Saturday, June 4, 2011

2011 FBO Field Trips

Rouge Valley Spring Flora Saturday, May 7 (9:50AM)
Leader: Dan Westerhof
Location: Rouge Valley Park, Toronto
Dan Westerhof will lead us on a trip to view spring wildflowers and learn about some issues of conservation of Toronto flora in the Rouge Valley, Toronto. In addition to showing us some of the richest sites for ephemeral flora and woodland sedges, he will show us the unusual southern species that showcase Toronto’s location in the Carolinian zone of Canada.

Spring Flora in the Tanager Tract Sunday, May 15 (9:50AM)
Leader: Jane Bowles
Location: near West Lorne in West Elgin, Ontario
The Tanager Tract, recently purchased by the Thames Talbot Land Trust, is part of a 380‐ha forest known as the West Lorne Woods, a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). This woodland, widely regarded as one of the best examples of Carolinian forest in Elgin County and one of its top botanical sites, is an outstanding remnant of the region's original extensively forested landscape. This rich forest nurtures the growth of many hardwood trees unique to the Carolinian Zone and many varieties of ferns.

Cedar Creek Woodlands Saturday, June 4 (9:50AM)
Leader: Anton Reznicek
Location: near Arner, west of Kingsville, Ontario
This trip will be to see the woodlands along Cedar Creek in the vicinity of Arner, just west of Kingsville near the Lake Erie shore. We will be visiting Arner Point, and other Essex Region Conservation Authority lands. These are the largest contiguous wooded areas in Essex County outside of Point Pelee National Park and even though the emerald Ash Borer has taken a toll, they still have a lot of typical southern deciduous forest trees such as Flowering Dogwood, Tuliptree, Black Gum, and Chestnut that we should see, lots of southern sedges including hopefully at least some of such rarities as Carex festucacea, Carex retroflexa, and C. squarrosa, a presumably native occurrence of Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans), and some interesting items on the oak dominated slopes, as well as the typical understory of “Carolinian” forests.

Orchids of the Bruce Peninsula Saturday, June 11 (9:50AM)
Leader: Joan Crowe
Location: Sauble Beach to Petrel Point, Ontario
This trip will start with a hunt for two unusual orchids in the huge post‐glacial sand dunes near Sauble Beach Community Centre. As we head north to Petrel Point Nature Reserve, there are several more sites on the edges of the moist wooded areas. Petrel Point, a classic example of a fen, has a relatively high pH which provides habitat for a number of orchid species.

East Cross Forest Saturday, June 18 (9:30AM)
Leader: Dale Leadbeater
Location: Fleetwood Conservation Area, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
The Fleetwood Creek Natural Area, a river valley system on the Oak Ridges Moraine, contains lowland forests, hardwood bush, meadows and steep valleys. There are over 250 kinds of plants and 44 types of birds. A variety of geological formations caused by glaciation can be found in the area, including kames, kettles, eskers and ice‐contact ridges. A large part of the property is designated as a Provincially Significant Earth and Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).

Murphy’s Point Provincial Park Sunday June 26 (9:00AM)
Leader: Eleanor Thompson
Location: Murphy’s Point Provincial Park (about an hour north of Kingston).
Murphy’s Point Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Big Rideau Lake, part of the Rideau Waterway. With its rugged topography, beautiful mixed forests, rock outcrops, lakes, creeks, beaver ponds and marshes, it is a lovely example of the Frontenac Axis, a southern extension of the Canadian Shield. The mixture of habitats creates a diverse flora which includes some species at the northern edge and others at the southern edge of their range. Expect a delightful day of enjoying the varied flora of the Shield country. Note that a Provincial Park day pass costs $10.75 per car.

Botanical Exploration of the Greater Toronto Area Saturday, July 9 (9:50AM)
Leader: Steve Varga
Location: somewhere within the GTA (to be announced)
Steve will lead us on a trip in the GTA focusing on a Wetland or Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) that needs a botanical inventory. Members will have a chance to help find interesting plants and vegetation communities in an area that has little in the way of existing botanical information.

