Category: Uncategorized

My Adventures with Tree Syrup

Maples Almost all of our maple syrup comes from sugar maples, but you can tap any kind of maple for syrup. Sugar maples tend to have sweeter sap (between two and three percent sugar) than other species. Silver Maples I live in a swampy… Continue Reading “My Adventures with Tree Syrup”

Meeting a rattlesnake As I was walking a trail at Georgian Bay Islands National park, I was startled by a buzzing right beside me. It was a Massasauga Rattlesnake! I’m sure it was more startled than I was. They are venomous, but only two people have… Continue Reading “Meeting a rattlesnake”

fall colours in spring?

It can’t rival the splendour of autumn, but for a brief window in spring we see a rebirth of fall leaf colours. Last fall, green chlorophyll faded to reveal the brilliant orange, yellow and red of other pigments. In spring, especially with some tree… Continue Reading “fall colours in spring?”


Spotted like the cat they are named after, Leopard frogs emerge from their muddy bed below ice and water to join nature’s amphibian spring chorus. The mating call of the males is beautiful (at least to female leopard frogs), a mix of snoring, rattling,… Continue Reading “Leopards!”

sweet treat from the wild

When spring gives winter a bit of a shake, when puddles are frozen during cold nights, but melt during warm days, it’s maple syrup season! Tapping pierces the outer and inner bark of the maple tree, and sap in the (you guessed it) sapwood… Continue Reading “sweet treat from the wild”

backyard snakes

In most of Canada, our common back yard snake is the Garter snake. Often mistakenly called Garden snakes, these beautiful reptiles can be found in gardens, on lawns, in fields and forests, and almost every other habitat. They are harmless to humans, but definitely… Continue Reading “backyard snakes”

How to pick up a crayfish and not get pinched

In almost every stream and river, and some ponds, we have “miniature lobsters”. Much smaller, but packing muscular pincher claws that they use to catch their prey and defend themselves, crayfish patrol our water systems. During the day, most are usually found under rocks… Continue Reading “How to pick up a crayfish and not get pinched”

bald is beautiful

Turkey Vultures are AMAZING to watch. Their flight seems effortless; they hardly every flap their wings and use updrafts from cliff areas and sun-heated ground to patrol the skies. They’re on the lookout for dead animals, so they are a valuable part of nature’s… Continue Reading “bald is beautiful”

Giant silkmoths!

In southern Ontario, June is the month for Giant Silkmoths to emerge! Since late last summer, all through the winter and most of the spring, they are in the pupa stage of development, wrapped in silken cocoons. Finally, in late spring, the adult moths… Continue Reading “Giant silkmoths!”

tiger beetles: tiny and fierce

In late spring and summer, look for Tiger beetles as you walk through nature. The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle is like a shining, iridescent jewel – beautiful to us but deadly to small insects and other invertebrates. They are great for gardens since they attack… Continue Reading “tiger beetles: tiny and fierce”