On April 26th 2014the Berwick and Annapolis Valley Young Naturalists went to the Woodville Trail system in the Annapolis Valley to learn about reading maps and compasses with Peter Romkey. Peter worked for the NS Department of Natural Resources for 22 years and is now the director of the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre at Acadia. In his own words Peter describes himself as an explorer of the Acadian Forest ( http://kcirvingcentre.acadiau.ca/peter.html ). Thank you Peter!
The day was sunny and the Woodville Trails were well marked. We are very fortunate that the Trail Society and Land owners take such good care of these trails and here is a link to the trails http://www.woodville-kingscounty.ca/recreation/facilities/trail.html .
The event began with Peter teaching us about how to use a compass and finding the 4 directions; North, South, East and West on the compass. Then we found the 4 directions on the trail map and oriented ourselves to find the first trail we would be taking by lining the compass up with the map. Off we went to the North! At each intersection along the trail we made a decision about which way to go on the map and used our compasses to find the right path. Along our journey, Peter taught us about the natural ways to find our way in the forest; like the sun. The sun comes up in the East and sets in the West and around noon time, shadows point north. We learned form Peter that moss grows more on the North side of trees only if the tree is out in the open and since most of the forests in the Maritimes are dense then moss on trees is not a reliable indicator of North in our region.
Also along the trail we were excited to see old Ironwood and Sugar Maple trees and a Trillium peeking out on the South Facing slope of the North Mountain!