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Walks & Talks

OUR WALKS are led by specialists or well schooled naturalists, and provide a good way to expand your knowledge of local natural history as well as to mingle with members of the natural history community.

Deep Cove Nature Reserve
Brad Armstrong and Doug van Hemessen led HFN participants into the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Deep Cove Nature Reserve on Oct 24, 2015.
Click on photo for larger version

We usually have one or more walks a month throughout the year. It may be possible for the contact person (who may or may not be the same as the trip leader) to organize a ride for an event outside the city. If this is possible, a contribution towards the fuel costs would be appropriate. All participants in HFN activities are responsible for their own safety. Always wear suitable clothing and footwear for the weather, the activity, and the terrain. If in doubt, call the contact person listed for each field trip.

OUR TALKS are given by both experts and interested amateurs – one every month except during the summer. They provide an opportunity to learn what local scientists, volunteers, and HFN members are up to. Regular meetings with talks are held on the first Thursday of every month except July and August at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax. Meetings are open to the public. Use the entrance next to the parking lot. There is a charge for parking at the Museum; usually, two hours will be adequate.

Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast With a length of approximately 250,000 km, Canada’s marine coast is the longest of any nation. When the shorelines of the Great Lakes and the five large northern lakes are included, the length of Canada’s coast is nearly 300,000 km. The geomorphology (the study of the origin and evolution of the earth’s landforms, both on the continents and within the ocean basins), the processes, and the characteristics of Canada’s coasts will be presented in the context of a changing climate. Gavin Mason, coastal geoscientist at BIO, will draw upon CanCoast, a national-scale mapping database of coastal geomorphology, and upon a recent assessment report entitled “Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate”. With 20 years of experience researching Canada’s coasts, he’ll provide a picturesque and scientific perspective on the processes that shape our country’s shores. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

NSCC Student Recruitment Coordinator Mike Duggan will be the host of this tour of the NSCC Waterfront Campus. This environmentally-friendly campus, with its incredible views of the Halifax Harbour, was designed with a focus on student learning at its core. Modern design, open spaces, state-of-the-art technology, along with exciting clusters of programs, all add to a dynamic learning environment. The campus receives high marks for its ‘green’ building practices; the Harbour Wing is the second building in Nova Scotia to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification; the Woodside Wing, which is home to the Centre for the Built Environment (CBE), has been registered for LEED Gold certification. There is a limit of 20 participants. Pre-registration is necessary.
Storm Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22
Contact: Carol Klar, 902 443 3385,
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m., at the main lobby by the pick-up/drop off loop, 80 Mawiomi Place, Dartmouth.
Duration: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

The Annual General Meeting takes place first. It reports on HFN’s activities over the past 12 months, then conducts the election of the next Board of Directors. Then it is ‘show time’ to view and hear about a variety of members’ photos. If you are an HFN member and would like to share favourite nature-oriented or vacation images but are reluctant to give an extensive talk, this is your opportunity for a five-to-ten-minute mini-presentation. If you decide to do so, please contact Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626,, by February 25th in order to arrange delivery of your digital photos.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

This hike will follow park trails of easy to medium difficulty through two old farms on the shore of Cole Harbour – Poor’s Farm and Crosley Farm. There are sites of historical interest, woodland and shore birds, and renaturalising vegetation to see. Participants should wear seasonally appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, and bring water and a snack. The Park’s website, maps, and more information are available at
Storm Date: Sunday, March 26
Contacts: Jonathan Davies, 464-1466,, or Carol Klar, 443-3385,
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m. at the trail head, 256 Bissett Road, Dartmouth (where the old barn stood).
Difficulty: Easy to medium difficulty; some over gravel trails, occasional wet spots, and short stretches of unim- proved trails with rocks and tree roots.
Duration: 2-3 hours

Long-time HFN member Peter Webster will share experiences and images from his December 2015/January 2016 trip to the Antarctic. The MV Sea Spirit’s 11-day voyage of discovery travelled south from Ushuaia, Argentina, crossed the Drake Passage, visited the South Shetland Islands, and explored the Antarctic Peninsula. The trip featured encounters with Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins, along with a variety of seals and whales. It also included zodiac tours of ice flows and the stunning antarctic coastline, and an attempt at snow-hole camping. Peter will also discuss his experience of the polar tourism industry, and some important issues and opportunities presented by tourism to earth’s most remote places.
7:30 pm at the NSMNH

The Cole Harbour Farm Museum is an oasis in the midst of urban development, and a testament to Cole Harbour ‘s role as Halifax’s bread basket in bygone days. Liz Corser, who was one of the founding members of Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Society, and also its executive director for many years, will help us explore some of its nearby habitat as well as the farm itself. It will be a good time to see the overall layout and some of the projects that are being undertaken. It may also be possible to have the blacksmith shop operating at the time of our visit. Wear appropriate footwear for a farm visit. Registration is required.
Rain Date: Sunday, April 30
Contact: Susan Moxon, samoxon77@gmail .com.
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m., Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, 471 Poplar Drive, Cole Harbour. Take Cole Harbour Road (Hwy 207) towards Lawrencetown; turn left on Otago Drive, then left on Poplar Drive. The Museum is on the left.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Duration: Approximately 2 hours