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.

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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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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  370 Hits

Spring wildflowers bring joy and hope

2021 04 11 hawke wildflowers

By David Hawke — Spring has been sprung upon us and a number of natural things are happening right on cue. One of these events is the appearance of the spring ephemerals, that small group of wildflowers that bring joy and hope to folks like me who are not what you would call “winter people”.

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  376 Hits

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.

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  320 Hits

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.

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  768 Hits

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.

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  373 Hits

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.

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  490 Hits

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.

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  368 Hits

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.

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  331 Hits

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.

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  386 Hits

Winter's delicate beauty

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

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  332 Hits

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.

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  384 Hits

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.

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  602 Hits

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.”

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  402 Hits

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.

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  379 Hits

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.

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  407 Hits

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.

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  369 Hits

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.

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  454 Hits

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