Naturalists Club Notes, November 27, 2014

Mount Polley Tailings Pond Results

UNBC is holding a colloquium event on Friday November 28th at 3:30pm. Topic is the Mt. Polley tailings pond breach. Speakers are Sam Albers, Ellen Petticrew, and Phil Owens from the Quesnel River Research Centre, Geography Program, and Environmental Science Program at UNBC, respectively. Their colloquium presentation is entitled, “The Mount Polley Mine Tailings Pond Breach: A Perspective from UNBC’s Quesnel River Research Centre on Aquatic Impacts”. The colloquium will be held in the Weldwood Theater 7-238 from 3:30 – 4:25 pm.

Young Naturalists’ Club of Prince George

The next Club outing will be on Sunday December 7th at The Exploration Place. Japanese fish art (Gyotaku) will be the seasonal nature craft for this year. Experience the wonder of using local salmon to make beautiful prints. In addition to the Gyotaku, participants will use nature objects such as leaves and cones as stamps to make smaller prints suitable for use in creating cards.

Young Naturalists Club is an exciting nature discovery and environmental action program that invites young people ages 5-12 years to discover nearby nature on Explorer Day Adventures with local experts, learn about native wildlife and plants in NatureWILD Magazine, and take part in environmental actions to protect their habitat with Stewardship Projects and an Action Awards Quest. For more information about this event or the Prince George Club, contact co-leaders Gail Ross, Michelle Sims and Guy Scharf at PGYNClub@gmail.com

Spiders – Maligned, Misunderstood, but Marvellous!

Staffan Lindgren’s presentation on November 20 at The Exploration Place kept attendees, especially arachnophobes, on the edge of their seats. Staffan has sent along a list of links for those wanting to learn more about spiders or possibly overcome their fears.

Catherine Scott’s blog about spiders: http://spiderbytes.org/

Three sites discussing the misconceptions of spider bites:

http://buzzhootroar.com/a-spider-did-not-bite-you/

http://arthropodecology.com/2012/02/15/spiders-do-not-bite/

http://www.scilogs.com/expiscor/the-truth-about-spider-bites-aggressive-spiders-and-the-threat-to-public-health/

Videos:

How primary eyes of jumping spiders move https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvN_ex95IcE

(And a short blog explaining jumping spider vision in more detail https://experiment.com/u/eYfCEg)

Courtship by Australian peacock spider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_yYC5r8xMI

Net-casting spider (ogre-faced spider) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAuwriAgbSA

Bolas spider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl120RuhQYg

Trail and Observation Deck: More Photos

The observation deck crew hard at work in early October, down at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. George Roberts led and directed the construction, which was carried out entirely by volunteers. See the November 6 post for a complete list of all volunteers!

Photo by Dora Hunter.

DSCN0880 Dora

Darren Adams of Darren Adams Contracting Ltd. built the accessible nature trail. Nowell Senior and Ron Neukomm did the levelling, compacting and site clean-up. Darren also gave volunteer hours when not operating his machinery.

Club members and visitors came out on November 9 to celebrate the completion of the new accessible observation deck and nature trail.

Deck Group 2

The group then gathered for a photo by the kiosk information sign installed last April.

Sign Group1

Many thanks to the organizations that provided funding for the deck, the trail and the kiosk sign. They include BC Nature, BC Naturalists’ Foundation, Pacific Salmon Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment and TransCanada.

PG Naturalists Club Events & Notes, 16 November 2014

Upcoming Club Events

  1. Presentation: Spiders – Maligned, Misunderstood, but Marvellous! 7:00 pm, Thursday, November 20, The Exploration Place

This presentation by Staffan Lindgren might or might not offer a cure for arachnophobia, but is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Come a few minutes early and get ready with a cup of coffee courtesy of The Exploration Place.

  1. BC Nature General Meeting, 2016 — in Prince George?

The Club is considering acting as host in 2016 to the BC Nature Fall or Spring General meeting.  Up to 200 naturalists would descend on Prince George for a long weekend, taking part in presentations and field trips. But volunteers will be needed to plan and organize the event: if you’re willing and able, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Allan Carson: Allan.Carson@alumni.unbc.ca .

  1.  Christmas Bird Count

The Prince George CBC will take place on December 28. Contact Cathy Antoniazzi,  canton1@telus.net 250-562-2845, for information. It will be one of 450 Canadian counts involving a 13,000-strong army of birders. Other local counts are:
Dec 14. Williams Lake – Phil Ranson – ranson1@telus.net
Dec 21. Soda Creek – Phil Ranson – ranson1@telus.net
Dec 28. Narcosli – Brian Murland – murlands@msn.com
Jan 04. Quesnel – Adrian Leather – qabis4@gmail.com

  1. Executive Meeting, 10 December
A reminder that all Club members are welcome to attend executive meetings, which take place on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm at the Fish Hatchery on River Road. Meetings are fun and fairly short, and you’ll get to meet the people making things happen and know a lot more about the inner workings of the Club.

