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For the Love of Molluscs

Updated: Jan 9

Tuesday, April 26, 2021

I moved here, and stayed here because of all of the hundreds of lakes in Haliburton County. And I love nature as well. I love to swim, canoe, camp, hike and spend time sitting on my friend’s dock watching the sun go down or come up, or having a glass of wine! I have never had a cottage, but I do consider every lake I visit a treasure. Every one of us has a responsibility to help keep our lakes healthy for our own well being, for the well being of all the creatures who live in them and, for our great grandchildren.

The Lake Kashagawigamog Organization (LKO) is hosting a series of “Love Your Lake Zoom Spring Series that are excellent for anyone who is interested in the health of our lakes. Jim and I attended one last week called“Stayin Alive - Environmental threats to our lake and forest creatures.” The presenter was Rebecca Osborne who grew up in Mississauga and is a long time Haliburton cottager. She grew up spending time at the lake investigating, exploring and collecting creatures to study, and over time developed an incredible passion for these lake critters. She is currently an aquatic biology PhD candidate at the University of Guelph studying the effects of pollution on freshwater molluscs (clams, snails, and slugs). Rebecca spoke for about 45 minutes and her passion and knowledge shone through. I learned that molluscs help clean and filter the water in the lake. The number of molluscs you have in your lake, and the the amount of diversity of molluscs are an indicator of the health of your lake. One thing all of us can do is pay attention to invasive species by ensuring our boats are clean when we put them in the water and ensure that our live bait is purchased locally and follow the rules of the Ministry of Natural Resources. She also talked about not planting invasive plant species that can take over a wetland. It was an informative evening and I have a lot more respect for molluscs. Rebecca has an instagram account snailqueen27 if you wish to follow more of her work.

On another note, as volunteers for the Land Trust, Jim and I have been putting up blue bird boxes out at Barnum’s Creek . This is the time of year to put bird boxes up, and make sure your bird boxes are clean. If you can, take a hose and clean them out and make sure they are in good shape for the nesters. If you are putting up a bird house, the majority of the birds like the hole to face the east and to hang at about 5 - 7 feet high. There is so much nature around us. I hope it is sustaining you!

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