The Oystercatcher: News and Events from the Mayne Island Conservancy

November, 2020

Events

(Online) Arbutus Propagation from Seed

(Online) Arbutus Propagation from Seed
Join us for our first foray into online presentations. This short 25 minute talk by Registered Professional Biologist Rob Underhill will provide an introduction to one of the most iconic Gulf Island species; the arbutus tree. Join us to learn all the steps of growing an arbutus from seed collection to planting. This year, we're seeking volunteers to help us collect and …

Read more

Articles

Mushrooms of Mayne Island

Mushrooms of Mayne Island
By Nancy Gibson

Two small groups of masked Mayne Islanders explored lower Mount Parke in search of fungi specimens on our October mushroom walks. There were many pairs of smiling eyes taking in the variety and beauty of these living organisms, all feeling very fortunate to be guided by Rene Zich, a mushroom expert from Galiano Island. With the help of locals Michael …

Read more

2020 Nature Photo Contest Winners

2020 Nature Photo Contest Winners
By Rob Underhill

We had an excellent diversity of photos submitted this year. In total, 35 amateur photographers submitted 87 photographs. Thank you to everyone who submitted entries, as well as our judges for making some tough decisions! Below is a slideshow of the winning selection, in no particular order. All of the winning photos will be featured in our 2021 Nature Calendar, …

Read more
Hooded Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes romanzoffiana)  

Notes from the Field

You Just Never Know….

by Michael Dunn

Have you ever had the experience of walking by a place routinely over time and in so doing, grow familiar with how it looks and fits together? Now think of a time when something has changed in that place and you wonder if actually it was always there or is there something new? If you are still with me on this, I have a beautiful example for you that happened recently at our home.

We have lived at our present place for about 12 years and over that time have grown to know the rhythms of this place – the when, where and who of other resident creatures and the seasonality of the forests and other plants. Even with this knowledge and comfort, one can still be surprised by beautiful, unexpected events.

There is an area of grass that I sometimes cut annually by scythe, where I harvest at least a handful of wild strawberries in the early summer. To do this, one has to really get low down and observe through the grasses to find the tiny strawberries. This patch is next the greenhouse and is one of the main paths to the driveway and out to the road. One day, I was taking this path to the road and just happened to glance down at the grassy area as I pass and bam! There it was! A single plant just nodding in the breeze: a beautiful Hooded Ladies’ Tresses orchid (Spiranthes romanzoffiana)! I could not believe it was there and, more to the point, how long had it may have been growing in that spot without me noticing it. Or maybe it had been a tasty morsel for a deer in previous years? After a look around the location of this plant, I discovered another one also in bloom. The Hooded Ladies’ Tresses are widespread in the Northern Hemisphere but never in large numbers at any one site. This single plant is likely the first record for Mayne Island, and there is only one small population known in our region on Galiano Island. Needless to say, I have now put protection around both plants and will see how many, if any, bloom next year now I know they are there. You just never know what you might see if you take the time to look closely, even in places you think you know well.

Photo above: Hooded Ladies’ Tresses (Spiranthes romanzoffiana) by Michael Dunn

Tread Lightly - Derelict Docks

Tread Lightly - Derelict Docks
By Rob Underhill

In this month's Tread Lightly article we're taking a closer look at the issue of derelict docks. This has been a growing problem in the last few years, and we expect more docks will wash up on our shores in the future. Climatologists are predicting an increase in the frequency and severity of winter storms, and many of the docks …

Read more

An Addition to Mount Parke

An Addition to Mount Parke
By Michael Dunn

As you may have heard, the Capital Regional (CRD) Parks closed on the purchase of a piece of the private land known as Lot 7, Glen Echo to add to the lands that make up the Mt. Parke Regional Park. This purchase adds almost 46 hectares (113 acres) to the regional park, and the Mayne Island …

Read more

"Living With Bats" Presentation

"Living With Bats" Presentation
Our executive director Michael Dunn reports that he attended a virtual conference on all things bat for BC Community Bat folks. Here is an online session that may be of interest to our many community members who are interested in co-existing with bats.

Read more
The Conservancy is grateful for your support and welcomes donations, either one time or monthly.

And your membership is also important to us.
facebook twitter