Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Seeing Nature from the Water on another successful MVFN Canoe Camp

Seeing Nature from the Water on another successful MVFN Canoe Camp

After substantial rainfall during the first twenty-four hours, beautiful sunshine and mirror-like waters greeted the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) for their seventh annual Canoe Camp, held at Charleston Lake Provincial Park. The event held Friday September 5 to Monday September 8, was organized by MVFN member Sheldon Scrivens and included seventeen participants.

Scrivens by E. Veninga

















Canoe camp organizer Sheldon Scrivens; photo by Elizabeth Veninga

The theme for the Canoe Camp was ‘Seeing Nature from the Water’s Edge’ and the area did not disappoint the group of paddling enthusiasts. Twenty-three bird species were identified, including loons with their haunting late evening wailing, barred owls which took great delight in jolting the campers out of a peaceful sleep with their loud “Who-cooks-for-you-all” calls, osprey soaring the air currents in search of an unsuspecting lake trout, a whip-poor-will heard off in the distance and very noisy red-shouldered hawks and pileated woodpeckers, heard right at the campsite.

In the animal world, the group noted that whenever the barred owls called out at night, a family of coyotes would respond with howls and yipping. Several large painted turtles were discovered sunning themselves on rock surfaces and two species of snakes were found. Two black water snakes were swimming in a quiet bay and a rare black rat snake was found curled along a stick at the water’s edge. The rat snake is on the endangered species list.

Also found along the shoreline were many beautiful displays of bottled or closed gentian and turtle heads. The latter is a member of the snap-dragon family. Many members of the aster family were discovered by the group, including one clump of the very beautiful New England aster.

The MVFN annual canoe camp is part of a summer-long programme of canoeing and kayaking trips to explore nature and its beauty in and around our many lakes, rivers streams and wetland areas. The final event of the year will be the MVFN Annual Fall Colours Paddle, to be held this year at the west end of White Lake on Sunday, September 28. For more information on MVFN’s canoe programme, please contact Sheldon Scrivens at 613-836-0309 or .

For MVFN information and interest in nature anytime, visit our website: