Archive for March 2013
It may be hard to imagine given the weather we’re experiencing, but Festival Opening Day isn’t that far away, nor is the spring-like weather we all crave. As May 24 draws closer events are filling up fast. But there is still room and time to register in a lot of others.
ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS EASY AT:
Here is a brief list of some of the open activities you might be interested in. Check us out.
REGISTER NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE
ON THE EVENT OF YOUR CHOICE
A4 – MacGregor Tower Trail – Birding – with Bruce Edmunds. Hike the Tower Trail and check the Ducks Unlimited Pond from both the viewing tower and the bird blind.
A6 – Tree Walk & Talk – with Bob Gray. Hike the Lake Ridge Trail along the lakebed of two former glacial lakes to identify various trees. Learn how species associate with different site types.
A12 – Birding the Saugeen First Nations Amphitheatre – with Joy Albrecht. Walkways and gardens are the backdrop to the Saugeen River. Visit the Southampton Pioneer Cemetery and Denny’s Dam on the far shore.
A17 – The Wonderful World of Weeds – with Richard Aaron. Learn the “good side” of weeds – how they have been used for food, medicine and inspired inventions.
A18 – Managing Water – with Adrienne Mason. Join Adrienne on a hike through nearby river restoration projects where the interface of man, water and nature will be explored.
A26 – “Ears On” Birding – with Judith King. The emphasis is on listening to the songs of MacGregor Point Park birds.
A30 – Bird Watching from Soup to Nuts – with Fred Jazvec. Many of the fundamentals in a birder’s journey through the stages of beginner, intermediate and advanced, are covered in this workshop.
A32 – Holy Hogweed! A Rogues Gallery of Nettlesome & Poisonous Plants – with Richard Aaron. From stings and blisters, to cuts and comas, learn about some of Ontario’s wild plants to avoid and what might happen if you don’t.
B4 – Relaxed Nature Walk – with Minerva Cook. A walk past Pitcher Plant Marl to the Day Use area north of the Visitor Centre to explore plant and bird diversity.
B5 – Identifying MacGregor’s Tree Species – with Joe Watson. You visit Turtle Pond and Algonquin Campground to learn about tree species and identification ‘keys’ in various habitats common to the Huron Fringe.
B7 – Gardening for Wildlife – with Larry Lamb. Learn how to design your garden or backyard to attract insects, reptiles and butterflies.
B9 – My Camera and Me – Focusing on Nature – with Jen O’Reilly. Discover the magic of light while taking dynamic, scenic, wildlife and close up photography. Learn and practice techniques professionals use.
B12 – Relaxed Nature Walk – Old Shore Road Trail – with Kim Toews. Enjoy a casual morning stroll along the Old Shore Road Trail in search of spring birds and wildflowers.
B13 – Plants, Legends and Folklore of MacGregor – with Heather Starrs. Heather’s walk introduces you to the legends, stories and superstitions attached to many common and not so common plants found at MacGregor.
B18 – Bayview Escarpment – Coffin Ridge Vineyard and Winery – with Mark Wiercinski. (See our Blog “Hiking & Wine Tasting – The Perfect Day”, March 8.) Crevice caves, Hart’s Tongue Fern and Barred Owls are all found within this Nature Reserve Provincial Park. And wine tasting after an invigorating hike is a great way to end the day.
B20 – Legends of the Forest – with Heather Carscadden. The stories, legends and myths from around the world about the wonderful world of trees, which surround us.
B22 – How and Where to Photograph Frogs and Toads – with Kerry Jarvis. (See our Blog “A Conversation with Kerry Jarvis”, February 1.) Learn where to find elusive frogs and toads, along with tried and true techniques that will help you capture these amazing, miniscule creatures.
B25 – GPS Scavenger Hunt – with Heather Carscadden. (See our Blog “And Now For Something Completely Different”, March 13.) Learn GPS basics and how GPS technology works; then use your knowledge to find hidden caches in a fun nature trivia scavenger hunt.
B28 – The Mysterious World of Moths – with Andalynne Tofflemire. An introduction to the ‘moth world’ as you become familiar with some of Ontario’s most commonly encountered moth species.
B31 – Birding South Bruce – Kincardine and Point Clark – with James Turland. Enjoy a birding adventure looking for spring migrants along the side roads of Southern Bruce County.
B35 – Woodland Trail – with Sarah Martin. A walk through a maple forest dune complex system located north of the Park between Port Elgin and Southampton.
B36 – Wildflower Diversity Within the Fringe – with Brett Woodman. Here’s your chance to learn about and appreciate some of MacGregor Point’s varied wildflowers.
B37 – Sunset Walk – with John Cummings. The Lake Huron shoreline offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. It’s the perfect ending for your Huron Fringe Birding Festival experience.
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In 2012 the Huron Fringe Birding Festival introduced a new hike with a new twist…a bus trip to Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve combined with a visit to the Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. Wine tasting after an invigorating hike is a unique way to end the day. Based on last year’s response the event returns on June 1st with leader Mark Wiercinski. Norah Toth was there last year. Here’s what she had to say about the inaugural hike.*
“I love Bayview Escarpment. It is one of my favourite provincial parks in the Grey Bruce area. As a nature reserve class provincial park it is set aside to protect over 439 hectares for scientific and research purposes. It does not offer camping; just quiet enjoyment of a very special habitat.”
“What first attracted me to Bayview Escarpment were the large rocks that are covered with lush ferns. There are many species of fern, probably well over 15, found in the park; but the most visible fern is the globally rare Hart’s Tongue Fern.”
In many locations it forms a mat of green on rock outcrops. It is truly amazing!”
“Crevice caves along the face of the escarpment are often hidden by old growth cedar. In June you might still see ice and snow at the bottom of some of the crevice caves. Large erratic boulders and shallow soils over the dolostone bedrock create many microhabitats. Maple, Butternut and Beech are common tree species. Jack in the Pulpit, White Trillium, Blue Cohosh and One-side Wintergreen are just some of the spring wildflowers that thrive in Bayview Escarpment.”
“An old road that was in place before this became a provincial park has been converted to a trail and it converges with the Bruce Trail to create a circle route, which is just the right length for a casual walk. This old road provides evidence of logging, as do several pine plantations in the park. The Bruce Trail travels through the park as part of the preferred route.”
“And yes, habitat does mean there are birds. A number of species of warblers, flycatchers and woodpeckers are some of the residents.
Nearby, in the Land Force Central Area Training Centre, Bald Eagles have been nesting for several years.”
” And then we visited Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery.”
“Here you can look over the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay. Since I don’t drink, it seems like a strange place to visit for me, but the winery and vineyards have several attractions. It is the first winery in Grey County and has already received Double Golds at the 2012 All Canadian Wine Championships. They serve wonderful tasting platters, which include local cheeses, pates and breads.”
“Their vineyards are carefully tended using sustainable viticulture methods with no insecticide use and careful attention to soil management. And this leads to the best part – the birding in the vineyard itself is great! It provides lots of hedgerow type habitat and you just can’t go wrong!”
“The HFBF Program Committee debated about providing this trip in a different format, but in order for participants to take full advantage of the features of this event and not get lost on the way to the park, bus travel works the best. Besides, this way the hike coordinator has a captive audience and can keep you entertained for the entire trip!”
HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL ON-LINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN.
REGISTER NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE ON THE EVENT OF YOUR CHOICE
Some events are already full
Brochures are available at MacGregor Point Provincial Park plus a number of other locations
HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL, 2013
MAY 24 – MAY 27
MAY 30 – JUNE 2
MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK
PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO
*Photographs courtesy of Doug Pedwell