Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Subcategories from this category:

Lake Simcoe Living Blog, Our Local Nature, Pet Adoptions

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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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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372 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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1067 Hits
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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

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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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1445 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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1470 Hits
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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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1835 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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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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Lake Simcoe needs its own RTO

For some reason that I will never understand (Oh, to save money...?), when the Ontario government sliced up the tourism pie a few years back, parts of the Lake Simcoe Watershed were put into three different RTOs - Regional Tourism Organizations.

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1103 Hits
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The first sounds of Spring

Did you hear birds singing today?

With the sun shining most of the day, birds seemed to come out of their hiding places to start singing and looking for food.

So many days this year have been cold and windy — and bereft of any wildlife. The only sound for many days was the wind howling mournfully through bare tree branches.

Even the fields where I walk with the dog, there were no tracks for the longest time.

Now there are tracks from the occasional rabbit, squirrel and even what appeared to be a mouse. There are tracks outside the beaver den. And there's something that appears to be a dog roaming on its own, so more likely is a coyote.

In the March-April issue of Lake Simcoe Living Magazine, Ron Fleming talks about the first bird songs of Spring.
Which bird "confirms that Winter is leaving and Spring is on its way?" I'm sure most of us will think of the red-breasted robin.

Not so, Ron says. It's the red-winged blackbird.

You can read more about the birds of Spring in the March-April issue. We're working on that issue now, and it should be available the first week of March.

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Where do Trumpeter swans spend the winter?

I learned this week that a Trumpeter swan has about 35,000 feathers and 2.5 centimetres of down. That's how Trumpeter swans get through the winter — even the severe temperatures and heavy snowfall we have had this winter.

Where they spend the winter is another question, and Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration, an organization started in 1982 to restore the majestic birds to their former range, would like anyone who sees a Trumpeter swan to help with the answer.

Please report the sighting by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre website — http://www.wyemarsh.com/conservation/swansightings.php, or on the Facebook group page Ontario Trumpeter Swans. Please include the date, location (GPS co-ordinates), wing tag number or leg band number.

Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration was initiated by retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Harry Lumsden. He began a captive breeding program that has since released 584 captive-reared swans in 54 locations around Ontario. There are now an estimated 800 to 1,000 birds in the province.

The Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration says if swans need to maintain a diet of natural wild forage. If you do feed them, provide clean, "untreated" dry corn — not bread.

Anglers are asked to help in swan restoration by using lead-free tackle so swans do not ingest a lead sinker while feeding, and by retrieving any lost lures so these are not accidentally ingested by swans and other wildlife.

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2832 Hits
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