Nature NS weekend coming up, register today!

spring ephemeralNatureNS, the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists is holding its annual spring weekend this year in Debert. It includes talks and walks and a celebratory dinner. View details at Registration is open until May 3, but you have to mail in a cheque to be registered, so you should do that today if not already signed up.

One of the field trips scheduled is Spring Ephemerals at a site on the Wallace River; That’s on Sunday afternoon, May 27. John Brownlie will lead the walk for NSWFS

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April 12, 2018: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park Citizen’s Meeting

“All are invited to a public meeting on April 12th for updates and information on park progress. We will also explore interest in forming a citizen’s group, such as a “Friends of Blue Mountain” group, to speak up for creation of the promised park and collaborate with the municipality and other levels of government.
Please come to St. Peter’s Anglican Church Hall from 7-9pm on Thursday, April 12th.
There will be a formal presentation at 7:15, and opportunity for questions and public comments at 8pm.”
Read More

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Monday April 23, 2018: AGM and Sean Blaney on an Arctic Flora Paradise in the Cape Breton Highlands

Monday April 23, 2018
AGM and Sean Blaney on an Arctic Flora Paradise in the Cape Breton Highlands

Following our short Annual General Meeting, our speaker will be Sean Blaney of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre. Sean will present the results of their 2017 fieldwork in the Cape Breton Highlands of the national park.
View More on the Programme Page.

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Saturday, March 24, 2018: “Come celebrate the Municipality of Chester’s newest green space at Castle Rock”

View Poster for details

“Castle Rock in East River is the Municipality of Chester’s newest public open space. Previously private property, it was sold to the Municipality along with another, smaller parcel so the public could enjoy the popular spot overlooking the Mahone Bay. We are hosting a guide hike! Please join us on March 24, 2018 for a tour of the picturesque location. Hike, Bike and ATV to the heights of East River with panoramic views. Trails are now marked. Guided hikes will depart the trail head every 30 minutes beginning at 10:00am. The last group will head up the hill at 2:00pm.” View Poster

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Mon March 26, 2018: Biodiversity of Nova Scotia’s Barrens: Not so Barren After All

coastal barrens
If you ever enjoyed a walk out at Peggys Cove, Taylor Head, Duncan’s Cove or the Skyline trail in Cape Breton Highlands national park, this talk is for you.

As well as being iconic landscapes, barrens contribute an important and historically overlooked part of Nova Scotia’s natural history. These distinctive ecosystems are characterized by some of the harshest conditions in the maritime provinces, but they host a great diversity of plants and lichens, produce many edible berries, and provide habitat for a handful of species that aren’t found elsewhere in the maritimes.

This talk discusses current and ongoing research to describe plant communities on the barrens, mapping the way plant communities are arranged on the barrens, and understand the diversity of plants, lichens and bee pollinators that live there.

A presentation to Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society by Biology Professor Dr. Jeremy Lundholm, PhD student Emily Walker, and research associate Caitlin Porter of the Ecology of Plants in Communities (EPIC) Lab, Saint Mary’s University.

All welcome. 7:30 pm at the Museum of Natural History, Summer Street, Halifax.

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Sunday February 11, 2018 Lichen Walk

The fascinating and beautiful microcosm of lichens can be explored all year round. Lichens are not plants, not fungus, not moss, and not parasites. Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga. Join us for a lichen walk lead by Bob McDonald along some of the trails in Mainland Common Park. Details on Programme Page

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Mon Feb 26, 2018: Hunting for the Disjunct Populations of Flora in Nova Scotia

Thread-leaved sundew.
Photo by Bob Kennedy
View COSEWIC doc

Nova Scotia is particularly blessed with many small and unique communities of plants. Most of them are relics of different times in our natural history since glaciation. Many are unknown anywhere else in Canada. These small and isolated populations sometimes date back to the arctic and alpine plant life that dominated as the glaciers retreated, while others were stranded over a thousand miles away from their relatives to the south when warmer times cooled or the sea level rose. Some are fairly recent arrivals. Together, these populations form a record of the many climatic, geological and environmental changes that have been experienced here over the past 12,000 years and are still happening now.

On Mon Feb 26, 2018, NSWFS member Bob Kennedy will show some pictures of his explorations with the NS Wild Flora Society last spring and summer to some of the best locations in South-West Nova Scotia. Please join us and contribute to the discussion.

7:30 pm at the NS Museum of Natural History on Summer Street. Come in by the side entrance.

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An explanation for the “Acadian Forest Love Affair”

Participants in our October field trip to the old forest by Sandy Lake (Bedford, NS) will recall the embrace of a yellow birch and a hemlock. It was hard to see it as totally accidental. A little literature research suggests that indeed, it isn’t.

I first viewed this intimate association on the summer solstice (2017): a pair of yellow birch and hemlock seemed to be growing from the same base (photo at top left) their trunks ascending to the skies in tandem. I immediately thought of it as an “Acadian Forest Love Affair”.

Subsequently, with my eyes open to this forest affair, I viewed a half dozen or more other such couples.
Read more

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Please help protect West Mabou Beach Provincial Park

West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is under threat of partial development in the form of a golf course.

View Fight brewing over potential golf course in Mabou area
CBC, Jan 1, 2018

The West Mabou Beach Committee is asking wild flora enthusiasts to help them in their efforts to protect the park:

“You may or may not be aware that the beautiful West Mabou Beach Provincial Park is under threat, once again. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has been in discussions with Cabot Links/Cabot Cliffs owner to development 18-hole golf course at West Mabou Beach Provincial Park.

“We feel that any attempt to compromise any part of this park with any type of development is unacceptable. We ask for your support in getting the word out on how important this park is to all of us and why it must remain, in its entirety, a provincial park.
Continue reading

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Monday Jan 22, 2018: Members’ slide night

January 22nd marks the first meeting in 2018 with members’ slide night. Members will receive an e-mail about how to proceed if you to participate as a presenter.

Slide night is always a fun evening as we learn about members’ special places, new finds and mystery plants.

All welcome. 7:30 pm at the Museum of Natural History, Summer Street, Halifax.

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