Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Mushrooms as natural works of art — not food

2021 10 16 hawke mushroomsBy David Hawke — It’s ‘shroom season and across the land can be heard the murmuration, “Can I eat it?”

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Thankful for the trees and colours






Our 'Giving Thanks For a Rainbow of Colour (and Mushrooms)' workshop, held over Thanksgiving weekend, was a success even though it rained and was overcast during most of Bob's presentation. Our participants wanted the show to go on, so large patio style umbrellas were put up to keep us dry. Jim and Donna, participants of all of Bob's workshops brought them and their act of kindness saved the day.

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Tis the season — for mushrooms






Some would think Tis the Season with the activity that is happening currently on social media. So much excitement and enthusiasm going on with many who are talking and sharing photographs of their latest find — you guessed it, mushrooms.

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Remarkable increase in sandhill crane numbers

2021 10 10 sandhill.cranes

By David J. Hawke -- As a nature-loving kind of guy I like to think that a report of a species strengthening its population is a good thing. So often the story is in the other 'direction', in that one species after another is dwindling to a point of possible extinction. And so, it has been a bit of a surprise to watch the ever-growing flocks of sandhill cranes that are passing by, quite noisily, high overhead.

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Oreo is playful, independent and ready to join your family

2021 10 05 oreo brown whiteIf you are looking for a furry companion who is oh so sweet, Oreo might be the purr-fect fit for your family!

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'Butt breathing' is turtles' secret to survival

2021 10 03 hawke turtles

By David J. Hawke -- While stepping with great care and caution into the canoe (I have to reluctantly admit that I’m not as agile as I used to be) my enthusiasm for the adventure ahead had to be held in check and focused on the task at hand. Getting a soaker, or worse, before even leaving the shore puts a real damper on the day. (Get it? Soaker… damper?)

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Sunflowers - A vision of gratitude


Those beautiful, tall, (sometimes) yellow flower heads facing the sun. You can't help but smile and acknowledge their beauty when you see them in a field or in a garden.

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Future uncertain for delicate beechdrops

2021 09 25 beechdrops

By David J. Hawke -- Over the past few months, more than 500 species of local flowering plants have put forth their blossoms in hopes of creating seeds for future generations of itself. As we slip into late summer the last on the list of wildflowers have been producing flowers and seeds at a great rate.

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Eat more plants for a healthy planet

FruitShare 3For the month of September, Living Green Barrie’s (LG) climate action is ‘Eat More Plants’.

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Autumn — a good time to learn about harvestmen

2021 09 20 harvestmenBy David Hawke --  A few things in nature look like they got in the wrong line for their identification documents.

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The butterfly journey continues

2021 09 14 butterfly4We wrote at the beginning of September about the migration of the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) to Mexico.

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A hawk by any other name — is still a marvel of Nature

2021 09 12 hawke peregrine

By David J. Hawke — Here’s a nature riddle for you: A group of birdwatchers is making a list of birds they’ve seen so far that day. On the list are Duck Hawk, Marsh Hawk, Pigeon Hawk and Sparrow Hawk. What year is it?

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Sweet, playful two-year-old seeks purr-fect home

rue2Rue is a short-haired female cat looking to find the purr-fect home! This energetic and playful two-year-old would make a great addition to any home.

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Aphids produce sugar poop treats for ants

2021 09 05 hawke aphids reduced

         By David Hawke -- Aphids on your garden plants can be a real drag, as aphids obtain their food by piercing the stem of a plant to get the sap. Most guide books and web sites offer oodles of ways to kill them, however, as with any species of wildlife, the closer you look, the more interesting things get!

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Rain in Greenland — at the ice cap summit!

Nuuk, GreenlandBy Pete Bursztyn — For the first time ever, rain has been recorded at the summit of the Greenland ice cap.

The rainfall was extensive and seen on both Aug. 14 and 15.

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Friendly cat loves play time, then couch time

snowflake 3

Snowflake is a friendly, four-year-old, short-haired, orange and white cat.

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'We're outta here!'

2021 08 28 hawke migration

By David Hawke -- As we ‘swim’ through these humid days of late August, it is easy to overlook some of the winter preparations that are going on within our local wildlife populations. Yep, the days may be hot but the hard-wired senses of birds in particular mean it’s time to prep for colder temperatures.

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Don't spread this new invasive aquatic plant!

2021 08 28 bowles frogbit2
2021 08 28 bowles frogbit1

By Bob Bowles -- Several hours spent monitoring lakes, rivers and creeks in North Simcoe has made me realize roadside ditches, creeks and small streams are being choked out by a new invasive aquatic plant native to Europe.

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The elegant trumpeter swan

2021 08 22 naturecentre Tswans

The majestic trumpeter swan can have a wingspan up to three meters and weigh between seven and 13 kilograms making these the heaviest, native waterfowl in Ontario. They were near extinction during the 1980s-1990s but with aggressive conservation efforts, this graceful bird has rebounded.

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100-percent chance of drama in weather forecast

2021 08 22 hawke humidity

By David Hawke -- A trait shared by both weather forecasters and creative writers is the ability to accentuate the mundane or embellish the boring until it becomes quite exciting. To be a creative writer one does not need to be a weather forecaster, but to forecast the weather one does need a good aptitude for creative wordsmithing.

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