Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Goldie Award Winner 2015 - Joan Crowe

Joan has led at least 9 field trips and workshops for FBO
 First came to Ontario (Thunder Bay) in 1968
Volunteered at Claude Garton Herbarium
Taught several courses at Lakehead University
Has published numerous reports on liverworts, lichens, and vascular plants, particularly in the Thunder Bay District and Bruce/Grey County
Joan and Walter with OSFN donated their property at Long Swamp to the Nature Conservancy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Field Botanists of Ontario’s 31th Annual General Meeting Saturday – Sunday, September 12 and 13, 2015 Peterborough

The AGM will be held in Peterborough at the Lion’s Club on Saturday September 12, beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Please join us for an evening of good food, socializing, and entertainment.  Enjoy a catered meal, cash bar, and a presentation by Jeff Saarela from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

As part of our AGM weekend event, we have organized a variety of field trips lead by renowned botanists and naturalists in the Peterborough area.  The trips showcase some of the area’s premier conservation lands and botanical hot-spots.  Trip descriptions are included below.  Note that field trips are open to non-FBO members after priority has been given to members.  For non-members, there is a surcharge of $5 per person per trip.

Please print and fill out the registration form below, indicating your choice of field trips and whether you will be attending the banquet/social on Saturday evening. 

Please make your cheques payable to: “Field Botanists of Ontario” and send your cheque and registration form to: 
Dan Westerhof
244 Hunter St W.
Hamilton, ON L8P1S1

Your cheque will be cashed following the AGM. Refunds will be issued, provided cancellations are received 7 days prior to the AGM, at the latest. No-shows will not be refunded.

For those intending to stay overnight, there are a variety of accommodations available in the Peterborough area.

For the field trips, please arrive adequately supplied with food and drinks, and in proper footwear and clothing.  As per our policies, personal collecting of plant material (whole specimens or parts, seeds, etc.) is not permitted on trips unless stated otherwise. The trip leader may take voucher specimens for deposition in recognized herbaria.

Field Trips:  Saturday September 12, 2015

Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Leader: Bill Crins (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)
10:15 am – 3:15 pm

Located northeast of Peterborough, Petroglyphs Provincial Park is well-known for its First Nations rock carvings; however, the approximately 1600 ha park also supports a diversity of plant communities and flora characteristic of the Great Lake-St. Lawrence Lowland Region. Habitats include rocky ridges and outcrops with thin cover of herbs and grasses and scattered trees; conifer stands dominated by red and white pine; mixed conifer-hardwood forests, and bottomland meadows and swamps.   Because the park is located on southern edge of the Precambrian Shield, many of the plants are acidophiles, but there are marble exposures which will support a few calciphiles.  

We will be hiking one of the trails in the park, which are 5-7 km in length.  The distance covered will depend on timing.  If there is time left in the afternoon, we may stop at McGinnis Lake (also inside the park), which is a meromictic, marl-bottomed lake.

Mosquitoes are likely to be present, and poison-ivy is present in some parts of the park, particularly where there are marble outcrops.   Long sleeves and pants are recommended.  The trails are relatively long, with irregular terrain.  Pack a lunch, plenty of water, and sunscreen.

Meet at the parking lot at the Learning Centre of the park (end of the road, 2-3 km in from the park entrance) at 10:15 (park gates open at 10:00).  The park entrance is at 2249 Northey’s Bay Rd. Woodview, ON.  Please note that there is day use fee of a $14.50/vehicle (unless you have a seasonal park pass).  Carpooling is encouraged.

Oak Heights Prairie
Leader: Todd Farrell (The Nature Conservancy of Canada)
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Explore the eastern end of the Oak Ridges Moraine in the footsteps of the famous Canadian botanist John Macoun, who lived and worked in the Castleton area and explored the Oak Heights Prairie, which is part of the NCC Barr property.  This tour will explore that property, a restoration hot spot, and we will see the tallgrass prairie and oak savanna plants, many of which will be easily recognizable at this time of year, that make this one of the key NCC properties within the Rice Lake Plains Natural Area. 

Participants may encounter poison ivy, mosquitos, and ticks, so please dress accordingly and bring insect repellant.    Comfortable hiking shoes, long pants and shirt are recommended.

Pack a lunch, plenty of water, and sunscreen.

Directions:  From 401 at County Road 25 (exit 497), travel north approximately 7.5 through Castleton. County Rd. 25 veers west and becomes County Rd. 22. Follow this and turn north on Jakobi Road, which ends in about 3 km at Dunbar Road. Travel west on Dunbar Rd for 2.3 km to Russ Creek Road, park along the road side. Access to the land is gained by walking north on Russ Creek Road to the property sign on the east side of the road.

Field Trips:  Sunday September 13, 2015

Warsaw Caves Conservation Area
Leader: Mike Oldham (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Located northeast of Peterborough, the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area and provincially significant ANSI offers a diversity of karst landscape features, including limestone plains, solution holes, underground channels, and limestone cliffs. Limestone plains along the Indian River support upland coniferous and mixed successional forests, which are representative of limestone plain upland forests in the Central Region. An area of mature Sugar Maple forest (75-140 years old) dominates the deeper soil deposits in the central portion of the area.  Trip participants can expect to see a variety of alvar and forest species, with a good diversity of ferns including locally rare species such as Walking Fern and Maidenhair Spleenwort.

We may encounter poison ivy, ticks, and chiggers.  Hiking boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat, sun screen, and insect repellent are recommended.  Pack a lunch and plenty of water.

The park entrance is located at 289 Caves Road, Warsaw, ON.  Please note that a separate park entrance fee may apply: $12.00/car or $4.50/walk-in.  Car-pooling is encouraged.

