Birds, cameras, salamanders at the Garden

Staff writer
April 11, 2014 01:00 AM

Garden manager Mary Blockberger shows a young visitor an amphibian egg mass in one of the ponds at the Botanical Garden.

Spring is time to get out into nature, and the Botanical Garden has several informal events planned this month for birders, photographers and families.

This Sunday, April 13, at 11 a.m. enjoy a camera walk with Paddy Wales to seek out the stories and treasures in the Garden. Dress for the weather and wet ground so you'll be comfortable. You will definitely be off the beaten path.

Two key bits of equipment are your camera manual and a freshly charged battery. Optional - bring your download cord so we can share the photos we take. Emphasis will be on seeing and revealing rather than technical talk. Group size is limited, so preregister at 604-740-3969.

Later in the month on Sunday, April 27, starting at 9 a.m., join Alexis Harrington for a birding session, concentrating on the sounds and signs of nesting activity. With such a wide variety of habitats, the Garden is all-atwitter now, each species finding its mate and its preferred niche. By learning to distinguish some bird calls, you'll improve your chance of seeing and identifying the birds. Binoculars, birding apps, notebooks and field guides are all useful.

As the egg masses of amphibians such as frogs and salamanders begin to mature, there will be good opportunities to see egg masses up close, as well as baby salamanders and tadpoles in their own habitat.

Our family salamander crawl, led by biologist Lee-Ann Ennis, will be later the same day, at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, there are egg masses to see both in the ponds and in an aquarium outside the Sparling Pavilion now, right at child height for maximum interest, so come anytime the Garden is open. Just look for a sign with big eyes!

Admission to these events is by donation; your generosity helps the Garden with maintenance and programing. The Sunshine Coast Credit Union gratefully sponsors the Garden. Spring open hours are Friday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; other times by prior arrangement.

For more on these and other events, plus Garden membership, see www.coastbotanicalgarden.org.

- Submitted

© Coast Reporter

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