Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Local wild rice beds? Citizen scientists help requested

Plenty Canada, a non-profit Indigenous-based charity in Lanark County are starting a World Wildlife Federation funded field project to study wild rice in the surrounding area. The organizers have heard there could be beds of wild rice in Clayton Lake and contacted MVFN asking for local information on these, or possible locations.

Spring paddle, Clayton Lake, 2015. photo Howard Robinson

If you are aware of any wild rice beds in any Lanark County lakes please get in touch with Shannon Farmer directly at or (705)740-5874.

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MVFN Membership Reminder

A new MVFN Membership Year begins April 1st and so it is time to renew your membership or perhaps to become a new member of MVFN for the 2018-2019 season!

We invite you to renew or become a member to . . .

  • Be a voice for nature; MVFN is a member group of the Ontario Nature Network
  • Participate in our canoe/kayaking program, nature walks, nature watches, citizen science efforts and outings
  • Enjoy monthly natural history talks/presentations January-April & September-November in Almonte
  • Support our conservation initiatives and environmental education programs
  • Volunteer on a committee or special project or on our Board of Directors

NEW AND RENEWING MEMBERS

Please complete a membership form (click here for printable membership form) and send with a cheque for your membership dues to:  MVFN, Box 1617, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0. We cannot accept e-transfer of funds at this time. Or, you could complete a form and renew your membership (cash or cheque) at one of our upcoming meetings/nature talks in Almonte (check details for the February 15th and March 15th talks on our Calendar of Events).

MVFN Annual Membership rates: $35 family; $25 individual; $20 seniors (65+); students $10.

If you have any questions about your membership status, please contact Membership Committee member Elizabeth Veninga at

Please continue to visit our website, join us on Facebook, pick up a brochure at one of our events, or contact Brenda Boyd, MVFN President (613-256-2706) to learn more about what the Club is offering, or to volunteer your time, knowledge, and ideas.

Thank you!

Sylvia Miller,

Chair, Membership Committee

/  613-256-7825

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Results Mississippi Lake Loon Survey 2017

Conducted by Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists members and Mississippi Lakes Association boat drivers.

Loon Count Numbers    2007   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2016    2017

Max number of adults       24       35      35       39        40         43       35        37

Max number mated prs.    10      12      11        12        13         12       17       18

Max.Number young           8        7        5          8           8          12       17        9

Actual chick survival                                                                               7         6

Summary Report

An orientation meeting was held at the MVCA Gatehouse in May, with 19 persons present.

Four teams of two, plus boat drivers, conducted surveys on four different sections of the lake, three times during the summer; end of June, end of July and end of August.

All sections of the lake recorded an average number of adults over the summer, but the maximum number of chicks counted was much lower than last year (17-9).

There were no chicks found in the Lower Lake.

Nine chicks in all were found in June; nine in July but only six were found surviving by the end of August (same as last year).

MVFN would like to do the count again next year.

Survey report submitted to Bird Studies Canada

Report submitted by Cliff Bennett    Compiler

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Manion Corners Butterfly Count

NOTE: This is an Ottawa Field Naturalists Club event, but MVFN members are invited to register and help out! This is an especially “Kid-Friendly” Event!

Date: Saturday July 8th 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (rain date Sunday 9 July)

Leaders: Jeff Skevington and Peter Hall

Meet:  in the parking lot at the intersection of Dwyer Hill Road and March Road (NE of Almonte).

Please call Jeff Skevington Friday evening at 613-720-2862 if in doubt about the weather or for specific questions regarding this event. Similar to Christmas Bird Counts, this event is an all-day survey of in a 24 km diameter circle. The count area is centred on Manion Corners (SW of Ottawa) and includes several important butterfly areas such as the Long Swamp and the Burnt Lands alvar. No experience is necessary – we will put teams together on site and match up people so that everyone has a chance to learn from the experts. If you have binoculars and a butterfly net, please bring them along. Butterflies may be captured for identification and release. Rubber boots are recommended, as some of the sites have a lot of poison ivy.  It is an all-day event so bring your lunch.

Pot-luck and Count-in: We plan to meet at 6:00 p.m. after the count for a compilation and potluck dinner at the Allisons’ home at 561 Wolf Grove Road, about 2.6 km west of Almonte. Please bring along some food to share plus your own drinks. We hope that everyone can make it to the compilation, as it will be a lot of fun; however, if you can’t, we will get your data in the afternoon before you leave. OFNC has generously offered to pay the count fees for participants to support publication of the data.

The butterfly count is an annual OFNC event. Working in groups or alone, participants patrol the same location – a 24-km diameter circle centred on Manion Corners.  Data are submitted to the North American Butterfly Association.

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MVFN Program Team Volunteers

MVFN Program Volunteers: Lecture night October 2016

MVFN members Chris Baburek (L) and Blanche Gauthier (R) are part of the MVFN lecture night program team. This photo is from the evening of our October presentation “Coyotes: An Eastern Ontario Study” which was attended by approximately 120 people.   If you would like to assist as a volunteer with MVFN, please let us know!

The next natural history presentation in our “Wild Creature Close-ups”: series, will take place Thursday, November 17, 2016 at the Almonte United Church social hall. The presentation, “Birds in Your Backyard” will be by well-known local birder, former teacher and Councillor, MVFN Past President Cliff Bennett. The evening gets under way at 7:30 pm and the event is  free for MVFN members and youth 18 years and under. All are welcome, and refreshments and discussion takes place before and after the talk.

Thank you to Lucy Carleton for taking this photo.

oct-2016-mvfn-volunteers

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