Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Red squirrel antics

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By David J. Hawke -- The pattern of holes in the snow revealed where a red squirrel had come forth from the distant sheltering spruce trees, tunneling under the fresh fallen snow for about a metre, popping up to get its bearing, then tunneling again for another metre or so. The lure of peanuts and sunflower seeds was strong, so the little imp risked this crossing of the open garden area, hoping to find food and not become food.

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Cuddlebug Elsa is looking for a best friend

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Elsa and her littermates were born in the care of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society on Sept. 17 after their mother was brought to us in desperate need of a loving home.

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24th Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count

We started our bird and mammal count at the nature centre just after the sun rose on Monday, Jan. 3. It was certainly a very chilly start with the temperature registering -15 Celsius. But as the day went on it brought some wonders — well worth being outdoors and participating in this very important activity.

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Winter stories to discover

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By David Hawke -- It's nice to have time to read the Daily Journal, but just make sure you're dressed for the occasion. A parka is an asset and snowshoes might help at times. Despite the need to bundle up, a good read of the community news is most always rewarding and helps you keep abreast of what's happening around you.

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New year, new headgear for some creatures

2022 01 01 hawke antlers

By David Hawke — Around the time our calendars flip from December to January, the white-tailed deer of our area are succumbing to an annual miracle. At least the guy deer are. It starts with an itch, escalates to an obsessive notion to rub things and suddenly the top of their head falls off! Plop, plop, in the snow, just lying there.

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Holidays - A magical time for gratefulness

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

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A question of survival

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Julie finally had a day in which to get caught up on a few of the hundred or so little jobs around the house that needed her attention. As she worked by the window, sorting through a few decades’ worth of unlabelled family photos, she would look up occasionally to watch the antics of the birds and squirrels at the feeders.

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Could Luna be the light of your life?

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Luna came into the care of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society in November when her pet parent sadly was no longer able to care for her. The Society was ask to help find her beloved friend a loving home.

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Talking turkey on Christmas Bird Count day

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The nice thing about wild turkeys is that they are so big you can't miss them. Seeing them that is. Whether they're swarming your bird feeder or trudging across an open corn field, turkeys get noticed. For the birdwatcher trained to constantly peer into thick piles of brush to detect small feathered life forms, tripping over a flock of turkeys feels almost ‘other-worldly’.

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Senior cat wishing for loving home this holiday season

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Can you give a special cat the loving home he’s been dreaming of this holiday season?

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Nature is not always kind

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By David J. Hawke -- The heron sits hunkered down in the yellow-brown vegetation, almost hidden from my view. Ice has formed all around the little cattail oasis, and snow hangs from the nearby tree limbs. The water at its feet remains open only because a small stream keeps enough current flowing to prevent a total freeze up. The heron does not look happy.

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Massive and majestic moose

We just had to write about the massive and majestic Moose (Alces alces) after capturing this great photo with our game camera of a bull moose in our wetland area at the Nature Centre.

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Rooting out a new ecological disaster — wild boar

Dominant wild boar, sus scrofa, displaying on a hill near little spruce tree. Wild animal standing on a horizon on horizon on glade in forest. Strong mammal in wilderness.

Just because you’ve got the garden harvested, the snow tires on and the storm windows in place, you may think that you have nothing to worry about. Well, guess again… you need to be anxious about pigs.

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Can you give two best friends a loving home together?


Bailey and Rosie are one year old Dutch Shepherd mixes. They came into the care of the Ontario SPCA Provincial Education & Animal Centre in September in need of nutritious food, a warm bed and some TLC.

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Gather round the fire, and hear the tales

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By David J. Hawke -- While flipping through a Natural History magazine (circa 1995… see, we do so read our magazines) I came to an article written by Stephen Jay Gould, of Harvard University, that addresses the ages old question, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"

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Your feeding station could be a winter highlight

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By David Hawke -- The sassy call of the lone chickadee flitting above my head did a better job of announcing that the feeder was open than any 'bells and whistles' I may have thought of.

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Looking for some bunny to love?

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Seven of these adorable Holland Lop rabbits came into the care of the Ontario SPCA as strays.

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It is time to empower young people

Our previous three blogs were about wetlands and their significant role in keeping our environment healthy and combating climate change. Our children and young adults are the next generation that will experience the devastating effects of global warming if action is not taken now.

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The real snowbirds are arriving here

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By David Hawke — It's November. It’s wet and cold outside. This, dear readers, is considered paradise to some of our wintertime visitors. They actually seem to revel in this stuff. But then again, they are birds.

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So many creatures in Ontario's Wetlands — and we put them at risk

King rails (Rallus elegans), frogs (Lithobates), salamanders (Ambystoma), spotted turtles (Clemmys Guttata) and seven other turtle species, Eastern foxsnake (Pantherophis gloydi) and nine other snake species and fairy shrimp (Anostraca) — all are species at risk, threatened, endangered or of special concern in Ontario that dwell in Wetlands.

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