Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

The MVFN Membership Year is coming to a close on March 31, and it is time to renew or join for the 2019/2020 Membership Year which begins April 1.

Please find a Membership Form on the website under “MEMBERSHIP”. From there you may print, fill out, and send along with your membership dues as directed, or you could fill out the auto-fill membership form on-line and submit membership fees and/or donations using PayPal. (Unfortunately, we cannot accept e-transfer of funds at this time.)

Membership Application forms are available and payment accepted at monthly natural history talks which take place in Almonte in January, February, March, April, May and September, October and November.

If you have any questions about your membership status, please contact Membership Committee Chair Sylvia Miller at .

And please continue to visit our website, join us on Facebook, pick up a brochure at one of our events. General inquiries can be made by email to to learn more about what the Club is offering, or how to volunteer your time, knowledge, and ideas.

MVFN Nature Notebook Recent Sightings

These photographs of birds during January 2019 in Sheridan Rapids, Ontario are by Lise Balthazar, sent in on January 29, 2019 to MVFN Nature Notebook. Entitled by Lise: “The Colours of Winter.”

Evening Grosbeak, photo Lise Balthazar

Evening Grosbeak and Pine Grosbeak. photo Lise Balthazar

Evening Grosbeaks

Pine Grosbeak. photo Lise Balthazar

Redpolls, photo Lise Balthazar

Pine Grosbeak

Redpolls, Sheridan Rapids, photo by Lise Balthazar


MVFN Nature Notebook Sighting

The following report and photos were received by the MVFN Nature Notebook mailbox on January 20, 2019. A Red-bellied Woodpecker was observed locally in the Halpenny area on January 12, 2019. Photos and report sent in by Gerard Rumleskie. This is quite a rare sighting for our area, with only one of these birds seen on the Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count this year, and that was a record for the count. Thank you for sending in this sighting!

Red-bellied Woodpecker, Jan 2019, Halpenny, ON photo Gerard Rumleskie


Red-bellied Woodpecker, Halpenny, ON. photo courtesy G. Rumleskie

NOTE: there are still spaces available in the 11 AM to 12:45 PM session; but the earlier session is now FULL

After another “wildly” successful fall, the MVFN Young Naturalists are gearing up to begin their five winter/spring sessions for 2019!

Each month we explore a new nature themed topic through outdoor investigation, discussions, activities, and fun crafts! YN sessions are for children between the ages of 6-11 with a keen sense of curiosity about the natural world around them.

Ready to get your hands dirty?  Here are the important details:

Meeting place: Mill of Kintail Conservation Area at 2854 Ramsay Concession 8, Almonte, ON

Session times:  9:00 AM -10:45 AM (Note: this session is now FULL) OR 11:00 AM to 12:45 PM

2019 winter/spring dates, and topics the Young Naturalists will explore!

Feb 2: Food chains and food webs with a focus on generalists and specialists. We will do this session on snowshoes! Snowshoes will be provided for all Young Naturalists for use during the session.

March 2: Snow

April 6: Plant anatomy and gardening

May 4: Ecological interactions: symbiotic relationships and invasive species

June 1: Moths and Butterflies, nature exploration day

Cost: $75 per child for all five sessions

Space is limited and is filled on a first come first served basis.  Please let us know you are interested today to secure your Young Naturalists’ registration in this popular program!

Registration: To register and for further information, please contact program coordinator for MVFN, Patty McLaughlin, at  Let Patty know your interest and she will send you a registration form and answer questions.

See our Young Naturalists page for further information about the program.


On Thursday, January 17, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists 2018-19 series “Earth, Water, Wind and Fire” continues with a presentation by Troy McMullin Ph.D.,  lichenologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature. Our speaker has studied lichens throughout Canada and internationally, and has published extensively on this group, including the 2015 book Common Lichens of Northeastern North America: A Field Guide, co-authored with Frances Anderson.

Join Troy to explore the often overlooked, but beautiful and fascinating world of lichens.  Learn about their role in different ecosystems, rare species in southern Ontario, and how they are used in medicine, science, and more.  You will gain a new appreciation for the small things in life!

Teloschistes chrysophthalmus or Golden-eye lichen; the Great Lakes population of this species has a status of ENDANGERED in Ontario. Photo provided by speaker


Speaker: Troy McMullin Ph.D.

Presentation: The Secret Life of Lichens

Date:   Thursday, January 17, 2019

Time:  7:00 PM for socializing & refreshments, 7:30 for program

Place:  Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte

Admission: is free for MVFN members. There is an admission fee of $5 for non-members. No charge for youth 18 and under. We always welcome new members.

For further information, please contact Cliff Bennett MVFN Program Chair at or 613-798-6295.


Golden-eye lichen (Teloschistes chrysophthalmus), Great Lakes population, is ENDANGERED in Ontario. Ontario Species at Risk information for this species, as follows, can be found at

“The Great Lakes Population of Golden-eye lichen is vulnerable to several threats due to its limited restriction to a single host tree. Threats that may impact on this population include severe weather events, invasive species, acidification from air pollution and recreational activities . . .

What you can do?

Report a sighting

Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.


Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.

Be a good steward

Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Golden-eye Lichen on your land, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.