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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Welcoming the arrivals

We tend to think of spring migration as something that happens once the snow and ice are gone: everyone gets excited about seeing the first robin of spring. But in fact, the migrants began showing up nearly two months ago, and many more will remain south of the border long after the robins have arrived. […]

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Early season boating

Spring is in the air, and boaters are starting to get enthusiastic. Keen anglers will already be getting their power boats out of winter storage, bundling up and heading out on the lake in pursuit of spring trout or pike. Most of the rest of us wait until the air and water are a bit […]

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Winners and losers in the thaw

Most years we experience a cold snap in early January and a thaw somewhere in the middle of the month. This year we got extremes of both.  For two solid weeks after Christmas, a high of minus ten felt warm, with many nights well below minus 30. Then Mother Nature flipped a switch: in the […]

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Call of the wintry wild

Public wolf howls are one of the most popular events of summer. Every August in Algonquin Park, thousands of cars line up beside the highway on weeknights to listen as naturalists try and entice the resident wolves to howl back. The curious crowds vanish in winter, but the wolves don’t. If anything, they’re even more […]

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The best sled ever

Winter has arrived and Muskoka is decked out for a great season of snow-sliding and tobogganing. There are some amazing new sled designs on the market now, that go far beyond the old-fashioned toboggans and inner tubes of our youth. Serious sliders know that choosing the right sled is an impossible task: the conditions vary […]

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Leaf peeping crowds

Some say fall is Muskoka’s most beautiful season, a time when fiercely glowing leaves are set against the glowing backdrop of blue skies and bluer lakes. A sunny afternoon in October can look like perfection… which would explain why fall can also seem like Muskoka’s busiest season. Popular lookout points or hiking trails can be […]

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