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Out and about after the mid-August rains, Steve Irvine
found this mushroom growing in a hollow maple trunk.


– by John Dickson

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) are preparing for their 35th season with a diverse array of speaker presentations and many field trips throughout the area.

Much of the new season, including events in September, will be posted on our website over the next week or so. To ensure you receive up to date information from the club, it is recommended that you purchase or renew your membership online.

Of note, on Saturday, Sept. 9, Bruce County Forester Kevin Predon will be leading a Bruce County Hike at the Amabel Tract in Sauble Beach, on trails from Rankin Bridge Road through both County and Crown forests, adjacent to the Hell Hole Provincially Significant Wetland complex, the Sauble River, and into some spectacular hardwood and conifer forests.

Then at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, popular speaker, hike leader and author Beth Gilhespy will present Building Sydenham: the Making of "Walking through Time".

Beth will discuss how she approached her Beaver Valley and Sydenham geology books. These sections of the Bruce Trail have lots of great geology to discuss. Her Beaver Valley book will be available for purchase and signing.

In addition, OSFN hopes to once again sponsor two local high school students to attend the Ontario Nature Youth Summit at Lake Couchiching September 22-24. OSFN has sponsored many students in recent years, and has received excellent feedback from those who have attended the Youth Summits.

The weekend is designed and situated to provide learning opportunities in an exciting and motivational setting with 90 fellow high school students, all with an interest in nature studies.

Potential candidates should email John Dickson no later than Monday, Sept. 4, indicating their interest and availability to attend, as the registration deadline is September 5.

For more information please visit here.



monarch butterfly on pink flower

The Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) hosted a Monarch Butterfly Festival at Alvar Bay and at Bruce Peninsula National Park's Visitors Centre on August 25 and 26.

Participants experienced two days filled with nature hikes, monarch tagging and release activities, captivating butterfly documentaries, and thrilling evening bat walks.

They explored the beauty of Alvar Bay, learned about the vital work of EBC, and got their hands on free milkweed seeds to support Monarch conservation.

Monarch tagging and release activities play a crucial role in monitoring their population and understanding their migratory patterns. By participating in tagging and release, we contribute to important research efforts and help protect these magnificent butterflies for future generations to enjoy.

In addition to the Monarch festivities, EBC also celebrated International Bat Day on the 26th with evening evening bat walks, discovering the fascinating world of bats and their vital role in maintaining our ecosystem's balance.

For more detailed information please visit

All activities for this Monarch Butterfly Festival are free.



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Another native wildflower in Carol Edwards-Harrison's garden, the Cardinal Flower,
where she finds a hummingbird using those tiny toes to hang on.
Les Anderson's hummingbird feeder, below, spurs some inter-species competition.
LesAnderson 02



James Turland of the Bruce Birding Club (BBC) has much of its fall season lineup organized, with several different leaders helping out.

The BBC is a group of avid bird watchers based in Southampton, in Bruce County. The club also includes many members from Grey County, and meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month except during the summer. The outings are most often in Bruce County but several excursions each year take the group farther afield.

If you would like more information or are interested in joining the club please visit the Bruce Birding Club website, or email James.



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Rob Wray's been on a quest for the big birds, finding a green heron perching
on a snag near Woodford, a great horned owl in Georgian Bluffs assessing potential
prey, and a bald eagle in the Badlands with the same look in its eye.
LesAnderson 02
LesAnderson 02



bpboStill with ornithology, Stéphane Menu, Station Scientist at the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory, along with his crew, have now returned to Cabot Head for a new season of migration monitoring, from August 15 to October 31 – 78 consecutive days.

During the first week, most birds that were caught, banded and documented were Red-eyed vireos and 11 species of warblers.

In addition, there were observations of a Bald Eagle pair with an eaglet on the nest, a young Peregrine Falcon, a young Cooper's Hawk, a Great Horned Owl after a successful hunt and a Common Nighthawk.

The station's report from this week has just been posted.

cropped BPBO Logo



At this time of year I especially enjoy seeing the blooming Goldenrod and other wildflowers all aglow, waving in the summer breezes, and the Staghorn Sumac fronds, comprised of tiny individual flowers that glisten in the morning sunshine.

Another late summer treat I discovered back in 1992, while I was cycling along a road allowance in Sydenham Township, is to be accompanied by a flock of American Goldfinches, as they fly along with me, escorting me through their territory. A year ago, a dozen or more Monarch Butterflies performed a similar dance, fluttering along close by me in the morning sunshine, northeast of Kemble.

Then, just this past week, I was delighted to be led by a family of Eastern Kingbirds, guiding me as they flew along from fence post to wire to roadside bushes, during a couple of sunrise bike rides, while I was still cycling within the City of Owen Sound.



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Les Anderson's birch trees were host to a group of Cape May warblers
on their way south from their Northern Ontario breedintg grounds.
Steve Irvine found a family of sandhill cranes making
their way through a patch of wildflowers, below.
LesAnderson 02



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William Gray has been enjoying watching a young Merlin falcon, above,
but especially the number of Baird's sandpipers at Shallow Lake this year.
And he caught a red-headed woodpecker chilling in the late summer sun near Annan.
LesAnderson 02
LesAnderson 02




dglfp 0004lfp MorningFalls


more scenes from rural lifeTo close, a Nature quote from Verlyn Klinkenborg's
More Scenes From The Rural Life:



The grace of wildness changes somehow when it becomes familiar. When I say the grace of wildness, what I mean is its autonomy, its self-possession, the fact that it has nothing to do with us. The grace is in the separation, the distance, the sense of a self-sustaining way of life.




Please visit the OSFN website here.

source: OSFN


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