Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Making new friends around the world

2021 07 06 BOBBOWLES BY JUNE C. SMALLThe Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre recently had a wonderful opportunity to host a local group called Friendship Force Lake Simcoe.

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The struggle with invasive caterpillars

2021 07 03 caterpillars          By David Hawke -- This week’s column is about gypsy moths; more precisely it’s about the caterpillar stage of the gypsy moth’s life cycle.

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Energetic Rowan wants to be your honey bunny

rowanRowan is a one-year-old lop-eared black bunny who is looking for the perfect home.

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Snap-worthy snappers

2021 06 28 hawke snappers

By David Hawke — Throughout June you have a very good chance of seeing a female snapping turtle sitting on the shoulder of the road. Hopefully it is still alive and in one piece when you see it… because sometimes they are not.

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An unusual find: Crawe's Sedge

2021 06 24 powell alvar grasses

Sedges are often overlooked or thought of as clumps of grass.

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So, just what is an alvar?

2021 06 24 alvar by michael

Growing up I had always heard my family talk about the Cameron Ranch, now part of the Carden Alvar, northeast of Orillia. I didn't really pay much attention to this neighbouring area. As an adolescent, the landscape looked barren and nearly bleak. Little did I know that years later I would become fascinated with this area.

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Hay — watch out for that bobolink nest!

2021 06 19 bobolinks

By David J. Hawke — Back in the “old days” when we attended school inside a building and had a teacher at the front of the room, June was always a difficult month to get any classwork done. In elementary grades it was a time of field trips (in my area it was always Wye Marsh, Martyr’s Shrine, Ste. Marie Among the Hurons, Huronia Village and/or Simcoe County Museum).

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Help cheeky Magnolia hop into a new home

Magnolia smallMagnolia needs a home where she is queen of the castle.

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A tale of murder and domestic tyranny

2021 06 12 hawke wrens

By David Hawke -- With all the media attention these days seeming to be centered around murder, mayhem, family strife and other crises, I bring you a story of the Troglodyte family, consisting of a sweet charmer of a husband who murders to please his wife, and a wife who is so demanding that her husband has to build house after house until her satisfaction is met.

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How to defend your trees from LDD caterpillars

Trees in Trouble 2

The sound of the lake may be competing with a crunching and munching noise in the trees these days. The culprit… Lymantria dispar dispar or LDD moth for short (AKA Gypsy Moth), the hot topic of discussion over the past month.

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Sweet-sounding bird songs indicate a war zone

2021 06 05 hawke territory

         Ah, sweet spring… the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. What we perceive to be a peaceful, perhaps even tranquil, scene, however, is actually a war zone. Avian territorial boundaries are constantly being established, challenged, trespassed, defended and realigned. It’s a dynamic world out there!

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Independent 8-mo-old kitten loves to play

Joplin reducedJoplin is a playful and sweet-natured kitten who is looking for someone to welcome her into their life!

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Anting — one of Nature's mysteries

2021 05 29 hawke antingBy David Hawke -- It’s always exciting to learn something new, even if it’s something that others have already discovered and researched.

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True Love for our trilliums

2021 05 22 trilliumsBy David Hawke -- Without a doubt one of the most easily recognized signs of spring is the blooming of the white trilliums in our local woodlots.

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Daily drum roll marks the dawn

2021 05 15 hawke sapsuckerBy David Hawke — It's 6:30 a.m. and Lea remains snuggled in her bed.

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Visually striking loons have an eerie yodelling voice

  2010 05 08 hawke loonBy David Hawke — The common loon is a bird that is familiar to most if not all of us.

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Nature's feathered clean-up crew

2021 05 01 hawke turkeyvultures

By David Hawke — The word "catharsis" means to clean or purify, a word brought forward from the ancient Greek language. This word is the root that defines an unusual group of birds, one of which we see here fairly regularly. High in the sky is Cathartes aura, perhaps better known as turkey vulture, the roadside cleaner, the remover of messy road-killed animals.

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Digging up the dirt on earthworms

2021 05 25 hawke worms

By David Hawke -- What has five hearts, no lungs, legs or eyes, and is living in your lawn and garden? Hey, no fooling you is there? Yes, you’re right… earthworms!

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10 climate actions YOU can take Earth Day and every day

2021 04 21 herr spring grass smallWe are weary from dealing with the pandemic, but a bigger crisis looms.

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Birdwatching offers a great escape this Spring

2021 04 18 hawke pintailsBy David Hawke -- The annual spring bird migration is fully underway, and with it comes the opportunity to witness this very dynamic natural event.

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