Saturday, December 7, 2013

2013 Timmins Christmas Bird Count

114th Christmas Bird Count
December 21st, 2013
20 years of participation

The Timmins Naturalists, with support from the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation, announce the date for the 2013 Timmins Christmas Bird Count. December 21st, 2013 will be the count date for the 114th International Christmas Bird Count.

This marks 20 years by the Timmins Naturalists. Over the last 19 years there has been over 75 participants, over 400 volunteer hours spent and 45 species identified. This data collection effort is asking all level bird watchers, both field and feeder watchers, to get involved.

The Timmins Naturalists are always looking for “Citizen Scientists” to participate in data collection efforts.

Timmins Naturalists Christmas Bird Count Webpage

Bird Studies Canada Christmas Bird Count information click here

Audubon International click here

Timmins Chambers of Commerce Calendar take a look now

Timmins Daily Press story and photo click here

oxygen grows on trees

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beaver should ditch the Pond !!

Good Food
Muddy Drink
Tiny Home
Terrible Neighbours

Ditch that homestead !!

Want to visit the homestead, click here, for the location. Drop in anytime, bring poplar sticks to add to the food reserve.

Tenacious Tree, Rock On Roll'n

Pictures are worth more 
than the words I could add.

Pictures taken about here.


3rd annual TD Tree Plant

TD Friends of the Environment
3rd Annual Tree Plant

Yes, I am a little late posting, what ya go'na do?

A great turn out this year considering the weather.

All the pictures I took can be seen on the Millson Forestry Service FB page, take a look.

TD Tree Days a National event, read more
99.3 kiss FM report
Timmins Times, tree plant will happen, read more
Timmins Times, tree plant did happen, read more

02 G.O.T.

Observations this summer - What did you see?

New birds added to the 
Timmins Checklist of the birds!

Summer is done and this fall I will work on updating the Observations Naturally page and the Timmins Checklist of the Birds.

SNAKES - turns out I am not the only one to notice lots of snakes this year on the roads. It seems there was hardly a week went by that I was not avoiding a snake crossing the road. Many never even moved until I got out of the truck and went back to make sure I missed. They must be loving the heat from the sun this summer.

I was sent an interesting picture of a ruffed grouse with a snake in it's mouth. Guess it was going to work on it as it's meal for the week.

TURTLES - I did not see one this year! I did get some notes on what you saw. Highlight being another sighting of the Blanding turtle at Gillies Lake. I have also had a report of a small snapping turtle at Gillies. I still have not seen photographic evidence of the sightings.

If you see a turtle in the area I would love to know where you saw it, and I would really really like to see the pictures you took of it!

TURKEY VULTURE - Lots of conversation about the turkey vulture. Groups of them seen at the boat launch, one seen on the ground at a moose carcass on Dalton rd. Eagle seen on the carcass another time. Love to see this bird, it is so distinctive in the air.

BALD EAGLE - I know the last 2 years the Bald eagle has stayed all year, at least one at the Deloro landfill. Last week it was reported that there were at least 4 hanging around at the dump. Christmas Bird Count here in Timmins had a pair of Bald eagles reported! I even have video of the pair. see it now

Let me know what you are seeing out there. Always interested in your sightings.

Oxygen Grows On Trees

Kelowna BC, walk in the park.

One Week in Kelowna
They got Nature there too.

Swimming in Lake Okanagan

This is the GPS track file of where we walked and how we got there. The trail takes you through tunnels and over former train trestles.  The camera marker is where the yoga picture of me was taken. 1 meter behind me was a 5o meter drop, Mom was a little freaked out. "What's the worst that could happen??"

Many of the trestles were destroyed in the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire, which happened 10 years ago. 238 homes were lost and the fire was almost 24,000 hectares. read more

We also went to a new start-up that has constructed suspension bridges and a giant sundial.
The pool has a wave ride. I was able to stand for a minute after the 10th try, I wipe out good, got a few laughs from the young ones watching.

Loved to see all the different trees!  Northern Ontario has so few species compared to the hills of Kelowna.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hike Day 2013 Pictures, Links, Geocaching.

A little hot chocolate
A walk with friends in the fall!

The Garmin GPSmap76cs tells me :

Total Distance = 4.09 km
Time moving = 1.00 hours
Time stopped = 41 minutes
Average moving speed = 2.4 km

We found geocache :
GC24E4V read more
GC1K4XZ read more
GC3J2VX (water damage) read more
GC3E7V4 read more
GCNYZ9 read more

Geocache 101 read more

Timmins Times. Pictures and story read more

CTV News report can be seen when you click here

Mattagami Region Conservation Authority is on Facebook, follow for information

All the pictures I took can be seen when you click here

Note Ron's comment below that Hersey Lake is now an ebird hotspot.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Nature invented interlock flooring


I guessing this where the idea for interlocking flooring comes from.

White birch interlocking firewood.


Fall Hike 2013

Timmins Fall Hiking Day
Sunday October 06

I will post pictures and after the event tomorrow. Come back again.

MRCA has the information. read more

Timmins Times read more

Monday, September 2, 2013

Porcupine Gold Reclamation add one more tree!

Tailings Pond Returning to Nature

Dave and I plant an eastern white cedar.
Google map where we planted. see the map 

The area looks a lot different then what the older photos that Google shows from the air. More like park land now. GoldCorp is working on connecting the trail systems that al ready exist to the trails that they have created on the site.

You can tour the area every summer read more

Ecpantheria scribonia is my guess

Black Wooly caterpiller

Ants wonder if they can turn it into their next meal?

Hey queen look what I brought home, can I keep it?

Google Map of the observation location. see the map

BugGuide read more

Butterflies and Moths of North America read more

Hyalophora cecropia visits again

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

3 on Denise street

What a huge caterpillar!  The kids were holding on to two, but were finding a place for them to feed and move onto the next life cycle.

Butterflies and Moths of North America read more about the life cycle

June 2012 blog post read more

September 2009 blog post read more

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Back Yard is a Bird Feeder

I do not have a bird feeder 
in my backyard.
I guess the entire yard is a 
bird feeder.

Pigeons have been coming and eating the seed I have been spreading to grow some grass in the backyard.
The whole yard is their feeder.

I guess this morning while a pigeons was having it's breakfast, a little hawk also came for breakfast.

You can also see the video, just less than 2 minutes long, on youtube. I have the date wrong in the video. It actuall was June 19 not 17 - somehow I lost 2 days today???

AT 6:52am this morning, I heard a ruckus (yes ruckus) at he back of the house. Sounded like something hit the house and a couple of birds fighting over a worm. I got out and looked out the window, not seeing anything of interest, even with my glasses on.

AT 7:00am I headed downstairs and noticed this hawk sitting just outside the window. It was out of view range from the upstairs bedroom window. I ducked back so as not to scare it off and grab the little camera. I get a couple of pictures and some video.

AT 7:15 I am venturing outside with the digital video camera. The flip out viewfinder can be configured at the side of the camera. I was able to just stick my hand out around the corner to film the breakfast meal.

I hope the little buddy has developed a taste for well fed pigeons and comes for breakfast every morning. All that was left was some small feather, the two feet up to the knees and bottom beak.

OH What is it?

I am thinking a Sharp-shinned Hawk 

All About Birds - Sharp-shinned Hawk read more

Thursday, June 6, 2013

High Falls Hike a Great Success!!

High Falls Hike
Even my tennagers had fun!!

Follow  for information on more hikes and events to come.

Map of High Falls Hike location is on MapsGoogle

All the pictures I took are here

The video I shot is now on Youtube see it now

The story of the hike in the Timmins Times, with more pictures. Take a look

Please suggest next hike location. Where have you always wanted to go?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Timmins Hiking Day Spring 2013 Details

A Spring in your Hike.
See the Falls.
Listen, Learn, Love!

I hope the day is wonderful, but Timmins people are not affected by weather. Dress for the day!
We have great guides that will provide us with information.

If you do not have a ride from the Confederation Arena, please let Wintergreen know and arrangements can be made to get you from Confed. to the Falls.

Interactive map from Confed. arena to the falls. With distances. look at it now

More information on the Hike Facebook page read more

Mattagami Region Conservation information about the hike read more

Our last spring trip was to Archies`Rock you can read all about it and see the video too go now

Success Arbour Day 2013

New Faces
New Tree Planters

Did not see many of the usuals this year. It was great to many new faces, people who want to be tree planters. We provided, with the support of Millson Forestry Service, over 240 White spruce tree seedlings.

Wonderful to hear where you are going to plant your tree!

Picture and story in the Timmins Daily Press read more

All the pictures I took that day are here

See you next year = hey John where were you his year? We can talk about on hiking day this Sunday.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Arbour Day Timmins 2013

Arbour Day Timmins
White Spruce Tree Seedlings
by donation

Donation support the work of the Wintergreen fund for conservation. Wintergreen must purchase the trees to make them available for Arbour Day, so please give generously.

Every year John Shaw comes and makes a donation and gets a couple of white spruce seedlings. 
The best time to plant a tree, is 100 years ago. The next best time is tomorrow!

I will be at Mountjoy Historic Park for 10am - noon, come visit me. Others will be at Gillies Lake providing the opportunity to get tree seedlings.

Want to read more about past Arbour Days click here
Wintergreen for Conservation read more see them on Facebook

Honey of a Mine Site.

Real Honey
Made right here in Timmins
On an old tailings facility

Here is my attempt to stitch together 5 sides of the jars label. You get the idea.
The label was the result of a contest the company held last summer.

The taste is not overly sugary, smooth and tasteful.

I got the little sample size jar at our last Porcupine Watchful Eye meeting, everyone who attended got one. Thanks! We have visited the bee hives during our spring tour the last two years. It seems to very successful. I am learning the they are not the only ones producing honey here in Timmins, and they is an active group keepers in the area.

Porcupine Watchful Eye read more
Timmins Ecological Beekeeping Association facebook page
Bees and Berries Farm Farm here in Timmins on Myzer

College Boreal / Renaissance Environmental Class

High School Credit and College Credit
Learning about the Forest, 
Trees and Work!

This class was eager learn about the forests and what we do at Millson Forestry Service. Too bad the mud had all dried up for the walk in the back, they did not get the full "Muddy Mark" tour.

No time to play in the mud anyway.

I put them to work. Their first task was to remove cones from branches. Their second task  was to replace jiffy pellets into an insert. Finally they got to work alongside Millson employees.

You can see the album of pictures on the Millson Facebook page.  see album

Friday, May 3, 2013

Great Earth Day 2013 Event at Timmins Honda

Earth Day 2013
Timmins Honda
CTV Jill Colton

Muddy Mark and Jill Colton
White spruce tree seedlings were handed out at Timmins Honda to celebrate Earth Day.
The continuous stream of people makes the event a lot of fun.
I get to talk to people about trees, I always like to talk about trees.

Jill has a huge following. So many people came by to "hi" to her.  

THVS high school turns to Millson to learn about Forestry.

THVS Delta Class
Learning about the forest
at Millson Forestry Service.

We put them all to work removing cones from branches. Most of them even participated. \

One young lad holds a piece of tree stem that came from a plantation that the Twains planted. Written on the bottom is Shania Twain planted this tree. I don't know if she actually planted the tree, but she was there. This tree is part of a display that was available for the Shania Twain fan club, they would tour the facility as part of the week of celebrating the Timmins star.

Follow Millson on Twitter click here

Millson Forestry Service FB album read more

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Citizen Scientists plan to meet in Timmins, Ontario.

We are all
Citizen Scientists 
Wildlife Photographers

The Timmins Naturalists are asking for the help of the public in their data collection efforts.
To that end we are having a workshop on 
Sunday May 05, 2013 2:00pm - 4:00pm 
at the Timmins Public Library 
in the Tembec Room.

The entire agenda can be found here

The short agenda is:
Sturgeon restoration
Trail systems and Canoe Routes
Duck Boxes
5 minute break
Turtles, Snapping, Painted, Blanding's, Turtle Tally
Bats, and their Future
Citizen Science
Wrap up. Thanks you.

A note on Wildlife Photography. Everyone, well almost everyone, now carries a gizo that will take a digital picture. I carry a flip phone that will take a picture, but I have never used the camera. I also carry a small digital camera with me always and a digital video camera with me most of the time. My first reaction when I see something is to get a camera out.

One exception last fall. The dog and I are walking in the thick bush. I am being careful and watching my step. Suddenly I hear a low grunting sound and look up to almost face to face with a moose. It grunted while it's head swayed back and forth. It took a step towards me, I took a step back. Nose to nose ~5 meters. I was not thinking about my camera. When the dog finally joined me the moose moved off, only then did I think of the camera. Got a shot of the backside in the thick brush.

What we need is all of you photographers to take a picture and send me a note of where you took the picture. When I get a picture or a phone call I put the sighting on the Observations Naturally page and forward the observation to the information keepers. (Turtles to the Turtle  Tally etc.) I have kept this page up since 1994.

Previous Oxygen Grows on Trees entries for Citizen Science

111th Christmas Bird Count Results. read post
You are a Scientist - Citizen Science. read post
Timmins Checklist of the Birds. read post
You are a Scientist. read post
Butterflies in Timmins. read post
What We Do Citizen Science, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. read post

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hoya carnosa, what a great smelling flower!

