Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

The nature of collecting

2021 04 03 hawke collections

By David Hawke -- I have always been a collector of things, a penchant that started with the challenge of earning my Boy Scout badges. Started with stamps, then coins and progressed to include comic strips, bird eggs, butterflies and moths, heritage guns, motorcycles, Classic Illustrated comic books, out-of-print nature books, camera gear, Crown jars, wildlife art and whatever else caught my attention.

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Embrace Spring!

20210312 Sandy smaller

I am fortunate and thankful because I start each morning by going outside, taking the dog for a walk or to romp with other dogs at a park. The routine is always the same. It started years before the pandemic and continues now, as lockdown regulations rise and fall like the tide but still permit dog walks.
A dog embodies hope – hope that outside the door there will be a squirrel to try to chase, another dog to play with, a friendly person with treats or simply to give a quick pat on the head.
The hope is contagious, and no matter what time of year or (almost) what kind of weather, I look forward to these outings. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience changes in the weather, temperature, daylight hours and seasons.
Sometimes I am rewarded with special sights, such as a flock of snow buntings very early this Spring, apparently following the shore Lake Simcoe in their northward trip to their far-off summer home. The beautiful song and glorious burst of white feathers as they gathered in the bright blue sky to continue their journey were breathtaking.
I hope you are able to embrace Spring after this long year of isolation from people and, for many, nature.
Irene Turnbull reminds us, starting on Page 26, that we can reconnect with nature by bringing colours and elements from the outside into our homes.
At the same time, there is reason for concern about the future of nature in the Lake Simcoe area, as the Ontario government undertakes its 10-year review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. The Lake Simcoe area is one of the fastest-growing regions in Canada and home to 465,000 people (2016 census data does not include recent growth). Based on provincial and municipal growth plans, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority says the urban area in our watershed will increase by approximately 50-percent by 2041 — and the population will nearly double.
Unless this is taken into account when reviewing the LSPP, there is no assurance of future protection for the lake.
The Lake Simcoe Caucus is a group of Members of the Provincial Parliament whose riding boundaries surround Lake Simcoe and who have a vested interest in its protection and preservation. Which one is your MPP? Let them know you want them to protect the lake by strengthening the Lake Simcoe Protection Act. Lake Simcoe depends on them.
Stay safe. See you at the lake!

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Nature gives tiny springtails a big job

2021 03 27 hawke springtails

By David Hawke — As the photo period (amount of daylight per day), the humidity and temperature are combining to make the days actually feel like springtime, I was enjoying a walk through the local hardwood forest. As is sometimes the case, an event of great magnitude was happening right under my feet… or should I say, under my boots, although the new insulated insoles cushioning my feet are really appreciated.

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Think water — and melting 'snirt'

Rain Barrel Photo

As warmer temperatures melt the brown piles of snow-dirt (snirt) from our lawns and sidewalks this week, it’s a good time to think about where runoff water goes.

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Moses is looking for a family of his own!

Moses 2

After his previous owner fell ill, Moses came to the Ontario SPCA Provincial Education & Animal Centre in Stouffville to find a new loving home.

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Soaring into Spring!

2021 03 20 hawke spring2

By David Hawke -- Over the past week I have had the pleasure of being the guest speaker for a couple of community groups, the topic being Spring Things: The Natural Pace of Seasonal Change. Within the presentation I highlight numerous events that have or are happening within Nature that signal the shift from Winter to Spring.

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Spring birds will soon be arriving here daily

2021 03 13 hawke birdsBy David Hawke — The returning migrants will soon be arriving daily, those birds that have completed their winter get-away trip and are coming home to roost, and nest.

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Responsible investing helps keep Lake Simcoe beautiful

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By Sarah Herr — Life surrounding Lake Simcoe has so much to offer, such as boating, fishing, swimming, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but how long will we be able to enjoy the lake and the nature that surrounds us if we don’t start protecting it?

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Early signs of Spring all around us

       2021 03 06 hawke springthings By David Hawke — As the icy breeze slipped around my coat collar, I wished that a scarf had been included in my winter wraps.

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Gardening for the Good

trilliums smallerBy Sarah Herr — The cold and wild weather this past week makes the thought of Spring especially welcoming.

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Get ready to welcome feathered friends

2021 02 27 hawke birdhouses

By David Hawke – It has been said that winter is the time for planning ahead, supposedly because you have all this idle time on your hands. Ha! But okay, maybe it is the time to prepare for some Spring-related things.

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Breaking down barriers to climate inaction

2021 01 21 winter2Floods, forest fires, air pollution, and more. Most of us know that the planet is currently facing a climate change crisis. So why aren’t we doing more about it?

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Keeping away the Winter’s cold

2021 02 20 hawke woodlot2

By David Hawke — What is it about firewood that still catches our attention in these modern times? Few people use it as primary heat for the home, and even homes with fireplaces rarely actually spark them up. Yet there sits a pile of birch or ash beside the grate, neatly split and ready to go, more for aesthetics than practical use.

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Winter's delicate beauty

2021 02 13 hawke snowflakesBy David Hawke -- A single snowflake is a beautiful thing.

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Hunt for wildlife — it may be closer than you think!

2021 02 06 hawke indoor.wildlifeBy David Hawke — Seeking wildlife species is a constant quest for most of us.

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Wondering about ravens evermore

2021 01 30 hawke ravens

By David Hawke -- No doubt many of you have watched Olympic ice dancers performing their skating routine and were awed by their precise, symmetrical movements and fluid grace. I admit that they are pretty good, but definitely less impressive than a pair of ravens performing their courtship flight.

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Give Grey a home this winter!

2021 01 26 grey

Grey is a 10-year-old male tabby searching for a fur-ever home! This independent and bold senior has a bit of cat-itude; he’ll tell you when he wants your affection. But if you are okay letting him take the lead, he might be the purr-fect cat for you!

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Parks and natural areas overwhelmed by unruly visitors

2021 01 24 hawke parks

By David Hawke -- Well, here we go again. History, on a grand scale, is once more being written by the hordes of humanity. Last go-round was in the early 1800s when Europe and the United Kingdom were packed with people with nowhere to go and poor job prospects. And so, they surged to North America with the understanding that the land was basically unoccupied and opportunities for establishment and growth would be “boundless.”

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Midwinter — and we can see the light!

2021 01 16 hawke midwinter

By David Hawke -- While we collectively hunker down to get through winter (hey, it’s mid-January already), in the big cycle of life certain things do happen in wintertime. Whether the snowdrifts are piled over your car or barely over your boot-tops, natural rhythms and events are rolling out.

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Burdock inspired a catchy new material — Velcro

2021 01 09 hawke burdock          By David Hawke -- On a crisp autumn day in 1941, George de Mestral was out for a walk with his dog, Milka.

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