Remembering Colin Stewart twenty years ago today 29Nov2023

Colin Stewart leads discussions
on Nov 29, 2003

“A team of professionals from various agencies and organizations including HRM, DNR, CFIA, Parks Canada, Dalhousie University, and Nova Scotia Field Naturalists, had been assembled to assess risk and develop an approach to the remediation phase. The goal of remediation is to mitigate short term risks while protecting the ability to restore the park over the longer term.” – from HRM Council Report, Jan 13, 2004

On Nov 29, 2003, several HFN members participated in a tour of Point Pleasant Park, followed by a discussion of ‘what to do now’ led by Colin Stewart at park maintenance facilities on Point Pleasant Drive.

In the final sentence of his  Tribute to Colin, Bob McDonald wrote

Even though severely weakened by his illness, Colin continued to work on what was to be his last major challenge: the remediation and restoration of hurricane Juan-devastated Point Pleasant Park.

Read more

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HFN calls for Colin Stewart Conservation Award Nominations 25Nov2023

Betty Hodgson (left) in 2015, presenting The Colin Stewart Conservation Award to Bonnie Sutherland who received it on behalf of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. Betty was our recipient for 2023!

Extended Deadline for submissions – December 31st, 2023

It’s that time of year again – time to nominate a friend, colleague, or special group for the Colin Stewart Conservation Award. The award was established by HFN in 2004 to honour the late Colin Stewart’s many years of dedicated service to nature conservation in Nova Scotia. Colin was its first recipient.

Neither the nominee nor the nominator need be members of HFN, and a nomination can be made by any individual or group in Nova Scotia. The award is given annually for significant conservation efforts in the province, unless in a particular year we don’t receive any nominations or the nominations do not meet the award criteria. Nominations will be evaluated by the Colin Stewart Award Committee (its members are listed on Page Two of our quarterly newsletter). Continue reading

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Rare Bird Walk postponed to Sunday

Please note that due to unfavourable weather conditions anticipated for tomorrow morning, the outing (see description below) originally scheduled for tomorrow [Nov 25] has been delayed by one day. It will now be held Sunday, November 26. Meeting time and place (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sullivan’s Pond, Dartmouth) remain the same. There is no need to register. Those who wish to participate need only show up on Sunday rather than Saturday.”


  •  Rare Birds Walk
    Some of the rarest birds of the year show up in HRM in late November and early December! This year Clarence Stevens
    Sr. will lead us on this ‘Rare Birds Walk’ hitting the hottest of the hot spots during the last weekend in November. Registration is required.
    Rain Date: No Rain Date
    Contact: Clarence Stevens Sr., 902-464-1664
    Time/Place: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Sullivan’s Pond, Dartmouth.
    Difficulty: Light to moderate
    Duration: 3 hours
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Tue 21 Nov, 2023: TransCoastal Adaptations

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October 13-22, 2023: The Fall Continental Mycoblitz 2023 in the Maritimes!

Bears Head Tooth or Lion’s Mane (Hericium americanum),  growing on hemlock, Halifax area.

Where: Everywhere mushrooms grow

The 2023 Continental Mycoblitz is open to anyone who is willing to make scientifically valuable collections of mushrooms – including photography, fieldnotes, and submitting a dried specimen. Any individual or organization can submit their most unique/interesting/exciting collections from the foray week to theproject. Mycologists and foray partners will examine each collection and will perform DNA sequencing on thousands of the specimens that are submitted.

For general information about the Mycoblitz see: continental-mycoblitz/

Mycologists in the three Maritime Provinces will coordinate the Mycoblitz efforts in our region, to try sequence over 1,000 collections of mushrooms from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

If you are located in Nova Scotia please contact Sean Haughian at the NovaScotia Museum ( to get more detailed informationabout collecting and documenting mushrooms for the Continental Mycoblitz, or to arrange for dropping specimens off at the Museum of Natural History.

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Tues Oct 17, 2023: Ochid/Fungi Relationships

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Sunday Oct 22, 2023: Chebucto Moose Field Meeting

Details & Registration Here

More about the Chebucto moose Here

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On the Stewiacke River Paddle in July 11Sep2023

On the Stewiacke River in July

Visitors to the website might have noticed a new header image. It’s from our Stewiacke River Paddle Back in July, Courtesy of our President,  Bernie McKenna.

Read more about that venture under Photos

Thx Bernie – and Gareth Harding, who led this very successful expedition,


Repeat Visitors might notice other changes in the website. I was finally able to properly update the WordPress installation, made in 2009. ‘Working on other updating, improvements.

Note that under “Archives” at right, all “posts” are listed by month going back to 2009. This is quite different  from Archived Newsletters
– david p

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Saturday Aug 26, 2023: Chebucto Peninsula Moose Meeting

UPDATE AUG 25: EVENT POSTPONED (weather – rain would make the field component very difficult)

On Nature Nova Scotia website:

Register here.

For some background info. about the Chebucto Moose, see NS Forest Notes page on the Chebucto Moose.

By working to bring back/reinvigorate the Mainland Moose population on the Chebucto Peninsula, we would also be improving conditions for a much wider array of species. We might think of it as the terrestrial equivalent of the Sackville Rivers Association efforts to bring back/reinvigorate  the salmon population in the Sackville River Watershed.

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HFN’s Regular Meeting time changed to third Tuesday on the month

As of September 2023 our regular meeting time has been changed from the first Thursday of the month to the third Tuesday on the month.

They are still being held at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, beginning at 7:30 pm.

First meeting for the fall of 2023:

Tuesday Sep 19, 2023
The Mainland Moose: A Species At Risk
Presented by Bob Bancroft and Jess Lewis of Nature Nova Scotia

View Walks & Talks for more details, meetings, walks.

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Art Meets Nature and Activism at Sandy Lake – art show opens Thursday July 13th, 2023 !

Sandy Lake at Peverill’s Brook, by Jeremy Vaughan. Click on image for larger version.

A wonderful collective of artists has been creating works based on their experiences at Sandy Lake Regional Park.

Their gorgeous paintings and drawings will form part of a 2-week long art show at Second Gallery (Upstairs at 6301 Quinpool Road, Halifax), called “Sanctuary – Save Sandy Lake.”

The show opening is on Thursday, July 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm and ALL are invited (so is everyone you know). It  runs for 2 weeks.

Read more about the artists’ inspiration and how it relates to the campaign to save critical lands – including important wildlife corridors connecting the mainland and lands of the Chebucto Peninsula – and protect Sandy Lake in the press release about the show.

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Some thoughts about the Merlin Bird Sound ID App 30May2023

By Bev Wigney*

I’ve been using the Merlin app pretty much since it first became available. Before that, I had done quite a bit of experimenting with its predecessor, BirdNet, and with a couple of other bird song ID apps – I think Sunbird was one of them.

I occasionally hear people commenting that the Merlin app isn’t as accurate as a human who is ear birding. I’m not going to get into that too much – I know the app has its critics. However, I use the app very frequently, often to locate birds that I wish to photograph, and have found that it is rarely wrong. It also picks up birds that are very quiet or that sing in frequencies that I can’t hear and that, apparently, many humans can’t hear.
*Editor’s note: Annapolis Valley naturalist Bev Wigney posted this piece on her FB page, and kindly gave us permission to repost it here.
Continue reading

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