Have fun and learn something new
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | February 2, 2017|
If you’d like to be an animal track sleuth, hold snakes and turtles, listen to hooting owls or learn about wild edibles, this year’s discovery days are something you won’t want to miss.
The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) has announced its 2017 events, thanks to funding from TD Friends of the Environment.
“We have an enthusiastic committee who are excited to provide unique and educational experiences for all ages and interests,” said HHLT board member and discovery days committee chair, Joan Duhaime.
She said the program is a chance for people of all ages to have fun and learn something new. Most events will take place on a Saturday and most are offered by donation. Duhaime said the public’s generosity helps the HHLT continue programs such as discovery days and also helps their work as land stewards.
She urged people to check individual event listings as some have limited spaces and some have a fee. Winter tracks and signs: Saturday, Feb. 4, 10 a.m. to noon at Nature’s Place, Minden. Wildlife biologist Irene Heaven, the education coordinator at Abbey Gardens, will lead participants.
They will begin inside Nature’s Place where they will have a chance to observe and learn about various animal tracks. They will make their own animal prints in plaster, and have an opportunity to make animal track crayon rubbings and sponge prints. If the weather is good, they will go outside and explore a nearby path to find and identify animal signs and tracks.
Register at haliburtonlandtrust.ca as there are limited spaces and craft supplies for this workshop. Admission by donation.
Reptile road show: Saturday, Mar. 18, 10 a.m. to noon. The knowledgeable folks from Scales Nature Park will bring their highly acclaimed outreach program to Haliburton with a selection of interesting snakes and turtles to see, touch, and learn about. It’s a fascinating presentation, and a chance to get up close and personal with some amazing reptiles that most of us would never encounter in the wild. Tickets must be purchased before the event either online at haliburtonlandtrust.ca or in person at the HHLT office at 739 Mountain St. Haliburton. Cost is $15 per adult, $10 per child, family pass (up to two adults and two children) $30 (pre-paid). The show is at the Haliburton Outdoors Association’s Fish Hatchery at 6712 Gelert Rd.
Sounds of the night: owl prowl: Saturday, Apr. 8, 8-10 p.m. Join Haliburton naturalist Pauline Plooard and listen in the dark for owls calling. Participants will visit several locations on the Ontario Nocturnal Owl Survey route which Plooard monitors for Bird Studies Canada. Owls are identified by their distinct calls. So listen and learn.
Chances are good at this time of year that an owl or two might even be seen, as happened last year. Dress warmly, including your footwear, and bring a headlamp or flashlight. Admission by donation. Meet at Zion United Church, 1021 East Rd., Carnarvon at 8 p.m. Carpools will be organized and directions provided.
Wild leeks, edibles and spring wildflowers: Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. to noon. Explore the woods at Abbey Gardens and forage for wild edibles with food forester and wild epicurean Carolyn Langdon. Participants will hike the trails and learn about the sustainable harvesting of leeks. They will also learn about other spring wildflowers and their features. After the walk, people will come back to the kitchen to try some homemade potato and leek soup. (Other foods will also be available for purchase.) Register before attending to help with food preparation quantities at haliburtonlandtrust.ca. Cost is $5 per person, including soup, payment online or in person on the day. This event is at Abbey Gardens, 1012 Garden Gate Dr., Haliburton off of Hwy 118 W.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.