Guest Speaker: Terry Thormin, Sun. Nov. 18, 2018

CVN invites the public to learn about Nature Photography

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host a public lecture. Join Terry Thormin for an illustrated talk entitled: “Nature Photography in the Comox Valley” The lecture is on Sunday Nov. 18, 2018 and will start after introductions at 7pm in the Rotary Room of the Filberg Seniors Centre 411 Anderton Ave, Courtenay.

The Comox Valley has a diversity of ecosystems ranging from marine intertidal estuaries, rivers, marshes, forest and subalpine mountain habitats. These habitats are home to an abundance of organisms. Nature photography is critical for documenting habitat and species diversity in the area. These images can also serve as a record of biodiversity and can generate an increased interest in nature by the general public.

Terry Thormin is a very accomplished photographer with an impressive collection of images that include landscapes, plants, fungi and a variety of animals such as insects, spiders, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Terry has worked for a private ecological consulting company based in Edmonton, Alberta, doing mostly bird work, and much of it in the Canadian Arctic. He also freelanced for a couple of years before joining the staff of the then Provincial Museum of Alberta (now the Royal Alberta Museum) as a foreground artist working on dioramas. He then switched to the newly formed Invertebrate Zoology Program where he stayed until he retired in 2006. He now lives in Comox on Vancouver Island, B.C.

This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about nature in the Comox Valley and nature photography.

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Botany Outing Report: Paradise Meadows, Oct 15th, 2018

Report on October 15th walk 

For those who missed the report at our last general CVN meeting, for the October 15th gathering we had a glorious day to meander around the Paradise Meadows loops, collecting the SWI plant signs to store for the winter. In fact it was Frank N. who collected most of them while the rest of us enjoyed the fall colours of the vaccinia  etc. and investigated a number of interesting fungi.  There were still lots of berries on the bog and dwarf blueberries, and so it was not surprising to learn that one of our group who went up earlier saw wet imprints of bear paws on the boardwalk.  By the time we walked around the Boardwalk was dry. Among the fungi, Ruth identified a new bracket polypore for the Paradise Meadows list, namely Porodaedalea pini, on the trunk of a still living abies species. It is one of the species that causes white-rot in heartwood. We found a number of different species of Cortinarius – the one in the photo taken by Sharon is  Cortinarius phoenicius var. occidentalis, commonly called western red dye since the rich burgundy of both cap and gills is much prized by those who use fungi for dyeing.

Then we shared lunch with the Canada jays on the picnic table outside the Wilderness Centre.

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Upcoming Botany Group Meeting November 2018

Upcoming Botany group Meeting

First of all, our next Gathering will be on Monday November. The forecast at this point seems to call for showers.  However, we will have a walk around our woods first to see the latest crop of fungi.  This year has been good for a whole lot of species that did not even make an appearance in the past two years.  We can talk about Mushroom Identification and then for lunch there will be mushroom soup -with amongst other ingredients Russula xerampelina, which were abundant a couple of weeks ago and easy to identify (for once) using the characteristic features listed in  Siegal & Schwarz, Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast (which includes many species that are to be found all the way up to our coast).

Russula xerampelina: key characteristics
·         cap colour variable, mostly purple to reddish brown
·         gills creamy when young, yellowish to ochre with age
·         stipe creamy, often blushed with pink tones
·         stipe staining slowly yellow then brown when scratched or even handled
·         stipe has firm exterior and pithy core
·         taste mild  ( many russulas are very bitter – test on the tip of your tongue)
·         odour slightly fishy or like shrimp ( more obvious in older specimens)

The attached photo should illustrate the stipe staining slowly yellow when scratched.  When cooked the red of the cap turned the whole flesh pink ( another reason for the common name shrimp russula?)

It would be appreciated if you let me know that you are coming, to give me a rough idea of numbers for soup , coffee and tea.

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Guest Speaker: Scott Wallace, Sun. Oct. 21, 2018

CVN invites the public to learn about

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host a public lecture. Join Dr. Scott Wallace for an illustrated talk entitled: “Can the Species at Risk Act Recover Southern Resident Killer Whales?” The lecture is on Sunday Oct. 21, 2018 and will start after introductions at 7pm in the Rotary Room of the Filberg Seniors Centre 411 Anderton Ave, Courtenay.

The Southern Residents are a distinct population of killer whales who frequently use the Salish Sea during the summer months. They have been legally protected under the provision of the Species at Risk Act for nearly 15 years. During this time the population has suffered from increased threats of prey reduction, contaminants and disturbance. The population is now at its historically lowest number and has not had a successful birth in over three years. This talk will discuss the biological, political, and legal challenges of protecting this unique population.

Dr. Scott Wallace is a marine ecologist employed by the David Suzuki Foundation as a Senior Research Scientist. Scott is an educator, author, activist, naturalist and scientist whose career has focused on marine conservation. His work at the David Suzuki Foundation is centered on species at risk, healthy oceans, citizen science and sustainable fisheries. He has taught several university and college level courses focused on the marine and coastal ecology of British Columbia. Scott sits on several fishery advisory boards. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about Southern Resident Killer Whales.

 

Comox Valley Nature is a non-profit society affiliated with BC Nature, consisting only of unpaid volunteers. CVN fulfills its educational mandate by hosting monthly lectures, organizing free weekly guided hikes for members, and a free monthly walk open to the public.  Comox Valley Nature also supports specialized groups (Birding, Botany, Garry Oak Restoration, Wetland Restoration, Photography and Young Naturalists Club) which have separate monthly activities.  Membership in BC Nature and Comox Valley Nature is $30 per adult and $40 for a family.

Founded in 1966, it is one of the oldest environmental societies on the North Island.  Meetings and lectures of the Comox Valley Naturalists Society are held on the third Sunday of most months at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave., Courtenay.  Meetings and guided walks are open to the public, including children and youth.  Lecture is free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.

Anyone interested in this lecture or participating in CVNS activities can also contact us at the website www.comoxvalleynaturalist.bc.ca

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