Art and Science in the South Nation Watershed

CITATION: Karstad, Aleta, and Frederick W. Schueler. 2011. Art and Science in the South Nation Watershed. Library of One Thing and Another, Bishops Mills, Ontario. paperback, 58 pages, 19 paintings.


This book is published online by, and can be purchased from

Art and Science in the South Nation Watershed


Painting au Plein Air - page 7 (a related blog post).

Introduction & Acknowledgements - page 9

Here are the websites of Ontario Conservation authorities, and the South Nation Conservation.

Here's the incompletely populated webpage about our work with freshwater mussels with links to our newsletter about fresh water mussels. We've written an identification manual, which we update each time we do an identification workshop, the last time for the Tay River survey in 2009.

Mystery Snail Habitat - page 13

Rob Dillon featured our "snagaroo" in an update on Mystery Snails in his freshwater Gastropod blog with links to more about invasive Mystery Snails.

Chinese Mystery Snails - page 15

Indian Creek Culvert - page 17

South Nation River Flats at Crysler - page 19 (sorry about "Chrysler" in the book - the spell-checker must be to blame)

Boundary Wetland - page 21

Clam Watching - page 23

Fern Bank on the North Castor - page 25

Here's the Royal Ontario Museum's account of Butternut Canker in Ontario, and the website of the Butternut Recovery Programme.

Bear Brook With Geese - page 27

Bear Brook Haven of Biodiversity - page 29

Watershed Tour - page 31

Lower Hoasic Creek - page 35

Old Bridge At Lemieux - page 37

Riparian Forest at Plantagenet - page 41

Autumn Phragmites - page 43

For more on Phragmites identification, see the classic native/invasive page from Cornell University, and Paul Catling's reports on identification and the Canadian situation in Botanical Electronic News.

Our results of measuring the tallest stem here are: 1999 (dry year): 4.10 m 2000 (wet year): 390c m, 2001 (very dry year): 366 cm, 2002 (dry fall) 380 cm, 2003 (wet year) 385 cm, 2004 (very wet year) 347 & 374 cm, 2005 (wet year) 363 cm, 2006 (wet year & dry August) 403 cm, 2007 391 cm, 2008 (very wet year) 336 cm, 2009 340-369 cm (height of the base and tip of the seedhead), 2010 354-394 cm (won't try to guess if this counted as a wet or dry year), 2011 367-397 cm (wet early and dry later).

Cobbs Lake Creek - page 45

Metcalfe's Victoria Park - page 47

Red Maple Trunks - page 49

Beautiful Invader - page 51

The Egg Mass and Wood Frog breeding pond, Site F - page 53

Ongoing Conclusions - page 55

List of Painting Sites - page 57

Literature Cited - page 58


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COMMENTS: Our blurb for this book reads: "In the tradition of the Group of Seven but with the eye of a naturalist, Aleta Karstad paints the Canadian landscape "au plein air." This book showcases nineteen of her jewel-like paintings from the watershed of the South Nation River in easternmost Ontario. Each is accompanied by insightful and lyrical journal entries about the experience of making each painting and about the landscape and its plants and animals. While Aleta paints, her biologist husband, Fred Schueler, makes a scientific survey of the surrounding area, giving special attention to the interactions between native and invasive species. Together, this artist/biologist team works to increase public knowledge of not only the beauty of the landscape but also its biological health and the conservation measures suggested by their observations."

The present page links to the original blog entries for each site, and we solicit comments and questions on the chapters in the pages of the blog. This page also has links to sites that provide a fuller discussion of matters touched on in the chapters, If you've got comments that you don't wish to publish on the blog, or to contact us about other matters, contact us by phone at (613)258-3107 (cell (613)299-3107 when we're in the field), or e-mail Aleta at or Fred at