Category Archives: General

PGNC News and Notes, July 9, 2018

CLUB EVENTS

Wednesday Walkers, July 11, 2018 (submitted by Dora Hunter)
On July 11th, we’ll visit the Buckhorn Road area to walk the Klein Road trails and the Great West Life Mobility Trail. Among other flowers, we may find the Round-leaved Rein-orchid (Platanthera orbiculata) in bloom and at least five species of ferns. The trails are quite flat and woodsy. Dougherty creek borders the GWL Mobility Trail. 
 
Wednesday Walkers meet for slow walks to observe nature on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from April to October. We meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. There we sign a waiver form and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list, contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.
 

Club Reports

 
Wednesday Walkers, June 27, 2018 (submitted by Dora Hunter).
 
On June 27th, we visited the bog on the Pidherny Swamp X cycling trail where we identified nine species of plants typical of a bog site. As it did last year, the carnivorous Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) attracted much attention. Rob Watt’s photograph clearly shows the sticky tentacles that spell doom for unwitting insects, but a good supply of nitrogen for the plant. Dave Greenberg’s photos of Buckbean (Menyanthes trifolium) catch this plant in both its flower and seed stages. Buckbean, with a circumpolar distribution, is tolerant of a variety wetland types. While edible, bitter glucosides in both the rhizomes and leaves make it a food choice of last resort. Its leaves have been used in place of hops and to flavour beer. The crooked hairs (trichomes) on its petals may serve to protect it from frost, water evaporation or from herbivorous insects. Dave also caught the group absorbed in the marvels of the bog.  Checklist by request. 
1 Sundew
2 Buckbean Flower
3 Buckbean Seed
4 June 27 Group
PGNC on Facebook
Prince George Naturalists Club Page: Follow PGNC for nature news and information.
 
Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Group: Everyone is welcome to join this group and share your interest in the natural world.

NOTES

Wildlife and Habitat Management
 
The Province of BC is seeking input from the public to identify ways to improve management of wildlife and their habitat. For full details of this public engagement, which is open until July 31, go to:
Mugaha Marsh Banding Station, Mackenzie BC
 
The bird banding station will be in operation starting July 19 until September 23. For more information or to volunteer, contact Vi Lambie at JLambie@telus.net or David Lambie at DLambie@telus.net. Information on the Mackenzie Nature Observatory is available at: http://www.mackenzienatureobservatory.ca/Banding/Banding Station.htm
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PGNC News and Notes, June 22, 2018

Club Events

Wednesday June 27, Field Trip to Pidherny bog
 
On June 27th the Wednesday Walkers will visit the Pidherny bog, which among the attractions of the bog (cranberries and sundew, etc.) also has a fine clump of Mountain Ladyslipper orchid en route. A look ahead suggests the weather will have cooled considerably by then, and, for those of you who are put off by the thought of bugs perhaps these tips would be helpful: Wear light coloured clothing, long sleeves and pants and a hat. In fact the bugs at the bog not to be any more plentiful than at other sites. Also, since the bugs are attracted by carbon dioxide, perhaps we could try breathing less?! We’ll do the shorter in and out route rather than the longer loop trail.
 
Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list, contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.
 
Club Reports
 
Wednesday Walkers at L.C. Gunn Park, June 13
 
If one were awarding trophies to the flowering plants (28 species on our walk) perhaps the Prickly Rose (Rosa acicularis) would win for abundance and heavenly scent, and the Mountain Ladyslipper (Cypripedium montanum) for its beauty and ability to fascinate. However, I was so busy enjoying watching people taking photos, that I forgot to mention that the orchid is also famous for its beautiful scent. (Dora Hunter report)
LC Gunn Park June 13

Notes

 
Friday July 20 to Sunday July 22, Wetlandkeepers Workshop, Mackenzie BC
 
Join the BC Wildlife Federation over 2.5 days for a special Wetlandkeepers Workshop July 20 – 22 in Mackenzie. This hands-on workshop will teach participants wetland classification and plant ID, amongst other topics. By special request, this workshop will also introduce wetland restoration techniques as well as feature guest speaker Mark Thompson of DWB consulting, who will teach participants about the region’s amphibians. Great for First Nation members, NGO groups, government staff, or conservation enthusiasts. This workshop is free due to the financial support of our funders: Wildlife Habitat Canada and The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. More info and registration here: https://WKMackenzie.Eventbrite.ca
 
PGNC Note: A similar wetlandkeepers workshop was fully subscribed when it was held in Prince George in June 2014. The organizers received compliments for an intensive weekend of learning while participants got to explore local wetlands.
 
Wildlife and Habitat Management
 
The Province of BC is seeking input from the public to identify ways to improve management of wildlife and their habitat. For full details of this public engagement, which is open until July 31, go to: 
Summer Reading
A Wilder Time: Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice by William E. Glassley; Bellevue Literary Press, New York, 2018; ISBN: 9781942658344; 223 pages.
 
Some review comments: “The mind of a scientist, the heart of a philosopher, and the soul of a poet are all captured in this slim journal.” “An invitation to experience a breathtaking place and the fascinating science behind its creation, A Wilder Time is nature writing at its best.” “Very few people have spent as much time as William E. Glassley in such deep wilderness. So it would behoove us to pay attention even if he had not brought back such a fascinating, lovely, and useful set of observations. This is a remarkable book.” (title suggested by PGNC member Mike Nash)

PGNC Club and Other Events, June 11 to 14, 2018

Club Events

L.C. Gunn Wednesday Walkers Field Trip, Wednesday June 13
 
On June 13 the Wednesday Walkers will visit L.C. Gunn Park where the Mountain Lady Slippers are sure to be in bloom. Bring cameras and binoculars. There will be plenty to amuse ourselves on the lower level, and so will not be climbing the long hill to the top of the cutbanks. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list, contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.
 

Other Events of Interest to Naturalists

 
Conservation North Event, Monday June 11, 7 to 9 p.m., Omineca Arts Centre, 1119 3rd Avenue, Prince George
The BC government is preparing to overhaul the management of wildlife, habitat and endangered species, and they’re asking the public for our thoughts. Join Conservation North for a short presentation, refreshments, and a “live government feedback session” where you can submit your own comments to the Province on how we can best protect wildlife, habitat, and endangered species in BC. Visit Conservation North at https://conservationnorth.org
Flyer June 11
 
 
An Evening of Bugs, Thursday June 14, 7 pm. to 8:30 p.m. Prince George Public Library, Bob Harkins Branch
Join a panel of researchers at the Bob Harkins branch as they present their findings from their own studies, as well as new and exciting bug facts from around the globe. Speakers include Dr. Lisa Poirier – Assistant professor at UNBC, Dr. Dezene Huber – Professor at UNBC, Dr. Jeanne Robert – Regional entomologist for the Omineca and Northeast BC regions, and Dr. Aynsley Thielman – Post doctoral fellow at UNBC. Be sure to bring an appetite as there will be some creepy crawly treats to snack on.

PGNC News and Notes, May 30, 2018

Club Events

 
Friday June 8 to Sunday June 10, 2018 Mount Robson Biennial Bird Blitz
The longstanding Bird Blitz now occurs every second year. This year participants will gather before or on the evening of Friday June 8. Birding area sign-up will be on Friday night at Robson Meadows campground. Signs will be posted at the campground entrance to indicate the signup location. For further information, and to let her know if you plan to participate, please email Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net.

Club Reports

Wednesday Walkers at Wilkins Regional Park, May 9, 2018 (Dora Hunter report)

The hoped-for Early Blue Violets greeted Walkers along the riverside path at Wilkins Regional Park.  Sandra introduced us to three of the feather mosses, Knight’s Plume (Ptilium crista-castrensis), Step Moss (Hylocomium splendens) and Electrified Cat’s-tail (Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus), all quite content in the steady drizzle that accompanied us on our walk. Perhaps most delightful, were the Eagles nesting on the opposite shore. Thanks to Sandra and her spotting-scope, we had a fine view of one bird on the nest, joined by its mate which had been roosting in a nearby tree. The broken clam shells were intriguing. While molluscs rank low on the River Otter’s diet, it seems likely that was the origin of these shells. The Otter’s ability to stay underwater for several minutes permits it to forage on lake and river bottoms.

WW May 9 1WW May 9 2

Thursday May 17, 2018 Presentation on Bees
An overflow audience greeted Jennifer Catherall of CNC Quesnel and her expansive presentation on native bees. Jennifer has generously made her 3.6MB Powerpoint presentation available. You can find it on here: Bumble bees Jennifer Catherall  A recommended guidebook to bees is Bumble Bees of North America by Williams, Thorp, Richardson and Colla; ISBN 978-0-591-15222-6. Thanks to Jennifer and to Jack Bowling for this reference. The evening was presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. Unfortunately, seating limitations meant that some people were turned away. The Executive will be considering solutions to this interesting problem before the next series of presentations this fall.

Notes

Sunday June 3, 2018, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Second Annual Salmon Sendoff
Spruce City Wildlife Association is holding its second annual salmon sendoff at the Cottonwood Island Boat Launch, rain or shine. 2000 chinook salmon fry need to get to the ocean, and need your help! Open house at the hatchery to follow – with a surprise! 
 
ED NOTE re chinook: They’re the main source of food for 76 remaining southern resident killer whales. The federal government has just implemented reductions to the chinook fishery in hopes of conserving the species and increasing prey availability for the killer whales. Details are here: https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2018/05/government-of-canada-takes-action-to-protect-southern-resident-killer-whales.html Let’s hope it means more support for our inland fisheries!
 
Thursday June 14, 2018, 7 pm. to 8:30 p.m. An Evening of Bugs, Prince George Public Library
Join a panel of researchers at the Bob Harkins branch as they present their findings from their own studies, as well as new and exciting bug facts from around the globe. Speakers include Dr. Lisa Poirier – Assistant professor at UNBC, Dr. Dezene Huber – Professor at UNBC, Dr. Jeanne Robert – Regional entomologist for the Omineca and Northeast BC regions, and Dr. Aynsley Thielman – Post doctoral fellow at UNBC. Be sure to bring an appetite as there will be some creepy crawly treats to snack on.
 
Cleaning Bird Feeders
Shelley Marshall, biologist with the provincial government, has forwarded a brochure on techniques for cleaning bird feeders to help prevent disease transfer: Bird_Feeder_Strategies_Trifold  As always, bird feeders are not recommended during bear season.
 
Canada’s Mountain Birds
Club member Mike Nash recommends this article on the state of Canada’s mountain birds: https://blog.alpineclubofcanada.ca/state-of-the-mountains/2018/4/24/the-state-of-canadas-mountain-birds
 
Open-Net Fish Farming
The Board of Directors of the Pacific Salmon Foundation has formally adopted a position on open net-pen aquaculture in British Columbia. It’s a call to all governments, industry leaders and stakeholders to put wild Pacific Salmon first by moving to closed-containment salmon aquaculture. For full details see https://www.psf.ca/news-media/pacific-salmon-foundation-position-aquaculture-bc

Special Notice Wednesday Walk May 23, 2018

SPECIAL NOTICE: WEDNESDAY WALK MAY 23. 
 
A dead moose has been found on the private property on which we planned to hike on Wednesday. We have few details, but it seems prudent to assume that it is a bear or cougar kill and would pose a danger to anyone hiking in the area. We will walk instead from the UNBC parking lot along the Greenway/Blue Spruce Trail. A good variety of shrubs and herbs is to be found on these paths, and with Fairybells and Early Blue Violets having made an appearance elsewhere and spring migration underway, there should be much to see.

 
Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca 

PGNC Club Event May 17 Presentation on Native Bees

Club Event

Presentation on Native Bees, The Exploration Place, Thursday May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. 

In the Club’s final presentation night of the season, the focus is on native bees, with the main discussion on bumble bees. Jennifer Catherall, Instructor, CNC Quesnel, will touch on declining bee populations, but not in regards to honey bees. She will also cover which garden plants/flowers are best for native bee food and how to plant for food throughout the growing season. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation starts promptly at 7 p.m.

K3A_4887

A queen Tricoloured Bumble Bee on female catkin of Bebb’s Willow, Cottonwood Island Park, May 11. (Jack Bowling photo)

 

PGNC Memberships

It’s never too late to join the PGNC or renew your membership. Arrive a few minutes early at the May 17 presentation to join or renew in person. Or visit https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ to join or renew by PayPal or by regular mail.

PCNC Club Events, May 9 to May 17

Club Events

  1. Wilkins Regional Park Field Trip, 9:20 a.m. to noon, Wednesday May 9

On May 9 the Wednesday Walkers will head to Wilkins Regional Park, hopefully to spot warblers in the shrubs, violets on the paths and perhaps the first fiddleheads of the season. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. to sign a waiver and arrange for carpooling. Departure time is 9:30 a.m., with return in the noon hour. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. These slow walks to observe nature are open to members and non-members. For more information, or to join an email contact list, contact Dora at hunterdora@shaw.ca.

  1. World Migratory Bird Day Field Trip, 8:45 a.m., Saturday May 12

All are welcome to attend a field trip to Cottonwood Island Park on Saturday, May 12, to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.  Bring your binoculars and cameras and let’s see what migrating birds we can find! Meet under the big Save-On Foods sign at the Spruceland shopping centre at 8:45 a.m. for waiver signing and carpool arrangements. In the event that the Cottonwood trails are too flooded to traverse, a back-up field trip location has been arranged.

  1. Presentation on Native Bees at The Exploration Place, 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday May 17

The focus of the evening is on native bees, with the main discussion on bumble bees. Jennifer Catherall, Instructor at the CNC Quesnel campus, will touch on declining bee populations, but not in regards to honey bees. She will also cover which garden plants/flowers are best for native bee food and how to plant for food throughout the growing season.