Friday, 2 February 2018

Feb 2 2018

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, February 2, 2018 (Friday)


Please advise editor at nelson@nb.sympatico.ca if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

For more information on Nature Moncton, check into the website at
www.naturemoncton.com

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Louise Nichols nicholsl@eastlink.ca
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.

** The Nature Moncton Tracks, Scat and Signs workshop is on for tomorrow, Saturday Feb. 3rd, on schedule to start at 10:00 at the Tankville School.  Today’s weather for a field outing after is not good, but that could change tomorrow if we get a light snow tonight after it gets much colder.  If going out on the outdoor section, be prepared: bring snowshoes if you have some, cleats for boots if it is slippery, warm clothing, and the usual outdoor enthusiasm as the sun will shine.  Don’t forget a lunch and indoor footwear to wear at the school.  Looking forward to a pleasant winter’s day, inside and outside.  The write-up for the event is attached.

NATURE MONCTON

MINIWORKSHOP AND FIELD TRIP

WINTER TRACKS, SCAT AND MORE

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3, 2018.

STARTING 10:00AM AT THE TANKVILLE SCHOOL



WHO’S BEEN THERE AND WHO DONE IT!

 The tracks, trails, and scat left behind in winter snow can tell us lots about who’s been there and maybe what they’ve been up to. Looking for animal tracks, trails, and scat can add a whole new dimension to a winter cross country ski or snowshoe sortie. Let’s spend an indoor session with Nelson Poirier looking at tracks and trails, the paws/hooves that made them, and put the two together to know how the behaviour of the animal may decide the particular trail left. And yes, we’ll look at those telltale droppings of scat too!

Meeting time will be 10:00 am at the Tankville School. We will spend a few hours as “class time”. As an option for those who wish, we will then head out into a few areas of the adjacent Irishtown Nature Park and put theory to practice. If the conditions are poor for track observation, there will be lots of winter buds to peruse and whatever else catches attention.

The Tankville School is located at 1665 Elmwood Dr., 1.9 km north of the Irishtown Nature Park and just before the Royal Oakes Golf Course. Bring a lunch, dress warmly; bring snowshoes if appropriate, and the normal enthusiasm.

 A fee of $8 will be requested at the door to cover expenses.

All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not. Bring a friend.



** Georges Brun has certainly had good fortune seeing the SHORT-EARED OWL [Hibou des marais] that hunts the Riverview Marsh.  He saw it hunting and roosting across from the confluence of Hall’s Creek and the Petitcodiac River on Thursday.  AMERICAN CROWS [Corneille d'Amérique] were harassing the owl.  He also saw a big dark COYOTE [Coyote] scratching on the frozen pond.  A BALD EAGLE [Pygargue à tête blanche] was on sentry, moving between a stump and a post in the area of the Trans-Aqua facility.

** Kathy Carter at 84 Ellerdale Ave in Moncton is another who’s having a NORTHERN FLICKER [Pic flamboyant] visit her yard.  It’s not coming to feeders, but is very interested in scratching away snow to get to ground area below a Mountain Ash tree.

** Ray Gauvin shares a photo of the waxing GIBBOUS MOON as it appeared on Jan. 26th, before it became full.  The word “waxing” indicates the lit part of the moon is getting greater and “gibbous” is that half way position with the hump back as Curt Nason described it.  Ray also took photos of the full moon as it appeared on Jan. 31st.  A second full moon in one month is referred to as a “blue moon.”  This does differ from some other interpretations where it can actually look blue when being seen through an eruption of dust, like a volcanic eruption or some other heavy dust event.

** This week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is added to this edition, courtesy of sky-guru Curt Nason. 

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, February 3 – February 10

The constellation Hydra is the largest of the 88 and it represents a
female water snake. I mention the gender because there is a male water snake constellation, Hydrus, in the southern hemisphere. A small trapezoid of stars, located about halfway below a line between Procyon in Canis Minor and Regulus in Leo, represents the snake’s head. To its lower left is a solitary bright star called Alphard, the heart of the snake. The rest of the constellation is a long serpentine string of fainter stars that stretches to Virgo. It takes about eight hours for the entire constellation to rise. Two other constellations, Corvus the Crow and Crater the Cup, are sitting on Hydra’s back.

In mythology, Hercules had to kill the multi-headed Hydra as the second of his famous labours. Knowing the creature could only be killed by severing all of the heads, and that two would grow in where one was
severed, he placed a tree stump in a fire. When he cut off a head he cauterized the wound with the glowing stump to prevent the regrowth. 
When Hera saw that Hercules might win she sent a crab to distract him, but he easily stomped it dead. That explains the presence of the dim constellation Cancer the Crab just above the head of Hydra. Hera despised Hercules because he was the illegitimate son (one of many) of her husband Zeus. When the Hydra was slain, Hercules dipped his arrows in the Hydra’s poisonous blood for later use.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:39 am and sunset will occur at 5:27 pm, giving 9 hours, 38 minutes of daylight (7:42 am and 5:34 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:29 am and set at 5:37
pm, giving 10 hours, 8 minutes of daylight (7:32 am and 5:44 pm in Saint John).

The Moon is at third quarter on Wednesday morning, and it is near Mars on Friday. Jupiter and Mars are well-placed in the south for morning
observing, while Saturn can be found far to their lower left above the lid of the Sagittarius Teapot asterism. The solar system looks to be 
fairly quiet this week, so try to spot the International Space Station.
Brighter than Jupiter, it makes at least one evening pass each evening this week between 6 pm and 8 pm, travelling approximately west to east.
Check out the Heavens Above website for the times after setting your location.

The Saint John Astronomy Club meets on Saturday, February 3 at 7 pm in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre. All are welcome.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.


Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
COYOTE FEB 1 2018 GEORGES BRUN

CROW AND SHORT- EARED OWL FEB 1 2018 GEORGES BRUN 

Hydra 2018

MOON (WAXING GIBBOUS). JAN 18, 2018.RAY GAUVIN

MOON FULL(BLUE MOON).JAN 31, 2018. RAY GAUVIN.

MOON FULL(BLUE MOON).JAN 31, 2018. RAY GAUVIN.

 SHORT- EARED OWL FEB 1 2018 GEORGES BRUN 

 SHORT- EARED OWL FEB 1 2018 GEORGES BRUN