Nicola Naturalist Society – Winter & Spring Events 2022

We are resuming evening meetings starting with our March 2022 meeting – see below. We will update this posting as needed. Members please check your emails for updates on events.

Evening meetings of the Nicola Naturalist Society are held once a month from September through May. We generally meet at 7PM on the third Thursday of the month in the Lecture Theatre of NVIT (Nicola Valley Institute of Technology) on Belshaw Road, Merritt. Admission is free to members. We have awesome raffles.

Field Outings are usually held in spring, summer and fall and are listed below. Members will receive e-mail notices too. Field trips are restricted to members (but visitors can sign up as a member for the day for a nominal fee).

We are on Facebook. Check out our Facebook page: NNS Facebook

Sunday February 27th 2018 – Annual Snow Bunting Shiver outing

Continuing our winter tradition we will be heading up to the Douglas Lake Plateau highlands to look for Snow Buntings, Rough-legged Hawks and other winter specialties. In previous years we have also found Sharp-tailed Grouse, Horned Larks and once …. a Snowy Owl. And yes – we do usually see some Snow Buntings!  Meet at 9 AM at the Merritt Civic Centre parking lot. Bring lunch, a hot drink, warm clothes, binoculars, camera etc.

To see photos of this outing click here: Snow Bunting Shiver 2022

A mix of Snow Buntings and a few Horned Larks on our February 2018 Snow Bunting Shiver outing. Photo: © Alan Burger

Thursday March 17th, 2022, 7 PM at NVIT Lecture Theatre: Frank Ritcey – Ethical Wildlife Viewing & Photography   

Join Frank for an evening of videos and photos of BC wildlife and an in-depth discussion about what it means to be an ethical viewer and photographer of wildlife. An active Nicola Naturalist Society member, Frank formerly worked for WildSafe in Kamloops, promoting safe interactions between humans and wildlife. Those who enjoyed Frank’s recent photo/video exhibition in Merritt know that this evening will be a real treat.

Frank will have copies of his latest book for sale and signing: Tigers, Tumbleweeds  and Trauma

A sleepy Barred Owl yawning. Photo: © Frank Ritcey.

Sunday April 17th, 2022 – Sandhill Crane outing to the Douglas Lake Plateau.

Meet at the Merritt Civic Centre parking lot at 07:45. An early start is needed to catch the cranes before they take off on their migration.

To see photos of this outing click here: Sandhill Crane Outing 17APR2022

Thursday April 21st, 2022, 7 PM at NVIT Lecture Theatre: Camille Roberge – Are Cutblocks Affecting Moose Nutrition?

Camille Roberge is a Registered Professional Biologist pursuing a Master’s degree at Thompson Rivers University. She is collaborating with Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, BC Ministry of Forests and Teck to understand the effects of forestry on the declining moose population in Wildlife Management Unit 3-18 (north of Merritt and west of Logan Lake). Specifically, she is investigating whether plants growing in forestry cutblocks are of lower nutritional quality than plants growing in intact forests, and whether this affects the condition, reproduction and survival of moose. Come and learn more about one of our most charismatic mammals.

Camille Roberge’s presentation will feature moose nutrition in cutblocks in our area. Moose photo: © Bruce Walter. Insets: © Camille Roberge

Thursday May 19th, 2022, 7 PM at NVIT Lecture Theatre: Michael Ebenal – The Kingdom of Fungi

Humans have had a close relationship with Fungi for thousands of years. Not only do we relish mushrooms, but other forms of Fungi (yeasts etc.) are essential for our bread, beer and much more. But Fungi remain mysterious and poorly understood by most people. Michael Ebenal has been cultivating, foraging and researching mushrooms since 2015. In 2019 he built a lab, incubation area and fruiting chamber to grow mushrooms. Michael will present a slide show covering the life cycles of Fungi, Fungi as food and medicine and for remediation of toxins and damaged and poisoned landscapes. He will also explain low-tec cultivation techniques for mushrooms. Not to be missed if you like mushrooms …. or bread or beer!

Local mushrooms from the Merritt area. Photos: ©Alan Burger


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