PGNC Events and Notes, 19 September 2016

Club Events

A big weekend for the club is coming up, as we host the Fall General Meeting of BC Nature. See  www.pgfgm2016.ca for the list of activities. Meanwhile, you can help with preparations – the following  is an important bit of spit and polish before September 24 when delegates will take a guided walk along the Wetland trails and paths.

Hudson’s Bay Wetland Canada Thistle Deadheading, Wednesday September 21, 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Come on out on Wednesday September 21, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. to deadhead Canada Thistle on the south side of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Channel by the footbridge. We will meet at the parking lot at Exploration Place at 12:30 p.m. for sign-in. Bring work gloves and your favourite hand clipping tool. The Club will provide contractor bags as well as extra work gloves and clippers if someone needs them. This work party is suitable for adults and mature teens. Non-members are most welcome to join us.. For more information please email pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca.

Club Notes

Tansy Control at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland
Four experienced weed control crew members from AIMHI recently spent the equivalent of three full work days on the north side of the Wetland Channel.They removed almost a pickup truck load of tansy roots, stems and seed heads. They dug out tansy plants from treed or shrub-filled areas that are difficult to reach. Some plants in those hard-to-reach areas were at least six feet tall! Anyone who has ever tried to dig out tansy roots will know it’s a very tough job. The crew also cleaned out patches of cypress spurge, burdock and toadflax which are just starting to get a foothold. Thank you to KC, Amanda, Tori and Jonathon for their help.

The work is part of a multi-year program by many agencies to control and reduce the spread of invasive plants at Prince George’s urban wetland. The Club has been officially involved since 2015. Other partners include the City of Prince George and the Northwest Invasive Plant Council. The work is making a difference. The sea of yellow tansy encountered in 2015 is much reduced this year thanks to the efforts of all the partners.  The Club is very grateful for funding from TD Friends of the Environment for tansy cleanup at this site.

aimhi%20weed%20crew1

PGNC Events and Notes, 7 September 2016 – addendum

Club Events
An important one missed from yesterday’s mailout:
 
BC’s Northern Spotted Owl: What Does it Take to Save a Species? , 7:00 pm, Thursday, 15 September, The Exploration Place
Shanelle Marshall, President of the Prince George Naturalists Club, shares her experiences as an intern with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation working on the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program. Everyone welcome, no charge to attend.

Club Events

  1. Wednesday Walkers
  • Wednesday, September 14: Anne Allgaier will lead us on some of her favourite trails along the fields and through the woods off Peardon Road on Cranbrook Hill.
  • Wednesday, September 28: We will focus on the top part of the new Hillside Trail, having focused on the bottom section on August 24th. Even though it is located close to the bustle of the city, this trail, with its rich woods flora, makes for a rewarding outing for naturalists.

The walks are open to members and non-members alike. Meet under the large Save-On sign at Spruceland Shopping Centre at 5th Avenue and Central, for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish at around noon. Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras will be useful. Please leave dogs at home. For more information on the walks, contact Dora Hunter at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca.

Save the dates: Walks take place the second and fourth Wednesdays in September, October and November and on the second Wednesday of the month December through March.

  1. BC Nature Fall General Meeting, Prince George, September 22-25
    Final arrangements are now being made for this event, hosted by our Club, at which naturalists from around the province will converge on Prince George.  Speakers include Charles Helm, Bruce Harrison, Chris Harris, Dale Seip, Doug Heard, Darwyn Coxson, Jim Pojar, Ken Otter, Mike Nash, Rob Bryce, and Rob Rea. in addition, there will be nine field trips, and two workshops — full details can be found at http://www.pgfgm2016.ca. If you’ve not signed up yet, don’t delay.

 

Club Notes

  1. Wednesday Walk Report – August 10th at Ferguson Lake
    As slow as we are, the Wednesday Walkers by far outpaced the European Black slug chooglin down the trail at the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve at a heady 0.025 mph. What a beauty it was with its shiny black foot gleaming in the bright sun. As quick as it was slow were the hundreds of Western toadlets, taking leave of their natal pond; and as white as the slug was black were the curious hedgehog fungi clinging to a log. With the mountain lady slippers of early summer in seed and the asters and goldenrod in bloom, it was hard not to sense the waning of the season. Many thanks to David Greenberg  for photos of the hedgehog fungi and the Satyr comma sunning on the path.  Dora Hunter

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  2. Dragonfly Season
    We’re now well into dragonfly season, and Dave King sends on the following article to help appreciate them more:
    http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/7-things-you-never-knew-about-dragonflies

