Outdoors In The Land O' Lakes

The Star-Nosed Mole

Written by  |  Thursday, 14 January 2010 09:53  |  Published in Outdoors in the Land O' Lakes
By Lorraine Julien After the first week of December, anyone living north of Highway 7 had loads of snow, then an ice storm and the snow continues to fall. While our snowy world may seem, on the surface, to lack animal activity, keep in mind there can be a beehive of activity under that crusty surface. Just think of all the little creatures that live, eat and survive quite nicely under the protective snow cover. After a fresh snowfall, some of the first tracks we see are the tiny footprints of mice, squirrels, rabbits, etc. as they venture out. As the snow cover deepens, and on milder days, we notice little tunnels along the snow banks near our bird feeder. These tunnels are mainly made…

Old Growth Forests: Part 2 of 2

Written by  |  Thursday, 26 November 2009 08:48  |  Published in Outdoors in the Land O' Lakes
What landowners can do The first column on old growth forests published on November 12 described some of the features and benefits of old growth forests. This column will look at some of things that landowners can do to help create old growth conditions on their properties. Both of these columns draw heavily on two excellent extension notes on old growth forests available from the LandOwner Resource Centre in Manotick, or online at http://www.lrconline.com/EN_splash.html. Typical features of old growth forests include plenty of large diameter trees of a variety of species, lots of large dead tree trunks and branches on the forest floor, smaller trees growing underneath the canopy of mature trees and a rich layer of mosses, fungi, ferns and other low-growing plants on…

Lake Monsters

Written by  |  Thursday, 19 November 2009 08:47  |  Published in Outdoors in the Land O' Lakes
Lake Monsters – is there such a thing or are they just figments of our imagination? Do you ever wonder what lies beneath the surface of some of our deeper lakes in the cool, dark depths? We’ve all heard about the Loch Ness monster, but what about our own bodies of water in Ontario and, more specifically, eastern Ontario and the Land O’ Lakes area. Certainly tales have been told and re-told over hundreds of years of various huge snake-like creatures that lurk in some of our deeper bodies of water. Native people told of both good and bad beings inhabiting the waters they paddled. Before crossing large bodies of water, they would offer tobacco to the spirit before starting out. It was hoped that…

Old growth forests - Part 1 of 2

Written by  |  Thursday, 12 November 2009 08:47  |  Published in Outdoors in the Land O' Lakes
Over the past decade or so, the term “old-growth forests” has steadily crept into the vocabulary of land managers, nature lovers and the media. This column will explore some of the benefits and features of old growth forests, and my next column will look at actions landowners can take to help create old growth conditions on their properties. Both of these columns draw heavily on two excellent extension notes on old growth forests available from the LandOwner Resource Centre in Manotick, or online at http://www.lrconline.com/EN_splash.html. Forest professionals have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to define old growth forests, and this debate is likely to continue for some time. However, there is quite a bit of agreement on why old growth…

Will this be another Great Gray Owl Winter?

Written by  |  Thursday, 22 January 2009 06:37  |  Published in Outdoors in the Land O' Lakes
by Steve Blight Now that winter has a firm grasp on the Land O’ Lakes area, we will be able to find out if this will be another year that we get to enjoy the presence of one of North America’s largest owls, the Great Gray Owl. While there is no evidence that this raptor has ever bred in our area, it does occasionally pay us a visit, and almost always in winter. There have been a few reports of sightings of this bird in Eastern Ontario since winter began, but not too many. The Great Gray Owl is primarily a bird of dense, northern boreal forests across North America and Eurasia. In Canada, it breeds from north of Lake Huron and Lake Superior north…

Feeding Winter birds

Written by  |  Thursday, 08 January 2009 06:36  |  Published in Outdoors in the Land O' Lakes
by Lorraine Julien As winter is now really settling in, getting colder and snowier by the day, please remember to feed our little feathered friends. Feeding birds can be as simple as throwing a few bread crusts or kitchen scraps on the snow or by sprinkling seeds on a bench or platform. If you want to feed birds on a regular basis though, you will need to protect the food from rain or snow and try to discourage visitors such as squirrels. It’s important to continue feeding through bad weather as many birds may have become dependent on the food supply. It is especially important after a snow storm or extreme cold spell. By having a variety of foods available, you can probably attract many…
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