Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

David Hawke is a naturalist who is well known for his outdoor writing and photography. David has worked for several agencies and organizations around Lake Simcoe. In his weekly blog, he shares his observations and insights related to our local natural environment.

The pileated woodpecker appears dressed to kill - bugs, not trees

2019 03 09 woodpecker1

By David Hawke -- You don't see them very often, but when you do it's a moment to remember. With their bright scarlet top-knot and striking black-and-white plumage, the pileated woodpecker is a bird that looks quite “dressed-up.”

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Why are there so many sandhill cranes in the Lake Simcoe area?

By David 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.

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  1849 Hits

Chickadees evade surprise attack

2019 02 23 chickadeeREVBy David Hawke -- About the only time a chickadee remains still is when it's dead, sleeping, or about to become dead.

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  1014 Hits

Look for special scenes of beauty in your Lake Simcoe region

2019 02 17 forestfogBy David Hawke -- "Art is where you find it. Art is all around us, always."

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  3938 Hits

Tracks tell of unexpected results in Lake Simcoe area field

2019 02 09 turkeys in yard

By David Hawke -- "Cause and effect" is a term that is well known in the scientific community (and I imagine it's just as well known in the social community).

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  498 Hits

Creatures fight for food - and survival - around Lake Simcoe

2019 02 03 red squirrel

By David Hawke -- The pattern of holes in the snow revealed where a red squirrel had come forth from the distant spruce trees.

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  1022 Hits

Woodpecker legend - good reading for a winter day

2019 01 27 woodpecker

By David Hawke -- Just as the temperature slides up and down the thermometer, so too does the level of activity around our bird feeders.

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  900 Hits

Fragile ecosystems could be at risk

2019 01 20 TreeMandala JulianaHawke

By David Hawke -- As one studies the natural environment, trying to understand the inter-relationships of many species, the exercise can become a bit overwhelming. I say this as one who has had the privilege to work in and for our environment for several decades. Concepts once considered simple and straightforward have become very complex.

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  971 Hits

Adapting to survive Lake Simcoe area’s changing climate

2019 01 12 adapt

By David Hawke -- Snow insulates, ice not so much. This little fact comes into play in a big way if you happen to be a deer mouse, meadow vole or, occasionally, a ruffed grouse.

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  1349 Hits

Fresh fox tracks as balance swings in Lake Simcoe area

2019 01 07 foxBy David Hawke -- As I hauled garbage bags and blue bins out to the end of our lane, the neatly laid pattern of fox tracks in the snow caught my eye.

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  885 Hits

Magical beauty across Lake Simcoe Watershed

2018 12 28 magicBy David Hawke -- According to TV advertisements, this is the season of magic.

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  707 Hits

Eruption of rabbits in the Lake Simcoe area this year

2018 12 10 Milkweed

By David Hawke -- Every eight or 10 years, the woodlots and backyards of our region erupt in rabbits. Rabbits on the lawn, rabbits in the garden, rabbits crossing the road, dead rabbits laid at your feet by the family cat, and well, just rabbits everywhere. This is a natural cycle with the realm of nature, and peaks within a fairly regular period.

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  871 Hits

How to help wildlife survive winter at Lake Simcoe

2018 12 04 Georgeandfeeder 2


By David Hawke -- Bird feeders are fun and educational, as anyone who has one knows.

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  915 Hits

Tracks in the snow are like a Lake Simcoe "Daily Journal"

2018 12 09 porcupine

By David Hawke -- It's nice to have time to read the “Daily Journal,” but just make sure you're dressed for the occasion.

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  1672 Hits

Evening grosbeaks return to Lake Simcoe area

2018 12 02 evening grosbeak resized

By David Hawke -- They're back! Well, in some places anyway. Evening grosbeaks are rather commanding in appearance and when they hit your feeding station, you notice them.

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  1240 Hits

Showing off conservation in the Lake Couch/Lake Simcoe area

2018 11 24 legacy

By David Hawke - Legacy is a word we hear a lot lately, especially as it relates to the passing of a legendary person, or great event (e.g. WWI 100th anniversary).

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  730 Hits

Tamaracks take golden turn in Lake Simcoe area

2018 11 18 TamaracksBy David Hawke - The annual autumn colour party was short-lived this year.

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  834 Hits

The grass grows greener

2018 11 11 lawnBy David Hawke - Just about exactly 468 years ago (that would be circa 1540 A. D. for those of you who are bad at math) a new word was recorded.

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  680 Hits

'Along the line of smoky hills...'

2018 11 04 leaf.blower

By David Hawke -- There are certain, unmistakable, signs of seasonal change.

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  753 Hits

Successful warriors or invasive species?

2018 10 28 YellowIrisBy David Hawke -- Halloween can be scary, but even scarier invasive plants are already amongst us!

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  636 Hits

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