Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

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Lake Simcoe Living Blog, Our Local Nature, Pet Adoptions

Are we really so different?

2018 03 0410 red Grey Squirrel

By David Hawke – I sometimes wonder what makes us so special, or at least what makes us think we are so special. Wildlife and the environment are often placed, figuratively, as 'over there', and we are 'over here', all by ourselves. Us against them, they provide for us, we dominate them -- not a whole lot of harmony going on.

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Make Time For Tea

2018 02 25 sumac

By David Hawke -- Tea time! For many people that break from the daily routine to have a cup o' tea is a cherished moment: quiet time, warm drink, think for a moment, rest the weary legs and feet… it's obvious why this tradition is so valued.

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Winter Wildlife Olympics

2018 02 18 Deer

By David J. Hawke -- Good morning sports fans and welcome to Day 76 of the Wildlife Winter Olympic Games.

I'm Buck Boaring, your host for the day, and joining us to report from the field is Chip Underfoot. Yes, indeed, these 90-day Games are indeed proving to be as exciting as ever, with each event providing both crushing defeats and ultimate survivals. Let's go to Chip who's covering the early morning events at Bird Feeder Stadium. Chip, are you there?

          Hey Buck, Chip here, covering the early morning events at the Bird Feeder Stadium! Since dawn's early light there has been a quiet frenzy of activity as competitors ready themselves for the day's challenges! First up is the Seed Dash and Stash, and Team Chickadee have come on strong with their characteristic 'flit and grab' technique! Wow, these guys have been training every day and it's really starting to show as they manoeuvre for position around the feeder: dash in, grab a seed and flit out of the way just in time for a team mate to next make their move! This event is just underway with no clear winner yet, so back to you in the studio, Buck!

          Thanks Chip. Buck Boaring here with you providing coverage of Day 76 of the Wildlife Winter Olympic Games. We have an update on the overnight Cross Country Run event, with reports that Team Coyote and Team Red Fox have both pushed themselves to near exhaustion in their efforts to capture a reward. This is a tight one folks, as these competitors know they need to capture rewards along the way to sustain themselves to the end of this event. You may recall that last year's Games were fast and furious due to minimal snow coverage, but wow, this year has been a true test of their endurance and skills. Chip, are you there? What's happening over at Cedar Grove Coliseum?

          Yo, Buck! Chip Underfoot here, reporting live from the Cedar Grove Coliseum! It's been a morning of organized chaos here but a few winners are being made! What started as a fairly quiet day has suddenly turned wild! Team Snowshoe Hare entered the field with their usual quiet confidence when suddenly... BAM!... Team Horned Owl came out of nowhere and dominated the field! Team Hare are now playing with one member down and are hoping that Team Owl sticks to their strategy of taking just one player at a time! But you never know when some rookie owl will try for a second player in the same day, so tension remains high here at Cedar Grove Coliseum!

          Thanks for that Chip. Buck Boaring here with you, providing coverage of Day 76 of the Wildlife Winter Olympic Games. Perhaps I should mention that the beautiful Cedar Grove Coliseum was hand planted just 40 years ago to provide the venue for what we're witnessing today. I'm sure you'll agree that it has been an amazing job of habitat transformation. Let's go back to the field to join Chip Underfoot as he visits the Fence Jump venue. Chip, over to you.

          Uh, whew, hi, Chip Underfoot here as I approach the Fence Jump event at the other end of the Wildlife Winter Olympic Park! Yes, there it is! Okay, whew, let's see how this event is going! Team Deer have been tagged the favourites going into this, but Team Moose have been giving a strong showing of late! As I look along the fenceline I can see where several Deer have attempted the Fence Jump, yet only a few have actually had success! I can see contenders milling about in the thicket as if preparing for the next round!

          And Yes! One of the larger members of Team Deer is going to challenge the fence jump! He's posed, he's going to his inner place, looking across the fence! He's focusing on that magic point just on the other side of the road! He makes his approach! There's that last second pause! And yes! He clears the fence with just a brush of his hind hoof against the barbed wire!! He's floundering a bit in the roadside snowbank but it looks like he's going to make it! Whoa! Did you see that car dodge? What a player! Through that second snowbank, the final fence is within his reach! Up! Over! YES! Score one for Team Deer with that amazing final push!

          Okay Chip, thanks for that. Coming up, right here in the studio with myself, Buck Boaring, your host of the 76th Day of this year's Wildlife Winter Olympics, will be a member of Team Mouse to explain the difference between the 3-yard dash and the 15-yard dash. As you know, this is a very competitive event and some years Team Mouse comes out ahead, and other years there's the heartbeak of defeat. With all this snow this year, both Team Coyote and Team Owl have admitted that they are bit behind in their overall scoring, but are hoping that the recent thaw and freeze will create better track conditions.

          Coming up after the break, we will be providing extensive coverage of the Aerial Balance with Team Squirrel poised to be on the top of the podium, and later on the mass start of the Weed Seed Search, led again with last year's winners, Team Snow Bunting! For Chip Underfoot and all of us here at Day 76 of the Winter Wildlife Olympics, this is Buck Boaring wishing you well and reminding you to keep your guard up!

Photo: This image was taken during Team Deer's spring training camp. The Fence Jump demands tight focus and amazing agility. Disastrous results have been experienced. Photo by David Hawke

© 2018

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A Chippy Springtime

2018 02 11 chipmunkREVBy David J. Hawke  – As some of you may be aware, the fourteenth of February is a special day, a day that often marks the start of a fresh new season.

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706 Hits
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Photoperiod... Yes!

