October 13-22, 2023: The Fall Continental Mycoblitz 2023 in the Maritimes!

Bears Head Tooth or Lion’s Mane (Hericium americanum),  growing on hemlock, Halifax area.

Where: Everywhere mushrooms grow

The 2023 Continental Mycoblitz is open to anyone who is willing to make scientifically valuable collections of mushrooms – including photography, fieldnotes, and submitting a dried specimen. Any individual or organization can submit their most unique/interesting/exciting collections from the foray week to theproject. Mycologists and foray partners will examine each collection and will perform DNA sequencing on thousands of the specimens that are submitted.

For general information about the Mycoblitz see: https://mycota.com/2023 continental-mycoblitz/

Mycologists in the three Maritime Provinces will coordinate the Mycoblitz efforts in our region, to try sequence over 1,000 collections of mushrooms from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

If you are located in Nova Scotia please contact Sean Haughian at the NovaScotia Museum (sean.haughian@novascotia.ca) to get more detailed informationabout collecting and documenting mushrooms for the Continental Mycoblitz, or to arrange for dropping specimens off at the Museum of Natural History.

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Sunday Oct 22, 2023: The 18th Annual SRA Fall Benefit Dinner & Auction

Click on poster for larger version

A note to Sandy Lake fans: The Sandy Lake  Watershed is the largest or second largest sub-watershed of the Sackville River watershed, depending on how the sub-subwatersheds are aggregated (see map below). Regardless, it’s very important to the larger  Sackville River watershed and vice versa. The Sackville River Watershed Association has been very active over the years in caring for the Peverill’s Brook which leads from Sandy Lake, through Marsh Lake to the Sackville River. The digger logs they have installed and care for on Peverills Brook are surely a factor in the occurrence of  gaspereau, sea-going brook trout, American Eel, sea-going white perch and salmon in Sandy Lake. Conversely, the intact forests covering much of the Sandy Lake Watershed, and the many wetlands, and Sandy and Marsh Lakes themselves are critical to the maintenance of fish populations in the larger Sackville River Watershed. and to minimizing maximum storm flows and runoff downstream.

From the SRA Announcement

“This year the event will be held on Sunday October 22 at the Kinsmen Community Centre.

“This is a year like no other in the 35 year history of the SRA. Bedford and Sackville were severely affected by flooding this summer. People and businesses suffered damage, lost property and valuable time as they cleaned up in the days and weeks following the flood. Continue reading

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Please keep an eye out for possible dead eels in Sandy Lake and other lakes 15Sep2023

©Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
More about American Eel here

It’s a request from Chris Kennedy of the LakeWatchers program sent to Karen Robinson of the Sandy Lake Conservation Association who forwarded it to me.

Says Karen R: “Chris Kennedy sent a request that we keep an eye out for possible dead eels in Sandy Lake and other lakes. He is finding them in the Shubenacadie water system as reported in the news, but wants to make sure it is not more widespread.  I am alerting our park walkers to keep an eye out just in case.” Continue reading

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Who is monitoring water level in Sandy Lake? 2Sep2023

Spotted on Sandy Lake
Click on image for larger version

UPDATE  Sep 4, 2023: There is still – a month and more after the Big Precipitation Events –  a lot of water being held back by the intact landscape. See below


Sandy Lake fan and top Sandy Lake iNaturalist reporter Sybil Nunn recently spotted the red-topped post at right in the water at Sandy Lake, just below the big parking lot.

She wondered what it’s for and speculated it’s for monitoring water levels.  That seems logical as there was massive flooding of the lake and many low areas withon in the Sandy Lake watershed in late July and early August and further downstream in Bedford. Two residents close to Sandy Lake estimated that the lake rose 5-6 ft above previous levels, and said it only started to come down a couple of weeks back. Continue reading

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Sandy Lake (Bedford, NS) limnological profiles reveal freshening and oxygenation of the water column after extreme rain events; and a worrisome “Metalimnion Oxygen Minimum” 2Sep2023

By the outlet on Sandy Lake, Aug 14, 2023. Insets: At left the YSI Probe with weight attached; right: YSI Instrument panel. A portion of the Van Dorn water sampling bottle can be seen by the anchor.
Click on images for larger versions

