Main menu:

Subpages for Walks & Talks:

Past Walks & Talks (2014/15)

Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014: Important N.S. Bird Areas
Did you know that 32 sites across Nova Scotia are designated as Important Bird Areas (IBAs)? IBAs are places of international significance for the conservation of birds and biodiversity. Learn more about IBAs; Canada’s IBA programme; the birds, habitats (and people) that make Nova Scotia’s IBAs special; and how to become involved in IBA conservation activities. Sue Abbott, N.S. Programme Coordinator with Bird Studies Canada, will discuss all the above aspects. What a great way to begin 2014 in advance of the Annual Sewer Stroll! In advance, you might like to check out http://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/nsplover.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SUNDAY, APR. 6: LAURIE PARK HIKE
Come and enjoy an early spring hike in one of Nova Scotia’s Provincial Parks. Located on Grand Lake, this park was extensively renovated in 2011, and Shirley McIntyre, a long-time HFN member, will lead you through it. Bring a lunch to enjoy in the park. If participants are interested, Shirley may also take us to visit Oakfield Park, which is three km further along Highway #2. Carpooling is encouraged, so if you can provide, or need, a drive – please let Shirley know.
Contact: Shirley McIntyre, 835-3673, mcintyre.shirley@gmail.com
Rain date: Sunday, April 6th
Time/Place: 10.30 a.m. at the entrance to Laurie Park. Drive on Hwy #102 to exit 5. Go north on Hwy #2, through Fall River for ten km, to a road on your left which will take you to the park (civic address 4949).
Duration: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

falls
SATURDAY, APR. 26: KINGS CO. WATERFALLING
Click on photo at left for larger version of a site the Beazley’s checked out in December.
HFN’s eighth annual waterfall trip, led by Richard and Grace Beazley, is designed for the hale and hearty – those who like an all-day-outing, lots of walking, some climbing among rocks and roots into and out of ravines, rugged beauty, forested settings, and, of course, the sound and sight of falling water. Registration is required because a maximum of 18 participants will be accommodated. Dress for late-April weather and bring a lunch, snacks, and drinking water. Waterproof hiking boots or walking shoes with good treads are highly recommended. Walking sticks are optional; at times they are helpful, and at other times – a nuisance!
Contact: Richard Beazley, 429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca
Rain date: Sunday, April 27th
Time/Place: 7:30 a.m, West End Mall parking lot, across Mumford Road from St. Agnes School; or 8:05 a.m. at Bedford Place Mall parking lot by the True North Diner; or 9:15 a.m. at the three-way intersection in Gaspereau, just east of the bridge over the Gaspereau River. Carpooling is expected from Halifax and Bedford.
Duration: 10 hours
Difficulty: Overall, the rating is difficult; only two waterfalls are easy to moderate to reach.

SATURDAY, MAY 24: SACKVILLE RIVER WALK
Damon Conrad, Coordinator of the Sackville Rivers Association (SRA), will host a 3-km walk along the Bedford-Sackville Connector Greenway and the beautiful Sackville River. He will point out and explain some of the restoration efforts of the SRA in the past 25 years, including wild Salmon habitat restoration structures in the Sackville River and interpretive signs and commemorative structures along the trail. Participants will see different types of trees, including old growth Hemlock, and perhaps Salmon, eagles, Osprey, and Deer. Also, Damon will talk about some of the challenges that SRA faces in a watershed dominated by urban developmen, how it has risen to meet these challenges, and how SRA may be able to reduce urban impacts on the river in the future. Bring water and dress for the day’s weather. There is no rain date.
Contact: Damon Conrad, 223-7891, sra3@bellaliant.com
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m. at Lynn Court, Lower Sackville. From Halifax, on Highway #102, take exit 4B at the Bedford/ Sackville Interchange. After 100 m, take exit 1K toward Lower Sackville. At the first set of lights turn left onto Old Sackville Road and drive about 500 m to the trailhead at Lynn Court (on the left). Park on the Old Sackville Road after the guardrail (heed the “No Parking” signs).
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

FRIDAY, MAY 30th TO SUNDAY, JUNE 1st: NATURE NOVA SCOTIA 2014 AGM
The Annual weekend AGM and naturalist get-together will take place once again near Baddeck, at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, Cape Breton, with rooms, meals, wonderful nature trips, hiking, star and bird watching all right there at your fingertips. A concurrent programme has been organised for children by the Young Naturalists Club of Nova Scotia. Go to the Nature Nova Scotia website for registration forms, cost, and lots more information.

SATURDAY, JUL. 12: PROSPECT SCENIC COASTAL HIKE
Peter Webster will lead this scenic hike which starts and finishes at the Inner Gulf Island end of the coastal trail and goes toward Prospect. The trail begins on an easy-to-follow path through woods for a short distance, then it reaches the open sea shoreline where there is a wonderful view of Inner Gulf Island. The trail with its number of small footpaths meanders over granite ridges, through mixed flora, and around wetlands toward Prospect, which is barely visible in the distance. This will be a 4-hour hike, with a lunch break at the halfway point, then the return hike to Hages Lane. Bring a lunch and bug repellent, and expect rocky/windy trail conditions. Carpooling is encouraged. If you can provide, or need, a drive, please let Gillian know one week in advance. This is a joint field trip with the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society.
Contact: Gillian Webster; 453-9244; gillian.webster@eastlink.ca
Rain Date: Sunday, July 13th
Time/Place: 10:30 a.m. at the end of Hages Lane. Drive along Prospect Road toward Peggy’s Cove. Just past White’s Lake turn left on to Prospect Bay Road. Drive five km or so along the edge of Prospect Bay and turn right on to Selig’s Road. After about 0.4 km, turn left onto Jamil’s Road. After about 0.8 km, turn right on to Hages Lane and drive about 1.5 km to its end.
Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Mid-JUL./ Mid-Aug. EASTERN SHORE PADDLE
Are you interested in a day-long paddle with Burkhard Plache on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, somewhere between Clam Harbour and Tangier? The archipelago of islands along this stretch of coastline is a paddler’s dream, providing shelter from, and glimpses of, the open Atlantic Ocean. Calm weather conditions are necessary for a safe and enjoyable outing, so the date for the event will be chosen on short notice. Nevertheless, near-ocean paddling still can pose other challenges, therefore this event is open to only a maximum of 12 experienced, confident paddlers. Please register to be notified of details a day or two before the event. Participants must provide their own canoe or kayak and all safety equipment that is required by Transport Canada. Bring lunch, water, and spare clothing. Swimming and snorkeling gear is optional.
Contact: Burkhard Plache, 475-1129, burkhardplache@gmail.com
Time/Place: Early morning at a chosen location; Tentative open dates: July 26/27, Aug 2/3, Aug 9/10 in that order.
Duration: All day
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

SATURDAY, AUG. 23: HALIFAX URBAN FARM
Come enjoy a tour of the Common Roots Urban Farm with Jayme Melrose, Project Coordinator. What’s the difference between a community garden and an urban farm? What is a ‘food forest’? We’ll visit the many gardens that compose the ‘grow-your-own health’ project – the market garden, the flower farm, community plots, specialised composts, and the ‘food forest’. A food forest is a perennial food ecosystem that blends native and non-native plants into supportive communities which produce food while mimicking the resilience of our forest systems. Also, Jayme would love to hear your thoughts about the Urban Farm which opened in June, 2012. For more information, see partnersforcare.ca/urban_farm.
Contact: Grace Beazley, 429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca
Rain Date: Sunday, August 24
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m. at Urban Roots Common Farm at the corner of Robie Street and Bell Road in Halifax (the previ- ous site of Queen Elizabeth High School). Meet at the shed near the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Entrance parking lot.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Easy

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4: NATIVE WILD BEES
Andony Melathopoulos is a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University who is studying bees. The public concern which focused on the decline of honey bees following the Colony Collapse Disorder in 2006 needs to be extended to the recent dramatic decline that has occurred here among our native bees. Hundreds of wild species make a living here in Atlantic Canada without notice. This talk will introduce you to the key Nova Scotia species, provide a glimpse of their natural history, and end with some general principles of how to conserve them.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

FRIDAY-SUNDAY, SEPT. 5-7: MELMERBY FALL WEEKEND
Stephanie and Allan Robertson will host HFN members at their two cottages adjacent to beautiful Melmerby Beach Provincial Park on the Northumberland Strait, the warmest ocean waters north of the Carolina states. There will be opportunities for swimming, beachcombing, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, hiking, birding, and star watching – all weather-dependant. This will be an informal weekend; flora/fauna knowledge may be shared by participants at any ‘on-site-arranged’ walks/trips that may take place. Early morning sightings of Great Blue Heron, Snowshoe Hare, and White-tailed Deer can be expected; also Chipmunk, Red Fox, and many birds. Registration is required; there is a maximum of twelve participants for inside accomodation; there is also room for one tent. Both cottages are fully equipped, and potluck suppers and other food arrangements will be finalised closer to the event. Bring sunscreen, hats, preferred insect repellant, and clothing suitable for changeable weather and beach activities. More details will be available upon registration.
Contact: Stephanie/Allan Robertson, 902-422-6326, sdhaythorn@ns.sympatico.ca
Rain Date: Friday-Sunday, September 12-14
Time/Place: Anytime after 5:00 p.m. on Friday at 27 Old Sand Road, off Hwy 289 (Little Harbour Road). Maps and direc- tions will be provided upon registration.
Duration: A 2-hour drive from Halifax; two days and two nights
Difficulty: Easy

