Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

David Hawke is a naturalist who is well known for his outdoor writing and photography. David has worked for several agencies and organizations around Lake Simcoe. In his weekly blog, he shares his observations and insights related to our local natural environment.

Hungry invaders munch through forest canopy

         2020 06 27 gypsy moth pic By David Hawke -- The gypsies are back in town!

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The terrible death toll on our roads

2020 06 21 hawke roadkills

By David Hawke -- Road kills. We see them all the time, lying on the pavement, sometimes surrounded by fresh gore, other times well-cooked from a few days in the hot sun. These animals, who never made it to the other side, are part of a motorist's daily life -- usually we just see them, occasionally we cause them.

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Delightful time for sedge-heads

2020 06 13 sedges small

          By David Hawke -- This is an awkward time of year for one who professes to be a naturalist. The spring flowers are pretty well over, the song birds have stopped most of their singing and the woods are now dark and deep in shadows. Not that any of that is a bad thing, it just that the excitement of spring has slipped away and the lazy summer days haven’t quite arrived.

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The morel of this blog - taste with trepidation

2020 06 06 ediblewildBy David Hawke -- You can tell that we humans are hard-wired with the need to survive.

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Small, colourful warblers finally arrive

2020 05 30 warblers

By David Hawke -- If you were to chart the highs and lows of excitement for birdwatchers you would see a high peak in late March when the waterfowl migrate northwards, the ducks, geese and swans following the edge of melting ice as the lakes open up.

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Moles, voles and holes in your yard

2020 05 23 voles

By David Hawke -- There have been reports coming in of “unauthorized construction” appearing in many yards this spring: heaps of soil and haphazard tunneling have shown up regularly since the snow cover melted away. All good evidence that moles have been ‘busy as beavers’ helping you maintain a beautiful lawn. However, their messy habit of leaving soil debris may not fit with your vision of a manicured grassland.

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Support Dave in the 2020 Carden Challenge!

2020 05 23 towhee2

Hello to all the dear readers of my stories,

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The trilliums are shivering this year!

2020 05 17 trilliums

By David Hawke -- It may have just been the way the cool breeze swept over them, but I think I saw a patch of white trilliums shivering. Heavy in bud, not yet open, waiting, waiting… when will it be warm enough to burst open into radiant bloom? I mean, really, what’s up with the weather this spring?

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Our responsibility to stop invasives

2020 05 10 hawke invasiveBy David Hawke -- There are those who say that we humans are a part of nature, and those who say that we are separate, indeed above, nature.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Outdoorsygal
Would have been nice to see a few shots of some of these evasive species. Just a suggestion ?
Sunday, 10 May 2020 23:29
Johanna Powell
Thanks for your comment. The green plant in the photo is garlic mustard, one of the invasive plants Dave talks about, and should h... Read More
Monday, 11 May 2020 06:35
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The frog he would a wooing go

2020 05 03 frogs

By David Hawke -- With temperatures sneaking up past the freezing point, the frog he would a wooing go. Although the cool temperatures of late have delayed some aspects of spring, the amorous frogs have been jostling for position in the icy waters.

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Deer 'social distance' every Spring

2020 04 26 hawke deer

By David Hawke -- With the melting of the winter’s snow comes an important time in the life of a white-tailed deer… social distancing! For the past four months, all the deer in the area have been clustered together in a deer yard, and now it’s time for spring break!

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What is that crow REALLY thinking?

2020 04 18 anthromorph

By David Hawke -- While anthropomorphism is a honkin' big word, it describes something we do, probably every day. Have you ever looked at an animal and said that "it looks like it’s hungry" or "it must be lonesome" or "it acts angry"? The transfer of a human emotion onto an animal is an anthropomorphic act.

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Mouse finds cozy bird house to wait for Spring

2020 04 04 mice

         By David Hawke -- To enjoy another day of ‘social distancing,’ I took a wander through our tree farm to inspect for winter damage and assess what work may lay ahead in regards to pruning. The snow had been dropping steadily and the remaining patches were still sturdy enough to walk on without snowshoes. The freeze-thaw cycles of March were chipping away at winter in a delightfully steady fashion.

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The dance of the hares

2020 03 29 hare

By David Hawke -- It is now well into March so I assume that you know what that means… it’s rabbit dancing season! The term ‘mad as a March hare’ was coined to describe the courtship antics of both rabbits and hares, at least for the male members of the species.

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Homes on flood plains prone to Spring flooding

2020 03 21 watersheds with pic

By David Hawke -- In the coming week, if you watch the 6pm news or, if you’re still young enough to stay up, the 11pm news, I predict that one of the top stories you’ll see has to do with, not the lack of toilet paper, but the abundance of water. Spring floods are upon us once again, and the TV reporters are digging out their hip waders and will soon be seen out standing in the field as they document the spring freshet.

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Amazing chickadees adapt as temperature drops

2020 03 15 chickadees

            By David Hawke -- So, how's your code? Ma ed id still pugged up, bud at lead ma node had topped running, foe adwhile endyway. Seems everbody I knowd god a sore troat, hed code, or duh flu. Yuck.

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Mourning doves already nesting

2020 03 07 doves

By David Hawke -- As I shovelled the snow off the deck once again, moaning and groaning sounds seemed to echo throughout our valley. But this time they weren’t coming from me (I’ve learned to moan and groan silently elsewise someone near and dear to me will suggest I go see the family doctor). No, this time the sounds were coming from the nearby grove of pine trees, and hearing this call actually made me happy.

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Voracious, venomous, creepy critter

2020 03 01 scutigera

What has 30 rather long legs, runs like greased lightning, is only a couple inches long at best, eats living prey, has venom in its mouth, is able to climb walls, shuns the light, and lives in your house? A character from a Stephen King horror novel? Nope, guess again.

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Love is in the air for great horned owls

2020 02 23 owlnestBy David Hawke -- The wind rattles bare branches and damp coldness fills the night air.

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What lurks beyond the patio's glow?

2020 02 16 nightsky

By David Hawke -- A few evenings ago there appeared in the night sky a wonderfully lit half moon, surrounded by the sparkle and glint of thousands of stars. While standing outside in the new fallen snow I immediately went back (in my memories) to a similar night years ago when I had been asked by a local resort to take their weekend guests on a wintertime evening hike.

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