Ranavirus in the Credit River drainage basin, with Phil Bird

Friends of Headwaters Nature and fellow naturalists,

Our next meeting is coming up quickly on Tuesday October 18th at 7:00 P.M. at the Orangeville Seniors Centre, 26th Bythia St, Orangeville.

Our main speaker will be Phil Bird, who spoke to us several years ago on the topic of local fish populations. 

Phil will present a background on Ranaviruses including multiple confirmations of Frog Virus 3 (FV3) within the Credit River watershed. He will discuss the signs and effects, other recent findings in Ontario and most importantly; what CVC is doing and what residents can do to minimize the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species and pathogens. 

Phil is a Specialist in Watershed Monitoring for Credit Valley Conservation. Phil also spoke briefly during our first meeting about the fish surveys he and others have done in the Willoughby Nature Reserve that Headwaters Nature helps look after. (This next meeting we will properly equip him with a data projector and screen. I apologize to you all — especially Phil — for seriously goofing last time.)

(Editor’s note: I spent a few sobering minutes looking up ranaviruses on the internet. This virus that affects much more than frogs … Apparently, Canadians are leaders in researching this Frog Virus 3 virus.) 

Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle, at Laurel Creek, Waterloo.
Why, you may ask, am I including this turtle image when we’re learning about a Frog virus?



Here are links sent by Phil Bird for reporting and for data access to local detailed natural history information:

The Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC) reporting link:  natural-heritage-information-centre-nhic-observation-reporting-form

CVC now has an open data portal which includes fish data:  cvc-camaps.opendata.arcgis.com

A separate interactive map for fish records:  CVC Fish Data

Scheduled regular meetings are October 18th and November 15th, 7:00 P.M., (both of which are the third Tuesdays of their respective months.) Ron Jasiuk is working on lining up speakers and we’ll announce those finalized arrangements both by email and through the website: https://onHeadwatersNature.ca 

At our first meeting, we asked for volunteers to help improve our Headwaters Nature offerings. Our speaker, Phil Bird, is one such volunteer — and others have likewise offered to showcase their natural history experiences and skills. The photographer of the following Horsetail image, is another. I’m very grateful to Jessica Whyte for offering to help us run our social media services!

Horsetail (Marsh? or Meadow?)
Horsetail, by Jessica Whyte

     Mark Whitcombe,  representing the Headwaters Nature executive
          “Everything is a relationship” 

Re-Starting Headwaters Nature in-person meetings!

Tuesday evening, 2022 Sept 27th, 7:00 P.M.

Friends of Headwaters Nature and fellow naturalists,

We’re confident enough now to come out of the isolation we’ve endured during the doldrums of Covid-19. We’re going to start with our first in-person meeting since 2020!

On Tuesday evening, September 27th, 7:00 P.M., gather with us at our usual spot in the Orangeville And District Seniors Centre, 26 Bythia Street, Orangeville. (For Covid-19 reasons, we will not be providing the usual treats or coffee or tea.)

  • We will introduce those of us who are resuscitating Headwaters Nature.
  • We’ll be gathering your names and contact information to update our membership list from three years ago.
  • We’ll be asking you to support us by paying your nominal membership fees. We will be maintaining our fee structure of $25 per person or $35 for couples. These fees are payable by cash or cheque in-person, or payable via e-transfer to treasurer@onheadwatersnature.ca
  • We’ll update you on our current project of the club becoming Stewards for the Willoughby Nature Reserve owned by Ontario Nature.
    • Phil Bird, an Orangeville native and now a Fisheries biologist for the Credit Vally Conservation, will give us a brief update on the work that he and others have done for the CVC on the stream life of Silver Creek, the stream that flows through the Willoughby Nature Reserve.
  • We’ll briefly mention the Christmas Bird Count, and other programs we have in mind.
  • I know that many of you have continued to be actively involved in your own personal ways as naturalists throughout the years of the pandemic. Please come prepared to speak about one or more of the most personally significant such experiences you’ve had as a naturalist throughout the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • We’ll have discussion about what you would like to offer as services of Headwaters Nature — leading me to …
  • We’ll be asking you to volunteer to take responsibility for the on-going operation of Headwaters Nature. This is a labour of love for us — but new love and energy would be wonderful!

For those who might want a brief outdoor excursion _before_ the meeting, we will be stroll around what is perhaps the best example of re-naturalizing a property in Orangeville. The owner is doing an advanced degree in landscape design and implementation. Their property is very close to the Seniors Centre. We will start promptly at 6:30 P.M., and aim to be back at the Seniors Centre by 6:55 P.MSince the weather for Tuesday evening is looking somewhat showery, if you wish to come to this pre-meeting short tour, come dressed appropriately for a short and easy walk through this remarkable garden!

Beginning in October, we have booked regular meetings for October 18th and November 15th, 7:00 P.M., (both of which are the third Tuesdays of their respective months.) Our December ‘meeting’ will be the Christmas Bird Count!

     Mark Whitcombe  representing the Headwaters Nature executive 519.939.0020
          “Everything is a relationship” 

Mono Pollinator Gardens — our first meeting of the year!

Our first meeting of this Covid-19 year will be a combination of a standard Nature Headwaters meeting and a field trip! We’ll be outside and following the required Covid-19 safety guidelines — and we’ll be celebrating the fine work of the volunteers who have put this Mono Township public garden together over the past few years.

We’ll be meeting on our regular last-Tuesday of the month, the 29th of September. This month, because we’ll be outside, we’ll be starting early at 6 P.M. and ending when it gets dark. Sunset that day will be 7:03 P.M. The gathering will obviously be somewhat weather-dependent. Watch your email on the afternoon of Sept 29th for updates.

Overlooking the Mono Pollinator Garden

We’ll meet at the Mono Pollinator Garden .9 km E of #10 on Hockley Rd, on the south side, with a clear sign into the parking lot. There is enough room for 15-20 cars if we park carefully. Walking is on flat crushed limestone paths; the total length of paths is perhaps 250 metres maximum.

We will be using field trip protocols from other organizations. This will include the following:

  • We will be outside for this whole meeting!
  • We will ask you to sign-in as symptom-free.
  • Masking for all, please — to protect others as well as yourself.
  • Physically-distanced where possible.
  • We will be in small sub-groups of half a dozen or so wandering around the garden — with an activity to help guide your observations and discussions.
  • We will have various members of the Executive in places around the garden.
  • (We may need to consider waivers as per our insurance contract.)
pollinators sign
What are the Pollinating Insects?
Bombus impatiens, the American Bumblebee, the most common species around Orangeville.

If you are planning on attending, please let us know at info@onheadwatersnature.ca

Likewise, if you have questions or suggestions, please use the same info@onheadwatersnature.ca email address.