SATURDAY, SEPT. 27: CABIN LAKE TRAIL WALK
With Pat Leader, visit historic Cabin Lake Trail, developed and maintained by the Halifax North West Trails Association (HNWTA). This trail is representative of the wooded area that preceded the development of Royale Hemlocks subdivision, is steeply graded in a few places, has well-placed rest stops, and is surfaced with crusher dust to ease walking. It leads to and around Cabin Lake, both of which are part of Hemlock Ravine Park. Members and friends of HNWTA worked diligently to research and write text, provide photos, and design an information panel which highlights some of the geological, cultural, and natural history of the area. Also, the panel includes a few words about HFN’s Colin Stewart and his work with HRM to preserve this green space. Wear clothing appropriate for late September weather and enjoy an informative walk in a preserved natural setting nestled within an urban area.
Contact: Patricia Leader, 902-457-9197, patricialeader@eastlink.ca
Rain date: Sunday, September 28th, at 2:00 p.m.
Time/ Place: 10:00 a.m. at 42 Starboard Drive (GPS: N44 41.82, W063 40.037), off Larry Uteck Drive, on Metro Tran- sit bus routes 81 and 90. Park in the children’s playground. If the walk on Saturday (or Sunday) has to be cancelled, there will be a recorded message on 902-457-9197.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

THURSDAY, OCT. 2: A LIGHTKEEPING JOURNEY
Chris Mills built his first lighthouse when he was six and a half years old. He served as a lightkeeper for the Canadian Coast Guard in three provinces from 1989 to 1997, is a founding member of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year), and continues to visit, photograph, and research lighthouses in Nova Scotia and beyond. Chris will explore the history of Canadian lighthouses, interwoven with his own lightkeeping experiences as an assistant and acting Principal Lightkeeper on 11 light stations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. He’ll describe the ‘magic monotony’ of lighthouse work, along with the storms, close calls, ghosts, and the social dynamic of keeping a light on a rock so small you could throw a pebble from one end to the other (being careful of course not to hit your co-worker!). Chris will illustrate his talk with dramatic photos, audio clips of foghorns, and the voices of the people who kept the lights burning for the safety of all.
7:30 P.M. at the NSMNH

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 18 : TREE PLANTATION VISIT
Meet Lowell DeMond and learn about the transformation he has stimulated on a 32-hectare woodland that was burned over in 1956. This 244-m-wide by 1.6-km-long property contains a mixed forest of hundreds of planted trees, a small Christmas tree lot, and two brooks; nearby is a wetland pond, a dam, and a refurbished fish ladder, all of which we will hear about and see. The relatively flat gravel road through the middle of the property is well drained, and the pathway to the fish ladder is dry, so good walking boots will suffice. Bring a lunch, snacks, and drinking water to enjoy on a 3-to-4-km autumnal walk. Pheasant hunting season will have started so Lowell will supply orange stripes for clothing.
Contact: Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca
Rain Date: Sunday October 19th
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m., West End Mall parking lot, across Mumford Road from St. Agnes School, where carpooling will be organised, or 11:00 a.m. at the end of the following directions – Take highway 103 to Exit 13 at Bridgewater; turn right onto Hwy 325 and drive 7 km; turn left onto Hwy 210 towards Chelsea and drive for 12 km to a sign reading Henley Road and Molega Lake. Drive along Henley Road for 300 metres and you will see the tree farm sign.
Duration: A 1-hour-and-45-minute drive from Halifax, and a 2-3 hour woodland visit
Difficulty: Moderate

THURSDAY, NOV. 6, 2014: GIVE ME THE MOUNTAINS
Hiking and climbing in mountain terrain have been a life-time passion
for HFN member, Dr. Peter Wells. He’ll briefly describe recent trips in
the Rockies and then will focus on a 22-day Hillary Footsteps trek in
the Himalayas of Nepal in 2013. He’ll talk on the natural beauty of
these areas, with a special emphasis on montane ecosystems and plant and
animal life encountered there. He says, “the Nepal venture was life
changing, due as much to the wonderful people I met and the culture
experienced, as to the fascinating and rugged mountains over and through
which we travelled.” 7:30 P.M. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, NOV. 15 : PURCELL’S COVE QUARRY WALK
Marcos Zentilli, geologist and resident of Purcell’s Cove, will lead us
to a few local quarries. Beginning in 1759, both granite and bluestone
(slate) were exploited by British imperial troops in Purcell’s Cove, and
were used to build harbour defences and many historic buildings in
Halifax. An industrial steam railroad and tramway, one of the oldest in
Canada, began operating at the King’s Quarry in 1834. Besides inspecting
some remnants of the quarrying operation, we will view typical outcrops
of coarse granite (South Mountain Batholith – 380 million years old) and
the ancient (Cambrian-Ordovician) marine sedimentary rocks it encroached
and metamorphosed (Meguma – Bluestone Quarry). After the walk, there
will be an opportunity to wrap up at the Purcell’s Cove Social Club.
Contact: Burkhard Plache, 902-475-1129, burkhardplache@gmail.com
Time/Place: 10 a.m., Purcell’s Cove Social Club and municipal playground
Parking Lot.
Directions: From the Halifax Armdale Roundabout, follow Purcell’s Cove
Road until you get to Purcell’s Cove and the Social Club, 505
Purcell’s Cove Road. This destination is on Metro Transit Rt. 15.
Rain Date: None
Duration: 2-3 Hours
Difficulty: Moderate

THURSDAY DEC. 4, 2014: The Right to a Healthy Environment
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains nothing about our right to a healthy environment, unlike many other countries that legally protect this right for their citizens. Nor has the Province of Nova Scotia legislated this right. A healthy environment encompasses the right to clean air and water, and safe soil and food. This right can help conserve and restore healthy environments, which in turn support healthy people and communities. Jamie Simpson, Executive Director of the East Coast Environmental Law Association, will talk about what the right to a legally binding healthy environment would mean for Nova Scotians, and outline the impacts it has had elsewhere in the world.
Holiday Social
Our annual members’ Holiday Social will take place after the above talk. Please bring your sweets or savouries and non-alcoholic beverages to the usual meeting area. A subscription to the Halifax Field Naturalist would make a good Christmas gift! Bring your money or a cheque. Please note – there are no facilities for heating food.
7:30 P.M. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY JAN. 3, 2015: ANNUAL SEWER STROLL
HFN and the Nova Scotia Bird Society, led by HFN/NSBS member Dennis Hippern, 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 and possibly Herring Cove. Dress warmly and bring a lunch, binoculars or telescope, and field guides.
Contact: Dennis Hippern, 902-435-5363, dhippern@hotmail.com
Rain date: Sunday January 4th
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m., McCormacks Beach Provincial Park parking lot, just past Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage
Duration: Until mid- to late afternoon
Difficulty: Easy

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 7, 2015: YOUR CONSERVATION LANDS
The Nova Scotia Nature Trust, now in its 20th year, has formally protected 65 ‘Conservation Lands’ across Nova Scotia for wildlife and people to enjoy. What is special about these properties? How did they come to be? How do we get to them? These and other questions will be addressed by HFN member Karen McKendry, Conservation Coordinator with the Nature Trust. She will highlight a few of the protected sites, and delve into the world of working with landowners to accomplish private land conservation. There will even be a game, and also – treats!
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 14 & MAR. 11, HFN BOOK CLUB
The Book Club, in its second year, invites both past and new members to attend. One book will be discussed at each meeting: Connemara: Listening to the Wind by Tim Robinson is the choice for January.If interested in joining the Book Club, please register to find out where meetings will be held.
Contact: Gillian Webster, 902-453-9244, gillian.webster@eastlink.ca or Brian Bartlett, 902-420-0315, bbartlett@eastlink.ca
Time/Place: 7:00 p.m./place TBA
Duration: 2 hours each evening

JANUARY, 2015 (TBA): OPPORTUNE SNOWSHOEING
When snow conditions beckon, snowshoeing will be organised on short notice. Taking place in appropriate locations in or near the Halifax metro area, these outings will be nature-oriented and leisurely-paced. Those interested in taking part are asked to register by the end of December in order to be contacted at least a day or two in advance of each outing. Participants should dress for forecast temperatures and be prepared to enjoy a great winter outdoor activity. Showshoers must provide their own snowshoes and, if desired, poles.
Contact: Leader Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca
Time/Place: To be chosen when favourable opportunities arise.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

