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Walks & Talks

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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.

ANNUAL SEWER STROLL SUNDAY, JAN. 7 POSTPONED TO SUNDAY JAN 28, 2018
HFN and the Nova Scotia Bird Society, led by HFN/NSBS member Clarence Stevens Jr., will visit all the favourite winter bird sites in and around Halifax Harbour looking for ducks, gulls and alcids – Hartlen Point, Eastern Passage, Dartmouth Cove, Sullivan’s Pond, Tuft’s Cove, and the Bedford Waterfront. If weather conditions are favourable and time permits, we’ll also visit Point Pleasant Park. Dress warmly and bring a lunch, binoculars and/or a scope, and field guides.
Storm Date: Jan 14th
Contact: Carol Klar, cklar@bellaliant.net, 443-3385
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m. at McCormacks Beach Provincial Park parking lot, just past Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage
Duration: Until mid to late afternoon
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

SNOWSHOE WALK AT SHUBIE PARK POSTPONED TO SATURDAY JAN 27th

Nova Scotia’s winter can sometimes make it hard for us to get outdoors, but come join us for some much needed outdoor time, and to learn about how snowshoes can be used to make winter hikes easier and more fun! During this event, led by staff from the Adventure Earth Centre, we will learn how to properly use snowshoes and test them out on a walk around the beautiful forested trails of Shubie Park. We will also learn some tips and tricks about how to properly prepare, pack and dress for outdoor winter activities and excursions. No previous experience with snowshoes necessary, snowshoes will be provided, although participants may bring their own if they wish. Registration is required for this event!
Contact: Molly LeBlanc, molly.e.leblanc@gmail.com
Time: 1-3pm
Location: Shubie Park, Fairbanks Centre. 54 Locks Rd, Dartmouth, B2X 2M1.
Rain Date: Saturday, January 27th
*Please note: if there is no snow at this time, walk may be rescheduled for later in the winter.

LIFE AND DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EEL THURSDAY, FEB. 1
Lydia Stevens, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, will give an introduction into the life history, importance and status of American eel, Anguilla rostrata. She will discuss species range, life cycle, sex and diet. The importance to Indigenous people, recreational and commercial fish harvesters. Population decline and conservation. Finally she will talk about her own research: Population demographics and habitat use of American eel in a protected watershed in Nova Scotia. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH.

EXPLORING THE DRYSDALE BOG SATURDAY, FEB. 10
The Drysdale Bog in Goodwood is a fairly large bog close to the city. It is a raised bog, fed by rain, that drains into surrounding streams. We will walk over a HRM water pipeline right of way to get to the bog, and may then continue to Big Indian Lake. This winter walk should permit exploring the area without getting our feet wet, and allow planning for a subsequent spring flora exploration. In case we have sufficient snow on the ground, we will split the group into a walking and a cross-country skiing part. Please register if you plan on skiing.
Contact: Burkhard Plache, burkhardplache@gmail.com, 475-1129
Date/Time: Saturday Feb. 10 at 1 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Meet at the entrance to the Halifax Exhibition Centre (200
Prospect Road, Hwy 333)
Difficulty: 5-6 km (in and out) over a narrow wood road.
Rain Date: Sunday, Feb. 11th.

AGM/HFN MEMBERS PHOTO NIGHT THURSDAY, MAR. 1

The Annual General Meeting takes place first: Reports on HFN’s activities over the past 12 months are presented, followed by the election of the next Board of Directors. Then it is ‘show time’ to view and hear about a variety of members’ self-shot photos. If you are an HFN member and would like to share some of your favourite nature-oriented or vacation digital images, but are reluctant to give an extensive talk, this is a chance to give an eight-to-ten-minute mini-presentation. Six presenters can be accommodated on a first-come-first-served basis, with up to three first-time presenters having priority. If interested, please contact Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca, by February 22. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

RECYCLING PLANT TOUR TUESDAY, MAR. 6
Ever wonder what happens to the recycle bags and the green bin contents? Join Marcel Massey,Waste Resource Education Officer for a tour of the HRM Recycling Facility (HRM Solid Waste Resource).It is located at 20 Horseshoe Lake Drive in Bayers Lake. The tour includes a classroom session and then a view of the action on the tipping floor. This is where the trucks “tip out” the collected garbage onto the floor. The tour will take about an hour.
Contact: Susan Moxon samoxon77@gmail.com (902) 461-1303
Time/Place: 10:30 at the entrance of HRM Solid Waste Facility (20 Horseshoe Lake Drive)
Duration: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy

HARNESSING THE ENERGY OF THE TIDES THURSDAY, APR. 5
Cape Sharp Tidal (CST) is testing its in-stream tidal turbine technology through its research project at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) site in the Minas Passage in Parrsboro, NS. This initiative is part of an international effort to learn how to harness in-stream tidal power as a potential new source of renewable energy in a safe and sustainable manner. CST’s Environmental Manager Carys Burgess will provide an overview of the project to date and speak about what was learned from the first deployment and what comes next. Carys brings to her current role more than 25 years of practice in marine science, including field and laboratory backgrounds, as well as a Master of Marine Management and a Bachelor of Science with a major in marine biology and a minor in environmental policy.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

DISCOVERY CENTRE TOUR SATURDAY, APR. 14
Join us for a tour of the new Discovery Centre! The Discovery Centre is a not-for-profit registered charitable organization whose mission is to bring STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to life through fun, interactive learning experiences. From its beginnings as a travelling science show to its spectacular new home on the Halifax Waterfront, the Discovery Centre has grown a lot over 30 years of operation. But through it all, the Centre has stayed true to its vision: using its facility, people and passion to demonstrate how STEAM can empower our youth, grow Nova Scotia’s knowledge-based economy and inspire an innovative culture by showcasing our best and brightest. Registration is required for this event, spaces are limited to 20 people.
Contact: Molly Leblanc, Molly.e.leblanc@gmail.com
Time: 1-2:30pm
Location: 1215 Lower Water Street, between Bishop’s Landing and the Halifax Seaport Market, along the waterfront.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy