Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Beginnings

I've decided at long last to join the world of blogging.

My life-long interests have revolved for the most part around exploring and trying to understand the natural world around us, which led me to a career in natural history interpretation and resource management at one of Ontario's oldest, most southern and most diverse provincial parks.....Rondeau.

Tuliptree Trail at Rondeau

I spent about 13 years at Rondeau focusing on natural history interpretation and park resource management both there and at several of the significant nature reserves in southwestern Ontario, including my time while a university student. Some of the most exciting other natural areas I was privileged to work with during this time was Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve in Windsor, Wheatley Provincial Park, and several provincial nature reserves on the Erie Islands, including Fish Point, Lighthouse Point and East Sister Island. My interests and exposure to the needs of tallgrass prairie management was stimulated and enhanced by working so closely to Ojibway Prairie PNR.
 
In 1986 my job changed so that I became the first District Ecologist in MNR, and so I moved from Rondeau to the Chatham District office of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, dealing with species at risk, natural area management, inventory work and planning issues, all pertaining to the natural world. Tallgrass prairies and the closely related oak savanna habitats are interests that continue to this day, and I was able to attend several North American Prairie Conferences, including helping to organize a NAPC in Windsor in 1992.

 A Southern Ontario Prairie Scene, Walpole Island

As MNR changed over the next few years, so did my job. Instead of being limited to the Chatham District, my area of responsibility became enlarged to the new Aylmer District, which extended from the Detroit River in the west to almost the Grand River in the east. From Lake Erie and Pelee Island at the southern extreme and to Grand Bend at the north. Truly this area is one of the most significant in terms of natural history and biodiversity in all of Canada!

I retired from OMNR in December of 2011, after 36 years of full time working on behalf of Ontario's natural resources. Now, unencumbered by government bureaucracy and chaos, I am relatively free to explore these and other natural areas focusing on photography, exploration and sharing the wonderful stories and experiences they have to offer.

My goal for this blog is to share some of those events and stories, a.k.a. Nature Nuggets, of extreme southwestern Ontario and elsewhere, with anyone who cares to join me. You will read about and see photos of birds, plants, prairies, older growth woodlands, wetlands, reptiles & amphibians, invertebrates and ecological items that observers of nature might be interested in.

Sunrise over Rondeau Bay from Erieau Harbour




6 comments:

  1. Congrats Allen on starting your blog! I checked it out after learning about it from Marie's facebook posting - very interesting! Beautiful pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lois....very nice to hear from you and thanks for checking this out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Super!! Look forward to reading your "nuggets" [ Look forward to May 2- Rondeau- even more]
    ATB- Gail and Barry

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looking to understand this site and all the precious info you have for us!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Allen. This is a blog that warms the heart, engages the mind, and inspires the imagination. Beautiful work. Please keep me in the loop. I've forwarded the link to others.
    Maria Kornacki

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Barry/Gail, Monica and Maria....thanks so much for checking out my blog. I hope it meets your expectations.

    Barry: I'll keep an eye open for you and Gail on May 2! Will you be back at the same place?

    ReplyDelete