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November 2015
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HFN member Keith Vaughan will present images of native birds of Florida, which he photographed in the wild during a three-week adventure in the Spring of 2014. Read more

HRM Staff release Interim Report on the Green Network Plan

Image500This first Interim Report on the Green Network Plan will be discussed at a meeting of the COMMUNITY PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STANDING COMMITTEE on Thursday Oct 15 in the Council Chamber, City Hall, viewable online. The full interim report is available in sections at View Agenda for the Thursday meeting. View Item 8.3.2 Halifax Green Network Plan which includes highlights of the Interim Report. The full Interim Report bears close reading. There are 52 maps.

Prominent Nocturne piece explores development at HRM’s Wildland-Urban Interface

backlandsOne of the top five Media Arts Projects at Nocturne 2015 is a piece by Susan Tooke about choices that transform our landscapes in HRM.

3B:BACKLANDS, BADLANDS, BURBS explores the destruction of natural habitat by the encroaching development of our precious, wild Backlands on the Halifax south mainland.

3B will be shown in front of the Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road between 6 pm and midnight on Saturday Oct 17. The video will be rear screen projected form inside the library and the  audio track broadcast from a speaker by the entrance. Read more »

40 years of hikes on Martinique Beach

HFN founding member Scott Cunningham led an 8 or so km walk on Martinique Beach today (Oct 4) for approximately 35 participants, repeating the very first HFN hike forty years ago. The sun shone, the spring tides had scattered quahogs and kelps on the beach, “peeps” (in this case sanderlings, semipalmated plovers, semipalmated sandpipers and dunlins) abounded, and a porcupine entertained during a lunch break. It was a wonderful closing event for HFN’s 40th anniversary. In the photo, Scott describes the adaptations of sea rocket (Cakile edentula) to the upper beach, its role in succession and its culinary qualities (it tastes like horseradish). Read more »

We’re 40 now!

Approximately 100 people attended HFN’s 40th Birthday celebration held at the clubhouse of the Ashburn Golf Club in Halifax on Thursday evening, Oct. 1. Highlights were a talk by poet and nature writer Harry Thurston, the cutting of the cake by Debra Burleson (one of the seven signers of the Memorandum of Association in 1975) and presentation of the Colin Stewart Conservation Award to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. In the photos: Harry Thurston, Janet Dalton (President of HFN) and Debra Burleson (Photos courtesy of Dr. George Mitchell). The final event in a series over the past year celebrating our 40th is a hike on Martinique Beach on Sunday Oct 4 led by Scott Cunningham (another of the seven signers of the Memorandum of Association in 1975); is a repeat of HFN’s very first field trip on October 26th, 1975. The Public is welcome. View details for the hike on our Walks & Talks Page. View events of 40 years ago in our Archived Newsletters.

Nova Scotia Nature Trust receives Colin Stewart Conservation Award for 2015

The Colin Stewart Conservation Award was established by the Halifax Field Naturalists in 2004 to honour a lifetime of contributions by Colin towards conservation initiatives in Nova Scotia. The Award is given annually to an individual or group for significant conservation efforts in Nova Scotia when appropriate nominations are forthcoming. The recipient for 2015 was announced during a special celebration of HFN’s 40th Anniversary On October 1, 2015: Said Richard Beazley in presentation of the award, “The CSCA recipient for 2015 is 21 years old, hard working, known throughout NS, ambitious, energetic, outgoing, loved by both women and men alike, unpretentious, and successful.”

Richard paused. We held our breaths… who could this be? Smiles and nods of approval followed when he announced the recipient: the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Likely no one would be more approving than Colin Stewart himself, who played a key role in the founding of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Betty Hodgson, spouse and helpmate of Colin Stewart presented the award which was received by Bonnie Sutherland, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

Read more

Nature writer, poet, and environmentalist Harry Thurston will address the complex question of what might be done to preserve and restore the great wealth of wildlife and natural resources in the North Atlantic. His illustrated talk will be based on research for his book The Atlantic Coast, A Natural History, winner of the 2011 Lane Anderson Award for best science writing in Canada.
7:30 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Ashburn Golf Club (3250 Joseph Howe Drive) Read more | View Poster

This field trip is a repeat of HFN’s very first field trip on October 26th, 1975. It was held on the first Sunday after the first meeting of HFN on October 21st. Dr. Scott Cunningham, one of the seven subscribers who signed the Memorandum of Association for HFN, will be the trip leader. View Details of Martinique 2015. View the Report on the 1975 field trip in the first issue of the newsletter.

Original HFN Board members still meet!

Three members of the first HFN board are all working for nature in Ontario. Left to right: Winnifrid Cairns, Paul Keddy, Cathy Keddy. They met this spring in Waterloo, Ontario, at a meeting where Paul was given the W.E. Saunders award for Natural History by Ontario Nature. (Photo courtesy of David Wake)

Dr. Bill Freedman Nature Reserve

HFNers will recognize the beauty and value of this site which we visited in July of 2014, now named after Bill Freedman. Amongst many other public interest contributions, Bill served as Vice-President of the Halifax Field Naturalists (1980-1983). View CH article about the Nature Reserve and Dr. Bill.
UPDATE, Sep 29th. Bill died peacefully at home on Sep 26. On Bill’s Life

Young Naturalists explore the Rocky Intertidal

The Young Naturalists Halifax Chapter begin their 2015/2016 season with an exploration of the Rocky Intertidal Zone, led by Pat Harding and David Patriquin. Museum Session Saturday Sep 19 10:30 at NSMNH & Field Trip Sunday Sep 27. Details
Ever wonder what the rocky intertidal looks like below water at high tide? View video (Peggy’s Cove area).

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015: Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lake Public Open House

A draft trail plan for provincially-protected area of Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes will be presented this Thursday, Sept. 17, at 4:00pm at the Maskwa Aquatic Club, 91 Saskatoon Dr. See the invite here.

Nova Scotia protected crownland in Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes in 2009, which is the area to be discussed at this meeting. Our HRM Alliance continues to advocate for Halifax to follow through on its 2006 Regional Plan commitment to acquire the land necessary to complete the full park.

Update on invasive plant in Frog Pond

invasive sp. This past December, I had reported finding Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana) at the Frog Pond in the Dingle Park, Halifax.

Over the summer, I noticed it growing around most of the edge of the pond, but it was hard to see how far it was growing towards the center.

Now, its small white flowers are emerging above the water surface,
making it easy to see the extent. In my estimate, 1/4 to 1/3 of the
surface is covered by Fanwort, generally in the shallow or protected areas. Read more »