Norfolk County Flora Sunday, July 17 (9:50AM)
Leader: Wasyl Bakowsky and Donald Sutherland
Location: several sites in Norfolk County
Wasyl Bakowsky and Donald Sutherland will lead a trip to a number of sites in Norfolk County, including sand prairies, oak – pine woodland, swamps and rich forest. Noteworthy species include Spotted Horsemint (Monarda punctata), Goat’s‐rue (Tephrosia virginica), False Foxgloves (Aureolaria pedicularia and virginica) and Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica).

Prairie Remnants of Windsor, Essex County Saturday, August 6 (9:50AM)
Leader: Dan Barcza
Location: near Windsor, Ontario
Dan will lead us to explore some of the most significant prairie and savannah remnants in Essex County. We will visit several managed and unmanaged sites and discuss some of the issues surrounding conservation of tallgrass prairie in Ontario: for example Ojibway Park, the Tallgrass Prairie, Spring Garden, Black Oak Woods or Devon Woods. We will enjoy spectacular views of the 2
rarest tallgrass prairie and savannah sites at their floral peak.

Chippewas of Nawash First Nation (Cape Croker) Saturday, August 13 (9:50AM)
Leader: Jarmo Jalava
Location: Cape Croker, approximately 20 km NE of Wiarton, Ontario
Jarmo will lead a trip to explore the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation (Cape Croker) reserve on the Bruce Peninsula. There are opportunities to see lots of different habitats (alvars, cliffs, talus, fens, rich escarpment forests, etc.). Cultural exchange will likely be part of this trip. Plant species highlights are Gattinger’s agalinus (Agalinis gattingeri) and grooved yellow flax (Linum sulcatum).

Coastal Plain Ecology – Axe Lake Ontario Sunday, August 28 (10:00AM)
Leaders: Sarah Mainguy and Jan McDonnell
Location: Approximately 30 km NW of Huntsville, Ontario
Sarah and Jan will lead a canoe trip to explore the disjunct Coastal Plain flora of Axe Lake, the richest site for this provincially rare vegetation type in Ontario. We will explore the lake’s flora and will discuss the unusual ecological conditions that are responsible for its persistence over thousands of years since the last glaciation. Coastal Plain indicators at their peak will include Virginia meadow‐beauty (Rhexia virginica). Note that we will be looking for volunteers to bring canoes.

Hawthorns Saturday, 24 September (9:00 AM)
Leader: Dr. James Phipps
Location: University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Hawthorns are, in general, difficult to master without seeing flowering and fruiting material from the same specimen. Therefore, this will be the second of two workshops designed to train skills in identifying hawthorns. We will focus on characteristics most evident in fall, such as changes in pubescence, twig colour, fruit and to a lesser extent, fall leaf colour, as well as brushing up on other identifying characters. We will visit some of the same sites where we tentatively identified hawthorns in the spring of 2010. The following morning, we will practice identification skills in a laboratory setting.

Mushrooms and Other Fungi Sunday, October 2 (9:50 AM)
Leader: Richard Aaron
Location: Koffler Scientific Reserve, King City, Ontario
Welcome to the wonderful world of fungi! The focus of this all‐day workshop will be on identification. All levels of ability are welcome, from complete novice to avid mushroomer. Repeat participants will find it a useful refresher and will undoubtedly see species not seen in previous years. The day will begin with an interpretive walk and specimen collecting, followed by classroom work to identify our finds. A set of field guides will be available for use, and each participant will be provided with a checklist. Discussions throughout the day will range from natural history and ecology to making sense of fungal scientific names. You will also have an opportunity to learn about slime moulds (Myxomycetes). Although not fungi, these fascinating organisms have long been studied by mycologists. We will have use of a classroom, dissecting microscopes, washrooms and kitchen facilities. How civilized! Note: Trip will end at 5:00 pm.

Lichens of Sandbanks Provincial Park Saturday October 15 (9:50 AM)
Leader: Troy McMullin
Location: Sandbanks Provincial Park, south of Bellville, Ontario
There is a rich diversity of lichens at Sandbanks Provincial Park that includes rare and sensitive species. Teloschistes chrysophthalmus (golden‐eye lichen) was recently discovered in the park and it had not been recorded in Ontario for about 100 years. It is a rare species that is particularly sensitive to air pollution, so it is a good indicator that other interesting species may be found there. We will start the day with an introductory talk on lichens at the main office and spend the rest of it on forest trails and beaches. Come be enlichened as we appreciate the small things in life! Note that a hand lens is highly recommended for this trip.

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