Winter Identification of Trees and Woody Plants of the Northern Forest (December 5–19, 2023) – Eagle Hill Online Mini-Seminar

Title: Winter Identification of Trees and Woody Plants of the Northern Forest
Instructor: Erika Mitchell
Dates: December 5, 9, 12, 16, and 19, 2023
Times: 7–9PM ET
Tuition Cost: $225

Description: Winter is a wonderful time to get to know the trees and woody plants of the Northern Forest. Without the distractions of summer leaves, we can focus on the more enduring characteristics of the woody members of forest habitats. In this seminar, we will take a wholistic approach to winter plant identification, integrating information of many types, including habitat, growth form, bark, needles and leaf remnants, fruit, twig arrangement, and buds. We will discuss aspects of dendrology, forest ecology, and plant anatomy as they relate to winter identification of woody plants. The seminar will consist of weekly interactive lectures and discussions with field challenge assignments to collect photographic observations of woody plants in nearby forests or parks. We will share these photographic observations through a citizen science course project on iNaturalist. Participants who are not able to access forests in winter may focus their efforts on assisting with identification and curation of the online course project collection.

A full colour flyer is available here. You can register here

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Member’s Meeting Nov 27, 7:30pm – Nina Newington and the Save Our Old Forests campaign

The next member’s meeting will be at the Museum of Natural History, downstairs auditorium and via Zoom on Monday Nov 27, 7:30pm.

Nina Newington and other citizen scientists are playing a key role in the effort to protect the proposed Goldsmith Lake Wilderness Area in Annapolis County. To date they have identified 27 Species At Risk occurrences (principally lichens), halting logging operations for now. They recently discovered an area of old-growth forest where DNRR maps showed only forest under 80 years old. Nina will present an overview of their explorations and the Save Our Old Forests campaign which recently expanded to include Halifax County.

The Museum is at 1747 Summer Street. Access is through the downstairs door facing the parking lot. Members will be sent a Zoom link prior to the event.

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Link to Moss Flora of the Maritimes

Common Apple Moss (Bartramia pomiformis) Cape Split – Photo Bob Kennedy

Sean Haughian has provided us with this seminal reference on maritime bryophytes. You can find the link here in our reference library on Bryophytes.

Robert R. Ireland of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Ottawa created the comprehensive manual of the Moss Flora of the Maritimes in 1982.
The manual recognizes 381 species, 19 varieties and one form in 135 genera and 43 families. The treatise includes introductory information on structure and life cycle of a moss, collecting and herbarium techniques, collectors of Maritime mosses, identification and methods of study, reference books, and nomenclature and classification. Keys are provided for the genera and species. Each genus is fully described, while the species are briefly described, followed by information on habitat, maritime distribution, range, chromosome number, and relevant remarks. A full plate of black-and-white illustrations is provided for most of the species. A fully illustrated glossary is presented at the back of the book.

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Field Trip to Valley View Prov. Park (Bridgetown) – Oct 28 or 29

Charles Cron will be leading a field trip to Valley View Provincial Park, near Bridgetown on Oct 28 (or 29 if weathered).  American beech  is the dominant tree and this is one of the best beech forests left in NS.

1hr 15 min from Halifax.  Hwy 101 to exit 20: Trunk1 Annapolis county. Turn right to Bridgetown. Then in Bridgetown turn right onto Hampton mountain Road, up hill to the Park at  960 Hampton Mtn. Road. ( Follow Road signs to the Park).

Meet at Park entrance 10:00 hrs.  1-2 hrs . Trail easy,but steep uphill to site.

Anyone interested please  register with me By email or phone before Friday 09:00hrs.  902 477 8272 or

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Sea Turtle Beach Patrol

Every fall for the past many years the Sea Turtle Beach Patrol runs a beach patrol program from November 1 to January 31 where they ask volunteers to walk a beach of their choosing once a week looking for cold-stunned hard-shelled sea turtles. “Cold-stunning” is basically hypothermia for sea turtles, which occurs when the water they are in drops to and below 10degrees. Most years they find one or two either dead or almost dead juvenile Green or Kemp Ridley’s sea turtles.  By consider the warming oceans and the experiences of our neighbours to the south, they are expecting these stranding events to become more common. Massachusetts for example, has gone from 0 to over 800 cold-stunned turtles in the past 20 years. These turtles, when found alive, require professional warming and monitoring, and sometimes transportation to a rehabilitation Centre. They can’t be put back into the cold ocean.

Historically, the majority of our cold-stunned sea turtles have been found along the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy, where they have very few beach patrol volunteers. Their goal for this year is to increase their volunteer presence and hopefully get a better idea overall of the conditions that are most likely to bring the sea turtles ashore. So if any of our NSWFS members happen to be walking the shoreline for flora, you may also want to keep a look out for sea turtles.