THURSDAY, FEB. 5: CLIMATE CHANGE IN CANADA
An Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University, Dr. Tom Duck specialises
in Arctic climate and air quality. He will provide an overview of climate change in Canada, including the Maritimes, and will highlight the problems and the solutions arising from government cutbacks to Environment Canada’s renowned ozone program, and to environmental monitoring programs such as Dalhousie’s Atmospheric-Optics Lab. His Arctic work with the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change focuses on climate and radiation transfer. He also operates an atmospheric observatory in the Dunn Building, and was a Co-Investigator for the successful Phoenix Mars Scout Mission in 2008. Dr. Duck is a fellow of the Broadbent Institute, which strives to create a better and more compassionate Canada. 7:30 P.M. at the NSMNH

THURSDAY, FEB. 12: AQUATRON LABORATORY VISIT
The Aquatron Laboratory is Dalhousie University’s aquatic research facility. Considered by many to be one of the best in the world, the Aquatron is the largest university aquatic research facility in Canada. Well-suited to accommodate almost any lab-based aquatic experiment, it boasts six large tanks holding a combined volume of over 2,000 m3, as well as a wide variety of smaller tanks, research spaces, and equipment. These world-class facilities are backed by a mechanical system which can provide high quality, temperature controlled seawater and freshwater year-round, as well as a professional team of both biologists and mechanical operators who are available to run the systems and help researchers. Come to see and hear about the Aquatron Laboratory with Manager John Batt. Registration is required because only 15 participants can be accommodated.
Contact: Rachelle Watts, 902-423-7787, rwatts@hfx.eastlink.ca
Time/Place: 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium on the 2nd floor of the Steele Ocean Sciences Building, 1355 Oxford Street.
Duration: 1 hour

THURSDAY, MAR. 5: AGM & MEMBERS’ PHOTO NIGHT
HFN’s Annual General Meeting takes place first; it includes reports of HFN’s business and activities over the past 12 months and election of the next Board of Directors. Then it’s ‘show time’ to view and hear about a variety of members’ photos. If you are an HFN member and would like to share favorite 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 want to take part, please contact Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca by February 26th in order to arrange delivery of your digital photos. 7:30 P.M. at the NSMNH

Based on the weather forecast, this weekend’s “A ROCK IN THE PARK” field trip will be held on Sunday, May 24, and, to take advantage of tide conditions, will begin at 9:00 a.m. Otherwise, the details in the description below remain the same.
SATURDAY, MAY 23 2015: A ROCK IN THE PARK
This field trip, led by Rebecca A. Jamieson, will introduce you to the bedrock geology of Point Pleasant Park. The southern part of the Halifax Peninsula (including the Park) and southwestern shore of the Northwest Arm are underlain by the late Cambrian/early Ordovician (ca. 500 million years old) rocks of the Bluestone Quarry Formation (BQF), the uppermost layer of the Halifax Group. In Point Pleasant Park, all four members of the BQF are exposed on the southern limb of a broad fold. We will walk through the stratigraphy, starting at Black Rock Beach and working our way clockwise along the shoreline towards Chain Rock, and from there uphill to Martello Tower and Quarry Pond. Notable features include sedimentary layering, slaty cleavage, glacial striations, a slump deposit, and the effects of contact metamorphism.
Rain Date: Sunday, May 24
Contact: Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca or Rebecca Jamieson, Dalhousie University Earth Sciences, 902-494-3771, rebecca.jamieson@dal.ca.
Time/Place:1:30 p.m., container pier parking lot, Point Pleasant Park.
Duration: Minimum 3 hours, maximum 4
Difficulty: Mostly easy walking on park trails, but some shoreline sections may be slippery and these outcrops are also tide-dependent. High tide is near noon on both days but will drop during the field trip. Wear slip-proof walking shoes or lightweight boots.

SATURDAY, JUN. 13 USING RAIN DATE SUNDAY, JUN. 14: TOUR OF ‘GRAND OAKS’
Dr. David Andrews will show us his property named ‘Grand Oaks’, with its 19 acres and 690 ft frontage on Grand Lake. His primary interest is deciduous trees and he has 25 species of oak and about 150 different species/cultivars of other deciduous trees. There is a 303-tree White Spruce maze which is maintained about seven ft tall. There are some 60 species of evergreens, 300 Rhododendrons, 30 Magnolias, and many shrubs. As well, David’s wife, Gloria, is mainly interested in perennials and is very knowledgeable about them. David wrote: “I expect we will also have a fine assortment of weeds! I look forward to a multidimensional learning experience on this walking tour.” If you wish, bring your lunch to eat at Grand Oaks.
Rain Date: Sunday, June 14th. If cancelled, a notice will be placed on www.halifaxfieldnaturalists.ca.
Contact: Grace Beazley, 902-429-6626; rbeazley@dal.ca
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m., West End Mall parking lot, across Mumford Road from St. Agnes School, where carpooling will be organised; or 10:00 a.m. at the end of the following directions.
Directions: Take Exit #5 from Hwy 102, and turn toward Fall River onto Trunk 2. About 12 km along Trunk 2, turn left onto Oakfield Park Rd., then drive 1.6 km to civic address #340 (the last property before Oakfield Park).
Duration: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

SATURDAY, JUL. 18: CHARLIE’S LAKE TRAIL
Peter Webster will lead hikers along the Charlie’s Lake trail. It is part of the Kearney Lake trail system, which is maintained by the Maskwa Aquatic Club. This is on DNR crown land and within the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. Starting from the Club parking lot, this trail offers pine forests, hardwood stands, marshy wetlands, granite plateaus and ridges, and hilltop views. It consists of two loops, one of which leads around the entire lake and then back down towards the parking lot via the second one. If you wish, bring your lunch to eat at Charlie’s Lake where there is a popular swimming hole; you may want to bring your swimwear.
Rain Date: Sunday, July 19th. If cancelled, a notice will be placed on www.halifaxfieldnaturalists.ca.
Contact: Gillian Webster, 902-453-9244; gillian.webster@eastlink.ca
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m., West End Mall parking lot, across Mumford Road from St. Agnes School, where carpooling will be organised; or 10:00 a.m. at the end of the following directions.
Directions: Take exit #2 from Hwy 102 onto Kearney Lake Rd. Turn left onto Hamshaw Drive, then right onto Saskatoon Ave. Drive to the end of this street and into the Club parking lot.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: This trail has more, and steeper, hills than ‘moderate’ hikes. It often has exposed roots, loose rocks, and mud. Hikers should be in good physical condition with some hiking experience. Solid footwear and suitable clothing is recommended.

 

SATURDAY, JULY 25: HEMLOCK HILL CONSERVATION LANDS HIKE (ST. MARY’S RIVER)
Join the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Halifax Field Naturalists for a guided hike to explore this beautiful property on the St. Mary’s River, north of Sherbrooke. Learn about the endangered species of birds and turtles that rely on this river, and experience the old growth forest and floodplain forest found on the property. This property has no trail – the hike will be moderately challenging.
Contact: Karen McKendry, 902-425-5263, Karen@nsnt.ca
Other details to follow.

SATURDAY, AUG. 22: EARTH WALK
Join us at the Adventure Earth Centre (AEC) for a walk through the beautiful woods of Sir Sandford Fleming Park and a chance to enjoy the natural beauty through unique perspectives. Explore the forest’s diverse ecology and use all of your senses during nature appreciation activities led by the youth of the AEC. Find out more about the organisation, its members, and the unique methods used to encourage the appreciation and stewardship of the environment in HRM. Please register so that we are prepared for the number of people attending. Children/grandchildren are welcome!
Rain Date: Saturday, August 29th
Contact: Molly LeBlanc, 902-403-1339; molly.e.leblanc@gmail.com
Time/Place: 1:30 p.m. at the Adventure Earth Centre (AEC), 68 Park Hill Road, Sir Sandford Fleming Park. Parking is available at the bottom of Park Hill Road, and the AEC is the small stone building halfway up Parkhill.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

WEDNESDAY, SEP. 9, 2015: NATURE CONSERVANCY OF CANADA
Nova Scotia Programme Director Craig Smith will talk about the approach to conservation planning used by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). He will provide an overview of the organisation’s conservation plans for priority regions of Nova Scotia, review NCC’s portfolio of conservation lands, and highlight key stewardship initiatives including a wetland restoration project on Brier Island. Craig will also discuss NCC’s business model, key partnerships, and future directions. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH
Please note this regular meeting is being held on Wed, not Thurs.; other regular meetings will be on first Thursday of the month as usual.

