Category: Flora



Alan Burger and a speaker discuss a presentation, Nicola Naturalists, Merritt BC ,Ca File Photo KDG

The last presentation meeting of the season is on June 6th for the local naturalist society.Dave Manning a long time observer and natural fan will present on Vulture populations in BC will do the program.

Dave, a senior from Pender Island who’s been birding for 60 years, became hooked on vultures when he stumbled upon a white fuzz ball of a chick peeking from its nest cave. His program on the three vulture species of North America, particularly follows one Turkey Vulture nest from mating to migration. His recently published Turkey Vulture book, same title as this program, will be available for purchase.

Free parking, NVIT top of hill Belshaw avenue in Merritt, start time 7PM, all welcome, membership or donation requested.

On this Day: May 24th 1958

The United Press International is formed.


The Osprey are back.

The Highway 8 entrance to Merritt BC has a nesting platform on a hydro pole for the use of Osprey. ( to keep them off the power lines) There were 4 of these birds back  two asserted  preference to the platform over looking the river and an old CPR rail bridge, after circling over the area on Sunday, Tuesday fishing ,Wednesday they were collecting sticks to rebuild the nest.

Two Canada Geese had also been looking over the nest site and the species had raised a brood before in the nest however the nest had been cleared and the geese were not interested and don’t build nests.

The area has the joining of two small rivers and has many birds and creatures including domestic Lamas  behind private property fencing.



On this Day: April 19th 1927

Mae West, movie star , gets 10 days in jail for  obscenity.

The week that was first of spring / Easter 2018

The 1st week pf spring was calm and quiet in this small community in south BC. The burning up of the Chinese space station and the one in ten thousand chance of being struck by something had little effect here.
Spring has its strength building here with a tough sled ride to the Darling Buds of May.

On this Day: April 3rd 2007

A record speed of 574.18 KM per hour is recorded by a conventional train in France.

Salmonids in the Nicola watershed

Jessica Urquhart will be presenting on the health of Salmon in the Nicola Watershed at the January 17th meeting of the Nicola Naturalists.
The presentation is at 7PM NVIT lecture theater, at the top of the hill Belshaw avenue in Merritt.

Jessica Urquhart is a Fisheries Technologist with the Nicola Watershed Stewardship and Fisheries Authority (NWSFA), the “fisheries department” of the Nicola Tribal Association. Working with its member communities, as well as private property owners, the NWSFA undertakes an annual program of stock assessment and fish habitat restoration projects in the Nicola Watershed. NWSFA staff interact with other First Nations and DFO to advocate for the protection and restoration of the Nicola Watershed’s fisheries resources. With information provided by the entire NWSFA fisheries team, Jessica will discuss how the team plays an important role in the management of the salmonids of the Nicola Watershed.

Free parking at the school, no drinks or food in the lecture all, the group says that all are welcome, membership or donation requested.

Editors note: this meeting is on a Wednesday against the usual Thursday monthly meeting.

On this Day: January 4rth 1999

Jesse Ventura a professional wrestler becomes governor of Minnesota.

The Artic


Alan burger and a speaker discuss a presentation, File Photo KDG

Local naturalist and president of the Nicola Naturist’s will present on the artic at the next meeting on November 16th at the local community college top of the hill Belshaw avenue in Merritt.


Nicola Naturalist Society president Alan Burger regularly works as a naturalist/lecturer on a small ecotourist ship in the Arctic and Antarctic. In this presentation he shares his experiences and photos of wildlife and the environment in the High Arctic north of Norway (Svalbard Archipelago) & East Greenland. This area supports high densities of Polar Bears, and thriving populations of Walrus, Muskox, Reindeer, Arctic Fox and more. Plus dramatic glaciers & tundra flora.


Free parking at the college, no food of drink in the theater, start time 7PM.
On this Day: November 8th 1889
Montana becomes a US state.

Grasslands of Merritt BC Canada

Hay bale: File Photo KDG

Merritt BC has a huge impact on the province because of grasslands. It is the biggest part of the Southern Interior Uplands region (185 thousand hectors  of grasslands in The British Columbia Grasslands Conservation Councils operations.

The Southern Thompson Upland is the rolling plateau area south of the Thompson River and bounded by the Fraser River valley in the west, the Okanagan valley in the east and the Similkameen River valley in the south. Almost 75% of the grasslands occur in the Interior Douglas-fir zone and 20% in the Bunchgrass zone. Over 85% of all the grasslands are found in the Nicola Valley with smaller areas around Princeton, at Tunkwa Lake and in the Mamit valley. Variations in the grassland species throughout the plateau reflect influences from the surrounding large valleys.

Douglas lake cattle company is a major operation with cattle  in the grasslands and is positioned n the watershed above Merritt. The Douglas through Nicola lakes by the Nicola river drains a major highland plateau. The area also supplys a history back to european contact and province building under BCs first British Governor  James Douglas.

The largest area of grasslands is located in the Nicola Basin area east of Merritt and extending north towards Kamloops. This area matches the extent of the Glacial Lake Merritt that drained north towards the Thompson River. A smaller area of grasslands around Princeton covers another former glacial lake that occupied the Similkameen valley. source GCCofBC

The local Nicola Naturalists  have had a serious concern for the grasslands of the Valley. since 2010 they have had fall and winter meeting, spring outings, Christmas bird counts, Frog surveys and many other activities in respect to the land and creatures. They usually meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month starting in September.  Alan Burger contact UVic.

On  this  Day: September 19th 1970

The first Glastonbury festival is held.



Invasive, biological insect control


Any one following this?
File photo KDG

Tired of thistles?

