a thing of beauty in our
Five dollars gives
you a chance to win one of five exquisite pieces of nature art painted
and donated by celebrated Canadian artists. The beautifully framed
works, ranging in value from $350 to
Time to Leave (Eastern Bluebird) by Marc Barrie
Rhapsody in Milkweed by George Raab
Carolina Parakeets by Paul Bridges
Flying High (Golden Eagle), a limited edition print by Robert Bateman
Halliburton Marsh by Diana Bellerby
See photos of the art on our website, http;//www.thicksonswoods.com/whats_new.html
The draw will be held
on Sunday, June 11, at a garden party at the
To purchase raffle
tickets, tickets to the garden party ($50), or to
Circle these events on your 2006 Calendar!
Breakfast and Bobolinks, May 6—enjoy a pancake breakfast in the meadow and a free tour of arriving migrants, led by expert birders.
Garden Party, Silent Auction and Art Raffle Draw, Sunday, June 11—at the elegant Inverlynn Estate in Whitby. Don't miss it!
Birds, Beavers and Butterflies, September 16—our 5th annual fall festival exploring nature in the meadow.
A Warm Welcome to our Newest Board Member
We are extremely pleased that Dianne Pazaratz has agreed to join the board of directors of Thickson's Woods Land Trust. For several years she has been helping in many ways, from organizing the silent auctions at our spring and fall events, to assisting with the upcoming art raffle.
Since the last newsletter we made a healthy payment of $35,000 against the mortgage. After paying interest of $1,737.90, the principal was reduced by $32,262.10, bringing our outstanding balance to $65,236.98. I am writing this before the November payment but am anticipating paying just under $30,000. This would reduce our mortgage to a little under $40,000.
The end is in sight! What
a relief it will be to make that last
Congratulations if you attended the Birds, Beavers and Butterflies Festival on September 17, because it was our best ever. We grossed $9,000 for the day! If you did not get to the festival, be sure to make it a priority for 2006. Glorious weather, terrific shows from Muskoka Wildlife and Creepy Critters, butterfly tagging, bird banding, magic shows, pond dipping, box building and much, much more kept kids and adults alike entertained. The $10 entrance for a family of four is an unbeatable bargain.
Remember that donations to Thickson's Woods are tax deductible. A donation made by the end of 2005 can be claimed on your income tax return and you will receive the tax benefit when filing in the spring of 2006.
I wish to acknowledge the fine tribute that Margaret Bain wrote in the last newsletter for my wife, Susan Morgan, who passed away on August 16. Susan was fund-raising chair for the board and was completely committed to doing all she could to get the mortgage paid off. Just ten days before she died we were leaving the house for the emergency ward when Dennis Barry dropped by on Thickson's business. Even then she had an idea for the fall festival she wanted to run by him before we could leave for the hospital.
There is now a memorial stone placed in the meadow in her honour, close to the platform. I hope that you will stop by and see it the next time you are there and give a passing thought to her and the work she did.
We all know what a special place Thickson's Woods is. It is a refuge from the busy outside world, a place where you can lose yourself in nature and serenity. It is this world I went to on the day of Susan's funeral. After days of planning, visitations, the funeral itself and the gathering afterwards at our house I had to get away. Leaving guests at the house, I literally snuck out. I took Susan's car and drove to Thickson's Woods. I walked the paths, contemplated the ancient pines, crossed into the meadow and sat on the platform. After an hour or so I felt calm re-enter my life and was able to return home. It is moments like that when I'm reminded how very important preserving Thickson's Woods is and how proud I am of the work we are doing.
Gifts That Will Last Forever
Many metres of the meadow have been saved in the name of: Jason Bellinger; Maggie Eaton; Derek Gillette; Angela Marzolini & Dan Kozlovic; Doris & Dennis Pascoe; Aileen Pelzer & Gus YakiThis holiday season give a gift that will last forever - a piece of “The Meadow”
square metres - $150
(Or for that very
special person – 1 acre - $62,500)
Recent donations have
been made in memory of these special people:
We join their families
and friends in mourning their passing, and
A Whole Bunch of Thank-You's
are due a lot of special people who helped save wildlife habitat this year at the Thickson's Woods Nature Reserve. Wild bergamot smells so much nicer than diesel fumes. Crickets and cicadas sound so much more peaceful than truck engines. Many people worked hard to ensure that a precious bit of land along the Great Lakes flyway stays green and welcoming to migrating birds coming home to Canada to nest.
Thank you to the dedicated volunteers who helped out with nature tours, bake sales, bucket raffles, silent auctions, ticket sales, etc., etc., at our public events in the meadow—you know who you are, and everyone who attends recognizes your smiling faces.
Thanks to Lofthouse
Brass and its stalwart crew for donating
Thanks to Hannah
and Eliot for making their famous “organic
Thanks to Kathy Aelkar's
drama students of Lakeside Public
Thanks to the West
Humber Naturalists for their generous
Thanks to the Neil
and Shirley Macdougall Fund at the
And most especially, thanks to the dozens of committed and generous donors who sent in cheques to help pay off more than $120,000 of the meadow mortgage in the past year. You guys are wonderful!
For several hours
during the peak of May migration, expert birders
With my fifty years
of birding experience, I confidently
She was indignant. “It's
not a bump! It's a bird!”
(Harvey is a former
member of our board of directors and the person responsible for the interesting
and informative signs identifying mushrooms in the woods at last year's
fall nature festival.
We Get Letters…
“It has been 50 plus years since I last enjoyed birding, and needless to say I am somewhat rusty at best. However, thanks to the knowledgeable companionship of my friend Norman Schipper, I was re-united with the beauty and thrills that I experienced as a young man.
One of our most recent
trips was to Thickson's and we were
Please accept the
enclosed donation as an expression of my
(We hope the places Jack enjoyed birding more than half a century ago are still as welcoming to birds and birders as they were back then.)
By Dennis Barry
Woods Nature Reserve lies at the heart of a larger area
No habitat remains static. Before the first European settlers arrived, the meadow at the Thickson's Woods Nature Reserve was probably covered by mature forest, with white pine, eastern hemlock, sugar maple, black cherry, butternut, yellow birch and red oak predominating.
At some point after the land was cleared, a large part of the meadow was planted to apple trees. No doubt eastern bluebirds were common summer residents, nesting in hollows in the trees. A few trees of northern spies and greenings still remain, along with the skeletons of others that have fallen. This year those still alive produced a bumper crop of fruit, some of which remains to provide winter food for pine grosbeaks and robins.
More recently the
area became a cow pasture, and remained as such until the early 1980s. Now
red osier dogwood, nannyberry and some ash trees are taking over parts
of the grassed areas.
“The Corbett Creek wetlands and environs support 431 vascular plant species, 74 breeding bird species, incidental observations on 20 mammal species… and 9 reptiles and amphibians… Eleven fish species are found in the coastal bay and streams.
are important for wetland species at Corbett Creek and they are critical
for the maintenance of its wetland
“The Thickson's Woods Land Trust owns 6.5 hectares in the southwest portion of the marsh. It sets aside one of the best old-growth forests on the Lake in Durham Region, as well as high quality seepage wetlands that feed into the main part of Corbett marsh.…
“Durham coastal wetlands are among some of the most disturbed wetlands on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, with disturbance increasing as one approaches Toronto. Preliminary results show Corbett wetlands are in generally good condition… However, Corbett's watershed only has 18% natural cover, which is low in comparison to other Durham coastal wetlands that can vary from 18% to a high of 70% natural cover.
Creek Coastal Wetland Complex… is situated on the Lake Iroquois
Plain in site district 6E13. This site district stretches
“Wetland loss has been particularly severe for coastal wetlands… The lakeshore or coastal marshes in Durham Region represent the largest concentration of such wetlands in the western portion of Lake Ontario and in site district 6E13. They have been designated Important Bird Areas by Bird Studies Canada and are the focus of international conservation efforts through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement under the International Joint Commission.
wetlands have 54 significant species including the
“The Corbett Creek Wetland Complex is provincially significant with a total score of 603 points and 250 points for the special features component. A wetland that scores 600 or more points or has 200 or more points in either the biological or special features component is provincially significant.
The Corbett wetland
complex is noteworthy for sustaining a
(The report also makes important recommendations that are critical to maintaining the health of Corbett wetlands. We will outline those in a future newsletter.)
Look around, what
do we see?
Could be a Winner!!
Thank you for you support!
forget to order your books of tickets for the Art Raffle. You