FRI./SUN., SEPT. 11-13, 2015: MELMERBY FALL WEEKEND
Stephanie and Allan Robertson will host HFN members at their two cottages adjacent to beautiful Melmerby Beach Provincial Park on the Northumberland Strait, the warmest ocean waters north of the Carolinas. There will be opportunities for swimming, beachcombing, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, hiking, birding, and star watching – all weather-dependant. This will be an informal weekend; flora/fauna knowledge may be shared by participants at any ‘on-site arranged’ walks/trips that may take place. Early morning sightings of Great Blue Heron, Snowshoe Hare, and White-tailed Deer can be expected; also Chipmunk, Red Fox, and many birds. Registration is required; there is a maximum of 12 participants for inside accommodation; there is also room for one tent and one or two camper vans. Both cottages are fully equipped, and potluck suppers and other arrangements will be finalised closer to the event. Bring sunscreen, hats, insect repellant, and clothing suitable for changeable weather and beach activities.
Rain Date: Friday-Sunday, September 18-20
Contact: Stephanie/Allan Robertson, 902-422-6326; sdhaythorn@ns.sympatico.ca.
Time/Place: Anytime after 5:00 p.m. on Friday at 27 Old Sand Road, off Hwy 289 (Little Harbour Road). Maps and directions will be provided upon registration.
Duration: A two-hour drive from Halifax; the stay will be for two days and two nights
Difficulty: Easy

THURSDAY, OCT. 1, 2015: HFN 40TH ANNIVERSARY TALK
THE ONCE AND FUTURE ATLANTIC
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. Thurston’s engagement with environmental issues dates to the late 1960s, when, as a student researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), he witnessed the wanton destruction of the George’s Bank herring stocks. Since graduating in biology from Acadia University, he has travelled from northern Labrador to Delaware Bay, on land and sea, writing about the wonders of shorebirds, seabirds, and whales in these northern waters, while chronicling the destruction of marine and terrestrial habitats and species. A long-time active conservationist, Thurston will also address what the citizen-naturalist might do to protect our natural heritage, including opposition to the ‘War on Science’. Note – Thurston will be available from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and for a half hour following his address, to sell and autograph his books.
7:30 p.m. at the Ballroom of the Ashburn Golf Club (3250 Joseph Howe Drive) (NOT our regular meeting site.)

SUNDAY OCT. 4, 2015: MARTINIQUE BEACH FIELD TRIP
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. Martinique is one of the finest beaches on the eastern shore, and consists of a long series of dunes that stabilise the beach sand and protect the game sanctuary of Martinique Beach Provincial Park from the wind and waves of the Atlantic Ocean. We will walk along the dunes and marsh areas toward Flying Point where the beach terminates, and can expect to see several species of birds, seaweeds, lichens, mushrooms, heath plants, spruce forest, and maybe mammals. Join Dr. Cunningham for this repeat of an historic HFN event. Bring drinking water and lunch.
Rain Date: No rain date.
Contact: Burkhard Plache, 902-475-1129; burkhardplache@gmail.com.
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m., at the beach parking lot. On Route 7 in the center of Musquodoboit Harbour, take the road to East Petpeswick, Martinique Beach Provincial Park, and Martinique Beach.
Duration: 4-5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

SATURDAY, OCT. 17: LICHENS & MOSSES FIELD TRIP
Frances Anderson and Anne Mills will lead a field trip to Polly’s Cove to look at interesting lichens and mosses growing in a range of habitats. Sturdy footwear is suggested. If inclement weather requires a rescheduling of the walk, it will be announced at this location.
Contact: Burkhard Plache, 902-475-1129, burkhardplache@gmail.com
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m. at Polly’s Cove: The hike will begin at a small parking spot on the south side of Hwy 333, 2.4 km east of Peggy’s Cove and 1.2 km west of West Dover. There is only limited parking along Hwy 333, so car pooling is encouraged.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

SATURDAY OCT. 24, 2015: BLANDFORD NATURE RESERVE
“Tread where the traffic does not go,” so said Callimachus, third century BCE. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit a nature reserve, the most protected land in Nova Scotia, and adjacent land protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Led by Brad Armstrong and/or Doug van Hemessen, walk through wetlands, spruce and pine old growth trees, granite outcrops, and a 500-acre Jack Pine forest, the latter being why this area is designated a nature reserve. Participants (maximum of 12, must register by October 18th) are asked to: (a) carry ample food and water, (b) wear hunters’ orange, (c) bring a change of clothes, (d) carry a GPS and extra batteries, if possible, (e) travel together in vehicles with high ground clearance from the meeting place to the walk’s start point, and (f) leave your dogs at home.
Alternate Date!: Sunday Oct. 25th. This walk will go on the day with the best weather forecast. Be prepared to go either day.
Contact: Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626; rbeazley@dal.ca.
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m. Take Exit 7 off Hwy 103 at East River, drive to carpool parking lot to meet at the intersection with Trunk 3.
Duration: 6 hours
Difficulty: This will be a challenging, difficult walk through rugged landscape mostly devoid of trails. Waterproof hiking boots or rubber boots are required; a walking stick is a good idea too!

THURSDAY, NOV. 5, 2015: BIRDS OF FLORIDA
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. The locations visited range from St. Augustine in the north, to the Everglades in the south, to Sanibel Island in the west. The images will show all of the major bird species encountered, such as herons, egrets, pelicans, spoonbills, ibis, etc., with an emphasis on habitat and behaviour. Keith will share the photographic methods and techniques used to capture the images of the birds while mating (viewer advisory!), building nests, feeding and raising young, and flying. Questions regarding technique, such as whether to use a tripod or to rely on hand-holding the camera, and how to take advantage of various lighting situations, will be explored. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 18, 2015: HFN BOOK CLUB
Both past and new members are invited to attend the Fall meeting of the HFN Book Club and the two following meetings that will be held the second Wednesdays of February and May of 2016. The group votes by consensus on books to read, and picks those relating to natural history that are available locally. For November 18th, (please note change to 3rd Wednesday) 2015, members have agreed to read a Trevor Herriot book titled The Road is How: A Prairie Pilgrimage Through Nature, Desire and Soul. There are four local library copies. Please come prepared to participate in this interesting discussion! Register to receive more information.
Contact: Gillian Webster, gillian.webster@eastlink.ca; or Brian Bartlett, bbartlett@eastlink.ca.
Time/Place: 7:00 p.m. (each venue TBA)
Duration: 1.5-2 hours

SATURDAY NOV 21: HOPE FOR WILDLIFE TOUR – CHANGED TO DEC. 5, 2015 (SEE BELOW)

THURSDAY, DEC. 3, 2015: OCEAN TRACKING NETWORK
The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a global telemetry infrastructure which documents aquatic animals, linking their movements and survival to their environmental conditions. Headquartered at Dalhousie, and funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, OTN began its acoustic telemetry programme in 2010. They operate in Australia, North America, Europe, and Africa. In 2014, the programme was initiated in South America as well. Currently, 395 international scientists from 15 countries are using it. Species tracked include vertebrates and invertebrates, ranging from White Sharks to American Lobsters. Dr. Frederick Whoriskey will introduce us to OTN’s equipment and some present results.
Holiday Social
Our annual Members’ Holiday Social will take place after the above talk. Please bring your sweets or savouries and non-alcoholic beverages to the usual meeting area. Please note – there are no facilities for heating food!
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, DEC. 5, 2015: HOPE FOR WILDLIFE TOUR
Exciting things are happening at Hope for Wildlife (HFW), including the-soon-to-be-opened and much needed new facility. Come for a tour of the new building and grounds and experience the excitement! A tour guide will introduce several animals that are permanent residents and perhaps some in rehabilitation; explain how injured wild animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild; describe the need for education about wildlife conservation and habitat protection; and mention research that is being done regarding conservation and management of wildlife resources. Up to 25 participants can be accommodated; registration is required. Dress for outside weather!
Contact: Bobbie Wilson, 902-829-3613, bobbiewilson@eastlink.ca.
Time/Place: 11:00 a.m. at 5909 Highway 207, Seaforth (about 30 minutes outside Dartmouth, see www.hopeforwildlife.ca and select the ‘Visit HFW tab’ for details). Park in the space near the HFW sign on Hwy 207 and walk up the lane.

THURSDAY, JAN. 7, 2016: MID-CENTURY ARCTIC RESEARCH
Drawing from his 12-year experience in Nunavut, HFN member Dr. Ian McLaren will give an illustrated talk about his adventures and research during the 1950s-early 60s. He will focus on his last voyage in southern Hudson Bay, and a sojourn on Belcher Islands, where he conducted research on marine plankton and seals, and enjoyed nature and Inuit culture. Currently professor emeritus at Dalhousie University, Dr. McLaren is an expert on population and evolutionary biology, and is an avid bird watcher and author of All the Birds of Nova Scotia, (2012). 7:30 P.M. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, JAN. 9: ANNUAL SEWER STROLL
Led by HFNer and Nova Scotia Bird Society member Clarence Stevens, HFN and NSBS will visit favourite birding sites in and around Halifax Harbour looking for ducks, gulls, alcids, etc. at Hartlens Point, Eastern Passage, Dartmouth Cove, Sullivan’s Pond, Tuft’s Cove, and the Bedford Waterfront. If weather conditions are favourable and time permits, Point Pleasant Park and possibly Herring Cove will be visited. Dress warmly and bring a lunch, binoculars and/or telescope, and field guides.
Rain Date: Sunday, January 10th
Contact: Carol Klar, 902-443-3385, cklar@bellaliant.net; or Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca.
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m. at McCormack’s Beach Provincial Park parking lot, just past Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage.
Duration: Until mid-to-late afternoon
Difficulty: Easy

