Species of the Week: The Grey Treefrog

This week, we are featuring the Grey Treefrog as our #SpeciesOfTheWeek. As its Latin name (Hyla versicolor) suggests, this species has the ability to change its colour and camouflage to its surroundings. Its colour can vary from grey to green or brown, depending on its surroundings. They are also characterized by the orange skin under their thighs and sticky toe pads which help them to climb. Grey Treefrogs typically live in woodland habitats near water and, true to their name, can be found at the tops of trees. This one here was actually found resting down in the Silver Queen Mine, as it enjoyed the moist environment created by the pools of water down there. They can be found in various other places around the park, most commonly during their breeding season, which lasts from late spring through to early summer. However, outside of their breeding season they tend to be less active and will hide in tree holes, rotten logs, or under bark and leaves.

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Drum-Making Workshop!

The Friends of Murphys Point are excited to announce we some spaces for an in-person drum-making workshop with Helena Neveu!

As you may recall, we launched a series of workshops earlier this year in an effort to continue our commitment to provide opportunities for Indigenous programming. We began with two virtual sessions that featured storytelling and a demonstration of how to make the rawhide and hoops for drums.

Next in the series we are offering two in-person workshops to build the drums! Helena Neveu (Walksfar Woman… Waasaabiidaasome Kwe – Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways – see attached bio) will lead the day-long sessions (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on either Friday, July 30 or Saturday, Aug. 7). The cost for the in-person workshop is $100 per person and materials are included. Remaining materials will be used for rattle and jewellery making.

The series culminates with a “drum birthing ceremony” on a date to be announced.

All in-person sessions will be held in compliance with public health guidelines.

Spaces were offered to virtual workshop participants and Friends members first, but we have a few left and there will be a waiting list.

If you are interested, please register for one of the following sessions:

Friday, July 30: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/drum-making-workshop-friday-july-30-tickets-163133395377

or

Saturday, Aug. 7: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/copy-of-drum-making-workshop-saturday-aug-7-tickets-163134520743

The cost is $100 – see payment instructions when you register at one of the above links.

Hope you can join us!

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Species of the Week: The Common Snapping Turtle

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the largest turtle species found in Ontario, the Common Snapping Turtle! This turtle was found creating her nest along the gravel/sandy sides of a road, a common nesting place for turtles. Unfortunately, road mortality is a significant contributor to the decline of a variety of turtle species. Did you know all 8 species of turtles in Ontario are federally recognized as species at risk? Unlike most turtle species, Snapping Turtles are not able to recede into their shells as they do not have a plastron, which makes them especially vulnerable to predators on land. As such, snapping turtles have developed a different protection mechanism of utilizing their strong jaws to snap. However, while they are swimming Snapping Turtles are generally very calm; they are a top predator in water bodies, so they do not feel vulnerable. In fact, seeing a snapping turtle in a water body is a good thing as they help improve the water quality of the water body they call home as they remove dead fish and frogs.

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