Ticks in our backyard, a Wild Walk on Coastal Ecology and more:

Jamiel here to tell you about another week at the HLC!

On Tuesday, Shelley and her family paid us a visit to talk about upcoming tick research that will be conducted at the Harrison Lewis Centre. According to the provincial website: “Everyone who spends time outside in Nova Scotia – even in urban and suburban areas – is at risk of being bitten by a tick.” The rare ticks we’ve caught on our most recent walks have been placed in a veil, with plans to set them in resin for better viewing. There are several kinds of ticks in Nova Scotia, but only the black legged ticks carry the bacteria and virus that cause tick-borne diseases. You can clearly see the differences between species in the picture below.

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Another fun and successful Wild Wednesday took place this week at Thomas Raddall Provincial Park led by Sue Penney, an experienced Education Coordinator with Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park. The topic was “A Wild Walk on Coastal Ecology”. Throughout our hike Sue introduced us to many trees, shrubs and other wildlife that surrounded the trail. She helped us identify Bunchberries (Cornus canadensis) and insisted that we try them. They are often thought to be tasteless, but we found if you chew them slowly they have a subtle sweet taste. 

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Sue was most passionate about all the different species of lichen that could be found on rocks and trees alike. A magic trick was preformed on one species of lichens growing on a tree, after pouring some water and waiting a few seconds, what used to be a brown withered lichen turned a luscious green colour.

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After pointing out some poison ivy and how to identify it, we finished our walk by cooling off at the beach. We learned about green crabs as we attempted to catch them in our butterfly nets. A handful were caught, shown mercy and released back to the environment to reek havoc on the eelgrass.

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One of the attendees brought along their traveling buddy Bettina, they take her on all their trips and photograph her doing amusing things. It was quite funny, and you can check her Instagram page out here. Much thanks to Sue Penney for guiding us on this very informative walk.

 Bettina Noodles

Bettina Noodles

This Sunday we will be hosting an Important Bird Area (IBA) gathering to discuss the significance of Port Joli and other IBAs. There will be a presentation from Bird Studies Canada, an update on waterfowl data that has been captured by the MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System antenna installed at the Harrison Lewis Centre, and a guided walk to Sandy Beach to observe migrating waterfowl. There will also be refreshments and snacks after the walk. For more information contact info@harrisonlewiscentre.org

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Tuesday we will be hosting another installment of our Never-2-Old workshop. This workshop, led by Yvonne Sovereign, introduces participants to the wonderful art of weaving with discarded and reclaimed fishing nets. Attendees can create small take-home projects and there will be a complimentary lunch at noon. For more information on scheduling and registration, click here.

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Next Wild Wednesday will be held at Carters Beach where we will look at the ecological significance of beach and dune ecosystems. We will be examining migratory birds, insects, and mammals that inhabit the dunes and beachs. For more information on the event and registration click here.

We are still selling raffle tickets for the beautiful watercolour painting of the nearby Sandy Bay Beach donated by local artist Roger Savage to raise funds for our organization. The tickets are $2 each, or three for $5. The draw will take place at the end of September. To purchase tickets, contact Jessica Bradford at (902)-440-5503 or by email at info@harrisonlewiscentre.org

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