2018 02 03 fleas

 

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Trailside Treasures

2018 01 28 antlers.reduced

By David J. Hawke — "Hi. I think there is a dead deer beside the snowshoe trail. I saw part of its head sticking out of the snow." The rest of the voice mail message gave a fairly accurate location which propelled me out the door and sent me hastily on my way. Any opportunity to learn about the wildlife of the area, whether it be dead or alive, is a good opportunity.

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Not So Wily Coyotes

2018 01 23 Coyote

By David J. Hawke — Out in our neck of the woods, which is quite woody indeed, coyotes are often heard but seldom seen. The corridor of interconnected forests and quiet farm fields that stretches across this part of the township, provides a world of protection for these wild canines. So it was with delighted surprise that I actually observed two such animals within a day of each other. Both sightings were from the comfort of my car as I drove along well-travelled roads.

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359 Hits
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Woods Work

2018 01 13 hawke Red Fox small

By David J. Hawke -

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Formation of Lake Ice

2018 01 09 Lake pan ice small

By David J. Hawke – It may be cold outside, but the legendary "Lake Skidoo-be-gone" is still claiming its victims, swallowing up motorized snow sleds on a weekly basis. The lake may look flat and solid… but often it isn't, much to the surprise of unsuspecting sled operators.

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The importance of buying local

2017 05 27 Bradford.market

 

 

By Sara Taslim, Guest Blogger — Buying local not only helps out local farmers and businesses, but is also healthier for you, the Lake Simcoe community, and the environment.

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Fake news affects people’s understanding of the world

59291481 s

By Sara Taslim, Guest Blogger

With the development of modern technology, social media plays a major role in real world events, yet it can be very easily misused.

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New plan to reduce Great Lakes phosphorus levels

Lighthouse near Lake Erie

Commentary By Mark Reusser, Vice President,Ontario Federation of Agriculture

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Why destroy a heritage forest …. if you don’t have to?

By Katherine Haas, Guest Blogger: In the Town of Uxbridge, a proposal has been made for a by-law amendment to rezone approximately 5.3 hectares of forested land to permit the clear cutting of a heritage forest, and construction of a 52-unit medium density condominium townhouse development. The development proposal is an 'infill' application in a forested area in the community of Coral Creek/Avonlea.   Uxbridge is “The Trail Capital of Canada,” a well-deserved designation recognizing our amazing natural trail systems, heritage bridges, and a strong partnership of local businesses and residents supporting the environment and giving it a voice and identity.   The forested area that is the subject of this proposed development is a small, but mature forest, in the heart of Uxbridge. For the residents of this town, it symbolizes what it means to live here with a strong community, in harmony with nature, and is proudly identified as “The Trail Capital of Canada.” This forested area is not something that can quickly be dismissed or assumed to be easily re-created.  There are no studies that support the removal of the forest and, also, no studies that claim removing the forest will have no real impact on the environment or the wildlife habitat.  That is easy to understand.  This forest is an established wildlife habitat, untouched for decades, with tall, mature and thriving trees that are estimated to be perhaps 100 years old.  This small forest should not be disregarded, nor destroyed, in the name of urban growth and development, especially given readily available brownfield development lands, with an estimated capacity for 800 new homes, within a 5-minute walk of this forest, on the other side of the street.  The distinction of ‘infill vs brownfield’ is an important point as Provincial requirements specify that development of brownfield lands must take precedence over 'infill' applications.  Simple compliance with this provincial government requirement would result in the saving of this heritage forest.    To be clear, there are 13 homes that share the property line with this heritage forest site, and the residents are clearly opposed to destruction of this forest.  However, more importantly, over 400 people, from throughout Uxbridge, and its surrounding communities, who do not live on that street, have signed a petition in support of this forest and have voiced their disapproval for this proposed development.  To the residents and others it defies understanding that a small, heritage forest in the heart of “The Trail Capital of Canada” would be destroyed to build 52 condominium townhouses when there are available brownfield lands immediately nearby for over 800 homes.

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Students Showcase Original Research

The week of March 7 is Research & Innovation Week at Lakehead University - Orillia.

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1432 Hits
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Science in the Making

ChrisThamaraJan2015
01-Humidifiersphoto

Have you ever wondered how something works or whether or not what you’ve heard is actually true? This is the first in a series of posts that I will be sharing that have been written by two of our exceptional professors, and members of our Sustainability Sciences Department, Dr. Chris Murray (left) and Dr. Thamara Laredo.

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Stop the bullying

It's time our municipal leaders in the Lake Simcoe area rejected the bullying tactics still used by some developers.

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Pumping out precious water

Pumping out precious water

For about nine months now, around the clock, water has been pumped out of the ground near my Bradford home as a former farm/wetland is "de-watered" in preparation for a water treatment plant and a housing development.

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1814 Hits
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What is the best of the holiday season?

What is the best of the holiday season for you? Food,  presents, decorations, social events, spiritual renewal? Or just the chance to spend some time reading and relaxing?

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Winter's leftovers

Winter's leftovers

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1896 Hits
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Where will the deer go?

Anyone travelling along Highway 11, Yonge Street, north of Newmarket, can't miss the signs of progress.Over the winter months, the forest on the northern side of the hill between Newmarket and Bradford has been stripped of trees, the logs piled, then taken away.Many driving this route have seen the deer wandering through the barren acres, seeming puzzled, looking for food and the familiar forest.At dusk tonight, a herd of about eight or nine filed one behind the other down the hill, through the snow, glancing over at the double row of northwest-bound headlights, cars headed for Bradford and beyond. I watched with sadness and dismay, hoping they would not try to cross, tempted by the wooded areas on the other side of the road. I don't know what is going to be built on this land. Houses? Roads? Industrial buildings?What does it matter?In all the planning, surveying, designing, there was no plan for these deer and the other creatures who called this forest home. Where will they go?

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1319 Hits
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