TUESDAY, JAN. 19, 2016: TOUR A WATER SUPPLY PLANT
Halifax Water operates Lake Major Water Supply Plant, as well as two others. Customers living in Dartmouth, Eastern Passage, Westphal, and Cole Harbour receive their water from this plant. All of the plants are operated by certified water treatment plant operators, produce water that meets or exceeds the requirements of the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, and have the capacity to supply their communities for many years of growth and expansion. Lake Major Water Supply Plant Supervisor Colin Waddell will conduct the tour. Only 16 participants can be accommodated, so registration is required. All participants are to congregate as one group at the main gate before admittance.
Storm Date: Thursday, January 21st
Contact: Burkhard Plache, 902-475-1129, burkhardplache@gmail.com.
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m. at 341 Cherry Brook Road, Dartmouth
Duration: 60-90 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

THURSDAY, FEB. 4: THE YOUNG NATURALISTS CLUB
The Young Naturalists Club (YNC) will be heading into its tenth year of programming in 2016. Across Nova Scotia, there are currently five operating YNC Chapters – in Berwick, Halifax, New Glasgow, Sydney, and Wolfville. YNC Coordinator Robin Musselman will give an overview of how the Club approaches its programming, its activities over the years, and its activities planned for the future. She will share the challenges faced, the lessons learned, opportunities for the future, and how HFN can support and get involved with the YNC. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10: HFN BOOK CLUB
HFN members are invited to attend the next meeting of the Book Club which will be held on February 10th. The group votes by consensus on books to read, and picks those relating to natural history that are available locally. February’s book is Soren Bondrup-Nielsen’s A Sound like Water Dripping: In Search of the Boreal Owl. Bondrup-Neilsen is a Canadian author and Gaspereau Press published this one in 2009. Please come prepared to participate in this interesting discussion! Register to receive more information.
Contact: Gillian Webster, gillian.webster@eastlink.ca.
Time/Place: 7:30 p.m. – venue TBA
Duration: 2 hours

SUNDAY, FEB. 21: SEAPORT FARMERS’ MARKET
In June of 1750, a year after Halifax’s founding, the Halifax Farmers’ Market was sited at the corner of George and Hollis Streets where the present Bank of Montreal now stands. For years it was vendor-managed and sold produce and livestock delivered from local farms. The market has operated in a number of different locations, ending up in Keith’s Brewery Market on Lower Water Street. In 2010 the vendors split up – with the still vendor-managed ‘Old Halifax Farmers Market’ staying on Lower Water Street – and the ‘Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market’ (now managed by the Federal Crown Corporation’s Halifax Port Authority) re-sited to a reconverted Pier 20 on Terminal Road. They are the longest continuously running markets in North America and proudly host over 250 vendors! Join us at the Seaport Market site to learn more about its history and its beautiful and unique architecture. Up to 40 participants can be accommodated; registration is required.
Contact: Molly LeBlanc, 902-403-1339, molly.e.leblanc@gmail.com.
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m. at the south-end Information Desk by Noggins’ fruit and vegetable stand, 1209 Marginal Road.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy/moderate

THURSDAY, MAR. 3: AGM/MEMBERS’ PHOTO NIGHT
The Annual General Meeting takes place first. It includes reports of HFN business and activities over the past 12 months, and also the election of the next Board of Directors. Then it is ‘show time’ for viewing and hearing about a wide variety of members’ photos. If you are an HFN member and would like to share favorite 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 would like to do so, please contact Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca by February 25th in order to arrange delivery of your digital photos.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

WEDNESDAY, MAR. 30: PROVINCE HOUSE TOUR
Join Dr. Howard Donohoe, retired DNR geologist, for a special tour of Province House – its basement, floors, and grounds. This interpretive walk will highlight the rocks, minerals, and structures of Province House and adjacent buildings. You will learn about the geological history of part of Nova Scotia, and 19th century building practices. This event is sponsored with the cooperation of the Office of the Speaker, House of Assembly.
Rain Date: This event takes place rain or shine.
Contact: Grace Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca
Time/Place: 7:00 p.m. at the Hollis Street entrance of Province House, Halifax
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
Difficulty: Walking is easy; there are some stairs.

THURSDAY, APR. 7: MBA FINAL REPORT
The citizen science project The Maritimes Butterfly Atlas (MBA) was launched in 2010 and ended last fall. Its purpose was to produce a snapshot of today’s butterfly populations and also to provide baseline data for the future. Its findings will be used to inform conservation decisions, especially the identification of species and habitats that are at risk. MBA Director John Klymko will discuss project highlights, including new records and insights into the conservation status of our Nova Scotia butterflies. He will also provide an update on what’s next for the project. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, APR. 16: PIGGY MOUNTAIN HIKE
Piggy Mountain is a large granite outcrop in the Purcell’s Cove Backlands. It is covered with the skeletons of Jack Pines that burned in the fire of 2009; now a new generation of Jack Pines is already producing cones. On the walk to the top, HFN member David Patriquin will talk about the post-fire successional sequence, and how it is influenced by local habitat conditions. Both the walk to and the view from the top offer spectacular vistas of these backlands. Only 25 participants can be accommodated, so registration is required.
Rain Date: Sunday, April 17th
Contact: Gillian Webster, 902-453-9244, gillian.webster@eastlink.ca.
Time/Place: 1:30 p.m. at York Reboubt. From Halifax, on Route 253 (Purcells Cove Road), turn left onto Ferguson’s
Cove Road, then right into the historic site’s parking lot.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

SAT./SUN. APR. 23/24: PICTOU CO. WATERFALL TRIP
Richard and Grace Beazley are excited to present their tenth waterfall trip, this one a weekend outing with an overnight stay in the historic Town of Pictou. Participants can expect to see at least eight waterfalls, walk wooded trails, scramble into and out of ravines, and view panoramic rural scenes. Dress for late April weather, and bring lunches, snacks, and drinking water. Waterproof hiking boots and hiking sticks are recommended. Only 16 participants can be accommodated, so registration is required. Information re meeting time/place, accommodations, car pooling, and weather delays will be emailed to registered participants.
Storm Date: April 30/May 1st
Contact: Richard Beazley, 902-429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca.
Duration: Two full days
Difficulty: Easy to difficult

THURSDAY, MAY 5: MYSTERIOUS EASTER ISLAND
Easter Island, now known as Rapa Nui, is the most remote inhabited land in the world. It is part of Chile but lies in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 3,800 km west of mainland Chile. Pitcairn Island, the closest inhabited Polynesian island, lies 2,000 km to the west. Rapa Nui has a most mysterious civilization. One can only speculate about the origin and purpose of the approximately 900 Moai (giant stone heads) that dot the Island. Based on her travels to Rapa Nui in 2015, in her photographic presentation HFN member Barbara O’Shea will discuss some of the mystery surrounding the island, along with a few current theories used to explain and understand the history of Rapa Nui and its moai. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11: HFN BOOK CLUB
Both past and new HFN members are invited to attend the Spring meeting of the Book Club to be held Wednesday, May 11th. The group votes by consensus on books to read, and picks those relating to natural history that are available locally. A title has as yet not been chosen for May 11th. A selection will be made by March 31st and notification of the choice will be circulated to those planning to attend. Please come prepared to participate in this interesting discussion! Register for more information.
Contact: Gillian Webster, gillian.webster@eastlink.ca.
Time/Place: 7:00 p.m. Venue to be announced.
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

THURSDAY, MAY 12: BELCHER’S MARSH PARK WALK
Belcher’s Marsh Park is a suburban Halifax park located in Clayton Park West. HFN member Bob McDonald will lead an evening walk to explore its woodlands and wetlands along a winding 2.5 km trail around the ponds and along the stream that connects them. This marsh is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including dragonflies, flowers, and birds as well as the local deer population. (A family of River Otters was seen here in 2015!) Bring binoculars if you have a pair.
Rain Date: Sunday, May 15th at 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Bob McDonald, 443-5051, bobathome83@gmail.com.
Time/Place: 6:00 p.m., Thursday at the corner of Langbrae and Parkland Drives. Street parking is close by. Metro Transit #4, #16, or #89 stops nearby but please check the bus schedules.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate walking on a woodland trail with some slopes.

SATURDAY MAY 28: GASPEREAU VALLEY
When Europeans arrived in Nova Scotia, over half of the province was covered in old-growth Acadian forest, a distinct mixture of very large old trees. Today, less than 1% remains. We’ll wander through an area in the Gaspereau Valley covered by typical old Acadian forest, through the cathedral stand of Hemlocks, Red Spruce, Yellow Birch, maples, oaks, and ash. We’ll examine how this forest type maintains itself and the animals and plants which it supports. Our hike will be led by Soren Bondrup-Neilsen, a professor in the biology department at Acadia University. Soren is passionate about the environment and has written several books on this topic. Registration is required. Please bring your lunch as we will have time to eat along the way, and please, no dogs!
Rain Date: Sunday, May 29th
Contact: Elliott Hayes, 835-9819, ehayes@ns.sympatico.ca.
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m., Wolfville Waterfront Park. At the stop sign on Main Street, beside Tim Horton’s, turn toward the water front and the park, which is about 50 metres away.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Possible wet areas.
Duration: 3 hours.

