Watch your lake flip

If you’re at the cottage in spring, you can see all kinds of changes happening. Migrating birds arrive, leaves and flowers emerge, frogs start to peep… and the lakes flip. That last one may come as a bit of a surprise, but nearly all lakes do it. To see it happening, you just have to […]

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Rabbits and hares abounding

When snowshoeing through the woods this winter, there’s a good chance you’ll come across tracks of cottontail rabbits or snowshoe hares. Their numbers seem to be high this season, as part of a natural population cycle. Most animals go through some sort of population cycle. Because hares and rabbits breed like – well, like rabbits […]

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Skating through the woods

The massively popular skating trail at Arrowhead Park will draw thousands of visitors this weekend. The trail may have been this region’s first, but it’s not the only one now: there are some others in Muskoka that aren’t as well known, letting you avoid the crowds. And believe us when we tell you there will […]

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Life in dead trees

When people say that there’s life in dead trees, most of us picture what biologists call macrofauna — birds, bats, raccoons, squirrels, and all the other creatures that make their homes in the holes in trees. Dead trees are certainly useful to these animals — around 40 per cent of the birds that live in […]

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Slow colours are good news

As recently as last week, green was still the dominant colour of Muskoka’s leaves. The colours are coming on strong now, but peak reds and golds will be after Thanksgiving this year, followed by some really underappreciated browns and yellows. Is this later than usual? Yes and no. It is a bit later, but Thanksgiving […]

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Hungry as a bear

Fall is the time when you’re most likely to see a bear in the wild. That’s particularly true this year, when drought has all but eliminated the berry crop. By this time of year, bears are feeding heavily to put on the weight that will get them through the long winter. They can gain as […]

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Water colours

In late summer, quiet bays and river oxbows are ablaze with purple blooms. The Ojibway called it “the pike’s plant,” but English settlers – who often used the term “pike” and “pickerel” interchangeable – called it pickerelweed. Pickerelweed grows in quiet bays and oxbows just about everywhere east of the Rockies. And it is, indeed, […]

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Seek and find

Despite all the toys that surround them, August is when you’re most likely to hear the kids say they’re bored. This is the time of year that the wise parents and grandparents have a few surprises up their sleeves, games and activities that will keep the kids occupied and active all day. One of the […]

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Feed the hummingbirds

We love to hang bright red feeders to welcome the hummingbirds when they arrive in May. But without flowers in bloom, how would they feed themselves without our help? The yellow-bellied sapsucker keeps them fed. You may not have seen sapsuckers – you may even have thought the name was just a joke used in […]

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Growing a shoreline

No matter how big your property, the Ribbon of Life is the most important part. That’s the nickname for the riparian zone, the strip of land that’s right along the edge of the water. This is the most diverse area of your property, a spot that’s vital to the lives of birds, animals, insects, and […]

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