CVN 2023 AGM scheduled

Comox Valley Nature’s Annual General Meeting will be an online meeting as follows:

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. PT


All CVN members are encouraged to attend this important meeting. This is also an excellent opportunity for the general public to learn more about CVN activities. Advance registration is required (see the link below).

Agenda

The agenda includes reports by the Vice-President and Treasurer, short interest group reports (Birders, Botany, Wetlands, Tree of the Year, Airpark Restoration, Vanier Garry Oaks project), and the nomination and election of Directors. In addition, CVN members will be voting on a proposed change to membership administration.

Registration

The meeting is enabled courtesy of the online meeting capabilities of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.

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Learn about tidal marsh plant communities and effects of goose grazing

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host the following free online lecture:

Title: Changes in Salish Sea tidal marsh plant communities, with or without grazing by Canada geese
Speaker: Stefanie Lane
Date: Sunday, February 12, 2023
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT

This webinar is facilitated by the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and is open to the public (see the registration link below).

The work Stefanie conducted for her PhD took place in three estuaries (Fraser River, Nanaimo River, and Little Qualicum River), two of which (Fraser and Little Qualicum) are protected Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). These WMAs were intended to protect important tidal marsh habitat, and she wanted to know whether the abundance of native plant species has changed.

The vegetation she surveyed in the Fraser had not been grazed, while the estuaries surveyed on Vancouver Island had suffered extensive grazing disturbance. So, while the two studies are separate, we can consider how native plants persist or recover “with” or “without” grazing disturbance. What she found in all estuaries is an increasing abundance of non-native, invasive species. This suggests that if we want native plants in our estuaries, we need to consider how to actively manage these WMAs, like removing invasive species or transplanting native species.

Stefanie will share specific details on which invasive species return in the vegetation and seed banks following goose grazing in Vancouver Island estuaries, and which invasive species have moved into the vegetation in the Fraser River Estuary despite no direct disturbance (like grazing).

About the speaker

Stefanie Lane recently joined the Project Watershed team as their Restoration and Research Lead while finishing her PhD in Forest & Conservation Science from the University of British Columbia. At UBC her work focused on estuary vegetation responses to environmental stress.

Since childhood Stefanie has developed her diverse expertise through experience and education, from landscaping to laboratory research. She thinks across scales of cellular, organism, population, community, and ecosystem ecology, from high-altitude deserts to estuaries, and the waterways that connect them.

In her new role, Stefanie aims to design restoration projects as ‘living labs’ to better understand how we can leverage natural processes for optimal restoration success. Her key areas of interest are seed dispersal through water (hydrochory), edible landscapes, and functional traits of native and non-native species.

Registration

“Seating capacity” for the talk is limited, and you need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.

Although CVN lectures are free, donations of any size from non-members who attend are always appreciated ($4.00 is suggested).

Posted in Botany, Ecology, Guest Speakers, Shoreline and Marine | Comments Off on Learn about tidal marsh plant communities and effects of goose grazing

Nominate a tree for 2023 Tree of the Year

Nominations for Comox Valley Nature’s Tree of the Year for 2023 are now open. Some key features of the contest:

  • Any resident of the Comox Valley can nominate a tree, not just CVN members.
  • We have an online nomination form to make nominating easier.
  • The winner will be decided by public vote. All residents of the Comox Valley can vote for their choice among the nominated trees using online voting.

You can nominate a tree any time between January 15 and March 15. Visit our Tree of the Year page to learn more about the contest and to access the nomination form. There you will also find some details of the nomination rules (which have not changed from last year’s). Or go directly to the nomination form here:

Tree of the Year Nomination Form

After nominations close, we will publish an illustrated list of the nominees on this website, along with maps of their locations. We encourage you to visit as many as you can, preferably by cycling or walking, before you vote.

The voting period will start April 1 and end May 31. Watch for additional details at that time.

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Winter fungi (and a slime mould), part 2

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on February 4. Click a photo to enlarge it.

Here is “Part 2” of winter fungi. Some of these are a review of those that we saw on the January walk (so there’s a few photos you may have already seen). I thought I’d put them all together here for the benefit of those who have recently joined our group. 

Most of these photos are from Miracle Beach Park, and a few from the One-Spot trail. Again, thanks to Alison for some help with ID, especially of the Aleurodiscus. 

Mandy sent me this article a while back from the Guardian about things like fungi and slime mould that we tend to overlook in the drab winter months, which I think ties in well with the photos here.