Other Events

Dye-making Workshop: Fort St James, Sept 10-11

The Fort St. James Arts Council is hosting a workshop next weekend, starting  with a foraging walk to identify various mushrooms and lichens that can be used to make dye. The walk will begin at 9am Saturday, September 10, meeting at the old Courthouse on Birch Street in Fort St. James. In the afternoon, at 2:30, we will be learning how to dye silk scarves in the shibori technique using mushroom dyes, and on the Sunday, starting at 9am, there will be a five-hour course, learning about dye mushrooms and techniques.  The poster with details is below.dyeing_with_mushrooms

Clive Keen

hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 14 August 2016

Club Events
The Wednesday Walkers
  • Wednesday, August 24: Hillside trail through the woods from the south end of Foothills Blvd to the University Way bridge over Shane Creek.
  • Wednesday, September 14: Anne Allgaier will lead the walkers on some of her favourite trails along the fields and through the woods off Peardon Road on Cranbrook Hill.
As always, meet under the Spruceland sign for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Walks finish at around noon. Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras will be useful. For more details about the twice-monthly Wednesday Walkers trips, go to: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/trips/
Club Notes
 
1. Deadline Looming for Early-bird Registration to BC Nature FGM
Don’t forget to register before August 19 for the General Meeting hosted by our Club, as late registration will cost more. Check out the website for details — http://www.pgfgm2016.ca — and spread the word.
2. More Wetland Enhancements
The City of Prince George has been working on several improvements around the Wetland. In conjunction with the Club, a memorial bench, commemorating the Val Goodwin family, has been added at the edge of the ponded area off Queensway (other elements funded by the Val Goodwin bequest will follow). New signs have been added in the small parking lot, and both picnic benches will be replaced in the next few weeks. Finally, those old, much-graffiti’d, metal signs will shortly be removed.
3. NatureKids Seeking Volunteers
NatureKids (www.naturekidsbc.ca) is currently recruiting for two volunteer co-leaders for the Prince George Family Club. The co-leaders help organize monthly ‘Explorer Day’ field trips, to help children have fun, connect with, and learn about nature. Contact Tammy Keetch, Clubs Coordinator at coordinator@naturekidsbc.ca. References are required.
Trips Report
 
July 27 Wednesday Walkers 
Six keen naturalists set out on the inaugural Wednesday Walkers’ “expotition” to examine the flora, birds and insects of the shady, west side of the McMillan Creek Park trails. It is berry time for many shrubs with, among others, the blueberries, black twinberry, red-osier dogwood and soopolallie all fruiting. The mossy forest floor is home to Indian-pipe, wintergreens, twinflower, single delight and several species of ferns. Feathery seed clusters of blue clematis twined through shrubbery.  The Hooker’s fairybells presented us with a challenge as we strained to see the definitive tiny, forward-pointing hairs on the leaf margins confirmed by Bob Steventon’s photo. 
Hooker's Fairybell
The Pungent Lagoons, Sunday, August 7
The weather, the aroma and the shorebirds were at their most co-operative for this trip, and a sizeable group of club members had a particularly rewarding visit. 37 bird species were spotted (see http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31008231) including 14 species of shorebird. Bob Steventon’s shots can be seen at:  https://flic.kr/s/aHskBxsXhH.
Below is one of the many stars of the show: a Wilson’s Phalarope acting, unusually, like a normal sandpiper. Fifteen Red-necked Phalaropes were in another lagoon acting the way Phalaropes usually do — swimming in demented circles.
wiph

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, August 1, 2016

Club Events
1. Shorebirding, 9:00 – 11:00 am, Sunday, August 7
Shorebirds are now coming through in some numbers on their migration back south, and depending on the weather, a good assortment can spend a few days locally at the Shelley sewage lagoons. Thirteen species were spotted there over the long weekend, including a dozen of the showy Long-billed Dowitchers. Bring binoculars and a willingness to put up with what sometimes can be a very strong aroma not reminiscent in the least of roses. Meet for car pooling and waiver signing at the seven-eleven (Mr G’s as was) on Highway 16 east of the Yellowhead bridge for a 9:00 departure.
 
2. The Wednesday Walkers:  10 August – Ferguson Lake
This is the second of the new slow-walk series (note corrected date). Natural history guide books, binoculars and cameras are very welcome, but with the exception of guide dogs, we leave our dogs at home. Meet under the Spruceland sign for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 a.m. departure. Gas contribution for local trips: $3. Dress for the weather and bugs, and bring a drink and small snack. Walks finish at around noon.
Club Notes
1. Tansy Control at Hudson’s Bay Wetland
Early in July a six-man crew from Groundwork PG spent a day digging out invasive common tansy. The crew worked primarily along the bank on the north side of the Channel using shovels, a pick-axe and a lot of physical strength. The crew filled 28 contractor bags until work had to stop at 4 p.m. when a thunderstorm rolled in. The Club is very grateful for the help provided by Groundwork PG as the tansy in this area is too entrenched for volunteers to tackle.
Work was carried out as part of a joint effort between PGNC, the City of Prince George and community groups to control the spread of tansy on the north side of the Channel from the Fraser River to Queensway. The intent is to prevent the tansy from spreading into the riparian area below the bank where it becomes very difficult to remove. The Channel is an important refuge for young salmon during the Fraser River spring freshet. Tansy control efforts are supported by a grant from TD Friends of the Environment and the invaluable assistance of the Northwest Invasive Plant Council and REAPS.
 Groundwork PG at Hudsons Bay Wetland
2. New Platforms for the HB Wetland
Now that bird-nesting season is coming to an end, ground work should soon begin on the next phase of enhancement to the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. First should be an elevated platform on the north side of the large pond west of Queensway. If design and the various permissions can be completed in time, this will be followed by a new overlook at a high point on the Heritage Trail.
 
