Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Sweet, playful two-year-old seeks purr-fect home

rue2Rue is a short-haired female cat looking to find the purr-fect home! This energetic and playful two-year-old would make a great addition to any home.

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Aphids produce sugar poop treats for ants

2021 09 05 hawke aphids reduced

         By David Hawke -- Aphids on your garden plants can be a real drag, as aphids obtain their food by piercing the stem of a plant to get the sap. Most guide books and web sites offer oodles of ways to kill them, however, as with any species of wildlife, the closer you look, the more interesting things get!

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  788 Hits

Rain in Greenland — at the ice cap summit!

Nuuk, GreenlandBy Pete Bursztyn — For the first time ever, rain has been recorded at the summit of the Greenland ice cap.

The rainfall was extensive and seen on both Aug. 14 and 15.

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  300 Hits

Friendly cat loves play time, then couch time

snowflake 3

Snowflake is a friendly, four-year-old, short-haired, orange and white cat.

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  310 Hits

'We're outta here!'

2021 08 28 hawke migration

By David Hawke -- As we ‘swim’ through these humid days of late August, it is easy to overlook some of the winter preparations that are going on within our local wildlife populations. Yep, the days may be hot but the hard-wired senses of birds in particular mean it’s time to prep for colder temperatures.

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Don't spread this new invasive aquatic plant!

2021 08 28 bowles frogbit2
2021 08 28 bowles frogbit1

By Bob Bowles -- Several hours spent monitoring lakes, rivers and creeks in North Simcoe has made me realize roadside ditches, creeks and small streams are being choked out by a new invasive aquatic plant native to Europe.

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The elegant trumpeter swan

2021 08 22 naturecentre Tswans

The majestic trumpeter swan can have a wingspan up to three meters and weigh between seven and 13 kilograms making these the heaviest, native waterfowl in Ontario. They were near extinction during the 1980s-1990s but with aggressive conservation efforts, this graceful bird has rebounded.

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100-percent chance of drama in weather forecast

2021 08 22 hawke humidity

By David Hawke -- A trait shared by both weather forecasters and creative writers is the ability to accentuate the mundane or embellish the boring until it becomes quite exciting. To be a creative writer one does not need to be a weather forecaster, but to forecast the weather one does need a good aptitude for creative wordsmithing.

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It's a baby garter snake! Awww!

2021 08 14 hawke gartersnakes

By David Hawke -- Did you know that most snakes hatch from eggs? It may sound weird, but other reptiles such as turtles are well known for their egg-laying. Many a turtle nest I’ve found over the decades, but not once a snake nest. I feel incomplete as a naturalist.

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  633 Hits

Playful, friendly Mystery ready for a home

2021 08 12 mystery2

Mystery, a five-year-old black and white short-haired cat, is searching for her "furever" home.

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  358 Hits

The Life of Monty, the Monarch butterfly

2021 08 07 monarch

We watched as "Monty" the Monarch butterfly took his first flight last Saturday, July 31, at our workshop "Monarch Butterfly Birthday — A Celebration" led by wildlife biologist Ryan Lamoureux

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A slime mould thinks like an animal — but has no brain

2021 08 07 hawke slimeBy David Hawke -- If things are appearing in your garden like they are appearing in our garden, then today’s topic of slime moulds should be of interest. Actually, slime moulds should be of interest to everyone, I would think, so here’s the info you need to know.

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  383 Hits

You can look, but you better not touch

2021 07 31 hawke poison.ivy

By David Hawke -- One of the telling characteristics of an active outdoors person is their ability to cope with, or not, poison ivy. Yep, by the start of summer there are usually a great number of weekend warriors, ardent birders, dirt-under-the-fingernails gardeners and sundry other woodsy types that are scratching and suffering due to this most interesting plant.

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  339 Hits

Birds of a white feather - and other leucistic creatures

2021 07 29 leucisticrobin
2021 07 29 robin

We recently had a report at the nature centre, from a local birder, that an American Robin had discoloration throughout its plumage, appearing nearly white. The robin had a normal bill, eye and leg colour but its body appeared almost white except for a few dark feathers in the wings.

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  471 Hits

Milkweed — from noxious weed to environmental star

2021 07 24 hawke milkweed

By David Hawke -- It’s always interesting to look at the love-hate relationships we have with certain species of wildlife; yesterday’s enemy “suddenly” becomes today’s poster child of environmental goodness. A somewhat recent example is the common milkweed, the wildflower that’s currently in full glorious bloom across our countryside.

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More about butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies and moths

2021 07 20 virgin tiger moth gary yThe Carden Alvar Butterfly and Dragonfly counts were held this past weekend, July 17 and 18, celebrating the 24th official year of this event.

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Check out EVs at the 'Tread Lightly EV Show' July 31


Did you know that private vehicles contribute to more than half of Barrie’s greenhouse gas emissions?

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  640 Hits

LDD moth plague — continued

2021 07 17 hawke LDDparttwo

    By David J. Hawke -- I had hoped to move this week’s topic along from yet another tirade about invasive species, but woe, I found some really interesting factoids about those fuzzy-wuzzy caterpillars, the gypsy moths. If the trees in your neighbourhood are as defoliated as mine, I’m hoping this information will be worthy of your attention.

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  947 Hits

Phragmites spreads at frightening speed

2021 07 11 hawke phragmites

By David Hawke - Now that the gypsy moth caterpillars are cocooning and no longer bombarding your patio with their poop, you may be at a loss as to what to worry about next. Not a problem, always something of concern “out there.” This week it’s all about phragmites!

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  672 Hits

Butterflies get a new place to reside

2021 07 13 Naturecentre milkweedOne of our goals at the Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre is to help save endangered species.

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  373 Hits

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