Thursday, 9 January 2020 (Take note of date - a week later to accommodate New Year's frolicking)
Mike Burrell, Birder and Author
Mike, along with his brother Ken, has recently published a book, "Best Places To Bird in Ontario", and he will share insider tips for spotting more than 300 species in Ontario, highlight some of his favourite birding locations, and offer advice on when and where to go for the best results.
Thursday, 5 December 2019
Meeting and Christmas Auction
We'll try it again and hope the weather doesn't go foul on us! Rudy Hrdlicka will present "Canoeing French River to South Labrador". A little bit of geography, history, adventure, and a lot of beauty!
Also, a silent auction is on the agenda. Same format as last June. Buy a string of tickets and put them in a bag for whatever item(s) you want to bid on and hope to have your number pulled. If you can, please bring items to auction. Nature books and food items are always a big hit.
Thursday, 7 November, 2019
Rick Stronks knows all about bears as he is Chief Park Naturalist for Algonquin Park. Rick has spent a major part of his career studying these animals and is happy to share his research with us. The more we learn about these animals and their habits, the more we can be mutually protective of each other.
Thursday, 3 October 2019
Information and slide show presented by Judi Brouse on ways to protect and restore the resources of our watersheds for future generations. Judi is retired from the Ministry of the Environment, but continues in a volunteer capacity to support the Muskoka Watershed Council through their grassroots cooperative approaches to involve a cross-section of stakeholders.
Thursday, 5 September 2019
Trumpeter Swans with Susan Best
Susan is a hobby photographer who was captured by the beauty of the Trumpeter Swan 9 years ago. This inspired a naturally research-driven personality to learn more about their history in Simcoe County. She now coordinates all tracking education and rescue interventions in Severn Township for the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program. Her presentation will give you further information about these beautiful birds and the tireless work of the restoration group.
Thursday, 6 June 2019
Arctic Plant Adaptations - a fitting topic for our Christmas in June meeting!
Catherine Kennedy, a vegetation ecologist for the Yukon Government, has spent every field season conducting ecological surveys with soil and terrain scientists throughout the territory. Her work over three decades has included vegetation inventories of numerous parks and protected areas, such as Herschel Island and Ivvavik, and researching vegetation change on the Yukon's North Slope. Her talk will focus on the adaptations of Arctic plants for survival in the harsh northern climate.
Tonight's meeting will also be our Christmas in June! The December 2018 meeting/auction was cancelled because of bad weather and rescheduled for tonight, minus the snow and ice!. Baked goods are a good seller; crafts, books, plants, etc. will be acceptable! So come on out for our silent auction, baked goodies, and a terrific talk on Arctic plants.
Thursday, 2 May 2019
You're invited! Members' opportunity to share interesting photos and nature experiences they have had.
University of Guelph graduate Alex Sutton will discuss recent Canada Jay research in Algonquin Park. Alex has interesting photos taken during the research period.
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Updates on our Favourite Jay!
Thursday, 7 March 2019
"Algonquin Through the Seasons"
"Snapping Turtles" with David Legros. David is the president of the Huntsville Nature Club, and works as a Natural Heritage Education Specialist in Algonquin Park.
Thursday, 7 February 2019
This program features the flora and fauna of Algonquin Park as they change through the seasons. Lev Frid
is an Algonquin Park naturalist very familiar with this interesting subject.
Thursday, 3 January 2019
Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary "Saving our Wildlife.....One Animal at a Time". WWS is located on 45 acres in the Haliburton Highlands. Most species of injured and orphaned wildlife are accepted, rehabilitated and released back to their natural environment. Each year, more and more species are making their way up the species-at-risk list. WWS gives them a helping hand in the hopes of making a difference, now and for generations to come.
Thursday, 6 December 2018 - CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Meeting & Auction - Anne Curley, Director of the Muskoka Boat & Heritage Centre, will walk us through their amazing "Watershed Wonders: Past, Present & Future" new permanent exhibit. You'll experience the beauty of the biodiversity of the Muskoka Watershed and learn about at risk and invasive species. You'll also discover the challenges our watershed faces due to human impacts and how you can make a difference.
Also a silent auction is on the agenda. Same format as last June (the belated Xmas program). Buy a string of tickets and put them in a bag for whatever item you want and hope to have your number pulled! Food items are always a big hit. We all have to eat!
Eat! Drink! & be Merry! - Refreshments are called for i.e. Xmas baking and juice.
Thursday, 1 November 2018
Kristie Virgoe, Director of Stewardship and Conservation Lands for Kawartha Conservation, will acquaint us with "Forest Therapy" or "Forest Bathing" and its benefits. The general philosophy is that it is beneficial to spend time "bathing" one's senses in the atmosphere of the forest making us more creative, mindful and content in our lives. The presentation is power point based with a hands-on-sample of what one can expect on a forest bathing walk.
Thursday, 4 October 2018
Look towards the heavens and see what stars are shining! Brian Mould will bring us an Astronomy slide show and set up a telescope in the parking lot for a closer look at the night sky. Brian has been an amatuer astronomer for much of his life and is the resident astronomer for the Haliburton Forest.
Thursday, 6 September 2018
Mushroom season is here! Come to a program by Bob Bowles and find out about these "Magical, Mystical" gems of nature! His talk will include how mushrooms help trees communicate and how they clean up impurities in the soil and get rid of waste that we throw away. Bob was a MFN charter member and has been a frequent guest speaker on a variety of nature subjects. He recently founded the Ontario Master Naturalist Program.
Thursday, 7 June 2018
Christmas all over again! Or never was! December 7, 2017 was a nasty night when no man or dog or MFN members should be on the road so MFN cancelled its Christmas meeting. Guest speaker Eleanor Kee Wellman was snow bound, so it seems pretty safe to invite her to be our guest speaker at the June meeting for her Magical Butterfly program. The auction, which may have included Christmas goodies, will take place with fresh goodies! Besides the auction items, refreshments are enjoyed at this meeting and will be gladly accepted. The auction is a fundraiser for MFN so your generosity in purchasing tickets and/or donating interesting items for the draws will be welcome.
Thursday, 3 May 2018
Permethrin: Perfectly legal perfectly lethal. Permethrin is a broad spectrum synthetic pesticide and is registered for use in a wide variety of contexts. It is a neurotoxin, which means it interferes with normal nerve function, and it is highly toxic to insects, including our pollinators. Dr. Chris Brew's presentation seeks to raise awareness of the deleterious effects of permethrin on our wildlife, and to highlight the implications for all non-target species, including humans.
Thursday, 5 April 2018
Icebergs, Puffins, and Whales through the fine art photography of Arni Stinnissen. Arni and his wife Dianne spent 5 weeks in Newfoundland to capture all these sights on "film". The Stinnissens are members of the Orillia Field Naturalists.
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Sid Daniels presenting "Insects, the World's Largest Group of Animals"! Do you know everything about them? None of us do! The presentation will reveal the main insect families with several preserved examples. Some time will be spent on Ontario butterflies and moths including two or three exciting discovery stories. Which of the following are NOT insects: bedbugs, sow bugs, ticks, silverfish, head lice, or dog fleas? If you're not sure, come to the meeting and find out.
Thursday, 1 February 2018
Back to the Arctic - Join Dan Strickland, a retired Algonquin Park Naturalist, as he talks about the wildlife around Cambridge Bay, Nunavut photographed during his second visit there in late June-July2016, and a high arctic cruise through the Northwest passage in late August 2017. Polar bears, walruses, gyrfalcons, shorebirds, and amazing scenery.
Thursday, 4 January 2017
Members' Program Night - Join John Challis, Al Sinclair, and Linda Boon as they help ring in the New Year with short presentations about recent travels.
Thursday, 7 December 2017 Cancelled due to weather
MFN member Eleanor Kee Wellman is an amazing nature photographer who can capture every detail of her subjects... mammals, birds, insects, plants, etc. This talk will focus on the Monarch Butterfly.
Thursday, 2 November 2017
Dr. Howie Owens is a naturopathic doctor who has been in full time practice in Bracebridge since the fall of 2002. His talk will focus on some of his favourite medicinal plants readily found in Muskoka. Some are native, some are naturalized "weeds" brought here by early settlers as medicines largely forgotten about in today's culture. Some can be utilized as medicines, others he will encourage simply to be admired in the garden or in nature. Some principles of ethical wildcrafting and turning plants into medicines will also be discussed.
Thursday, 5 October 2017
Norm Yan is the guest speaker. Norm continues to be very enthusiastic about spiny water fleas as we've heard from him in the past, but this time his topic is "Ecological Osteoporosis in Muskoka". Norm is a retired professor from York University, but is much in demand to talk about water ecology!
Thursday, 7 September 2017
Judi and Frank Brouse had an amazing summer adventure in 2016. Travel the Chilkoot Trail through Judi's descriptive presentation. The trail is the traditional trek of the gold miners during the gold rush in the late 1800s. The path is sometimes called the longest outdoor museum in the world as you see many artifacts that have been left by the stampeders. They probably didn't notice it comprises some of the prettiest parts of the mountains from temperate rain forest to high alpine meadows ending in boreal forest.
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Join us for a presentation on Georgian Bay Islands National Park. The park is part of the famous 30,000 Islands and is characterized by windswept white pines, granite shores, verdant forests and sandy beaches. The park itself is made up of 63 islands stretching from Honey Harbour north to Twelve Mile Bay. The Park's largest island, Beausoleil, straddles the transition zone from hardwood forest to the boreal Canadian Shield, which results in a mixing of northern and southern species. Nature lovers are drawn to the diversity of the park, which includes more reptile and amphibian species than any other national park in Canada.
Thursday, 4 May 2017
Arni Stinnissen is another almost local amazing birder and photographer. Arni is a member of the Orillia Field Naturalists and is calling his program Birdwatching Through the Seasons - A Birder's Photographic Journey. His goal is to tell Nature's story by capturing unique one-of-a-kind images that will resonate with the viewer, stir the soul, invoke an emotion or perhaps stimulate a memory. The final compositions capture a fleeting moment, one that partrays the beauty, simplicity and fragility of nature.
Thursday, 6 April 2017
Canada's Great National Bird Debate - Bob Bowles, MFN charter member, wrote about the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's efforts to seek consensus for Canada's national bird in the Orillia Packet & Times in December 2016. He'll speak to the club about the debate about naming a national bird for Canada's 150th anniversary, how the Gray Jay came to prominence by default, and the research he's been doing into small outlier populations in Simcoe, Carden, Muskoka, and eastern Ontario.
Thursday, 2 March 2017
Need a break from the snow? Last summer David and Regan Goodyear journeyed to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Join them as they take us on a virtual tour of the tropical cloud forest in search of birds.
Thursday, 2 February 2017
Dan Strickland, known worldwide for his Gray Jay studies, has also become a traveler to all corners of the world. Join Dan as he shares stories and photos of his recent trip to Ethiopia.
Thursday, 1 December, 2016
Eleanor Kee Wellman, "Alaska Birds, Muskox and Walrus".
The December meeting will also include a Christmas Draw. People can buy as many tickets as they want, and can put them in the draw for one item or spread them around on multiple items. There will be a separate draw for each item. So bring books, baked goods, or other items that you think might be of interest to raffle off at the December meeting. Proceeds help to defray our expenses, and our members get some great bargains. The evening will also include refreshments prepared by our own MFN cooks.
Thursday, 3 November, 2016
Mark Peck, "The Art and Ethics of Wildlife Photography". Digital photography has forever changed the way we document natural history and wildlife subjects. Auto-focus, 10 frames per second, 10,000 ISO, 30MP cameras allow us to take still and video images faster and with greater precision. Post production photographic software lets us manipulate, correct and perfect our images. But can we take it too far? When do we cross the line into nature-fakery and non-ethical behaviour? Join Mark Peck, wildlife photographer and collections technician in Ornithology at the Royal Ontario Museum, for a behind the lens look at the history and future of wildlife photography.
Thursday, 6 October 2016
Featuring Ron Tozer, retired Algonquin Park naturalist. Who better to talk about Algonquin's 50 year history. A great program including birding history.
Thursday, 1 September 2016
"The Amazing Monarch", a talk by Margaret McLaren. Hear the story of how a 50 g insect can fly 6,500 km to winter in Mexico. The talk will also cover the life cycle of the monarch, its population status, and its outlook for the future.
Thursday, 7 July 2016
This meeting will be held at the Muskoka Lakes Museum. Join us as we welcome Peter Mills, the son of Alex Mills. The last time we saw Peter, he was an enthusiastic teenage naturalist following in his father's footsteps. Since then a career choice has made him a full-time naturalist and author. Peter has published a book on amphibians and will have it for sale at the meeting for $30 cash. His program will be on amphibians, and will include some live specimens.
Thursday, 2 June 2016
A little bit of a different program this time as we welcome Barbara Burton and Betsy Rothwell. At this time last year, Muskoka residents Barbara Burton, Jim Miller, and Betsy Rothwell were walking across Spain on the historic pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago. They journeyed over 800 km across several mountain ranges, through forests and tablelands, cities and villages, fields and vineyards as spring arrived and turned to summer. Join them as Barbara and Betsy share their discoveries along the way.
Thursday, 5 May 2016
Alex Mills, Associate Dean of Science at York University, has conducted research on the structure of songbird communities in the Canadian Shield and the influence of moonlight on timing patterns in night birds. He is probably best known to local birders as the author of The Birds of Muskoka and Parry Sound (1981).
Thursday, 7 April 2016
Bill Sherwood, Astronomer, photographer, and more! From 1967 to 1971, Bill served as Scientific Officer (astronomer) at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, and while there in 1968 he commenced a part-time PhD at the University of Edinburgh, which he completed in 1973. He worked on staff at Ruhr Universitat Bochum Germany from 1971 to 1975. Those nine years werer mainly spent studying the Milky Way and its structure. For the past five years, 2011-2015, he and his wife Vicki have been "Astronomers in Residence" through August in Killarney Provincial Park. "I shall give the classic picture of our solar system and where and why it breaks down," he says. "It was fine as long as we only knew one solar system but now there are some 2,000 exo-planets revolving around some 1,000 stars. I shall discuss the apparent demotion of Pluto from planetary status and include some thoughts on the media coverage of 'Planet Nine.'"
Thursday, 3 March 2016
Leora Berman is the corporate founder and CEO of The Land Between and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization. The organization is named for a region extending from Georgian Bay to the Frontenac Arch, skirting the Algonquin Dome. It is ecologically, culturally, and socioeconomically unique. It has the highest habitat diversity in Ontario, the most shorelines, and some of the rarest wildlife. It is the meeting point and refuge area for species of both the north and the south: the crow and raven, moose and deer, strawberry and blueberry, white oak and jack pine. The unique ecology and culture will be showcased in this presentation, fostering greater appreciation and stewardship of this wonderful landscape.
Thursday, 4 February 2016
Mike Henry, a forester with Westwind Forest Stewardship, will talk about the emerald ash borer and other invasive species. This is currently a hot topic that can raise a lot of questions. Mike may have the answers.
Thursday, 7 January 2016
We're always pleased to have a return visit from retired Algonquin Park Naturalist Dan Strickland with a new fascinating nature adventure from his travels to Malaysia.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
It is becoming a tradition to have Eleanor Kee Wellman as our December guest speaker. She hasn't announced her subject yet, but her programs are always a visual delight as they feature her amazing nature photography.
The meeting will also include refreshments prepared by our own good MFN cooks. This is also the evening of our silent auction.
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Algonquin Park's Rick Stronks will present a program on The Wolves of Algonquin Park. Discover what type of wolf is found in Algonquin Park, some of the latest results from research and why thousands of people come out to Public Wolf Howls. Rick Stronks is the Chief Park Naturalist and has managed the education program for the park since 1997. He has a biology and education degree and has also worked as a high school teacher and fisheries biologist.
Thursday, 1 October 2015
Couchiching Conservancy's Ron Reid will present a program on Managing Pastures for Grassland Birds. A founder of the former Muskoka Heritage Foundation (now Muskoka Conservancy), and the Couchiching Conservancy, author and raconteur Ron Reid is now working as program coordinator for the conservancy's properties in Carden Township. Over the past 15 years, the Couchiching Conservancy has been very active in helping to acquire and manage properties on the Carden Alvar, which has some of the most diverse grassland bird communities in southern Ontario. About half of the 9000 acres acquired so far has active cattle ranching. They focus especially on four species at risk - Loggerhead Shrike, Bobolink, Eastern Meradowlark, and Barn Swallow - but many other species benefit as well. Ron lives in Washago with his wife Janet Grand, who runs the Bird House Nature Store in Orillia.
MUSKOKA TRAILS COUNCIL AND MUSKOKA FIELD NATURALISTS SPECIAL PRESENTATION
A special public event is being jointly held by Muskoka Field Naturalists and the Muskoka Trails Council. Those of you with long enough memories will know John and Janet Foster from the shows they did on CBC television from the 1960s through to the 1980s. John Foster got his start on television as host of the long running program This Land of Ours, in the 1960s. He teamed up with Janet in the 1970s on To The Wild Country, narrated by Lorne Greene, which featured their photography trips across Canada; the program averaged 2.5 million viewers. They continue to travel and record Canada's wilderness on film and video today. Their presentation "Stories From The Wild" will feature photos and video of the wildlife around their farm in Madoc, Ontario. They will be speaking at the Port Carling Community Centre on 22 September 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
"Seeking community input - What do we expect Muskoka to be like by mid-century?" This will be a chance to discuss your expectations for the future in a discussion introduced and led by Peter Sale. Peter is chair of the Muskoka Watershed Council, and brings with him an impressive resume. Originally educated at University of Toronto and then University of Hawaii, he has studied the ecology of coral reefs at the University of Sydney, (1968-87), University of New Hampshire (1988-93), University of Windsor (1994-2006), and most recently United Nations University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health (2007-2014). He remains University Professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor.
Thursday, 6 August 2015
Janet Fraser's home. Meet at Janet's house at 3:00 P.M. for a hike in her area followed by a picnic supper. Bring your own picnic and lawn chair. Janet and Bill have a great variety of flora and fauna on their waterfront property. Directions to Janet and Bill's place can be found in the May - June Wakerobin.
Thursday, 4 June 2015
Kenton Otterbein, Head Naturalist at Killbear Provincial Park, will give an overview of 28 years of research into Massasauga Rattlesnakes, including preliminary results regarding the effectiveness of barrier fencing and ecopassages that the park has installed to try to reduce roadkill.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
Russell Short is a nature photographer who grew up in the Muskoka area. In his presentation you will experience the grandeur and beauty of Muskoka's wildlife and the exquisite beauty of its scenery captured through the lens of his camera.
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Ed Poropat will be speaking on Ontario's new Reptile and Amphibian Atlas program. Ed is a species at risk field technician and the former Haliburton coordinator of the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, and is now involved in the herpetofaunal atlas.
Thursday, 5 March 2015 The meeting was cancelled because of flooding and repair work that is still being carried out at the Grace and Speed Museum - to be rescheduled
Mark Peck, who oversees the ornithology collection of the Royal Ontario Museum, will be speaking about the Ontario Nest Record Scheme (ONRS). The ONRS, a database of detailed information about occupied bird nests found largely by volunteers, provides a valuable means of tracking the health of Ontario's bird populations and the impact of human activities on birds.
Thursday, 5 February 2015
Hemlocks in Algonquin
Currrently President of Algonquin Eco Watch (AEW), Mike Wilton has had his eye on the park for 31 of his 35 years in a career with MNR as a fisheries and wildlife biologist. AEW was established to assess, protect, and sustain the park's ecosystem. Learn how moose and deer browse heavily on hemlock regeneration causing concern over the future of the species.
Thursday, 8 January 2015
Ash Borers and More Cancelled because of weather - to be rescheduled
Steve Munroe, from Westwind Forest Stewardship, will update us on the Ash Borer presence in Muskoka and what this means for the health of our forests. (Note the change of date to the second Thursday in January).
Thursday, 4 December, 2014
From Caribou to Loons
MFN member Eleanor Kee Wellman brings another program highlighted by her outstanding photography. The December meeting is also the night of our annual silent auction and the evening for "eat, drink, and be merry" with MFN cooks providing Christmas treats.
Thursday, 6 November, 2014
All Abuzz Over Mosquitoes
Lori Holmes, a public health inspector and manager of the West Nile virus program with the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, talks about trapping mosquitoes and identifying species, and the natural cycle that creates the risk of transmission of the West Nile virus to humans. MFN member John Challis will add some comments on his own efforts to learn species of mosquito.
Thursday, 2 October, 2014
Glimpsing the Natural History of Madagascar
Dan Strickland, retired Algonquin Park Naturalist, is back to the MFN stage. Come and learn about some of the lemurs, chameleons, and strange birds that inhabit the species rich island of Madagascar.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
60 Years of Birding - Changes We've Seen
MFN member, George Bryant, will discuss the changes in Muskoka's avifauna that he has witnessed over the last half century of birding.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Picnic and talk at Muskoka Lakes Museum
Meet at the Museum at 6:00 p.m. for a picnic supper of your own choosing. Bring a lawn chair if you prefer it to the picnic table. The program in the Museum will be presented by David Homer, a frequent Carden Plain plant and bird observer.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Ornithological History Tour of Muskoka
MFN President, David Goodyear, will discuss the rich ornithological history of Muskoka and introduce us to several individuals who made significant early contributions to recording the status and distribution of birds. He will also talk about his project compiling records of Muskoka bird sightings and relate interesting stories he has uncovered so far.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Butterflies on the Move
We know that Monarch butterflies migrate each year from Ontario all the way to Mexico and back, but other butterflies are also on the move. James Kamstra will discuss how some are expanding their ranges northward, some go beyond their normal ranges to establish temporary colonies, while others are just plain disappearing. Find out about some of the recent trends in the status and distribution of Ontario butterflies and gear up for the MFN butterfly count on June 28, 2014.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Severe Weather and Changing Patterns
Geoff Coulson is the Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada and will present a talk on severe weather and trends in Ontario.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
David Featherstone is the manager of watershed monitoring with Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority. His program will bring the amazing Minesing Swamp to life. The swamp is the largest and best example of a fen bog in southern Ontario and one of the most diverse undisturbed wetland tracts in Canada. It provides habitat for over 400 plant species (11 provincially rare) and 206 species of birds. There will be a canoe or car hike arranged for a later date if enough interest is shown.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Desperately Seeking Spring
David Hawke, naturalist, photographer, and speaker will present a narrated show, with his own touch of humour, of his photography focusing on early signs of spring. David is well known is Simcoe County and Muskoka for various projects he has worked on. Copies of his book Wetlands will be available for sale at the meeting for $15 as well as his reference book on the blooming dates of wildflowers for $5.