3. $1,000,000 for Ancient Forest Access
More congratulations to the Caledonia Ramblers and partners, following the announcement that the provincial government will contribute a million dollars for improvements to the intersection and parking facilities. The project has indeed been a spectacular success.
4. BC Nature Fall General Meeting, September 22-25
Early-bird registration for the Fall General Meeting, which we are hosting, is now open until August 19 – don’t delay, as registration will cost more. Check out the website for details — http://www.pgfgm2016.ca — and spread the word.
5. Mugaha Marsh Banding Station 
The station has been up and running since July 19, with Chris Sukha and James Bradley as banders, Sarah Chalmers as Assistant Bander, and David Powe as the summer student. For those interested in the species banded, reports are circulated on our listserv: you can subscribe by heading to http://mail.bcgroup.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ncenbird . If enough interest is shown – please indicate by return email – a club trip might be arranged. Note before signing up that a very early departure from Prince George is required.
6. Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC Campaign
The Federation is asking anyone accessing provincial parks to be on the lookout for signs of neglect. See
http://mountainclubs.org/time-to-show-what-a-lack-of-funding-has-done-to-our-parks/
7. Perseid Shower, August 11-12
This year’s Perseid Shower is expected to yield twice as many meteors as usual. The best viewing will be between midnight and dawn on August 12.

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 14 July 2016

Club Events
The Wednesday Walkers:  New Regular Club Event
This is a new series, with the aim of taking slow walks to observe natural history, both floral and faunal.  There will not be a “trip leader” as the intention is to share curiosity and knowledge: natural history books, binoculars and cameras are very welcome. With the exception of guide dogs, we will leave our dogs at home, and we’ll respect the setting by following the old rule “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, and kill nothing but time.”
The trips will be on the morning of the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from April to November and the second Wednesdays of December to March. Walks will finish at around noon. Each time, meet under the Spruceland sign for car pooling and the usual waiver-signing, in time for a prompt 9:30 AM departure. Gas contribution for local trips: $3. Dress for the weather and bugs, and bring a drink and small snack.
The first walks are:
     • Wednesday 27 July: McMillan Park – the dark side
• Wednesday 10 August: Ferguson Lake
Later trips will be decided by participants in discussion with the co-ordinator, Dora Hunter.
Club Notes
1. VLA Family Barbeque, Saturday, July 16 at Milburn Park, 12 noon – 2:30 pm
The Club will be staffing a stand at the barbecue as part of the process of promoting and explaining the Hudson Bay Wetland project. It would be good to see PGNC members there.
2. BC Nature Fall General Meeting, September 22-25
Registration for the Fall General Meeting, which we are hosting, is now open and currently underway. Check out the website below for details and spread the word.
3. Membership Numbers
The Club now has 89 paid-up memberships – getting close to the target of 100 by 2017. If you’ve forgotten to renew, don’t forget that you can do it easily by Paypal at pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/

4. Evening Presentation Series
The Executive is working on the schedule for 2016-17. If you have any suggestions for presenters, please let us know at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

5.  Mount Robson Bird Blitz, 3-5 June
The results of the blitz, at which 82 species were spotted, are attached. Tennessee warblers are obviously very much at home in Robson – 96 were seen. Robson Weekend Tally updated2016
6. Stargazing Note from RASC Prince George
Today until Saturday you can watch Venus and Mercury get close together just after sunset. At 9:00pm Venus is bright and low over the northwest horizon, and today Mercury is the next brightest object the left. On Saturday Mercury will be just above Venus.

BC Nature Fall General Meeting 2016

The Prince George Naturalists Club (PGNC) is pleased to host the BC Nature Fall General Meeting (FGM) from September 22 – 25, 2016 in Prince George, BC. Prince George is a hub for outdoor recreation and offers unique natural wonders to outdoor enthusiasts.

PGNC logo color horizontalWe invite all interested BC naturalists to join us and participate in field trips, enjoy presentations from knowledgeable speakers from throughout the north, and help guide BC Nature’s objectives to support conservation, education, and outdoor recreation. We look forward to sharing this wonderful and unique part of BC with you.

For full information on events, registration and more, go to: PG Fall General Meeting 2016