HLC News, 5.31.16

Please welcome Leah Strople and Abbie Hudson to the Harrison Lewis Centre where they are taking a break from studies (at Dalhousie and the University of Ottawa respectively) to take on running operations on the hill. Leah is majoring in marine biology, and Abbie in environmental sciences.

In a short time they have made their mark, for in addition to working like slaves to bring facilities up to snuff for the coming season (including washing down the kitchen top-to-bottom) they have revamped our website (HarrisonLewisCentre.org), beefed up the facebook account, established our presence on Instagram, and created a slide show of old and new photos that will be used to promote the Centre, created and distributed posters for upcoming workshops, and looked after the needs of our first Dalhousie field class (ornithology).

Now that we are up and running Leah and Abbie can delve into activities that require more reliance on brain over brawn. While they will be working together (and what luck that the two do work so well together) Abbie’s focus will be the creation of a document summarizing research that has been carried out in the immediate area over many years into habitats and inhabitants of our wild coastal lands. Two summers ago Dalhousie student Spencer Quimby built a database of these studies going back many years. This needs to be edited, updated, and most of all be accompanied by a well-written summary report.

 Our newest cabin

Our newest cabin

Leah is taking the lead on our Wild Wednesdays program taking place at Raddall Park through July and August. That entails arranging a two-hour nature walk each Wednesday afternoon, finding resources for each (lead instructor when it is not either Leah or Abbie, literature such as brochures published by the Port Joli Basin Conservation Society, aids such as nets, lenses, etc.) And in addition promoting Wild Wednesdays through posters, social media, and local providers like tourist bureaus of news about what is taking place in the area.

Other projects are being discussed.

In other news from the Centre, we have a new cabin that can sleep six (soon as we have another set of bunk beds. Please keep an eye out for same. Leah and Abbie have taken over the loft in this new cabin and two can pile in there to the one double bunk already available. With this new cabin (five in total) we can easily put twenty under a roof. The boat house when needed can take another three.

On the wildlife side, in addition to scores of warblers and other song birds passing through and some stopping, we have lots of Snowshoe hares about this year, Ruffed grouse too, and black bear (a few seen, and much bear scat around). Piping plovers are on the beach (must be nesting although I do not think a nest has been located). Plenty of ticks and Red squirrels; a pair of scourges. It has been a cool spring thus far ­– not much fun for Abbie and Leah although they have not been complaining. That does not seem to be in their nature, to complain.

Lucky us.

That’s all for now. Best regards, Dirk