NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, September 18, 2020 (Friday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier firstname.lastname@example.org
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Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
** John Inman at 225 Mary’s Point Road in Harvey, Albert Co. has had a WHITE-WINGED DOVE arrive to his yard and has been there a few days now. John got a nice photo despite the wind and an equally interested Sharp-shined Hawk. This species is a long way from its native home of the very southern US, Mexico, and farther south. It is an uncommon visitor to NB.
** Roger Leblanc did some checking around his Notre Dame property for mushrooms. Up to recently, it was very slim picking. On Wednesday, he did a walkabout and things, although not even close to what they’ve been in the past, were somewhat more encouraging. No CHANTERELLES to talk about, but he did find one LOBSTER MUSHROOM that he collected for the table. He sends photos of a couple of mushrooms he noted. He noted some suspected boletes in good numbers. He photographed the FLY AGARIC, which is not an edible, due to its unpredictable and sometimes unpleasant hallucinogenic properties. They can be common on lawn and cultivated areas, so take care with pets and children that could ingest them. They are not at all lethal but results of ingestion could cause alarm. They come in red as well as yellow and have the look of a candy-apple with dandruff! Also, Roger includes the BIRCH POLYPORE which is non-toxic, but would be the eating texture of shoe leather. One group looks like HONEY MUSHROOMS which are a favourite edible of many folk, and also the GEM-STUDDED PUFFBALL, which is edible but very bland, sort of like marshmallows without the sugar. When getting to know an edible for the first time, a spore print would be very helpful if a gilled mushroom. We only have a few deadly mushrooms, but the fact that they’re out there dictates, “if in doubt, throw it out.”
** Aldo Dorio photographed a group of SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS at the Neguac wharf on Thursday joined by one Sanderling. We will not be seeing Semipalmated Sandpipers much longer.
** It’s Friday and time to review the next week’s Sky-at-a-Glace, courtesy of sky-guru Curt Nason.
Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2020 September 19 – September 26
Salamanders aren’t the most noticeable of critters; you usually have to make an effort to find one. This is a good time to locate the obscure constellation of Lacerta the Lizard, but it will take some effort and a dark sky.
Camouflaged partly by the Milky Way, Lacerta is surrounded by Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Pegasus and Cygnus. A good pointer to it is the base of the Summer Triangle. Running a line from bright Vega to Deneb at the tail of Cygnus and extending it about the same distance puts you near the zigzag shape of the lizard. It is one of those dim constellations created in the late 17th century by Johannes Hevelius to fill in an “empty” section of the sky. At first he named it Stellio; a stellion is a newt with star-like spots found near the Mediterranean Sea. If you manage to catch Lacerta, give yourself a pat on the back and let it go.
This Week in the Solar System
Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:02 am and sunset will occur at 7:21 pm, giving 12 hours, 19 minutes of daylight (7:08 am and 7:26 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:11 am and set at 7:07 pm, giving 11 hours, 56 minutes of daylight (7:16 am and 7:13 pm in Saint John). The Sun crosses the equator, migrating southward for winter, at 10:31 am on Tuesday. Autumn is in the air.
The Moon is at first quarter on Wednesday, then sliding below Jupiter and Saturn over the next two evenings. Telescope users might catch Jupiter’s stormy Red Spot around 9 pm Sunday and 10:30 pm on Tuesday. Mars rises around 8:30 pm, when Jupiter and Saturn are at their highest in the south. Mercury is very close to Spica on Tuesday, setting 40 minutes after the Sun, but the shallow angle of ecliptic makes them a difficult target in binoculars. Venus rises around 3:30 am, perhaps seen amid the zodiacal light between 5:30 and 6 if you have a clear dark sky.
With astronomy meetings and outreach activities on hold, you can watch the local Sunday Night Astronomy Show at 8 pm, and view archived shows, on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAEHfOWyL-kNH7dBVHK8spg
Questions? Contact Curt Nason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. SEPT 17, 2020. ALDO DORIO