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.

The nature of collecting

2021 04 03 hawke collections

By David Hawke -- I have always been a collector of things, a penchant that started with the challenge of earning my Boy Scout badges. Started with stamps, then coins and progressed to include comic strips, bird eggs, butterflies and moths, heritage guns, motorcycles, Classic Illustrated comic books, out-of-print nature books, camera gear, Crown jars, wildlife art and whatever else caught my attention.

Continue reading
  46 Hits
  0 Comments
46 Hits
0 Comments

Nature gives tiny springtails a big job

2021 03 27 hawke springtails

By David Hawke — As the photo period (amount of daylight per day), the humidity and temperature are combining to make the days actually feel like springtime, I was enjoying a walk through the local hardwood forest. As is sometimes the case, an event of great magnitude was happening right under my feet… or should I say, under my boots, although the new insulated insoles cushioning my feet are really appreciated.

Continue reading
  99 Hits
  0 Comments
99 Hits
0 Comments

Soaring into Spring!

2021 03 20 hawke spring2

By David Hawke -- Over the past week I have had the pleasure of being the guest speaker for a couple of community groups, the topic being Spring Things: The Natural Pace of Seasonal Change. Within the presentation I highlight numerous events that have or are happening within Nature that signal the shift from Winter to Spring.

Continue reading
  55 Hits
  0 Comments
55 Hits
0 Comments

Spring birds will soon be arriving here daily

2021 03 13 hawke birdsBy David Hawke — The returning migrants will soon be arriving daily, those birds that have completed their winter get-away trip and are coming home to roost, and nest.

Continue reading
  137 Hits
  0 Comments
137 Hits
0 Comments

Early signs of Spring all around us

       2021 03 06 hawke springthings By David Hawke — As the icy breeze slipped around my coat collar, I wished that a scarf had been included in my winter wraps.

Continue reading
  108 Hits
  0 Comments
108 Hits
0 Comments

Get ready to welcome feathered friends

2021 02 27 hawke birdhouses

By David Hawke – It has been said that winter is the time for planning ahead, supposedly because you have all this idle time on your hands. Ha! But okay, maybe it is the time to prepare for some Spring-related things.

Continue reading
  115 Hits
  0 Comments
115 Hits
0 Comments

Keeping away the Winter’s cold

2021 02 20 hawke woodlot2

By David Hawke — What is it about firewood that still catches our attention in these modern times? Few people use it as primary heat for the home, and even homes with fireplaces rarely actually spark them up. Yet there sits a pile of birch or ash beside the grate, neatly split and ready to go, more for aesthetics than practical use.

Continue reading
  159 Hits
  0 Comments
159 Hits
0 Comments

Winter's delicate beauty

2021 02 13 hawke snowflakesBy David Hawke -- A single snowflake is a beautiful thing.

Continue reading
  90 Hits
  0 Comments
90 Hits
0 Comments

Hunt for wildlife — it may be closer than you think!

2021 02 06 hawke indoor.wildlifeBy David Hawke — Seeking wildlife species is a constant quest for most of us.

Continue reading
  113 Hits
  0 Comments
113 Hits
0 Comments

Wondering about ravens evermore

2021 01 30 hawke ravens

By David Hawke -- No doubt many of you have watched Olympic ice dancers performing their skating routine and were awed by their precise, symmetrical movements and fluid grace. I admit that they are pretty good, but definitely less impressive than a pair of ravens performing their courtship flight.

Continue reading
  283 Hits
  0 Comments
283 Hits
0 Comments

Parks and natural areas overwhelmed by unruly visitors

2021 01 24 hawke parks

By David Hawke -- Well, here we go again. History, on a grand scale, is once more being written by the hordes of humanity. Last go-round was in the early 1800s when Europe and the United Kingdom were packed with people with nowhere to go and poor job prospects. And so, they surged to North America with the understanding that the land was basically unoccupied and opportunities for establishment and growth would be “boundless.”

Continue reading
  154 Hits
  0 Comments
154 Hits
0 Comments

Midwinter — and we can see the light!

2021 01 16 hawke midwinter

By David Hawke -- While we collectively hunker down to get through winter (hey, it’s mid-January already), in the big cycle of life certain things do happen in wintertime. Whether the snowdrifts are piled over your car or barely over your boot-tops, natural rhythms and events are rolling out.

Continue reading
  135 Hits
  0 Comments
135 Hits
0 Comments

Burdock inspired a catchy new material — Velcro

2021 01 09 hawke burdock          By David Hawke -- On a crisp autumn day in 1941, George de Mestral was out for a walk with his dog, Milka.

Continue reading
  78 Hits
  0 Comments
78 Hits
0 Comments

Human nature goes under the microscope

2021 01 02 hawke why

By David Hawke -- Of the five basic questions that must be asked to truly understand anything, those being who, what, when, where and why, it’s the answer to that last one that can really make or break a conversation.

Continue reading
  132 Hits
  0 Comments
132 Hits
0 Comments

Hares, rabbits — and how to tell the difference

2020 12 26 rabbits

By David Hawke -- One of the things I’ve noticed about converting our former pasture field into a forest has been the shift in wildlife species using the area.

Continue reading
  172 Hits
  0 Comments
172 Hits
0 Comments

Environmental awareness, appreciation precede action

2020 12 19 enviro small

By David Hawke -- I know there are readers of this blog who are waiting impatiently for me to rip a strip off our provincial government in regards to their recent and ongoing desecration of our accepted environmental protections.

Continue reading
  153 Hits
  0 Comments
153 Hits
0 Comments

Hemlock reveals secrets of a good life

2020 12 12 hawke hemlock

By David Hawke -- Deep within our local valleys and wet areas grow a variety of conifer trees: white cedar, balsam fir, eastern hemlock, black spruce and tamarack.

Continue reading
  153 Hits
  0 Comments
153 Hits
0 Comments

Predators: Cruel or simply part of nature?

2020 12 05 squirrels

By David Hawke — If you have observed wildlife for any length of time, you may have realized that life for these critters can appear to be cruel and unfair; very few, if any, wild animals die of old age.

Continue reading
  203 Hits
  0 Comments
203 Hits
0 Comments

Tracking our feathered visitors

2020 11 28 red breastednuthatch

By David Hawke -- That last blast of snow no doubt encouraged you to get the bird feeders up and filled.

Continue reading
  141 Hits
  0 Comments
141 Hits
0 Comments

Melancholy moments as fall turns to winter

2020 11 21 hawke winterwoods

By David Hawke -- This month feels so much like a recently completed festival -- coloured leaves are gone, wildflowers have been killed by frost, Thanksgiving and Halloween are over, Indian summer has come and gone, and most of the birds, mammals and insects have either migrated or are hibernating. Nothing left but memories.

Continue reading
  99 Hits
  0 Comments
99 Hits
0 Comments

Get Your Free Subscription! Delivered Straight to
Your Inbox.

Enter your email to receive updates from us. You can unsubscribe at any time.