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PLEASE NOTE: This web page contains the most up-to-date information on events. Please check it regularly for changes or additions to events. The Club's Facebook group and Twitter account (@OttawaFieldNat) will also be used to announce last-minute changes to events.

We expect to hold several weather- and year-dependent events that are not included in Trail & Landscape and will only be announced at the last minute via our website, Facebook and Twitter. These include seasonal events such as Snowy Owl viewing, the spring Snow Goose spectacle, Eardley Eagles and Mudpuppy Night.

Please read
Guidelines for participants on field trips

Check out the web site of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists for more local events.

The OFNC's Events Committee plans an extensive program of monthly meetings, workshops, day trips, and longer excursions for the education and interest of our members.

Almost every weekend all year round, you can join a knowledgeable nature buff on an excursion to one of the many conservation areas in our region. Learn to identify some of the hundreds of birds that frequent our lakes, fields, and forests; wade through a marsh searching for amphibians; or take a leisurely stroll with fellow nature lovers.

Complete details of all the activities can be found in our quarterly newsletter Trail & Landscape, which is free to members.

All outings

Field trips to natural areas in our region and beyond take place all year round. OFNC events are for members only. Prospective members interested in attending should contact the trip leader in advance. For some events, participation is limited and members will be given priority. Times given for events are departure times. Please arrive earlier, as leaders start promptly. If you need a ride, please contact the leader.

Please bring a lunch on full-day trips and dress according to the weather forecast and activity. Binoculars and/or spotting scopes are essential on all birding trips. Unless otherwise stated, transportation will be by car pool.

Trip waiver

There can be risks associated with any recreational pursuit. Before you participate in nature walks and similar outdoor activities, we will ask you to read and sign a statement in which you assume the risk of the activity and release the OFNC from liability for any loss, damage or injury, however caused and whether or not contributed to by the OFNC’s negligence. This assumption of risk and release includes any minors accompanying you.

Monthly meetings

Our monthly meetings are be held on the second Tuesday of every month except July and August in the K.W. Neatby Building, Salon B, at 960 Carling Avenue. There is ample free parking in the lot on the west side of Maple Drive by Carling Ave., immediately to the east of the main entrance to the Neatby Building. Details below.

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Events oriented to all ages

Kids are welcome on all of our trips. We have highlighted particular hikes as "oriented to all ages" as these are most likely to be enjoyed by typical children. Depending on your child(ren)'s interests and stamina, please feel free to bring them along on any events. For events tailored to kids, check out the Macoun Field Club.

Saturday, November 4, 9 a.m. to noon
(Rain date is November 11)
Leader: Chris Rochefort
Meet: Parking lot 8, Meech Road at Gatineau Parkway

On this field trip, participants will observe igneous and metamorphic rocks along with geological structures such as folds, dykes and faults. There are many intrusions in the rocks which were deformed approximately 1000 million years ago. Dress for anticipated weather. We will go even if there is a light drizzle or snow. We will postpone to November 11 if there is rain. Chris will be wearing his orange safety vest in order to be highly recognizable when members arrive.

Please note: The parkway will be closed to motor vehicles but there could be many cyclists present, especially if the weather is good. A safety vest is highly recommended.

Saturday, November 4, 8 a.m. to noon
Leaders: Tony Beck & Nina Stavlund
Meet: Petrie Island Causeway, north of the intersection Highway 174 and Trim Road (Orleans). "North" will be to your left if you are driving from Ottawa.

In early November, most of our local agricultural fields have been harvested and cut. This provides open views from the roadside where birds are easily observed as they forage through the stubble. Although many will have already passed through, we'll still witness much evidence of migration. After a quick check of the Ottawa River for diving ducks, we'll drive through open country east of Ottawa looking for Sandhill Cranes, various geese, gulls and hawks. We'll check all flocks of waterfowl for unusual species like Ross's Goose or Greater White-fronted Goose. Recent late-fall migrations have produced thousands of Greater Snow Geese - an extremely impressive sight. While checking the Snow Geese, we hope to find a mega-rarity; Pink-footed Goose!

This trip will only be cancelled if we have severe weather conditions. Listen to the weather forecast and dress accordingly. The leaders encourage you to carpool as this will help the group to stick together and stay safe along roadways. Bring binoculars and telescopes.

Contact the leaders if you have questions: TonysAlwaysAnAdventure@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 14, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

Speaker: Howard Simkover
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have gazed up into the night sky at shooting stars. These sudden flashes of light - called meteors - are caused by tiny particles from space plunging into the Earth's atmosphere at very high speeds, and burning up. Several times per year, such as during the Perseids in mid-August, we experience a meteor shower. Perhaps we've all had the experience of "wishing on a falling star". On occasion, a much larger "rock from space" - a meteorite - enters the atmosphere and can even impact the surface of our planet, causing a crater. As far as we know, only one person has ever been struck by a falling meteorite.

In February 2013, a huge object from space exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, leading to thousands of injuries from flying glass. It appears that 65.5 million years ago, something much worse happened to the dinosaurs, who experienced a very bad day when an asteroid the size of Ottawa came calling.

Howard Simkover, who has produced shows for Montreal's Dow Planetarium, will share his experiences and knowledge of meteors and meteorites.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.

Saturday November 18, 8:45 or 9 a.m. to noon
Leaders: Bev McBride and Dave Moore
Meet: In the Lincoln Fields shopping centre parking behind the Pizza Pizza (Richmond Road and Assaly Road) OR at 9:00 at the Britannia Conservation Area (Mud Lake), Cassells St., at the small parking area near the filtration plant driveway entrance.

We will take our time checking spots along the Ottawa River between the Britannia Conservation Area and Shirley's Bay, if we get that far. We will look for birds and anything else of natural history interest. We will focus on enjoying whatever we find. Dress to be warm, dry and wind resistant! Bring binoculars, a spotting scope and a hand lens if you have them, but these are not essential. We will go rain or shine.

Tuesday, December 12, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

Speaker: Diane Lepage
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Join OFNC President Diane Lepage as she discusses the diversity of moth species found in our area. You will learn all about the fascinating world of moths, primarily the Macro moths, but Diane will also touch on the Micro moths, taxonomy, food plants, equipment, time of year, best locations, and how she goes about finding them.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.

Tuesday, January 9, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre (see map)

The board for 2017 will be elected at this meeting. There will be a brief review of the activities in 2016 and a statement of the Club's finances will be given.

This is an opportunity to meet most of the Club's executives and the chairs of the various committees and to find out what makes your Club tick.

Saturday January 27, 2018, 7-10 p.m.
*oriented to all ages*
Leaders: Barry Cottam and Hume Douglas
Location: K.W. Neatby Building, 960 Carling Ave.

If you take natural history photos, this is your opportunity to share some of your images with fellow members. The mix of different topics and voices makes for an enjoyable evening. Contributions may be 7-10 minutes long. We can handle most digital presentations (images on a flash-drive), and even conventional slides (with some warning please). We encourage presenters to speak about their images. Please contact Hume Douglas (humedgl (at) gmail.com) or Barry Cottam (b.cottam (at) rogers.com) so that we can organize the presentations.

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This page was revised on 30 October 2017
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