  1. Marasmiellus candidusFairy parachutes. This pure-white fungus often grows in clusters on stems or branches. Growing here on thimbleberry canes. Has short, curved stipes (stalks) that are dark at the base.
  1. Marasmiellus candidus gills. Wide-spaced gills with radiating veins between. Stipes are dark at the base, but I didn’t cut it off low enough to see for this photo.
  1. Scytinotus longinquus also known as Panellus longinquus. Look for the pinkish colour and striate, viscid cap.
  1. Scytinotus longinquus gills. Note the pinkish colour.
  1. Phlebia radiata. “Wrinkled crust”.
  1. Phlebia radiata growing over and engulfing some moss on an alder log. This creates some neat texture!
  1. Aleurodiscus grantii. This was the mystery crust fungus from our January walk on the One Spot trail. Thanks to Alison for getting to the bottom of the ID for us. Tiny, salmon-pink discs on conifer branches.
  1. Aleurodiscus grantiiAlison’s photo of some she found on her property along the Tsolum River.
  1. Microscope view of Aleurodiscus showing the white hairy edges of the discs. Photo: Loys Maingon.
  1. An orange slime mould on conifer bark. I don’t know which species…haven’t investigated yet. If anyone knows what it is let me know!
Posted in Botany | Comments Off on Winter fungi (and a slime mould), part 2

Winter fungi review, part 1

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on February 4. Click a photo to enlarge it.

The recent mild and wet winter weather has yielded some winter fungi (some of these aren’t exclusive to winter). Here are a few with notes (part 2 coming soon!). I’ve been back and forth with Alison M. on some of these…thanks to Alison for the ID of Plicatura nivea. All photos are from Miracle Beach Park, taken over the past few weeks. 

  1. Plicatura nivea. This is fruiting abundantly right now, mostly on rotting red alder logs. At a glance it is a boring, ruffly white with bands of grey and beige, but sometimes there are bands of bright blue! It looks a bit similar to the blue cheese polypore (Postia caesia) but Alison notes that Postia is usually found in the fall. Also, Plicatura has a very wrinkly, convoluted underside, unlike the pores on the underside of Postia. 
  1. Underside of Plicatura nivea.
  1. Crepidotus mollisHairy Crep, or “peeling oysterling” on iNaturalist.  I found some nice examples of this growing on stems of ocean spray. Brownish and hairy on the cap and clean whitish gills beneath. No stem, attached directly to the branch like an oyster mushroom.
  1. Underside of Crepdiotus mollis.
  1. Stereum. False turkey tail. These are common and abundant, usually shades of orange with banding on the cap. Smooth underneath and don’t have pores like the regular turkey tail. On hardwoods.
  1. Underside of Stereum.
  1. Stereum and Plicatura nivea are often found side by side on alder logs & stumps.
  1. Trametes versicolor. Turkey-tail. Note that the turkey tail has a light underside with tiny pores (you might need a hand lens to see them!). Cap is zoned with shades of brown, sometimes with a white leading edge.
  1. Underside of Trametes versicolor.
Posted in Botany | Comments Off on Winter fungi review, part 1

Learn about the Rights of Nature movement

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host the following free online lecture:

Title: What is the Rights of Nature Movement and How Might We Engage It?
Speakers: Kai Sanburn (Community Rights San Juan Islands) and Robin Reid (Colorado State University)
Date: Sunday, February 19, 2023
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT

This webinar is facilitated by the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and is open to the public (see the registration link below).

Rights of Nature (RoN) is a global movement that recognizes Nature as a subject with inherent rights to exist, regenerate vital cycles, and be restored when damaged. With deep roots in indigenous worldviews, world religions and human rights, RoN is now law in over 140 Indigenous nations, national and state constitutions and local communities around the world. This talk will describe the history of RoN, the initiatives in progress today, and then focus on the efforts to recognize the rights of the Salish Sea in both Canada and the US.

About the speakers

Kai Sanburn believes the Rights of Nature movement offers a way to address the complex whole of ecosystem health, both here and elsewhere, via the recognition that natural entities are rights-bearing. That is, they possess the right to survive, thrive and regenerate. From this recognition, the creation of legal frameworks to assert and defend those rights follows. This is a direct challenge to existing legal and cultural paradigms. For more information see the Rights of the Salish Sea website.


Dr. Robin Reid is a Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) at Colorado State University. She teaches sustainability science and how to transform science so it is a catalyst for social change to sustainability. Robin also leads and participates in trans-disciplinary teams working on linked social-ecological systems, collaborative research methods, education and engagement in the drylands of East Africa, Mongolia, Colorado, Alaska and elsewhere. She also has a strong interest in linking and fostering learning about the collaborative conservation initiatives in the American West.

Registration

“Seating capacity” for the talk is limited, and you need to register in advance. You can check the computer requirements for attendees here.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

If you are new to Comox Valley Nature, find out more about us here.

Although CVN lectures are free, donations of any size from non-members who attend are always appreciated ($4.00 is suggested).

Posted in Conservation, Guest Speakers | Comments Off on Learn about the Rights of Nature movement