On October 25th from 10 am to 3 pm several natural areas around the Cowichan Valley will be transformed into open air classrooms. Celebrate Somenos will be a day of talks, tours and workshops aimed at educating and inspiring all of us about the amazing nature we are so lucky to have right in our backyards!
The schedule of events will include a raptors talk with a visit from a live bird of prey courtesy of The Raptors Centre on Herd Rd at the Somenos boardwalk. We will also be having the ever popular Birding on the Boardwalk event and this year we’ll be adding Birding in the Bay with the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.
At the boardwalk you’ll be also able to observe invasive species weaver Maria Curtis in action as she creates beautiful baskets out of Scotch broom and yellow flag iris harvested from the Somenos Marsh. She’ll also be taking registrations for upcoming weaving workshops. Local Artist Lulu Marie will be on site working on her Somenos series paintings. There will be hot chocolate, kid’s activities and face painting for your young or young-at-heart members of the family.
You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about the political history of the area from Marsh long-timer Paul Fletcher. Barry Hetschko, local wildlife photography, will be offering tips on how to take amazing wildlife shots with three mini-workshops happening throughout the day. There will be two Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area tours led by the Cowichan Valley Naturalists.
Please see below Celebrate Somenos events schedule to help plan your family nature adventure!
Maria Curtis Weaving with Invasives: Maria Curtis, longtime weaver will be demonstrating the beautiful creations that can be made using invasive species harvested from the Somenos Marsh. Come visit her at the welcome table at the Open Air Classroom to see her in action and learn about upcoming workshops.
Wildlife Photography Workshop with Barry Hetschko: Learn about the principles and techniques and equipment you can use to get great nature shots from well known local nature photographer Barry Hetschko. B.Y.O.Camera and please dress for the weather.
Lulu Marie Open Air Painting of Somenos Series: Come see local artist Lulu Marie in action as she paints while soaking in inspiration for her upcoming series on Somenos. Lulu generously donates a portion of the proceeds of her works to local environmental charities.
Birds of Prey Talk featuring a marsh predator: Join the Pacific Raptor Centre crew for an exciting talk about marsh predators! They will be bringing a bird of prey with them so this is a great chance to get up close with one of these stunning birds and get all your birds of prey questions answered.
The Somenos Society Story with Paul Fletcher: Join Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society co-founder Paul Fletcher to learn about the last 25 years of exciting marsh history.
Garry Oak Tour with Genevieve Singleton: Well known local nature interpreter Genevieve Singleton will lead visitors on a walking tour of the Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area. Genevieve’s in-depth knowledge of this special rare ecosystems will intrigue guests of all ages.
Birding on the Boardwalk: Join long-time Cowichan Valley birder Derrick Marven for the popular Birding on the Boardwalk event. Derrick will be stationed on the Somenos boardwalk to talk birds with all who join him. Please dress for the weather and B.Y.O.Binoculars, there will be a spotting scope set up as well.
Birding in the Bay: Join Cowichan Bay Estuary Nature Centre volunteer naturalists from 10am to 1pm for coastal bird watching on the viewing tower in Hecate Park. Please BYOBinoculars, there will also be a spotting scope set up for those far-away feathered friends.
** Unfortunately our Cowichan Elder presenters Philomena and Peter will not be able to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. Huy ch q’u.
|CELEBRATE SOMENOS EVENTS SCHEDULE||Somenos Boardwalk||Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area||Cowichan Bay Estuary|
|10 am||Wildlife Photography Workshop with Barry Hetschko (approx. 30 mins)||Invasive Species Weaving Demonstration with Maria Curtis (Most of the day)||Lulu Marie Open Air Painting of Somenos Series (2 hours)||Birding in the Bay with Estuary Nature Centre (3 hours)|
|10:30 am||Birds of Prey Talk featuring a marsh predator (approx. 30 mins)|
|11 am||The Somenos Society Story with Paul Fletcher (approx. 30 mins)||Garry Oak Tour with Genevieve Singleton (60-75mins)|
|12 pm||The Somenos Society Story with Paul Fletcher (approx. 30 mins)||Wildlife Photography Workshop with Barry Hetschko (approx. 30 mins)|
|1 pm||Birding on the boardwalk with Derrick Marven (2 hours)||Garry Oak Tour with Genevieve Singleton (60-75mins)|
|2 pm||Wildlife Photography Workshop with Barry Hetschko (approx. 30 mins)||The Somenos Society Story with Paul Fletcher (approx. 30 mins)|
|3pm||End of Celebrate Somenos for this year!|
How to get there:
Somenos Boardwalk: From Duncan head North on the TCH. About 1km past Beverly corners pull off to the right at the Somenos Boardwalk and Open Air Classroom. ***Please note that parking will be very limited so do your best to bike, walk or carpool
Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area: Head East on Trunk Rd from the TCH. Turn left on Lakes Rd. Turn left at Trillium Tce. Turn left on York. Rd and drive to the cul-de-sac at the end. This is the meeting spot for the Garry Oak Protected Area tour.
Cowichan Bay Estuary Nature Centre: From Duncan head south on the TCH. Turn left on Cowichan Bay Rd. Turn right and stay on Cowichan Bay Rd. Follow this into Cowichan Bay Village, the nature centre will be on the left.