The Sea Turtle Beach Patrol is hosting a zoom orientation for new members on Oct 24 at 7pm. Interested volunteers can contact for more information.


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Sat Oct 14, 2023 at 1 pm: Sandy Lake (Bedford) Old Forest walk

Three types of Old Growth at Sandy Lake
Click on image for larger version

David Patriquin will lead this walk on Sat Oct 14, 2023.

If Saturday look very rainy, it will be on Sunday, Oct 15.
Check this post if uncertain; ‘will update/confirm Fri at noon.

We will meet 1 p,m* in the Big Parking Lot at the end of Smith’s Road and spend approx. 2 hours on a leisurely walk taking us through mixed Acadian Forest.
It’s possible that the gate into the Parking Lot will be closed. If so, park by the road before the gate, and walk in to the Big Parking Lot to meet. See Map below.

*Note change from 11 am (as previouslyposted); this is to reduce likilhood of rain: Weather Forecast for Saturday as of Fri at 1 pm: “Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers in the morning and early in the afternoon. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming west 20 gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 14. UV index 3 or moderate”

Continue reading

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The Fall Continental Mycoblitz: October 13 – 22, 2023

The 2023 Continental Mycoblitz is open to anyone who is willing to make scientifically valuable collections of mushrooms – including photography, field notes, and submitting a dried specimen. Any individual or organization can submit their most unique/interesting/exciting collections from the foray week to the project. Mycologists and foray partners will examine each collection and will perform DNA sequencing on thousands of the specimens that are submitted.

For general information about the Mycoblitz see:

Mycologists in the three Maritime Provinces will coordinate the Mycoblitz efforts in our region, to try sequence over 1,000 collections of mushrooms from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

If you are located in Nova Scotia please contact Sean Haughian at the Nova Scotia Museum ( to get more detailed information about collecting and documenting mushrooms for the Continental Mycoblitz, or to arrange for dropping specimens off at the Museum of Natural History.

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Mon Oct 23 Member’s Meeting via Zoom: Fires, Conservation and Fire Management in the Halifax Backlands

Geoffrey Grantham and Ron  Kuwahara paint en plein air in the Jack Pine-Crowberry barrens on Nov 2, 2015, 6 years after 2009 ‘Spryfield Fire’.
Click on image for larger version

Online presentation by David Patriquin to the NS Wild Flora Society, 7:30 p.m. Monday Oct 23, 2023. All welcome.

The “Backlands”, located only a few kilometers from from peninsular Halifax, NS, are a Thompsonesque urban wilderness of approximately 1350 hectares which include nine lakes, hills with spectacular views and dozens of kilometers of informal hiking and biking trails. Erratic blocks, whalebacks and boulder fields are prominent features of the glacially scoured rocky landscape. It is also one of the most fire-susceptible landscapes in Nova Scotia, with recurrent fires pre-dating European settlement. One result is the presence of highly fire-adapted plant communities including the globally rare ‘Jack Pine/Broom Crowberry Barrens’.

David will describe the plant communities, their fire ecology, and discuss what’s involved in managing fire to conserve these ecosystems while at the same time protecting structures and people at the Urban-Wildland Interface.

For more about the area, visit

David Patriquin, Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University (retired 2008) is involved in conservation-oriented activities with several local natural history, trail and environmental organizations.

To register for this event and receive a link for the Zoom session, contact

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Event of interest: Chebucto Moose Field Meeting on Sunday Oct 22, 2023

Details & Registration Here

More about the Chebcto Moose Here

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Field Trip : Polly’s Cove – Sunday Oct 1

Charles Cron will be leading a field trip to the Polly’s Cove Trail (between Peggy’s Cove and West Dover)  It will be on Sunday, Oct 1

Take the 101 from Halifax: exit 5 at Upper Tantallon : turn  left at the lights on the Hamonds Plains Road ,to the Junction with Rte 3 St. Margaret’s Bay  Road,turn Right on the St,Margaret’s Bay Road to the lights: then Left onto  rte.333 .Follow route 333 to Peggy’s Cove, go about 1.5 km past Peggy’s Cove uphill : there are 2 parking areas ,oe on the left the next on the right at the Trail head for Poly’s Cove. Otherwise park on the roadside but do not block traffic.

Meet at the trailhead at 10:00 am. Duration about 2-3 hrs. Wear waterproof hikers or rubber boots. Moderately difficult (Depending on the route taken). Bring water and lunch. (some areas may be flooded).

Please register with Charlie Cron by Thursday  Sept 28 to let him know that you plan to attend. or call 902 477 8272 leave message

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