After  extreme precipitation events earlier in the summer of 2023, the entire  water column had lower conductivity values ( a measure of salt content) on Aug 14 compared to May 22  and bottom waters on Aug 14 were better oxygenated than on 6 other occasions in the past when deep water oxygen levels were measured in late summer/early fall. This flushing and oxygenation could be good news if there weren’t other adverse effects of the heavy precipitation. Observations in the latter half of August in 2021, 2022 and 2023 show the presence of a “Metalimnion Oxygen Minimum” at 5-6 m; it appears that it reformed quickly after the high precipitation events in 2023.  The occurrence of a Metalimnion Oxygen Minimum in Sandy Lake represents significant deterioration in water quality of the upper layers of the water column and  adds yet more reason to be concerned about the state of the lake currently and the possible impacts on lake water quality if the proposed major development on its headwaters was to proceed.
Read more

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Lawnsigns show support for Sandy Lake 19Aug2023

From the Sandy Lake Coalition, Read More

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Hemlock Wooly Adelgid now in the Halifax area 11Aug2023

UPDATE Aug 16, 2023:
Forest ecologist, Donna Crossland, explains the significance of the discovery of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid – or HWA – in Bedford, NS (Audio)
CBC Maritime Noon

Subject: HWA Working Group – HWA Detection in Nova Scotia
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2023
From: Neville, Ron (CFIA/ACIA)
Hi there,

We wanted to pass along the following HWA update from Sherry Lynn Kelly, the CFIA Director of Operations for Nova Scotia.
Good Afternoon,

In early August, the CFIA received a report of a suspected Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) infestation on a home owner’s property in Bedford, Nova Scotia. The resulting laboratory analysis of samples taken by CFIA during follow-up has confirmed the presences HWA. The is the first confirmed detection of HWA in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The affected property has been placed under regulatory control and additional surveys in the surrounding area will take place in the coming weeks to better characterize the population. Continue reading

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New Date for Public input regarding Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 (within Sandy Lake watershed): Wed Aug 16, 2023

From HRM Planner Dalih Salih:

“The new date for the public open house will be on Wednesday, August 16th, at the BMO Centre (61 Gary Martin Drive) where we will have 2 sessions. The afternoon session will take place between 2pm and 5pm, and the evening session will be between 7pm and 9pm. The website for the case (www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/bedford-west) has been updated with the new date, and area residents will receive a mailout notification of the updated date by next week. Also, the new date for the meeting will be advertised through social media.

“Please note that myself and HRM Planners will be collecting feedback through 1-on-1 conversations during the drop-in sessions, and a formal presentation will not provided as we would like to have a dialogue with attendees. The sessions will provide the same information, so feel free to attend a session at the time of your choosing. Registration is not required. Another method of collecting feedback will be through receiving written feedback that can be sent directly to me by Friday, August 18th.”

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“Here’s what Halifax wants you to know about blue green algae” 28Jul2023

That’s the title of an article in the Halifax Examiner by Zane Woodford, July 28, 2023.

The article describes what to look out for, how to distinguish BGA (Blue-green algae) from pollen or even an oil spill. “The difference is that the blue green algae is under water too, whereas pollen and oil sit on the surface.” It’s a very informative article, telling us, for example, the differences between algal blooms and benthic mats of BGA that can coat the bottom – it’s the latter that have been associated with death of dogs. Continue reading

Posted in Recreation, Sandy Lake, Water Quality, watershed | Leave a comment

Regarding Case 23307 – Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 Special Planning Area 25Jul2023

Top: View of Northern edge of a large wetland in Bedford West subarea 12; it lies on a headwater stream for Sandy Lake.  Bottom:  Google map of the area Click on image for larger version

Initial Comments  in reference to the request for public feedback on Case 23307 – Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 Special Planning Area. I have spent some time in this area as a retired Biology Prof/naturalist looking at the landscape and wetlands, and making some measurements of salt content of the surface waters in relation to a broader assessment of the state of Sandy Lake and Environs begun in 2017 and ongoing as reported at www.versicolor.ca/sandylakebedford. My observations are made in support of the broad objectives of the Sandy Lake-Sackville River Regional Park Coalition, and of the Sandy Lake Conservation Association but are conducted and reported entirely independently of those organizations.
David Patriquin

I  submitted these comments to Dalih Salih, Senior Planner, HRM, cc to Kevin Neatt  (V.P., Clayton Developments), NW Community Council, Sandy Lake Conservation Association, Sackville Rivers Association. View
Covering Letter

For Brevity, I refer to Bedford West subareas 12 & 1 as  “BW12&1”

Some important features of  BW12&1 and just downstream:  Continue reading

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