Field biologist Sabina Leader Mense reports, “I was sitting in the skiff with my husband Dennis, under an unbelievably brilliant sky of stars. It was the last station of the night, pushing midnight, and in the 16th minute of that 17 minute call playback sequence, I heard something. I remember pivoting around in the boat. The sound was behind me and you do what owls do, you turn around. I think your ears and the muscles and your ears cup and you’re just straining to hear something. Then I heard the call again. It was very distant, but I recognized it was an owl. I began analyzing the audio disks in my head going, ‘is it a Northern Pygmy Owl? Is it a Northern Saw-Whet Owl?’ As I was doing this, it called the third time and I recognized it was a Western Screech Owl.”Continue reading Success: The search for Western Screech Owls on Cortes Island
A great many fisherfolk once worked out of Whaletown. The Cortes Island Museum’s list goes back to the 1930s, at which point there were 7 men and a woman. Three of them used rowboats.
“There used to be a huge fleet rafted out, both six and seven abreast all along both sides of the dock, in Whaletown. In the last 10 years or so, there’s only been three or four boats in there, fishing. The main one that I know of in the last little while is the ‘C-Fin,’ but he goes outside of the Vancouver Island area and fishes tuna. When he comes back he doesn’t sell it to a fisheries, he sells it from the dock, and the same with his prawns. So he’s not using a middle man to sell his products, which I suppose is one of the few ways you could make a little bit of money now,“ said Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum, in the latest instalment of her history of Whaletown.Continue reading When fishing was an industry in Whaletown
Over the past 20 years, Christian Gronau has documented 149 fossiliferous rocks in our area.
Fossil #144 was recently installed at the Cortes Island Museum, but the German-born and trained palaeontologist said, “Palaeontology became a question for me when I was settled here. I looked around, of course was interested in the local geology, and realized that Cortes is just a big pile of granite with very little exceptions to that rule and started wondering what I was going to do with my interest in fossils.”Continue reading Glacier-borne fossils in the Discovery Islands
On Saturday, September 3, 2022, Christian Gronau installed a 130 million year fossil on the Cortes Island Museum porch. This is the third rock from his collection on display, and fossil #144 of a series.
“I believe this quest for fossils, the erratics that he’s been searching for has been a 20 year project,” said Melanie Boyle, Managing Director of the Cortes Island Museum and Archives.Continue reading How fossil #144 came to the Cortes Island Museum
‘Climate Crisis: The Cascade Effect’ opens at Wild Cortes, in the Linnaea Education Centre, 1 PM on Sunday May 29, 2022.
Co-curator Donna Collins explained that this exhibit illustrates what the climate crisis is doing to our natural habitat, especially species like deer, owls and the island’s apex predators.Continue reading At Wild Cortes: ‘Climate Crisis – the Cascade effect’