THURSDAY, JUN. 2: NOT ALL ROCKS ARE GRANITE
Contrary to popular belief, not all rocks are granite. Rocks get their official names from a combination of the minerals they contain (mineral assemblage) and the ways in which those minerals aggregate together (texture). Over 1,000 official rock names exist; strictly speaking, only one of them is ‘granite’! Geologist and HFN member, Dr. Barrie Clarke, who last year solved the great Titanic headstone mystery, will now tell us what granite really is, how and where it forms, and why it is important in terms of soil and plant life, mineral deposits, plate tectonics, evolution of the continental crust, and the very existence of Nova Scotia. This introduction to granite will serve as background preparation for our follow-up field trip on June 4th to the largest body of granite in eastern North America (see below). 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, JUN. 4: PEGGY’S COVE FIELD EXCURSION
The geology of southern Nova Scotia is very simple. It consists of 500 million-year-old metamorphosed sedimentary rocks intruded by 375 million-year-old granites. We’ll make three stops: (1) out in the old metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, where we will see sedimentary bedding and evidence of continental collision; (2) right at the boundary/contact between the old metamorphosed sedimentary rocks and the granite, where we will discuss how space is made in the crust for 100,000 km3 of granite; and (3) deep in the interior of the granite intrusion at the iconic-but-not-just-a-lighthouse Peggy’s Cove, where we will see many amazing features of granites. Dress for early June weather, and bring food and water. Sturdy footwear and insect repellant are recommended. A maximum of 25 persons can be accommodated; registration is required.
Rain Date: Sunday, June 5th. Participants will be emailed about any changes by 8:00 a.m. Saturday or Sunday.
Contact: Grace Beazley, 429-6626, rbeazley@dal.ca.
Time/Place: 9:30 a.m., Halifax West High School parking lot, 283 Thomas Raddall Dr., near the Canada Games Centre, where carpooling will be considered.
Duration: About 3 hours, followed by an optional lunch at the Sou’wester Restaurant.
Difficulty: Easy to moderately difficult scrambling on the rocky headland at Peggy’s Cove.

SUNDAY, JUN. 12: URBAN FOREST WALKABOUT
In September 2012, HRM adopted its first urban forest master plan, developed jointly by HRM and Dalhousie University. Professor of Resource and Environmental Studies Dr. Peter Duinker led the Dalhousie team which helped produce it. Among the plan’s many projects are expanded programs of street-tree planting and pruning across the city, and increased efforts to help HRM citizens understand more about trees in urban locations. To that end, Peter is delighted to lead city walkabouts to observe and discuss tree issues. Participants will stroll the streets of Schmidtville and nearby neighbourhoods, and reflect on the challenges and opportunities of growing trees among city buildings. Peter gets excited any time there is an opportunity to be outdoors chatting with Haligonians about their urban forest, so much so, that the walk will happen rain or shine!
Contact: Molly LeBlanc, 403-1339, molly.e.leblanc@gmail.com.
Time/Place: 2:30 p.m. at the Front plaza, Halifax Central Library (Queen St. and Spring Garden Rd).
Duration: 2 hours

SUNDAY, JUL. 10, 2016: ADMIRAL LAKE/SKULL ROCK– POSTPONED TO SUNDAY JULY 17TH
Peter Webster will lead this strenuous hike on the scenic Admiral Lake and Skull Rock trails. Part of the Musquodoboit Trailway, it is also a section of the Trans Canada Trail. We’ll follow the trail, then climb steeply up to the granite upland overlooking the Musquodoboit River Valley. We’ll explore the forests and rock barrens in the area, and enjoy great views of the river valley and Ship Harbour/Long Lake Wilderness Area. Bring water, lunch, and insect repellent. Solid footwear and suitable clothing is recommended. Carpooling is encouraged. If you can provide, or need a drive, please let Peter know one week in advance.
Rain Date: Sunday, July 17th. If cancelled, a notice will be placed on www.halifaxfieldnaturalists.ca.
Contact: Peter Webster, 453-9244, pwebster@eastlink.ca.
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m. at the Musquodoboit Trailway parking lot on Park Road. In Musquodoboit Harbour, just west of the Railroad Museum and Tourist Bureau, turn off of Trunk 7 onto Route 357 and drive to Park Road. Turn right and proceed to the Trailhead parking lot on your left.
Difficulty: Parts of this hike are steep and difficult; with loose rock, brush, exposed roots, and possible wet areas. Hikers should be in good physical condition with hiking experience. See above re boots and clothing.
Duration: 5 hours

SUNDAY, JUL. 24, 2016: PURCELL’S COVE CONSERVATION LANDS HIKE
(NSNT-HFN Partnership Event)
Discover the fascinating ecology of Jack Pine barrens, right in Halifax. At our Purcells Cove Conservation Lands, naturalist David Patriquin will share his knowledge of the fire adapted organisms of the Herring Cove Backlands. This property has a hiking trail that is moderately challenging – please wear appropriate footwear. Bring water, food, and sun protection.
Registration required: Participants must register with NSNT prior to the event.
Contact: Karen McKendry, Conservation Coordinator, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, 902-425-5263
Time/place: 1-4pm. Exact details of where to meet will be shared with registered participants only.
Difficulty: Moderately challenging
Duration: 3 hours


THURSDAY, AUG. 4, 2016: HALIFAX PUBLIC GARDENS TOUR

The Halifax Public Gardens is the finest surviving example of a Victorian Garden in North America. Started on common land in 1836 the gardens has been enjoyed by the community and tourists from around the world for generations. Join Serena Graham-Dwyer a long-time gardener and graduate of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College as well as a visitor to gardens around the world for an evening tour of the Halifax Public Gardens. This delightful tour will reveal the chronological development of the garden over the past century and a half beginning with the Nova Scotia Horticultural Society Garden up to the present day footprint. Registration is required with a limit of 20 participants. Serena does lead a Wednesday morning Garden Tour every week during the summer.
Contact: Carol Klar, 902 443 3385, cklar@bellaliant.net
Time/Place 6.15pm at the fountain by the Uncommon Grounds Cafe
Duration: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy

SATURDAY, AUG. 27, 2016: McNABS ISLAND
**As of now [Aug 10], McNabs Island is closed (due to fire threat) with no access to the beaches, unless you have a DNR permit. If the closure remains in effect by August 28th, the HFN tour may be affected. Participants will be notified if the tour is cancelled, although we are hopeful that this will not be the case!**
Enjoy a ride across the Halifax harbour to McNabs Island, a provincial park since 2002. The Island has numerous hiking trails, historical sites, stunning views of mainland Halifax, wildlife, and natural beauty. Friends of McNabs guides, Brian and Cathy Phelan, will lead us on a tour that will include the site of the Victorian Gardens where several hundred species were planted in the 1880s and many still grow. The tour will also include a hike up Jenkins Hill trail to the highest point on the island. We will walk through an Acadian Forest and at the top get a close up look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Juan from 2003 and how nature has started her own process of remediation. We will have a picnic lunch and depart at 3pm for Halifax and Dartmouth. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, insect repellant, and walking shoes.
Registration Required: Only 12 participants can be accommodated. Pre-payment of $22 required.
Rain Date: Sunday August 28th. (If both dates cancelled, money will be refunded).
Contact: Denyse Contrasty, 478-1706, dcontrasty@yahoo.com
Time/Place: Depart Water Taxi, 10 :30am, Halifax waterfront (6 people max) OR Depart Water Taxi, 10:30am, King’s Wharf Dartmouth (6 people max).
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Duration: 4 hours

THURSDAY, SEPT. 1, 2016: WETLANDS TALK WITH KRISTA HILCHEY
Wetlands are an an amazingly diverse and active ecosystem, where water, air and soil all meet. Wade into the Nova Scotia Wetland Policy with Nova Scotia Environment Wetland Specialist, Krista Hilchey. This presentation will cover the rich variety of wetland types in Nova Scotia, and the values and functions they provide. We will also discuss the legislation and regulations that protect Nova Scotia’s wetlands. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH.


FRIDAY to SUNDAY, SEPT. 9-11, 2016: MELMERBY FALL WEEKEND

Stephanie and Allan Robertson will host HFN members at their two cottages adjacent to beautiful Melmerby Beach Provincial Park on the Northumberland Strait, the warmest ocean waters north of the Carolinas. There will be opportunities for swimming, beachcombing, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, hiking, birding, and star watching – all weather-dependant. This will be an informal weekend; flora/fauna knowledge may be shared by participants at any ‘on-site arranged’ walks/trips that take place. Early morning sightings of Great Blue Heron, Snowshoe Hare, and White-tailed Deer can be expected; also Chipmunk, Red Fox, Gopher, and many birds. Registration is required; there is a maximum of 12 participants for inside accommodation in beds; couches are also available. There is also room for one tent and one or two camper vans. Both cottages are fully equipped, and potluck suppers and other angements will be finalised closer to the event. Bring sunscreen, hats, insect repellant, and clothing suitable for changing weather and beach activities.
Rain Date: Friday-Sunday, September 16-18
Contact: Stephanie/Allan Robertson, 902-422-6326, sdhaythorn@ns.sympatico.ca.
Time/Place: Anytime after 5:00 p.m. on Friday at 27 Old Sand Road, off Hwy 289 (Little Harbour Road). Maps and directions will be provided upon registration.
Duration: A two-hour drive from Halifax; the stay will be for two days and two nights.
Difficulty: Easy

