trees in fall in front of water

Colour without crowds

The leaves are at their absolute best this week. The exact peak depends on where you are — Algonquin Park typically peaks several days before Gravenhurst, for example — but suffice it to say that this will be an amazing weekend to see the colours. And while the forecast may be calling for rain, rest […]

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blue and white Junco bird

Welcome the snowbirds

As the weather cools and winter begins to approach, Dark-eyed Juncos are starting to show up at feeders. We often see these charming birds year-round in Muskoka, but for folks to the south, they are a harbinger of winter. In fact, juncos are so closely tied to winter that in many areas they’re often called […]

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island on a lake

Muskoka’s secret paddling places

There’s no better place to see the fall colours than from a ano, kayak, or SUP. And while you can paddle anywhere, there are some places that just seem to be custom made for human-powered vessels. Everyone knows about Algonquin Park, but the park can be crowded. In fact, in fall, it can actually become […]

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weeds in water

When warm water isn’t good

It used to be that swimming in Muskoka in late summer meant a dip in cooler water. But things are changing, and the lakes are getting warmer and staying warm longer than they used to. While that’s good news for swimmers, it may be harming fish and opening the doors for some nasty bacteria. As […]

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people paddling a home made boat

Make your own cottage regatta

For more than a century, Muskoka cottagers have been getting together for a little friendly competition on the water. In the early years of cottage in particular, the local regatta was a social and sporting highlight of the summer – in the days when many families stayed up at the cottage for weeks or even […]

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poplar trees

The lore of the poplar tree

The biggest creature in Muskoka is a clone that lives in the forest Poplars, or aspens, are one of our most common trees. Look around your cottage and you’ll probably see a group of them all growing together. But look closely and you may just find that you’re not looking at a group of trees […]

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yellow wildflowers

Our favourite nature apps

Smart phone apps make it easier to identify all the plants, animals and other creatures in Muskoka It wasn’t that long ago that the only way to identify plants was to flip through field guides and identification keys. Unless you were a professional naturalist, you probably only knew a handful of species that live around […]

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monarch butterfly

More than monarch butterflies

Native plants like milkweed are good for monarchs, but what about all the other butterflies? Monarch butterflies are the poster child of the butterfly world, and with good reason. Their annual migration is one of the true miracles of nature, a multi-generational epic trek that sees great-great-great grandchildren going from Mexico to Muskoka, returning to […]

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hummingbird at a feeder

Hummingbird feeder

Meet the bird that keeps the hummingbirds fed before the flowers open We love to hang bright red hummingbird feeders to welcome these gorgeous birds when they arrive at the Muskoka cottage in May. But without flowers in bloom, how would they feed themselves without our help? The yellow-bellied sapsucker keeps them fed. You may […]

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two deer

Wildlife by camera

Trail cameras let you see what the bears, wolves, moose, and more are up to Every cottager wonders what goes on when you’re not there. Security systems can help deter human intruders, but the real fun comes when you set up a game camera to see which animals saunter through the property. Suddenly you can […]

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