Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Great balls of fire!

Very bright meteor seen

On Sunday, November 1 just as it was getting dark, I saw a very bright meteor that split into two pieces before breaking up after a couple of seconds.

I found a website to report it and saw that a number of people in the northeastern USA probably saw the same thing. The Taurid meteor shower has larger meteors but fewer of them than other meteor showers. They occur between Oct 20 and the end of Nov, with two peaks on November 5 and 12. Larger meteors are called fireballs.

Anita Payne

Note: seen near Black Lake area,  Lanark County

A Taurid fireball, streaks above Orion. Photo: Science@NASA/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Howard Edin.

A Taurid fireball, streaks above Orion. Photo: Science@NASA/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Howard Edin.


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Pine Siskins sighting, Clayton

Recent Sighting of Pine Siskins

Pine Siskins. October 29, 2015, Clayton Lake. “ Pine Siskins (5) feeding on the ground behind our house”. Seen by  Howard Robinson. Report sent in by Cliff Bennett.

To send in your recent sightings go to MVFN Nature Notebook.


It was good to study this bird again and check its differences between the female house finch. The pine siskin, a small and very streaked finch a little bigger than a chickadee, breeds all across Canada, in the boreal forest. Its nest, a cup made of grasses and twigs, is made anywhere from one to seven ft. above the ground and sometimes on the ground beside a small rock. The adults show yellow between their feathers. Single brooded, they raise 4-5 young ones each year. In winter, they come south and spread erratically all over the continent. An active species around your feeders, some years there are many counted on the Christmas Bird Counts and other times, there are none. Watch for them with the goldfinches and redpolls. The female house finch, also streaked but with now yellow, is an inch larger and is found mainly in built-up areas.

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Your recent nature sightings

MVFN Nature Notebook: your recent nature sightings shared with others

Welcome members and others to MVFN’s Nature Notebook!

To read about recent sightings go to  Recent Sightings or  find the CONNECT button on our home page and scroll down to Nature Notebook.

Please send your sightings to 

If you have a sighting you would like to share to the MVFN Nature Notebook  send it to our nature notebook mail box at the address above and it will be posted in our recent sightings section within a day or two, if not right away. Or click on the ‘Share your recent sightings’ button on our website homepage. We may also post links to the posts on our Facebook page. This means that even if you are not on Facebook, you can share your sightings with the ‘Facebook audience.’ These on-line sightings could also be shared during the show-and-tell part of our regular monthly meetings when those in attendance share their sightings directly.

Please include: A few words about your sighting, i.e.  plant, animal etc. , special significance, if applicable, where it was seen, when it was seen (date e.g. October 22, 2015). And, if you wish, include your name or name of person who saw the plant, animal etc. Also, if you wish, a photo (or two) of what you saw, if you did take a photo.

Then, to see your sighting on the website, and sightings sent in by others,  find the CONNECT button on our home page and scroll down to Nature Notebook.

Thank you for keeping a record in your nature notebooks and sharing your sightings! Nature observations and record keeping are an important part of conservation.


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Golden Eagle Sighting

Golden Eagle seen December 6, 2010, Stump Lake

 At approx. 2:30 pm an immature Golden Eagle was sighted on the ice at Stump Lake, Lanark County. It appeared to be feeding on something, didn`t have the camera!

Randy Shirley

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Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly spotted March 2nd in Almonte

NOTE:  below you will find a recent sighting sent in by MVFN member Neil Carleton. Please send in your sightings and we will post them under Nature Notebook- Recent Sightings.

Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly spotted March 2nd in Almonte


This image is from Government of Canada, Canadian Biodiversity Facility Website

Spring seems to have arrived early this year. My wife, Lucy, a kindergarten teacher at Naismith Memorial Public School, in Almonte, was surprised to see a Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly flying around her car in the school parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, March 2nd. It was a bright sunny day and the temperature was up above freezing.

Tortiseshells, as well as Morning Cloak butterflies, overwinter as adults in protected places and will take flight on sunny, warmer days in early spring.

The earliest Lucy and I have ever seen a Tortoiseshell was on April 6, 2008, on the Brule Lake Road, north of the village of Plevna. We were surprised to see 9 of them that day soaking up the sun on the sand covered road. They flew up as we approached, so we stopped and pulled over for a closer look. Moving slowly, we were able to get quite close to observe them.

The Tortoiseshell Lucy saw last Tuesday flew right around her car, across the school parking lot, then disappeared over the big snow banks.


sent by Neil Carleton, P.O. Box 1644, Almonte, Ontario, K0A 1A0

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