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Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Socially Distanced Walk With Friends

 
Our next Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Socially Distanced Walk With Friends will take place on Sunday Feb. 28, 2021 10 AM on the Midland Bay Woods Trails.  
 
We have 13 people signed on for this Sunday’s Socially Distanced Walk With Friends on the Midland Bay Woods Trails.  We will meet at 10 AM, parking at the dead end of Hilltop Drive in Port McNicoll.  The yellow X marks the spot for parking on this map.  The blue line shows some of the trails we’ll be walking, but the starting point is Bob and Susan Codd’s house.  We’ll assemble a couple of blocks away on Hilltop Drive. 
 
Midland Bay Woods Trails
 
We are asking you to RSVP by emailing mpfieldnaturalists@gmail.com if you are interested in joining us.  Once we have some idea of the numbers we will send out an email, at least by the day before the outing, letting you know exactly where we will assemble to start the walk.  Again, like last weekend, we may separate into two groups to accommodate social distancing and to remain in compliance with provincial regulations.  It’s possible that we will have two different starting points, but we will let you know. 
 
This will be a different experience from last week.  We will be walking through the bush up a fairly steep hill on well packed trails (though snow-shoeing again may be possible).  Our destination will be the open fields at the top of the hill where flocks of Pine Grosbeaks and Northern Shrikes have been seen on a regular basis.  We can’t promise you anything though.  You know what birds are like!
 
It will be a 30 or 40 minute walk up to the top of the hill and the same distance back down making for about a 2 hour outing.  Since we are in the woods and the trails make up a bit of a maze there may not be great opportunities for those who would like to shorten the outing.  You may have to be in it for the long haul.  
 
Here’s what we’ll be looking for: 
Red Male Pine Grosbeaks and yellow female


 

Northern Shrike
 
Simcoe-Muskoka is currently in the provincial Red Zone, allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people.  We ask participants to be even more diligent with the use of masks (they can keep you warm as well as safe). 
 
We’d ask members to do their best to RSVP if they would like to attend these walks.  This will give us a little better control on our numbers.  Non-members are also welcome on these walks.  You can RSVP by replying to mpfieldnaturalists@gmail.com
 
Other safety measures in effect at this outing as we try to keep our walks safe for all members:
 
Someone will be recording attendance, making sure that we have contact info for all participants, just in case any contact tracing needs to be done.  Be sure that you check in with this person. 
 
We’d ask that all participants carry a mask with them and use it if they are able.  If you find yourself in a situation where social distancing is difficult (studying those interesting tracks in the snow), put your mask on until you’re able to get the requisite 6 feet away.  You may want to carry some hand sanitizer with you as well.  
 
Please do not participate if you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms. 
 
We realize that many of our members are in the high-risk age group so we understand if some members may decide to give these opportunities a pass.  But we feel a socially distanced walk in the outdoors is a fairly low risk activity.  We are not expecting large groups but if we have a surprising turn out we can always split up into smaller groups.  
 
We ask you to look on these walks, not as official club outings, but rather low key get-togethers of friends to enjoy nature together. 
 
We will have our “MPFN Merch” available at the outing – tuques, ball caps, and our magic bean soup mix.  Same prices as before: 1 tuque or cap $20, 2 tuques or caps $30.  1 bag bean soup mix $3, 2 bags for $5.  Please try to bring exact change if you’d like to make a purchase.  
 
These outings might also be a good time to pay your 2021 MPFN membership if you are able.
  
Earlier this year the club executive decided to switch from having all memberships come due in September at the beginning of the program year to having them come due in January at the beginning of the calendar year. 
 
No change in the membership fees – $25 single membership, $45 Family membership, under 30 Free.  
 
Here’s how you can pay:
 
1. Send your cheque by snail mail to Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Club Box 393 Midland, ON L4R 4L1.  Make sure you include a note with any changes in your contact details. (address, email, phone number, etc.)
 
2. Make an E-transfer to Treasurer@mpfn.xyz  You can do this without any need for a security question or password and It will go directly into the club bank account.  Again please note in the comments of the transfer any changes in your contact details.  
 
3.  Pay in person at one of our outings.  
 
The executive recognizes that these are unusual and difficult times so they have decided that no memberships will be suspended for non-payment of dues until we can resume our normal programmes and activities.  
 
That said, we hope you will do whatever you can to support our club as we continue to work for nature in these difficult times. 
 
A big thank you to all the members, new and returning, who have already sent in their 2021 membership dues.  The club has continuing overhead expenses despite the current reduction of our activities and your continued support is essential.