Dr. Cara Gibson talk on insects and fungi

On Nov 8, Dr. Cara Gibson kicked off the annual Metchosin MycoBlitz (the seventh annual event) with an amazing talk on the way mushrooms and insects interact.  

Insects and fungi, as Cara pointed out, are both underdescribed groups.  When you ask about the interactions between groups with question marks around them, you get even more question marks!


A packed audience turned out to hear the talk.

Participants brought in boxes of mushrooms for everyone to see. Ai Linh and Juliet were among the members of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society who turned up to hear the talk and to chat with visitors about the different kinds of mushrooms.

Dr. Gibson stayed around after the talk to field questions from members of the audience.

For more about the next day’s MycoBlitz forays, see the Metchosin Biodiversity Project’s report on bioblitz events.

Cara Gibson on Insects and Mushrooms

The seventh Metchosin MycoBlitz will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, 2019.

The MycoBlitz doubles as November’s Metchosin Talk and Walk event. Please join us Friday November 8, 2019, 7:00 pm, for a talk by Dr. Cara Gibson, an expert on the relationships between insects and fungi. The talk, as usual, will be at the Metchosin Municipal Hall Council Chambers. See the attached poster for more information on the talk.

The Saturday Walk part of the Talk and Walk will be the Metchosin MycoBlitz. The November 9 MycoBlitz will start at the parking lot of the Metchosin Municipal Hall, 4450 Happy Valley Road (just behind the Fire Hall) at 9:00 am. A number of mycology specialists will be on hand to lead us to several Metchosin locations. At these locations the experts will do field identification and collect samples of mushrooms for table display and further study. Everyone is invited to join one of these forays–the only requirement is a desire to know more about mushrooms. The more eyes on the gorund, the more mushrooms we find. (Rain or shine, so dress appropriately. Kids always welcome, but please leave Fido at home.)

The foray groups will return to the Municipal Hall by noon. At 12:10 pm, guests are invited to attend a mini-film fest at the nearly Metchosin Firehall. Bring a brown bag lunch (popcorn, coffee and tea will be provided) and eat it while you watch a Nature of Things episode on Fungi.  After the film, walk back to to the Council Chambers and see, from 2-4 pm, the immense bounty of Metchosin fungal species that the expert have laid out and labeled for our Metchosin inventory of species.

Metchosin Talk and Walk — Leah Ramsay — dragonflies — Fri, Sept 6, 2019

Our first Metchosin Talk/Walk for the 2019/2020 season is coming up on Friday, Sept 6, 2019, 7:00 pm, at the District of Metchosin Council Chambers.  Join us to hear CDC’s Leah Ramsay talk about “Damsels and Warriors: the Dragonflies of BC.”   

On Saturday, Sept 7, 10 am, Leah will join us to net and identify a few dragonflies. Metchosin location to be announced.

Next Talk and Walk: Oct 4: Metchosin’s own Anna Hall on Dolphins.

Nikki Wright’s Presentation — June 14, 2019

On Friday, June 14, 2019, Nikki Wright of SeaChange came to Metchosin to address the Talk and Walk group. A rapt audience listened to her talk about the importance of eelgrass beds, the meadows of the sea, in maintaining ocean diversit

We still have eelgrass beds in Metchosin, Nikki explained. But they are threatened.  About 13% of Metchosin’s 46 kilometres of shoreline has undergone serious anthropogenic modification.

Nikki spoke about the work that is being done through SeaChange to restore some of the compromised eelgrass beds along the Salish Sea.

Metchosin Talk and Walk — Nikki Wright — Eelgrass — June 14, 2019, 7:00 pm

Our last Talk/Walk for the summer is coming up on Friday, June 14, 2019, 7:00 pm, at the District of Metchosin Council Chambers.  Join us to listen to one of the area’s great presenters: Nikki Wright of SeaChange will be with us to talk about “Changing Times for Eelgrass and Nearshore Marine Habitats.”  Humble eelgrass is the foundation for much of our intertidal sea life. 

No Saturday walk this time.

Next Talk and Walk: September 6: Leah Ramsay, Dragonflies.

Andrew Simon — Backyard Biodiversity and iNaturalist + Bioblitz– May 10/11

You’ve heard about the Metchosin bioblizes. Metchosin, however, is not alone in its desire to catalogue and track the species that make their homes in our public and private spaces. Other fascinating  biological inventories have been happening around the Salish Sea. Join us on Friday, May 10, to hear Andrew Simon, one of the key players in these wider initiatives,  talk about citizen science and local biodiversity. See poster below. 

Andrew has been spearheading an effort to employ the iNaturalist software on smartphones to do biologica inventories, so his talk will be followed by a walk on Saturday that will be an iNaturalist bioblitz of the Metchosin Wilderness Park. By using the iNaturalist software, amateur naturalists can make their own contributions to the Mechosin inventory efforts. We need a lot more people in the field making observations, getting GPS locations, and taking pictures our local species, and the iNaturalist software offers a way to reach this goal. Also, some Metchosin people have better access to private lands–perhaps your own properties–than the Metchosin bioblitz planners do.

From 4:00 to 5:00 pm on Friday, before Andrew’s talk, we will have an iNaturalist training session to show people how to install and use the iNaturalist software tool on their smartphones and tablets. If you would like to join this training session, register with us at this email address. Location to be announced.

At the Saturday, May 11, bioblitz, everyone is welcome, whether you are using the iNaturalist software or not. We will start at 10:00 am in front of the Metchosin District Offices, where we will divide into teams and finalize our survey plans. We are planning to be in the field from 10 am to 2 or 3 pm. You are welcome to stay the whole time (bring a lunch!) or leave whenever you need to.

Syd Cannings, the buzz on bumblebees

On April 26, Syd Cannings of the Yukon made his way to Metchosin to tell us about bumblebees, one of his specialties.

The event began with a walk. At 2:00 pm a large group met at Tower Point. Syd helped us to identify some of our local bumblebees.

A yellow-faced bumblebee (Bombus vosnesenskii, dead) that someone brought along for Syd to look at.

The view from the area of Tower Point where we looked at local bumblebees.

At 7:00 pm Syd gave an amazing talk on bumblebees to an attentive audience.

A verse reflection on Syd’s visit by one of the attendees:


There are strange things done ‘neath the midnight sun

By the men who search for bees

The bumblebees in the northern breeze

Bring an entomologist to his knees


The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

but the queerest they ever did see

Was that night in Metchosin, for all of those in

Council Chambers, for Syd’s talk, brilliantly.