Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ecole Secondaire Theriault Class come to Learn

Future Environmentalist 
Learn the IMPORTANCE of our Forest Resources

The grade 12 class from Ecole Secondaire Theriault came for a tour at the greenhouse complex to learn what we do at Millson Forestry Service.   

Map of school location and street view of the entrance

École Secondaire Theriault

2011 Arbour Day in Timmins Announced


Wintergreen Fund Will Be Handing Out Trees This Saturday at Three Locations Across The City The Wintergreen Fund for Conservation  with the support of Millson Forestry is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the Annual Arbour Day celebration at three locations across the City; the White Waterfront Conservation Area in South Porcupine, the Mattagami Park in Mountjoy and at the Gillies Lake Conservation Area.  The event will be this Saturday, June 4 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

In addition to the handing out of white spruce seedlings, everyone will be eligible to win one of three bat boxes or one of the new Birds of Timmins posters. As in past years, those picking up trees will be asked for a small voluntary donation. The monies raised will go towards the  many Wintergreen community conservation projects including trails, conservation education and student bursaries.  It should be noted that Muddy Mark will be on hand at the Mountjoy location to answer any questions you may have concerning trees, birds or what you can do to help the environment.

Those wanting more information can contact the Wintergreen Fund
or the Conservation Authority at 360-2660.

Timmins Times article

Last Year Arbour Day

Trees have never been free



Friday, May 20, 2011

Free Tree Seedlings, NOT, in Timmins

Free Tree Seedlings (not free)
June 04, 2011

Tree Seedlings have never been free.

I have been involved in Arbour Day here in Timmins for more than 30 years. For almost 10 years with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), others and finally Wintergreen Fund for Conservation for the last number of years.

The OMNR handed out trees for so many years that budding tree planters expected to get free trees every year. Many still expect that today. The fact is the trees were never free. You did not pay for them when you picked them up, you paid for them before you picked them. The tree seedlings all came from Provincially funded tree seedling nurseries. Your tax dollars paid for every tree.

Now all the tree seedlings come from private tree nurseries, the OMNR has no production tree nurseries anymore.

Here in Timmins, the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation buy the tree seedlings from Millson Forestry Service and ask for a donation on Arbour Day to cover the cost and raise money. You must remember this is a money raiser for Conservation efforts here in Timmins!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Flower on the Floor of the Forest

First Bloom in the Boreal

Finally, a colour other than white snow and green trees, now the subtle pink and purple of a flower. The first flower I have seen this season in the forest.

I took a picture, as you can see, but it is not great. The camera I use, Sony DSC-W350, is not the greatest camera I have ever used, but it is the smallest camera that can come with me everywhere. It is in my pocket in the rain, the snow, the 40 below.

The camera will fit in a plastic peanut butter jar. When we go kayaking the camera is in the jar, sealed and water proof. Need to take a picture? Let me just throw it at you. Soft landing in the water, you retrieve the camera and get a wonderful picture of me with the loon in the foreground.

Nice compact camera, but one day I would like to be able to afford a digital camera similar to the SLR I used to have.

This little flower, I am not sure what it is. My guess is Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana), but if you have another suggest I am interested.

See more information at


Ontario Wildflowers
I'm looking Good!!

oxygen grows on trees Oxygen G.O.T.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring Beaver

Spring in the step of a beaver

I like to stop and check out the black dot on the road before I let the dog out for a chase. With the binoculars I can tell the dot is not a rabbit, rather it is a beaver. Dog must stay put. Beaver can be very mean.

I drive up to the beaver and it will not move off the road. I take some pictures and a little video. The beaver did not like when i got to close. Run away run away.


Mr. Beaver on Youtube

Bicycle built entirely of wood

is the most versatile material to work with.

They call it SplinterBike


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nature Deficit Disorder - have you been touched?

Are you Suffering?
Have you hugged a tree this week?

While driving into the forest the other day a story on CBC radio suggested we suffer from nature deficit disorder. We are are doing well as a species being taken out of the forests. They cited a study that proved young people did better if they were exposed to pine trees. I was driving past a Jack pine plantation with the window open at the time. Lucky me.

We are losing touch with nature, but more important we are losing contact. The smells and fell of the forest is important to human growth. The smell from the pines triggers something in our brains that just makes us more in-touch with our surroundings.

You need to plant a tree close to you, one every year. Why not plant a bonsai, then you can have a tree in your living space year-round. It is not hard. You can order a tree from Millson Forestry Service store in Timmins.

Nature Deficit Disorder links

Nature Canada - blog entry from 2008 describing the disorder
Best Health - What is nature deficit disorder?
PhD in Parenting - Cures for Nature Deficit Disorder? Help for our Planet?
Canadian Living - Quiz: Is your family suffering from nature deficit disorder?
Human Well Being and the Natural World - Just some facts
Canadian Institute of Forestry - Summer Outdoor Camps:  The best remedy for nature deficit disorder
Child and Nature Alliance - Get outside!!
Evergreen.ca they need contact with nature
Psychology TodayExploring the natural world's psychological effects on human beings.
Education.comThe Critical Role of Environmental Education for your Child’s Future
An Interview with Robert Batemanincreasingly popular term among educators

Frogs are Greendefinitely what the doctor ordered.

National Environment WeekTake the Nature-Deficit Disorder Survey Here

Trees we see plenty. It is green grass we do not get to see or smell for many months. So every year we grow our own grass in the house. A different container every year. When the kids were smaller we grow a big tray of grass to hide easter eggs in. It is wonderful to smell the grass after a trim with scissors. Looks like my grass is due for a trim this weekend.

Oxygen Grows On Trees

You are a Scientist - Citizen Science

You are a citizen
and must be a scientist

Get involved, the trees, birds, bees, and dirt will love you for it!
Many Timmins people have been involved in making observations of our Natural Environment. It has been very helpful to have the many eyes helping make observations. Check out the Timmins Naturalist page : Observations Naturally. We keep track of sightings of unusual species and events. Hope you will participate!

There are many different types of surveys and data collection efforts you can participate in. Some take a little skill and some require more effort.  The Christmas Bird Count is one data collection program that has been around for more then 100years. The effort required is minimal and is always a fun event. The Timmins Naturalists usually count the Saturday before Christmas. Join us this year.

I have provided links to many favorite programs, take a look and get involved.

Bird Studies Canada

NatureWatch Canada

Toronto Zoo


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Timmins Checklist of the Birds Poster - Hot off the Press!

Great locally taken photographs.
Checklist of the Bird down the side.
Fund raiser for 
Wintergreen Fund for Conservation.
The poster was ready for the Sportsman Show. Many commented on how nice the poster looks. I think it turned out great! Many thanks to Lynn and Mark Clement for providing us with all the pictures.

You can see more of Lynn and Marks work on their websites.

You can find the poster at the MRCA office at Gillies Lake. They are only $5.00. You will need one for the cottage, one for the office and one for home, this is a fund-raiser. The poster was also supported by Xstrata Copper, with thanks to Larry and Syvia Labelle.

You can see the Timmins Naturalist Checklist of the birds here.
You can add your observations of local species to Observations Naturally. 
Winter Green Fund for Conservation supports local trails and the 

I will get some here at the house so you can drop by and get yours. Small delivery charge may be added if you do not come with a smile. Always love to here about observations of birds and trees.