Notes

  1. 2015 Memberships
    You can renew your membership, or join the Club, at the November 20 presentation at The Exploration Place.
  2. Wetland Project Update
    There’s a CKPG update at: http://ckpg.com/another-step-completed-for-hudsons-bay-slough
  3. Charitable Donations
    Thinking of making a year-end charitable donation to support the Hudson’s Bay Wetland? Donations should be made payable to BC Nature, with “Prince George Naturalists Club Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project” on the memo line. Cheques should be forwarded to BC Nature, 1620 Mt. Seymour Road, North Vancouver BC V7G 2R9. You can also donate online through BC Nature at http://www.bcnature.ca. Just remember to put “Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project” in the “Purpose” line.
  4. Mount Polley Tailings Pond Results
    There will be a UNBC colloquium event on November 28th at 3:30pm in which some of the results from UNBC’s testing of the Mt. Polley tailings pond breach will be presented.  Further details TBA.
For additional information, photos, and a calendar of events, go to the Naturalists Club blog at http://pgnc.wordpress.com.
Clive Keen for:
The Prince George Naturalists Club
PO Box 1092, Prince George, BC V2L 4V2
hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

Observation Deck and Nature Trail: Construction Completed!

HBW platform day #4 001HBW platform day #4 002 HBW platform day #4 003HBW platform day #4 5


A new accessible observation deck and nature trail are now in place on the south side of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland near the footbridge south of Exploration Place. The deck was constructed entirely by volunteers from the Prince George Naturalists Club, Caledonia Ramblers and Prince George Singles Activity Group. Nowell Senior organized and coordinated the construction from start to finish with George Roberts leading and directing construction of the observation deck. Other volunteers included Clive Keen, Ruth McNeil, Lynda Cawley, Doug Knox, Ron Neukomm, Blair Rice, Cliff Murphy, Ric Mlynarczyk and John Glass.  Lunches were provided by PGSAG and delivered by Cindy Bereck.

Darren Adams Contracting Ltd. built the accessible nature trail. Nowell Senior and Ron Neukomm did the levelling, compacting and site clean-up. Darren also gave volunteer hours when not operating his machinery.

These generous volunteers contributed over 220 hours to ensure completion of the deck and trail. They also made invaluable contributions-in-kind by donating the use of a cement mixer, portable generator and portable pump. Without their hard work the deck and trail could not have been completed this year. Thank you all! Photos contributed by Nowell Senior


HBW South Trail completed 008HBW South Trail completed 010

Naturalists Club Events and Notes Nov. 5, 2014

Club Events

1. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Celebration, Sunday, November 9, 2:00 pm, near Exploration Place
Work on the project has been well under way, with the first of a number of elements completed. Naturalists Club members and supporters are invited to meet at the kiosk information sign by the footbridge at Hudson’s Bay Wetland to celebrate the construction of a new accessible observation deck and nature trail on the south side of the channel.      We’ll recognize the work of the volunteers who built the deck and who helped with the trail, and talk about next steps. If we’re lucky the resident beaver will join us for celebratory photographs.
The sign and footbridge can be accessed from several points. From the parking lot at Exploration Place it’s a short walk across the railway tracks down to the kiosk sign and footbridge. People using mobility devices can access the sign and footbridge via the asphalt walkway at the end of Ingledew Street just south of Magnolia Gardens. There is space for several vehicles to park at the entrance to this walkway. From South Fort George, parking is available on Regents Crescent at Rose Lane. A wide asphalt walkway leads from Regents Crescent to the footbridge and sign.
For more information about the event please contact Anne at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca or Clive by return email. Additional information and photos are available on the PG Naturalists club blog at http://pgnc.wordpress.com

2. Presentation: Spiders: Maligned, Misunderstood, but Marvellous! 7:00 pm, Thursday, November 20, Exploration Place
This presentation by Staffan Lindgren might or might not offer a cure for arachnophobia, but is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Club Notes

1. Remembering Dan Loussier
On October 15 we lost Dan Loussier, who many will remember, not least for his engaging presentation to the Club on soil microorganisms. An article on Dan by Hugues Massicotte is available in the October 27 – 31 NRESI Newsletter at: http://www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/newsletter

2. UNBC Talk on Friday, November 7, 3:30 – 4.25, Weldwood Theatre (7–238)
Dr Helen Schwantje will give a talk on two very important current wildlife health issues: the serious threat to bat populations caused by White Nose Syndrome, and the problem of declining moose populations in BC. She notes that anyone living in the central interior can contribute to resolving these threats to our wildlife.

