Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

A Field Day — Bugs at Big Creek!

A Field Day — Bugs at Big Creek!

Saturday, June 19, 2010 —— 10:00 a.m.

 Bring your lunch and accompany Dr. Henri Goulet, our insect expert of bioblitz fame, to discover the six-legged fauna of fields to forest at Big Creek, near Lanark.

 Will you discover the most intriguing insect?

 Location: Meet on Concession 6 Dalhousie Twp. just south of the intersection with County Rd. 8 — Joel Byrne will meet you there and guide you the rest of the way as a convoy

 Directions: take Wolf Grove Rd. (Hwy 16) to Hopetown; turn south (left) on Hwy 511; turn right on County Rd. 8, pass through the hamlet of Watsons Corners, turn left onto Concession 6, Dalhousie Twp. where you will meet Joel.

Bring: lunch, binoculars, camera, hand lens, insect net, insect repellent and your natural history notebook; water will be available on site.

More information: Contact Joel Byrne at 613-624-5404 for further information.

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Naturalists learn of smallest backyard creatures

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
Submitted by: Mike McPhail
Thursday Feb. 3, 2005

Naturalists learn of smallest backyard creatures

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It has been said that biodiversity is the key to ensuring the continuance of life on earth. During the Jan 20th lecture on Insect Biodiversity in the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) Biodiversity series, research scientist Dr. Henri Goulet’s knowledgeable and passionate presentation highlighted an important issue, just how little we actually know about the living organisms in our own backyards. Insects and other arthropods are by far the most diverse of small life forms in Ontario, yet Dr Goulet estimates that we know less than 50% of the species.

Attendee’s, who braved the frigid temperatures of the night, were presented with absolutely dazzling slides of some of the 230 species of insects alone that frequent a few flowering heads of goldenrod. It truly is a jungle out there with insect species representation from herbivores, parasites, predators, and nectar & pollen feeders. To put this diversity in perspective, during this year’s Carleton Place Christmas bird count, 45 species of birds were recorded in a 15-mile diameter circle around the town of Carleton Place.

Biodiversity is considered a fundamental requirement for adaptation, survival and continued evolution of species and Dr Goulet’s microscopic insect world was alive with insects adapt at cryptic hiding, mimicking patterns that would make them less susceptible to or better at predation. As each of us gains a better understanding of biodiversity, we will be able to make better decisions about our environment, starting in our own backyards. Such as taking Dr Goulet’s lead, who, after noting their genocidal effects, declared his own backyard drug (pesticide) free. Dr Goulet was kind enough to share with the MVFN some of the presentation’s slides (such as a preying mantis mimicking a wasp), which will soon be posted on

Mark your calendars for MVFN’s 5th Biodiversity lecture (Communicating the Issues of Biodiversity), that will be given by Andrea Howard of the Eastern Ontario Museum of Biodiversity on Thur. Feb. 17th at the Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. at 7:30 pm. If you are not yet a member of the MVFN, this may be a good time to join. For further information, please contact MVFN Programme Chair Tine Kuiper, 256-8241 or consult our web site:

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