McDonald (1944-2021)

It is with heavy hearts that we heard this past week of the passing of Bob McDonald.

Bob and Wendy, his always present spouse, partner, campaigner, have contributed so much to the naturalist community, Halifax and the province over the years, it really cannot be summarized in a few words.

Bob and Wendy were regular participants in NSWFS events, and Bob an organic chemist whose naturalist interests began  with birds, became a ‘resident expert’ in lichens and goldenrods.

Our hearts are with Wendy and all of the family. Thank you for sharing truly wonderful and gentle man with so many of us. We live in a better place because of him.

Please view the Obituary on the JA Snow website 

Visitation will be held at J.A. Snow’s Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive Thursday, November 25, 2-4 and 6-8 PM, with a Celebration of Life on Friday, November 26 at 2 PM. Proof of vaccination and masking protocol are required. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s memory to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust ( the QE2 Foundation ( or the Dr. Bob MSVU Scholarship ( Online condolences may be made at:

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Field Trip to Maguma Falls – Sat. Nov 20

Photo Hayden Breau
The NSWFS is hosting a Field Trip to Maguma Falls and selected associated trails on Saturday, Nov. 20.  This is a preparation for another trip to this area in the spring of 2022.
From Halifax and area, drive to Truro HWY 102: at Truro take Exit 14A ( to Onslow) Hwy 2, about 3.7K then left at flashing yellow light onto HWY 311: drive about 26K then Right onto Kemptown Rd. The trailhead should be on your left  (about 3-4 Km)  along Kemptown rd. Travel time is about 1 1/2 hours. We will meet at the trailhead at 09:00 hrs (to ensure enough time for return before dark.) Return around 16:00hrs. Contact Charles if you need transportation.
Wear hunter’s orange. Bring lunch, cameras, walking stick or poles, hiking boots (waterproof).binoculars,dress in layers for the weather. Forecasts have been changing rapidly; Rain date will be Sunday Nov.21 if required.
Please Register with Charles Cron 902 477 8272,  or email >< before Thursday Nov 18. Limit 10 participants only. Carpool if possible.
If we would like a group supper after the walk let me know when you register and I will make arrangements for a group supper at Sugar Moon Farm.
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Nov 22 Online Members Meeting: Finding Beauty and Diversity in our Mosses and Liverworts

The last meeting for 2021 will be a ZOOM only meeting at 7 pm, Monday November 22, 2021.

Invitations to the ZOOM meeting will be emailed to members soon.

Photo Anne Mills

The presenter will be retired Biologist Anne Mills who has been interested in the field of Bryology since she retired. The study of bryophytes; liverworts, mosses and hornworts, can be a daunting task to the beginner but perhaps she can introduce you to some of the more common and familiar, small-sized wonders of the plant world that evolved more than 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era. Come and be amazed at the beauty and diversity of these elfin plants.

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Oct 25 Online Members meeting: Destination Botany (or What I did on my summer vacation)

The next NSWFS meeting will be a Zoom only meeting at 7:00PM on Oct 25. Invitations to the Zoom meeting will be emailed to members soon.

The presenter will be the avid botanical naturalist Jeff White. Mainly in July of 2021, Jeff vacationed in a wide variety of locations in NS and NB. Day trips took him to many destinations: from well-known waterfalls to rare-plant locations to personal family visits. These provided opportunities for botanizing, of course. Jeff will show plenty of photos of the delightful flora he found in places like Pollet’s Cove in Cape Breton, Moose Island (Five Islands) and Oromocto, NB.

You can check out his many observations on iNaturalist (user name jeffwhite).

Identity of this orchid is still being debated on iNaturalist. Likely a variation or hybrid of Platanthera psycodes. Photo Jeff White
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Results of 2 week iNaturalist Bio-Blitz in SW Nova Scotia

  A 2-week bioblitz was just held in Southwest Nova.

This is the second year for this competition in Kespukwitk, one of the seven traditional districts of Mi’kma’ki. This area includes the nine Southwest Nova municipalities that are in Kespukwitk today: Annapolis, Argyle, Barrington, Clare, Digby, Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, and Yarmouth.

Observations were posted to iNaturalist and can be viewed under the following project: Second Annual Kespukwitk Municipal iNat Competition:   Of the >5,387 observations 2,600+ were plants and to date there are 611 species.

To view the plant collection click:

Many (1,631) of the ‘plant’ observations posted still need to have names assigned:

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Field Trip to Labrador Castle Rock, near Chester Oct 2

Labrador Castle walk/hike; Sat .Oct 2, 10:00 AM.

Meet at Parking lot at Chester -East River exit (7) from Hwy.103, at the side of the exit road just as it meets Highway 3.

The rail trail is about 1km from here along Hwy 3. We will take a long stroll (approx 6 km) along the old rail bed to the entrance to the Labrador Castle trail, 1.5 km to the top. Fantastic panoramic view of Chester basin and Mahone Bay. Transitions from Acadian forest to barrens vegetation. Bring binoculars, camera etc. Need good hiking boots, some wet areas but not bad. Dress for the weather. Return around 4:00 PM. Long hike moderate difficulty. Please register with Charles Cron at 902-477-8272 leave message; or email >< by Friday Oct 1.Weather dependent . Rain date Oct 3.

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Comments submitted to PPA Consultation with a focus on the Ingram River Conservation Area 27 Sep 2021

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Summer 2021 Consultation

Comments submitted on Sep 27, 2021 on behalf of the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society by David Patriquin (Member of the Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists & Member of the Board of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society) Continue reading

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NSWFS Meeting Monday Sep 27 – The Philosophy behind the Provincial Parks System

The Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society will be hosting a  Zoom Meeting and Presentation on September 27, 2021. Registered members will be receiving a link using the email address we have on file for them.

Business will commence at 7 pm but members are encouraged to click the link and log in up to 15 minutes beforehand for informal conversation.

This month’s presentation is The Philosophy behind the Provincial Parks System…why do Provincial Parks look different from other types of parks, what do they have to offer and what challenges do they face.

Our speaker is Clinton Pinks CSLA: a registered landscape architect with over twenty-five years of professional experience in environmental site planning and design. He has been Senior Planner for the Division of Parks and Outreach, in the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables since 2013. His presentation will commence at 7:30 pm and be followed by questions. We usually wind things up by 9:30 pm.

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Trip to Area SW of Lake Rossignol


A few members of NSWFS are submitting an application to Lands and Forests for access to some lands near protected areas to the south and west of Lake Rossignol. The road in is gated and we need to apply for a permit for research activities before they will lend us the key. This is an area with very little data on iNaturalist and we hope to supplement that. For the research activity specified in the application, we have been in touch with NS Environment and the ACCDC about recording any rare Atlantic Coastal Plains Flora we find. Anne Mills will be joining us to look for any rare bryophytes and we will also be keeping an eye out for unusual lichens. The results will be uploaded to iNaturalist and if there are important finds, we will submit more detailed documentation to ACCDC and NS Environment.

The trip is planned for 2 days somewhere between Sep 28 and Oct 18. This will depend on the speed with which the application can be approved, availability of participants and weather forecasts. The intent is to overnight in Liverpool then head out early each morning to the sites. Four of us have already scouted the area outside the gate and have a fair idea what to expect. We found the roads to be OK but a key bridge was closed which adds to the length of the journey. Max speed is about 30km/hr, so it could take about 2 1/2 hours of driving each way to get to the sites from Liverpool. Our plan is to take 2 vehicles and a total of 6 people. There will be a fair bit of trekking through bogs and bushwacking, possibly some canoing.

If any NSWFS member is interested in coming, please contact Bob Kennedy

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