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24, 2016: BLUFF TRAIL HIKE
David Patriquin and Richmond Campbell will lead a walk along the Pot Lake Loop of the Bluff Trail, stopping to enjoy and discuss the diverse habitats along the way. The trail includes lakeside wetlands, wet spruce forest, mixed Acadian forest, oak forest and broom crowberry barrens. We will have lunch under 100+ year-old red spruce trees above Pot Lake. At that point, participants will have the option of returning (total time 1.5- 2 hours), while others will complete the whole loop (3-4 hours with stops).
Rain date: Sunday, September 25th
Contact: Dave Patriquin, 902-423-5716, patriqui@dal.ca
Time/place: 10 am at the trail car park off Hwy 3, Timberlea. Go along highway 103 from Halifax and take exit 4 (Timberlea). At the end of the exit ramp, turn right back towards Halifax and go about 2 Km until you see the trail head parking area on the right. The car park connects to the rails-to-trails Beachville Lakeside Timberlea trail; proceed west on the RTR until you see the Bluff Trail trailhead on the left where the walk will start. You can also take a bus – see https://wrweo.ca/wp/the-bluff-trail/getting-there/ for more details.
Duration: 2 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

THURSDAY, OCT. 6, 2016: DETECTING FISHING VESSEL BEHAVIOUR FROM SPACE
The ocean is the least observed part of our planet, and in a time of overexploitation of fish stocks and changing climate, this poses a problem. Fishing vessels seem to disappear behind the horizon until they magically reappear at another port, but what is happening while they are at sea? There is an emerging global movement to protect larger areas of the ocean, but how do we monitor what human activities are happening in and around these protected areas? This talk will explore the relationship between global fisheries and Large Marine Protected Areas (LMPA). Kristina Boerder, a PhD student from Dalhousie University will tell us about her work, where she is making movements of fishing vessels visible (even when they are out of sight!) using satellite technology in ecologically important areas of our world’s oceans.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH.

SATURDAY, OCT. 15, 2016: LAWRENCETOWN BEACH WALK
The beach marks the interface between land and sea. It is dynamic and ever changing in shape and mood during short burst of waves or over thousands of years. Bob Taylor, a retired coastal geologist with the Geological Survey of Canada, has monitored beach changes in Nova Scotia since the late 1970s. He will reveal how different shorelines adjust naturally to changing environmental conditions and some of their defensive mechanisms to wave and human attack. He will also discuss how different parts of a shoreline are physically connected and how changes along one part impact another. Lawrencetown Beach has been well studied by area scientists and used as a model to describe how glaciated shores have evolved. He will demonstrate which beach changes are important to look for and understand when assessing whether a shoreline is deteriorating or merely shifting its position. A beach walk should be fun and interactive and he is open to answering queries about other shorelines that participants know and love. A beach is merely a collection of material. If beach pebbles could talk, they might reveal to participants where they came from and where they are headed in the near future.
Registration Required: Please call or email to register; only 20 spots available.
Rain Date: Sunday October 16th
Contact: Susan Moxon,902 461 1303, samoxon77@gmail.com
Time/Place: 1:00 PM at Canteen and park office on Lawrencetown Beach
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Difficulty: Walking is easy but may include traversing pebble cobble so good footwear is advisable.

THURSDAY, NOV. 3 : ERICACEOUS NOVA SCOTIA
A Colin Stewart Conservation Award Lecture. Nova Scotia is a special place for members of the heath/heather family Ericaceae. The Mayflower, or Trailing Arbutus, is our provincial flower, and blueberries are our top agricultural export; both are ericacias. Ericaceous species dominate our many bogs, fens, and barrens. We associate the fresh air of spring with three other ericacias – the azaleas and rhododendrons in our gardens, many of them varieties which were developed in Nova Scotia; and our native Rhodora in our acidic wetlands, surely the most beautiful azalea of all. In this presentation, David Patriquin will talk about the occurrence of ericaceous species on our landscape, their ecology and their history, both recent and ancient. 7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, NOV. 19: SHUBENACADIE WILDLIFE PARK
Dusk is a busy time of day for Nova Scotia’s wildlife, particularly in autumn when the sun sets early and they need to gather food and find warm shelter to prepare for the long winter. Come get an up-close view of over 50 species of animals and birds. Operated by the Department of Natural Resources, beautiful Shubenacadie Wildlife Park has been a refuge for animals for over 60 years. An experienced Nature Interpreter will take us on a tour through the park sharing lots of ‘wild’ facts and answering all of your questions. Bring your camera, a flashlight, and dress for the weather with comfortable walking shoes. Registration is required; a minimum of 10 participants is needed or the walk will be cancelled. Shubie Wildlife Park charges a fee of $10 per person. There will be no rain date.
Contact: Denyse Contrasty, 902-478-1706, dcontrasty@yahoo.com
Time/Place: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Carpooling will be organised to leave from Halifax.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Duration: 2 hours

THURSDAY, DEC. 1: ‘A’ IS FOR ADVENTURE
‘A’ for Adventure is a company which aims to inspire people to get outside and explore the natural world around them. It all started with a children’s book titled “A is for Adventure”; a rhyming A-Z book with incredible illustrations which ignite the imagination and encourage outdoor play. The authors believe that spending more time outside connecting with nature helps to build greater curiosity, creativity, and resiliency – for people of all ages. The ‘A’ for Adventure team will discuss their path to self-publishing the book through a kickstarter campaign, their strategic partnerships with organisations like Parks Canada and CBC, and how they used social media to invoke change. They will be bringing copies of their book ‘A is for Adventure’ in case anyone would like to purchase one as a holiday present for the young nature lovers in their lives!
Holiday Social
Our annual Members’ Holiday Social will take place after the above talk. Please bring your sweets or savouries and non-alcoholic beverages to the usual meeting area. A subscription to the Halifax Field Naturalist would make a good holiday gift; bring your money or a cheque. Please note – there are no facilities for heating food.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

Field Trip to  Cheverie Creek Saltmarsh, Nov. 16, 2013,
Click on photo for larger version

THURSDAY, JAN. 5, 2016: THE WOLF AT THE DOOR
Over the last 20 or 30 years, much has been said about the Canadian seal hunt. But, what do we really know about this much-maligned harvest and the men who risked their lives “going to the ice”? In this lively, illustrated presentation, award-winning author Bob Chaulk talks about the historic seal hunt during the period of the ‘wooden walls’, after the steamships SS Bloodhound and SS Wolf brought wholesale change to an old industry, beginning in 1863. Bob tells about the dangerous and desperate lives of the men – young, ill-clad, brave and cheery men of iron who pursued the seals, and the ships which carried them, too often, to their deaths. Many of the ships figure prominently in the Arctic and Antarctic exploration activities of men like Shackleton, Scott, and Nansen. One of them even became the logo for a chain of popular boutiques!
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, JAN. 14: ANNUAL SEWER STROLL
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 scope and field guides.
Storm Date: January 15
Contact: Carol Klar, 902 443 3385, cklar@bellaliant.net
Time/Place: 9:00 a.m., McCormack’s Beach Provincial Park parking lot, just past Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage.
Duration: Until mid to late afternoon
Difficulty: Easy to moderate

THURSDAY. FEB. 2, 2017: CANADA COAST to COAST …
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

TUESDAY, FEB. 21, 2017: NSCC WATERFRONT CAMPUS
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, cklar@bellaliant.net
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

MAR. 2, 2017″ AGM/HFN MEMBERS PHOTO NIGHT THURSDAY
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, rbeazley@dal.ca, by February 25th in order to arrange delivery of your digital photos.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

SATURDAY, MAR. 25, 2017: COLE HARBOUR HERITAGE PARK
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 http://www.chpta.org/p/heritage-park.html.
Storm Date: Sunday, March 26
Contacts: Jonathan Davies, 464-1466, daviesjf@gmail.com, or Carol Klar, 443-3385, cklar@bellaliant.net.
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 unimproved trails with rocks and tree roots.
Duration: 2-3 hours

THURSDAY, APR. 6, 2017: ANTARCTIC VOYAGE
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

Saturday, April 29, 2017: Cole Harbour Farm
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

Thursday, May 4, 2017: Jellyfish
“Have you seen these jellyfish?” The Leatherback sea turtle is recognised as an endangered species in Canada. A seasonal aggregation of leatherbacks can be found annually off the coast of Nova Scotia, from late June, until they depart for tropical breeding grounds in the fall. Leatherbacks make the annual migrations to Atlantic Canadian waters primarily to feed on jellyfish – however there are currently many basic knowledge gaps regarding jellyfish in Atlantic Canada, including simple questions such as when and where they show up, how long they persist, and what is driving these patterns. Bethany Nordstrom will discuss the multi-method approach to solving this problem, including results from citizen science surveys, collaborations with other organizations, and failures and successes in the field. She’ll conclude with what the future looks like for both the jellyfish and the charismatic Leatherbacks.
7:30 p.m. at the NSMNH