The Regional District had a booth at the spring festival last week, it was about invasive weed and plant control.
Herbicide free options include insect introduction to deal with :

  • Diffuse Knapweed
    Spotted Knapweed
  • Dalmatian toadflax
  • Hounds Tongue
  • Leafy spurge
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Thistles ( select species)

Merritt is circled by a large rural population of land holders, maybe you might not be using insects to control weeds but your friends may want to . Also in the city there are bylaws against bad weeds over a certain height and they need to be removed by cutting if necessary. To that end the TNRD is having a long term strategy to control select invasive species with insects.

An assessment of your property is available by contacting the TNRD   They say that free insects are on a first come first serve basis.

On this Day: May 31st 1977

The Trans Alaska pipeline is finished.

The Nicola Naturalists meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month. The speaker this month is Joanne Hale. Hale will present on the habitat adaption by Spade Toads on disturbed land.

Jo-Anne Hales is a professional agrologist and the Environmental Specialist for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. She is also completing a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science at Thompson Rivers University studying the Great Basin Spadefoot (an amphibian species at risk) on the New Gold – New Afton Mine site. Come and hear about these charismatic little critters.

Programs start at 7 PM in the local college lecture theater, top of the hill on Belshaw avenue in Merritt. No food or drink allowed in the lecture theater. Membership in the Society or donations is requested. Draw for donated prizes go toward scholarship at school.

The Nicola naturalists are a not for profit with an ecological responsible conversation. They have a pronounced interest in migratory birds.

On this Day: May 11th 1792

Captain Robert Gray becomes the first documented European to sail the Columbia River.




Visitor to the Nicola Valley
Ran a program with youth
File Photo KDG

Butterflies have  a following  in the Nicola Valley.

The Nicola Naturalists are having their March meeting on Thursday the 16th  . The speaker will be local Bob Scafe and will present butterflies and Moths of the Nicola Valley.

Bob is an active member of the Nicola Naturalists, a keen photographer and a very enthusiastic investigator of  butterflies and moths. Bob’s presentation on this topic was very popular so we’re getting him back with new photos and new information on these colorful insects. Bob’s documentation of our local butterflies and moths is a popular feature of the Nicola Naturalist Society website – .. Come and see great photos and learn about these interesting members of the Nicola Valley area fauna.

Start  time is 7PM at the  NVIT lecture hall, top of the hill Belshaw  Ave. in Merritt BC. Membership or donation requested

On this Day: March 15th 1892

The Liverpool Fo0tball Club is established.

Once they were Hats ,Frances Backhouse


File photo live beaver on the Nicola River.:KDG

The Nicola  Naturalists are having their February meeting on Thursday February 16th and have invited author  and biologist Frances Blackhorse to present.

The evening begins at 7 PM at the NVIT lecture hall, top of the hill on Belshaw Avenue in Merritt. “All welcome membership or donation requested.”


Frances Backhouse has published books on a wide range of nature topics, including owls and woodpeckers, and also on historical topics such as the women in the Klondike gold rush. Her latest book examines humanity’s 15,000-year relationship with Castor canadensis, and the beaver’s even older relationship with North American landscapes and ecosystems. This will be a fascinating presentation blending biology and history.



On this Day: February 14th 1998

Over  hundred people die in a fire caused by one person  trying to salvage fuel from a oil tanker train collision in Cameroon, Central Africa.


Ducks and Ice


These creatures were at the Highway 8 bridge on Nicola Avenue , Sunday,few skaters among them.

The ducks came to me as if to want to be fed….

Editors Note: the Nicola Naturalists are having their regular monthly meeting on Thursday. The group did a Christmas bird Count in December and their is likely to be a report….

On this Day: January 18th 1670

Henry Morgan captures Panama.



Dr Kerridge gives a talk on bats at local college File photo KDG

Dr Kerridge gives a talk on bats at Nicola Naturlists.
File photo KDG

The Nicola Naturalists are having a night on Bobcats and their possible change of range. The meeting is at the local community college ,top of the hill, Belshaw avenue on November 17th, 7:30 PM, in the lecture theater.

T.J. Gooliaff is a graduate student at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. He is studying Bobcat and Lynx distributions in the BC Interior. Climate change is causing numerous species across the planet to shift their range to higher latitudes and elevations. Using historic harvest records and sightings, T.J. is analyzing whether Bobcats and Lynx are among those species moving northwards. He is also using photographs submitted by the public to map the current provincial distribution of both species. This will be a fascinating presentation on these elusive cats.

The Ware family at the end of Garcia street had trouble with a Bobcat and chickens on their property at the end of Garcia street on the Nicola river last year. The property historically a small farm has an application to the change the zoning from single family residential to agricultural. The Bob cat was destroyed and the noise from the acreages chickens when disturbed is a concern.

 Bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects, chickens, geese and other birds and small rodents to deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although with some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. The bobcat breeds from winter into spring and has a gestation period of about two months.

Source Wikipedia

The group is getting ready for its participation in their Christmas bird count on December 18th. The count is a global effort and monitors birds health and numbers for various conservation or interdiction reasons.

You don’t have to be an expert birder to participate in our Christmas Bird Count. It is a great way to get to learn the local winter birds – each birding group has at least one experienced birder. Followed by a festive potluck for participants. If you are interested in participating and not already on the contact list send us an e-mail

On this Day: November 2nd 1960
Penguin books is acquitted in an obscenity action.

Editors note: Freedom of expression is a right, civility ( not at the expense of truth) a choice…

Good authors too who once knew better words, now only use four-letter words. Writing prose, anything goes.

— Cole Porter, “Anything Goes” (1934)
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