Is there a turtle month? OSFN discovers the answer

I asked the internet – “Is there a Turtle Month?” and learned that ‘Certainly!  Turtle Month from Earth Day April 22nd to World Turtle Day on May 23rd is dedicated to raising awareness about the world’s turtles and tortoises.’
Well, it just so happens that Owen Sound Field Naturalists (OSFN) is presenting a Turtle Talk entitled ‘The Beautiful World of Turtles’, with Jenna McGuire beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday May 16th, at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Doors open by 6:30 p.m.
An Ecologist, a Scientific Illustrator and a favourite OSFN presenter and hike leader, Jenna McGuire invites us all “… to explore the life histories of our local turtles in-depth. We will travel through turtle evolution, biology and ecology through photos, illustrations, models and more. Most importantly we will review the many ways we can help support these incredible, ancient beings!”
Everyone is welcome and Admission is free or by donation.
OSFN also plans to offer this as an online webinar, via Zoom. To request a Zoom Link, please send an email, in advance, to   with Turtles in the subject line.

NeighbourWoods North (NWN) has some ongoing tree care work scheduled at the Hospital grounds in Owen Sound on the remaining two Saturday mornings in May, (the 18th and 25th) from 9:30 to 11am.  Plan to meet by the NWN shed past the emergency entrance and be sure to wear gloves and bring rakes, shovels, buckets, etc.

They also recently assisted the City in planting new trees at the Owen Sound Kiwanis Soccer Complex.

I recall skiing the perimeter there on the skimpy snow this past winter, and noticing a crew near the central buildings, cutting and chipping the many White Ash trees that had been killed through the infestation of Emerald Ash Borers there. Over the next few months I often encountered the same crew around the City, clearing other sites of the dead trees, especially where safety would be a concern if the trees were left standing much longer. Many thanks to those crews for doing this important work, and for the NWN volunteers for planting new trees there at the Soccer Complex!  I have also seen quite a few Ash trees that have lost upper limbs, or completely fallen over along fence lines, etc.

You may visit them here  or on facebook.

For me, along with enjoying migrating birds and butterflies, pretty blossoms of trees and wildflowers and the scent of lilacs, one of the loveliest sights of Springtime is of new, still translucent tree leaves of green (or red) illuminated by the bright, low-angled beams of sunrise or sunset. 

A bonus this year has been the amazing Northern Lights seen here on May 10th.
It reminded me that John Hlynialuk’s Aurora Alert presentation back in March suggested that we just might be in for quite a few special sightings. 
John says” The recent event is due to a massive sunspot complex on the Sun … Our atmosphere is still taking “hits” from solar flares which keep erupting and we have another CME impact due May 13 or so…

We are at the peak of the current 11-yr sunspot cycle and expect the activity to continue for many months yet, perhaps even a year or more.” 


The Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation has an important fundraising campaign currently underway, with a silent auction until May 23, and an Earth Film Festival at the Roxy on May 16, featuring two special films: “The Water Walker”, which will captivate audiences with the inspiring journey of Autumn Peltier, International Indigenous Rights & Water Activist; “Becoming Tom Thomson” will transport viewers back in time, exploring the life and legacy of Canadian wilderness painter Tom Thomson, presented by Canadian Actor, Director, and Producer, Steve Belford.

Films start at 7:00 pm. The lobby will be open at 6:00 pm for a social time, displays, and exciting door prizes.

Before the evening film presentations there will be a Dinner Fundraiser hosted by chef Zach Keeshig, at the Owen Sound Farmers’ Market, from 5pm – 6:30pm. Indulge in a creatively cultivated 3-course menu featuring progressive Indigenous Cuisine with local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. This culinary journey will be held at the Owen Sound Farmers’ Market

Tickets for the film presentations are $30 each, or you can enjoy both the dinner and film presentations for $150.

Please note that tickets for the Dinner + Films package are only available at the box office. To get yours, please call 519-371-2833 or visit
Many in the Naturalist community were saddened to learn of the recent passing of Mike Pickup, (1943 – 2024) on April 25, a well-known avid Naturalist and Birder. 

I first met Mike Pickup in 2001 when I attended my first two Huron Fringe Birding Festivals in 2001 and 2002. He was always friendly, helpful and encouraging, with a good ear, especially for a warbling vireo or a mourning warbler. Over subsequent years, I had occasion to join him periodically on the twice a month BBC outings, and in June of 2016, I was on hand when Mike received OSFN’s Community Conservation Award in recognition of the way, for decades, that he had shared his passion for birding and nature. His involvement in community groups and activities had been intentionally designed to enhance people’s appreciation of Bruce County.

Mike had been the Chair of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival and of the Friends of MacGregor Point Park and had contributed to surveys of owls and nesting birds. He had led hikes and workshops on bird identification and habits and to support this, he had written four books (now six) about birding in Bruce County. Through his involvement in the Saugeen and Owen Sound Field Naturalists and the Bruce Birding Club, he continued to encourage others to participate in bird-watching outings.

Enjoy the solitude and uniqueness of nature as you sit quietly waiting for nature to surround you!” … Mike Pickup.