Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley
Mississippi River at Pakenham

2017-2018 When Things Go Bump in the Night

Unforgettable Places: A Biologist’s Explorations of the Arctic and Antarctic

Thursday October 19 / 7:30  PM / Almonte United Church Social Hall / Doors open 7 PM

On Thursday, October 19, 2017 we will host the second presentation of our 2017-18 series “When Things Go Bump in The Night.”

We will be treated to the expert environmental storytelling and insights of our special guest speaker, along with her photographic/videographic tour of two incredible “lands of the midnight sun”.  “Unforgettable Places: A Biologist’s Explorations of the Arctic and Antarctic” will be presented by biologist Dr. Shelley Ball. photo courtesy Shelley Ball

Chinstrap Penguins, Antactica. photo Dr. Shelley Ball

Chinstrap Penguins, Antarctica. photo Dr. Shelley Ball

photo Dr. Shelley Ball Ball, an ecologist and population geneticist, photographer and passionate environmental communicator (including as a university professor of Biology and a September 2017 TEDx Ottawa speaker)  is the founder and president of Biosphere Environmental Education. The organization strives to make a positive impact by connecting people with nature, by “show[ing] them the earth’s incredible places, and [inspiring] them to protect these amazing places.”At the core of the approach is experiential learning and teaching the tools of environmental observation and communication, including photography and videography, writing and public speaking. The Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program sees youth undertake significant expeditions, to learn “in-place” in challenging places such as the arctic, thus being inspired to “care for the environment through travel, discovery, photography and video”.

“In December 2016, Shelley was one of 76 women from around the world selected to be part of the inaugural Homeward Bound Women in Science Leadership Expedition to Antarctica – the largest all-women’s expedition to the frozen continent.”

We hope you will decide to join us for what promises to be an excellent and very interesting presentation by Dr. Ball. Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church (106 Elgin St., Almonte) will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM.  Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth under 18; non-members fee at the door is $5; all are welcome.

For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair, Gretta Bradley at

Click here to open the October event press story pdf:  The Call of the Midnight Sun by Cheryl Morris-Putman

Chimney Swifts: The Threatened Species Sleeping in Our Chimneys

Join MVFN as we begin our NEW Natural History series for 2017-2018. The theme for this year’s series is “When Things Go Bump in the Night

On September 21st at 7:30 PM we will host the first of these natural history presentations: “Chimney Swifts: The Threatened Species Sleeping in our Chimneys” with guest speaker educator and biologist Melanie Farquhar.

Our presenter has worked on research projects studying Ancient Murrelet populations in the Queen Charlotte Islands, recording Common Loon vocalizations in eastern Ontario, and recently Chimney Swifts and their roosting behaviour in Renfrew County.

Chimney Swifts are a delight to witness on a warm summer night at dusk as they return home in a swirling rapidly flying group and plummet one by one in “cigar-shaped” dives into their roost for the night. This species is currently in decline. How can citizen scientists help with the conservation of these birds? Melanie will share with us the natural history of this fascinating bird including new insights into their roosting behaviour and factors which may help mitigate their decline.

7:30 PM / Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. / Free for members. $5 for non-members / All welcome. Refreshments available / Doors open 7 PM

Read Press Release: Sunset Silhouettes by Cheryl Morris-Putman

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Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) photo by George Peck

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) photo by George Peck

Roost of Chimney Swifts. photo Melanie Farquhar

Roost of Chimney Swifts. photo Melanie Farquhar


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MVFN natural history talks:  7:30 pm on third Thursdays of Jan, Feb, March, April,  Sept, Oct, and Nov at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. Almonte ON. All welcome! Non-members $5. 

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