Andrew’s Time For Nature• When I was about 10 years old, I discovered that my neighbour was a retired museum botanist and an old-country Scottish naturalist• I spent many after-school hours at his house; he was my first mentor who helped steer my way into a long biological career• For NCC’s fiftieth birthday, I decided to take my grandkids into nature to share my knowledge and passion
Felicity’s tripMy granddaughter has just turnedtwo. I decided to take her, andAlex, her older brother, to theInglewood Nature Park in Calgary. Thetrails are wide and safe, and followalong water channels and throughriparian forest. Although it was asunny day, Felicity came dressed foranything.
Felicity loves birdies, but knows to call these birds by their true name, duckies.
Felicity discovers a harvest spider, and watches it react to Grandpa’s finger.
Tired legsAmazing how much more one can seefrom an elevated position. Even theSaskatoon berries are riper up here.
Time to reinforce the bird identifications in the Nature House
AlexanderMy grandson, Alex, with me at the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area outside of Calgary. Thissite is a combination of grassland and woodland groves that has management assistance from theNature Conservancy of Canada. We went on a 5 km walk around one of the loop trails.
Always easier to go downhill, although it meansyou have to climb back up at the end of the hike.
Alex discovered this nest (vireo?), and photographed it with his new smartphone
Ongoing interpretationIn my early university days, Iworked summers in the provincialpark system as a park naturalist.Although animals came and wentduring nature walks, the plantsand their ecosystem were alwayspresent. That led me to divergefrom my intended entomologypathway to one of vegetation andecological habitats, on which Ibuilt a long career. It is amazinghow much enjoyment I can getimparting a little of thatknowledge to my grandson.
Flowers and insectsWe also saw many species of prairieflowers in various forms of flowering.Of course, flowers attract a variety ofinsects, including one shown in thenext slide.
I would like to thank my photographer, Gail, for her willingness toaccompany her husband and grandchildren into the natural areas aroundCalgary. Congratulations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada on theirfiftieth birthday. Special thanks to the great colleagues I work with on adaily basis.Andrew Harcombe, R.P. Bio.Special Advisor StewardshipBC RegionJuly 2012