Alderville Black Oak Savanna (ABOS)
Leaders: Rick Beaver and Janine McLeod (ABOS)
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Located southeast of Peterborough, the Alderville Black Oak Savanna (ABOS) is a 150 acre natural area managed by the Alderville First Nation.  The area supports provincially rare tallgrass prairie and savanna habitats as well as oak/pine woodland.  A number of Species at Risk inhabit the site, including Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Wood Thrush, and Mottled Duskywing and Monarch Butterflies.  Visitors in September will see Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, and many aster species at their peak.  A diversity of other prairie and savanna plants may be seen, including:  Prairie Buttercup, Prairie Lily, Slender Wheatgrass, Bicknell’s Frostweed, Canada Rock Rose, Pointed-leaf Tick Trefoil, Black Snakeroot, Tall Green Milkweed, Prairie Willow, Senega Snakeroot, Downy Arrow-wood Viburnum, Prairie Cinquefoil, Hoary Vervain, Thin-leaved Sunflower, and Gray Goldenrod.

The tour will include areas of the site that are in different stages of restoration.  Trip participants will learn about the history of the site and how the area is being restored and managed to maintain high quality prairie and savanna habitat. 

Poison ivy may be encountered by those who venture off the trails. The trails are mowed and have a moderate slope in places.  Long pants, closed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen are recommended.   Pack a lunch and water bottle.  Coffee, tea, and cold drinks as well as refills for your water bottles will be available on-site.

Meet at the ABOS Ecology Centre located at 8467 County Road 18, Alderville, ON.  Visit for more information.

Field Botanists of Ontario
Annual General Meeting and Dinner

Saturday September 12, 2015
Peterborough Lion’s Community Centre
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Following Saturday’s field trips, we will meet at the Peterborough Lion’s Community Centre for our evening AGM program.  The Community Centre is located at 347 Burnham Street in Peterborough.

AGM Program

5:00 – 6:00      Social hour: an opportunity to meet and chat with fellow FBO members and enjoy some refreshments.  A cash bar will be available.

6:00 – 7:00      Buffet Dinner

7:00 – 8:00      Feature Speaker:  Jeff M. Saarela (Research Scientist, Canadian Museum of Nature)
“From Spruce to Shore: Arctic Botany of the Coppermine River, Nunavut”
In July 2014, Jeff and his colleagues explored the rich flora of the Coppermine River valley, including spectacular Bloody Falls/Kugluk Territorial Park and Kugluktuk in western Nunavut. In this botanically underexplored area, the treeline reaches its northern limit in Nunavut, just 40 km south of the Arctic coast. Among more than 1000 collections of vascular plants are many first records for Nunavut and numerous major and minor range extensions for boreal and Arctic species. Detailed floristic knowledge of this area provides solid baseline knowledge of plant biodiversity that may be useful for tracking future change in the area due to climate change.  

8:00 – 9:30      Annual General Meeting


Ø  Call to Order
Ø  Introduction of FBO Executive and address of the President
Ø  Presentation of Goldie Award
Ø  Approval of Agenda
Ø  Approval of the 2014 AGM Minutes
Ø  Treasurer’s Report
Ø  Auditor’s Report
Ø  Membership Chairman’s Report
Ø  Nominating Committee Report and election of officers
Ø  Suggestions for future trips and location of 2016 AGM
Ø  General discussion and other business
Ø  Adjournment

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Online Resources for Winter Twig ID

Woody Plants in Winter online FREE!

Winter Botany available online in PDF for free

Portrait of Earth by Josh Sayers
-          Excellent high resolution pictures
-          Extensive list of species from Southern Ontario

Flora by Max.
Good pictures of common species

Tree ID app for phone or tablet

Winter Twig ID
-          Narrows it down to a few options

-          Has photo profiles of each species including bud shots

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter Twig Workshop

The FBO is holding a winter twig workshop on February 22nd, at the University of Guelph Arboretum, at the J.C. Taylor Nature Centre.  Brian Lacey will be the instructor.  It will include a "laboratory" component for the morning, where we will learn the characters that help identify trees in non-leafy conditions such as bud scars, bud scales and bark.  In the afternoon we will head out to the arboretum to put these skills into practice.

Please send an email to if you are interested.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

TRCA Sedge Workshop 2014

Toronto and Region Conservation is considering hosting a sedge identification workshop in the summer of 2014. 

This course which has run successfully in the past will run again pending the appropriate interest level.  The 2-day workshop, consisting of in-class and in-field training is designed to introduce participants to a wide cross-section of sedge species found throughout the Greater Toronto Area and the keys to their identification. 

Workshop details, including dates and registration information will be provided at a later date. 

If you or anyone you know would be interested in attending such a workshop please respond back before February 17th to:

Natasha Gonsalves, B.Sc. 
Sedge Workshop Coordinator, Watershed Monitoring and Reporting Section
Toronto and Region Conservation AuthorityE-mail: 

(I have attended this workshop and it is a great one for woodland and wetland sedges!)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Early Trip alert for 2014!

The FBO is offering a Winter Woody Plant ID workshop at the University of Guelph Arboretum Taylor Centre in Guelph on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014.  Brian Lacey, who helped to develop a manual of woody plants for the Department of Botany at the University of Guelph, will provide guidance on the characters used to recognize woody plant species without their leaves, including bark, winter buds, leaf scars and growth form.  We will start using a hand lens and field guides with some samples indoors, and follow up with a walk around the Arboretum to apply our knowledge. The trip will end at approximately 4:00.  If you are interested please contact Sarah Mainguy  for details.  Registration will be restricted to approximately 24 people due to space restrictions.  Please note that there will be an additional charge to cover the room rental of $9.00 per person.