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On Friday, May 23 at 8:00 AM, Peter Middleton is your personal guide to Rock Stars of the City (A2) – as he introduces you to the over 50 fern species found in Grey/Bruce. Here’s Peter’s account of what you can expect to see.

“The escarpment that surrounds Owen Sound is a focus for Rock Stars, although Rolling Stones have not yet done an article on them.  The secret is one of hidden clefts, cool faces, seeping bottomlands and rich woodlands, all aspects of the Niagara Escarpment.  In these places, ferns find a number of unique growing opportunities favouring a remarkable diversity of species.  The “west rocks” and “waterworks woods” are two areas of particular richness to search for rare and unusual species. Green Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes ramosum) is a tiny plant that hides itself in the darkest of crevices.  In contrast, Marginal Shield Fern (Dryopteris marginalis) forms stately sprays in full sunlight, but always with its feet in touch with the limestone substrate.  The provincially rare Hart’s Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) adorns shaded woodland ridges with unique leaf-like fronds.  These are but three of the approximately twenty species that await discovery on an outing to the little known botanical treasure troves surrounding Owen Sound.”

Fern Habitat

Fern Habitat

Green Spleenwort

Green Spleenwort

Hart's Tongue

Hart’s Tongue

Then, on Sunday, May 25, Peter will show you The Hidden Treasures of the Huron Coast (A25 – 7:00 AM). On this outing Peter takes you on an exploration of Lake Huron coastlines, both present and past, north of Sauble Falls.  He’ll take you to Petrel Point, Ontario’s oldest reserve and balance that with a trip to their newest, Sauble Dunes.

As a naturalist, outdoor educator and a man with a true passion for all things natural, Peter Middleton has spent a lifetime in the field…literally. During that time he has always stressed the importance of teaching younger generations the value of the natural world around them. For Peter, outdoor education is a practical extension of what is learned in the classroom.

Peter with his Latornell Award

Peter with his Latornell Award

As proof of this lifelong commitment, his achievements were recently acknowledged with the Environmental Leadership Award. Peter was one of five recipients recognized for their profound impact on conservation in Ontario.

So note those dates and plan to spend some quality outdoor time with our award-winning leader, Peter Middleton.



peter fernsPeter Middleton is a retired outdoor education teacher and principal. He has guided groups, to many areas of the globe, to observe birds, animals and plants, and interpret natural environments. Throughout his life, Peter has had an overarching interest in birds. His passion for birds began as a young boy in northeast Scotland, and continued to develop in Canada when his family immigrated in 1952. He is a respected field ornithologist who, over the years, has contributed to many projects including the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, North America Breeding Bird Surveys, Grey-Bruce Records Committee and Endangered Species Recovery Programs. He was a leader for the endangered Piping Plover Protection Project at Sauble Beach.  He served as President of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists and has been a member of OSFN since its inception in 1989. In his spare time he serves as a Director on the Board of the Bluewater Association for Lifelong Learning (BALL) and on the Board of Ontario Nature.


MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 tor JUNE 1 -2014



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