Saturday May 13, 2017: Horse Pasture Brook Falls
Led by Barry Burgess, this is a ‘Members Only’ HFN walk to Horse Pasture Brook Falls at Wentworth. The Horse Pasture Brook has four or five falls within a few hundred-metres stretch. The hike into the falls should take about 20 minutes. Bring lunch and waterproof footwear. Crossing a stream may be required.
Contact: Susan Moxon, 902-461-1303, samoxon77@gmail.com
Time/Place: 10:00 a.m. at the Wentworth Provincial Park car park, intersection of Valley Road and Hwy 4. Drive to Truro via Hwy 102, then take Hwy 104 via Exit 15W (going west). From Hwy 104 take Exit 11 onto Hwy 4 going north towards Wentworth. Pass Folly Lake on the right, then the ski hill also on the right. Shortly afterwards you should see the Prov. Park sign on the left just before the intersection of Hwy 4 with Hwy 246. (From Truro to the Provincial park is about 50 km.) The Park may still be closed (official opening day for all N.S. Parks is May 20th), so the park gate may not be open. We will gather close to the park gate. Limit of 20; HFN members only – registration required.
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Thursday June 1, 2017: Forestry in Nova Scotia
“What’s Happening to Nova Scotia Forests?”, asks wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft. Many natural Acadian forest trees can live for centuries, but in the twenty-five years leading up to 2014, 42% of the operable forests in Nova Scotia had been clearcut. Clearcuts are the quickest way for companies to make short-term profits. Clearcutting results in long-term degradation of forest soils, waterways, and diminishing prospects for regenerating forests. For decades the forest industry, with government assistance and the public purse, has been converting complex Acadian forests to boreal-style, simplified forests for fibre production. No valid scientific rationale for doing this exists. Corporate greed is involved. Successive provincial governments of all political stripes have failed to manage public lands in the public interest. Harvests are now re-occurring in anywhere from 20- to 55-year cycles. Wildlife populations and nature have deteriorated along with these degraded NS forests. Bob Bancroft’s talk will be illustrated with satellite images, and there will be ample discussion time.
7:30pm at the NSMNH

Sunday, June 4, 2017: Native Bees of Nova Scotia
Canada. As excellent pollinators, over 200 species of bees native to Nova Scotia fill an important ecological role pollinating wild plants and agricultural crops such as apples and blueberries. In Nova Scotia heathlands, bees are important pollinators of the berry-producing plants that feed wildlife. In this talk at Saint Mary’s University, Emily Walker will introduce you to some of the diverse native bee pollinators which live in our provincial heathlands, along with the plants which rely on them to set their fruit. She will also discuss some of the unique challenges bees face in this harsh environment. Emily is currently a research associate at Saint Mary’s University working with Dr. Jeremy Lundholm in the Ecology of Plants in the Communities Lab. Registration is required. Contact Keith Vaughan, k.vaughan@ns.sympatico.ca. This talk is a partnership event between HFN and the SMU Faculty Retirees Association (SMURA). Enter the McNally building from the front entrance on Robie Street and then follow the signs.
McNally Main Bldg, Room 201, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday June 6, 2017: Bayer’s Lake Woodland Trail
Join HFN and NSWFS (the N.S. Wild Flora Society) for a late spring walk in Bayer’s Lake on this hidden treasure of a trail often overlooked in the middle of a busy industrial park. Long-time member and past president of NSWFS Heather Marchione will identify woodland plants and lakeshore shrubs for us. Please bring along field guides and binoculars. There is a limit of 10 participants so register early.
Rain Date: Thursday, June 8
Contact: Carol Klar, cklar@bellaliant.net, or 443-3385.
Time/place: 2:00 p.m. at the trailhead across from Clark’s Transport, 68 Horseshoe Lake Drive, Bayer’s Lake Industrial Park. Cars may have to park at Access Nova Scotia, as the trailhead parking is limited to three or four cars.
Duration: 1 and 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

AN EVENING STROLL IN THE HALIFAX PUBLIC GARDENS TUES, AUGUST 1st
Join seasoned gardener Sheldon Harper (some of you may remember Sheldon’s excellent tour for HFN over 20 years ago) as he wanders and narrates the tree lined curved paths of mature trees, shrub beds, extensive floral displays of annuals, perennials, roses, dahlias, ferns, tropicals, succulents, and even cactus. As well we’ll hear historical facts on statuary and gates. Have your gardening questions ready for Sheldon! Limited to 20 participants; registration is required.
Rain date:  Wed August 2
Contact: Carol Klar  cklar@bellaliant.net  Phone 443 3385
Time/Place  6pm @ the Main Gates corner of South Park St. and Spring Garden Rd.
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours until closing
Difficulty: Easy

iNATURALIST WORKSHOP Tuesday, Aug. 15
iNaturalist is web-based tool for logging your natural history observations, and this will be used for the upcoming Canada 150 BioBlitz in September. This workshop will teach how the global community can help you identify the organisms around you. It will be in two parts; the first hour will be a classroom session where you will learn to set up an account, to make an observation, to join projects, and also to learn about the different roles in iNaturalist. Next, we’ll walk down to the small park at Oxford and South Streets to see what we can find and record. Participants are welcome to come to any part of the day. Meet at the entrance to the Wallace McCain Learning Commons at Dalhousie, or at the corner of South and Oxford St./Beaufort Ave. There is metred parking at Dalhousie and limited on-street parking. Please bring a smartphone or a tablet if possible.
Contact: Molly LeBlanc, molly.e.leblanc@gmail.com, 902-403-1339.
Time/Place: 6:00 p.m. at the main entrance of the Wallace McCain Learning Commons, Dalhousie University.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

COLD CRITTERS: HOW INSECTS SURVIVE THE WINTER! THURS, SEPTEMBER 7th
Surviving Canadian winters is hard enough with indoor heating – but for many creatures, like insects, cold temperatures mean cold bodies.  So, when it’s -20 C, how can these animals possibly survive this reading on the thermometer? Dr. Laura Ferguson will walk us through how insects survive the winter, from creating their own antifreezes to “re-animation” from a frozen state. Join us to learn more about how your favourite six-legged critters manage to keep coming back, spring after spring! 7:30 pm at the NSMNH

MELMERBY WEEKEND Fri. to Sun., Sept. 8-10
The Robertsons will host an HFN members only potluck at their cottages on the Northumberland Strait, the warmest waters north of the Carolinas, for swimming, beachcombing, canoeing/kayaking, hiking, birding, and star gazing. An ‘informal weekend’, flora/fauna knowledge will be shared by participants on ad hoc walks/trips. For early risers, Great Blue Heron, Snowshoe Hare, and White-tailed Deer can be expected; also Chipmunk, Red Fox, Gopher, and many birds. Registration is required; 12 only for inside accommodation; there’s also room for one tent OR one camper van. Bring sunscreen, hats, insect repellant, and clothing suitable for changeable seaside weather.
Rain Date: Friday to Sunday, September 15-17
Contact: Stephanie Robertson, 422-6326, sdhaythorn@ns.sympatico.ca.
Time/Place: Anytime after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 27 Old Sand Road, off Hwy 289 (Little Harbour Road). A two-hour drive from Halifax, maps, more detailed directions, and other necessary information will be provided upon registration.
Duration: Two days and two nights.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending upon trip sites

150 BIOBLITZ SAT, SEPTEMBER 16th  
In conjunction with the Ecology Action Centre & the Canadian Wildlife Federation, please join us for Bioblitz Canada 150! A BioBlitz is an effort to record all living species within a designated area over a short time period. We will meet at 9:00am on Saturday, Sept. 16th in the parking lot (off Tower Road) to help identify and inventory the flora and fauna in Halifax’s own Point Pleasant Park. No need to be an expert, there will opportunities for people with all backgrounds to participate. This is a great opportunity to become a “citizen scientist” and work alongside conservationists and specialists in a national inventory of Canadian Species! Registration required!
Rain Date: none.
Contact: Bethany Nordstrom, (506) 260-1197, bethany.nordstrom@dal.ca
Time/Place: 9:00 am to 3:00pm- Point Pleasant Park (Meet in parking lot off Tower Road) 
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Duration: An all-day event (you don’t have to stay for the whole day)

NOW FULL! SHUBENACADIE WILDLIFE PARK SUNSET TOUR SAT, SEPTEMBER 23rd
Dusk is a busy time of day for Nova Scotia’s wildlife, particularly in autumn when the sun sets early and they need to gather food and find warm shelter to prepare for the long winter. Come get an up-close view of over 50 species of animals and birds. The beautiful Shubenacadie Wildlife Park has been a refuge for animals for over 60 years, operated by the Department of Natural Resources. An experienced Nature Interpreter will take you on a tour through the park sharing lots of “wild” facts and answering all of your questions. Bring your camera, a flashlight, and dress for the weather with comfortable walking shoes. Registration Required: A minimum of 10 participants is required or the walk will be cancelled.  Shubie Wildlife Park is charging a fee of $10 per person for 10 participants and the price will go down the more participants there are.
Rain Date: none.
Contact: Denyse Contrasty, 902-478-1706, dcontrasty@yahoo.com
Time/Place: 7:30pm to 9pm. Carpooling will be organized to leave from Halifax.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Duration: 1.5 hours