This year dealt two terrible blows to the Delta Naturalists Society (DNS), the untimely passing of long-term president Tom Bearss in April and, of course, COVID-19.
While none of the executive or members have really recovered from Bearss’ passing, the society want the community to know it is still active, if perhaps not as visible as it would wish to be. Like waterfowl seemingly floating aimlessly along on the surface of the water, underneath its feet are paddling away.
The Delta Naturalists executive met three times over the summer, outside and socially distanced, and communicated frequently by email. Much of the discussion revolved around finding a volunteer to take over as president, a daunting task, and how to keep the society active under COVID restraints.
At the AGM on Oct. 6, via Zoom a full board was elected, including co-presidents Audrey Coutts and Syd Barber. Thanks to months of work with UBC by both, and donations from members and Tom’s family and friends, a Tom Bearss Bursary was established.
The inaugural recipient is expected to go to a student in the Environmental Sciences area. It will be made shortly and funding is in place for the next five years.
Meanwhile, the Society’s Birds and Biodiversity Conservation group are very busy working on a series of brochures, similar to Birds in Delta, covering: 1) inter-tidal; 2) mammals, reptiles and amphibians; 3) moths, butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies; 4) bugs, bees, wasps, ants, spiders, beetles; 5) flowering plants; and 6) mushrooms.
Members of the group are taking photos throughout Delta with input from other keen DNS members. It will be at least six months before the brochures are completed and printed, and we anticipate they will prove as popular as the Birds in Delta brochures.
Although the popular weekly birding outings, with public participation, are not possible right now, small groups of birders/photographers are going on outings, (no car-pooling, socially distancing), and posting blogs and links to photos on the society’s website www.dncb.wordpress.com.