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Nature NS asks us to “Take the Challenge: Biodiversity Challenge Badge” 21Oct2022

It’s pretty simple and would likely mesh readily with the nature exploration & enjoyment activities of Halifax Field Naturalists and many more nature-oriented folks in NS: “basically, the challenge is to observe the natural world around you as you hike. To earn the badge, you have to do 10 hikes and submit 10 observations from each hike via iNaturalist”

Read more about it in an article by Jonathan Riley, Hike NS Board President.

The photo at left is of bunchberry observed by Jonathan at two locations within a short period in the spring. Writes Jonathan:

“My ten hikes for the Biodiversity Challenge Badge took place over a few weeks and geographically from Balancing Rock in the south to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in the north.
More by good luck than good management, I started working on this challenge just before a week of cross-province travel – so I ended up with a great snapshot of the timing of spring blooms across Nova Scotia…

“Bunchberry probably provided the most striking variation. The odd plant was just starting to open up here in Digby with fully white petals in the third week of May; and blooming was just a little behind a week later in Wentworth (north of Truro), with blooms open but not fully white. In Mabou a few days later it was the same and the same in the Acadian forests near Cheticamp – but up at Benjie Lake, the Bunchberry only had its leaves out with very immature and green flower petals. When I got home a day later, the forest of Acacia Valley was carpeted with white Bunchberry blossoms.

“…What’s more, in the course of these hikes, I logged three species that were “lifers” for me – the first time I had ever observed Nodding Trilliums, Toothwort and Waterfan Lichen”.

‘All sounds right up our alley!