3.  Spotted a Hummingbird? 
A few reports have been coming in over recent days of hummingbirds spotted around Prince George. While our usual hummers, Rufous and Calliope, have long since departed south, we do get a small number of a different species – Anna’s Hummingbirds – through the fall, indeed right into December. Don’t be concerned if you spot one, and feeders won’t lure them into staying beyond their time; they are professional birds, and by and large know what they are doing.

4. How about Skunks?
Yes, they are around, as recent remainders by the side of the road confirm.  Doug Wilson advises us not to try to prove their local existence by collecting the ex-skunk, as essence of skunk can permeate containers. If you think you spot a roadside ex-Bobcat, though, at least take a photograph; that would have given Staffan Lindgren a first-for-PG record.

5.  Strange Tree Growth – Crooked Aspen
Local naturalist James Steidle produced a fascinating short film for the Yorkton Film Fest, and it’s now available online athttps://vimeo.com/93323620. Just enter the password crookedaspen.

6. Avian Research – Saw-whet Owls
The Vancouver Avian Research Centre has a rather delightful fall newsletter at www.birdvancouver.com/blog_fall2014.html with an extended feature on Saw-whet Owls.

Observation Deck Construction

October 11, Day 2: Volunteers finished excavating the footings and installed the sono tubes

HBW - Day#2 002A

October 12, Day 3:  Nowell Senior: “The crew did an incredible job today”. Concrete is poured and platform constructed!

cofpot HBW platform day#3 015

PG Naturalists Club Events & Notes, 11 October 2014

Club Event

Presentation on Northern Fungi, 7:00 pm, Thursday, October 16, Exploration Place

UNBC’s fungi expert Hugues Massicotte will give a talk entitled “Exploring and managing northern mycological resources” –  a slideshow on things we know and things we wish we knew. If time remains, a short presentation on pelagic whale-and-bird watching will follow the main course after a break.
Note:  Scheduled presentations typically take an hour or so, which leaves time for a “b” presentation, or event, or discussion.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions for these.

Hudson’s Bay Project

1. Observation Deck #1 at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland

Following months of planning and preparation, construction started on October 10 on the observation deck on the south side of the Channel and west of the footbridge. A team of volunteers is building the deck. If you would like to help out, please contact Nowell Senior at 250-562-6785 or email him at nowell.senior@gmail.com. Nowell can provide details of work to be done as well as any necessary tools or equipment and safety gear that volunteers should bring to the tasks.

Volunteers are needed for Sunday morning!

2. Weed Cleanup, Hudson’s Bay Wetland

Ten volunteers turned out on a damp morning on October 3 to cut down Canada Thistle and dig out Common Tansy south of the channel by the footbridge. The mission was to clear the area before construction started on the observation deck. Volunteers were from Deloitte, Prince George Naturalists Club, Caledonia Ramblers and Prince George Singles Activity Group. Special thanks to Dave Bradshaw at the City of Prince George, and Andrea Eastham for making the event possible on short notice.

3. HB Wetland Presentation Featured on uTube

There’s a fine uTube presentation prepared by the Artist Response Team following their visit to northern BC to talk to people working on wetland projects. It’s part of a submission to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. An early feature covers the HB Wetland project. Take a look at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyZ-FChnHH4

Notes

1. Remembering Susan Stevenson

A memorial will be held for Susan, a fine friend of Prince George Naturalists, at UNBC on Oct 23, 7:00 pm in the Bentley Centre. Susan was very active and influential behind the scenes in researching and conserving natural areas, particularly for caribou. A scholarship fund is being established in her name, and will be announced by Darwyn Coxson at the memorial.

2. Attending Club Executive Meetings

The Club Executive meets at 7:00 pm on the second Wednesday of the month at the Fish Hatchery on River Road to discuss business. All club members are very welcome to attend these meetings.

3.  Steller’s Jay Invasion?

Multiple reports are being received of Steller’s Jays appearing in PG locations where they’ve not been seen for many years.  If you spot any unusual wildlife, report it on the Club’s ncenbird listserver (it’s not just about birds!) or let a member of the Club Executive know.

4. TWS (UNBC)  Wildlife Photo Competition

If you’d like to submit photos to this annual competition, drop off your 10 X 8 photos (maximum three) at the TWS table at the UNBC Wintergarden on October 14 or 15. Further information can be obtained from Cale Babey babey@unbc.ca.

PO Box 1092,
Prince George,
BC V2L 4V2

pgnc.wordpress.com
hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

Clive Keen