Notes from the Field: Fall 2021

In 3 - Fall, Bats, Bioblitz, Birds, Carden Alvar, Citizen Science, Events, Fauna, Featured, Flora, Invasive Species, Nature Reserves & Easements, News, Property Maintenance, Species at Risk, Stewardship, Truth and Reconciliation, Water by couchiching

Participants in the Wetlands, Reptiles & Amphibians bioblitz, and a Beautiful Lake (photos: Dorthea Hangaard)

The first Indigenous-Led Bioblitz focusing on Wetlands, Reptiles & Amphibians started off under warm and overcast skies.  Gary Pritchard led us in a smudge, and we walked to the gathering place about two kilometres from the road.  Even this late in the year we observed  Nahwi kumik zheshobeegauzod (Midland Painted Turtle), Miskwawgungned opii (red-backed salamander), & Shkiminookamik Makakii (spring peepers) calling from the forest.  Every living being observed had a place on our list.  We brewed white pine, sweet fern, and cranberry tea, as the skies darkened, the rain fell,  and the wind increased.  The full species list from all participants will be turned into a report.  See more photos from the day here.


Liz Schamehorn painting for an upcoming exhibit and Aiesha Aggarwal posting a new map at Ragged Rapids (photos:  Dorthea Hangaard)

The Black River Road from Lewisham Lane to Victoria Falls and beyond will only be open until the snow flies, and many people have been enjoying the fall colours there before we have to say good-bye until next spring.  

Aiesha and Dorthea made a visit on October 13th to get some mapping work done and prepare for the canoe launch project at Rosebush Landing, and ran into Liz Schamehorn.  Her work is well-known to anyone who attended Legacy Landscapes in 2018.  

Liz has a new project:  for the past year, she has been doing one painting every month at a Conservancy nature reserve.  We were excited to hear about this and look forward to sharing the details of her upcoming exhibit with you.


A big THANK YOU to Holly Brown and her partner Randy Skidmore, who donated over 320 feet of cedar for a new bridge at the Adams Nature Reserve.  Soon there will be a wider and safer bridge at Heather’s Pond.  

Randy has owned and operated Muskoka Lakes Construction for 40 years and counting.  Muskoka Lakes Construction | Cottage + Design + Build

Click here to download the new Adams Nature Reserve trail map


Aiesha, Dorthea & Ryan questioning whether to stay here or return to civilization

Gary Pritchard  (Curve Lake First Nation and 4 Directions of Conservation Consulting Services) will lead three bioblitzes this fall, and just in case there’s rain,  Aiesha, Dorthea, and Ryan hiked to the site and erected some shelter. 

Bioblitz #1 will focus on Water and Benthics, #2 on Wetlands, Reptiles, and Amphibians, and #3 on Plants and Birds.  Read more here:  Re-defining Ecological Perspectives: An Indigenous-Led Bioblitz. – Couchiching Conservancy


On a sunny September afternoon, Toby and Aiesha pulled on waders and wandered through the wetland at Wolf Run Alvar Nature Reserve in search of reptiles and amphibians. A variety of dragonflies buzzed through the wetland while leopard frogs and green frogs rested, half-submerged at the edges of the small streams and ponds.


Read the Summer 2021 Notes from the Field Here