The SNS Board met on August 12 for the first time in a couple of months. My wife Lynn and I hosted the meeting in our backyard. It was the first in-person meeting since I joined the Board in March 2020. What a treat to finally see everyone and actually do some socializing after the meeting! The main item on the agenda was the appointment of Laurette Lefol as our new Treasurer. On behalf of the SNS, I welcome Laurette and thank her for taking on such an important role within the organization. Laurette is taking over from Yvonne Cuttle, who graciously stepped in as Acting Treasurer. Thank you, Yvonne. She will be staying on as a Director to help Laurette with the transition. Laurette will continue working with Bev Roth of Roth Accounting, who has been incredibly helpful in managing the SNS financial data over the last year.
On July 24, I had the opportunity to participate in the shorebird field trip organized by John Patterson. John had spent lots of time scouting for some wetlands that actually contained water. Finding water in these ponds was no small feat. The wetlands that John included in the tour were teeming with activity. I’ve never seen so many shore birds in such concentrated areas. It was both impressive and worrisome. Great to view the huge diversity − many were recent arrivals from their nesting in the Arctic − but troubling to see what a struggle they face in the historic drought we’re experiencing. It’s hard to believe that many of these wetlands were at historic high water levels as recently as 2016. What a dramatic shift! Hopefully we are at the nadir and can see things improving over the fall and winter months.
As I’m sure most of you are aware, Stuart Houston died on July 22. Reading his obituary, I couldn’t help but be impressed by his achievements and the contribution he made to ornithology and the SNS in particular. He was the last of the society’s founding members. We all are indebted to him for having the motivation and energy to help create this wonderful organization. I am inspired by the fact that he was, until very recently, still actively involved with the banding and wing-tagging of turkey vultures. When I observe these beautiful birds from my backyard as they assemble on University Drive for their evening roost, I can’t help but think to myself: Stuart would be pleased.
Photo by Trent Watts
Saskatoon Nature Society
Connecting People and Nature
Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 27013 Grosvenor Park
Saskatoon, SK S7H 5N9