My Grandmother had the plant 
My Mother had a snippet of the plant 
I had a snippet of my Mommys' plant

What a great plant! This plant has been with me for well over 25 years.  It has flowered many times over the years. In one house it climbed the wall and held tightly.

[sidebar : how old is my plant? is it 25 years or over 100? Just how does that work? Time, just how does that work?]

The Moms' plant has never flowered. Well maybe once or twice. Every time mine flowers I call her "Mom, how the hell do you stop this plant from flowering?"

The smell is strong and fantastic. The perfume smell while walking past the flower is exquisite!

Guide to houseplants go
Dave's Garden go
Moll's Tropical Plants go
How stuff works go

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Busy Spring - Lots going on!!

Timmins Naturalists 
Wintergreen Fund for Conservation

Earth Day April 22, 2013
Earth Day Canada read more

Sportsman Show April 27th and April 28th, 2013.
I will be at the Wintergreen Booth Saturday 1pm - 4pm.
Poster at website read more

Citizen Science - Timmins Naturalists May 05, 2013.
Take a look at the Agenda. read more

High Falls Open House May 08, 2013
Poster read more

Arbour Day May 25, 2013
You can get a White spruce tree seedling for a Donation to the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation.

Spring Hike Day - High Falls on the Grassy River. June 02, 2013.

Mark and Lynn Clement are Awesome ! !

Photography By Mark and Lynn Clement

You just got to see the stuff they are working on, places they are investigating, pictures they are taking!!

Look at the pictures taken just a couple of days ago.

They wow me and have photo rescued me many times.

My little camera is great to carry with me every where, but is not the greatest. Lynn has seen my poor pictures in this blog and let me have one of her amazing pictures so you could actually figure out what I was pointing out.

Panoramio photos with google earth maps read more
Facebook Photography By Mark and Lynn Clement read more
RedBubble I love the woodpecker pictures!! read more

Big thanks!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Powwow WOW in Timmins

I want to learn to drum
I want to pound on my drum all day!

I enjoyed the few hours I spent at the powwow. Got to chat with some friends and meet some new ones.

I was impressed by the dancing circle, how the young ones and the elder ones where able to continue for so long.  The younger one may have been more energetic, but the foot steps of the elders where more thoughtful and precise.

The gal who did the hoop dance was great, too bad my camera in not. Her artfulness with the dance was interesting to watch, what a workout!

My mom took drumming lesson in B.C. She tells me it is a calming experience, I could use calming.

If you can hook me up with a teacher let me know.

Wawatay News read more
Timmins Press story read more
Nation Talk read more

Bald Eagle Back!, maybe never left?

Picture of Bald Eagle
Stories of the one that never left.

This is about where I saw the bird. see the map While I traveled down the road I could see on the side of the highway a bigger bird then you would usually see. I slowed right down and parked beside the tree the bird was in. It did not fly away.

The last 2 years Bald eagle has been present at the Deloro Landfill. I am hearing that it was present all this year also. When I was there last winter I scanned the tree line, many crows sat in the trees watching, at the end by itself was a much larger bird. On closer observation it is a Bald Eagle.

We added the Bald Eagle to the Christmas Bird Count in 2011, when we saw a pair at Sandy Falls.

Timmins Naturalists read more

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Earth Hour 2013 - What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes

2012 a warm and fast spring.
2013 a normal year of snow.

 This year on Earth Hour we planned an outside fire, with hot dogs and pop.

The trail to the shed had to be kept open this winter. Our blanket around the fire was almost a meter deep.

No lights on in the background. Even the neighbours are participating!
Last year for Earth Hour the back yard was empty of snow.

This picture is taken the week after Earth Hour, but the yard looked the same.

Last year all the power was off in the house, but we decide to have our fire in the wood stove.

It is a good idea. The kids never really think about energy use. Glad to have the kids participate!

Earth Hour org

Earth Hour 2014
Saturday March 29th!

 Hope you will join all of us!

Earth Hour Timmins Ontario Canada.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 Successful Winter Hiking Day

Nice Weather
Nice People
Nice Fire
Nice Trails

Another successful hike.

MRCA page read more and they have more pictures on their FB page facebook

Timmins Times read more see more pictures

2012 winter hiking day story, links and pictures. click here


The Lost Art of Snow as Insulation

Warm yourself - Warm your basement!
Beer Fridge is a BONUS!!!

When I lived in Whitehorse, YT everyone did it. Free winter insulation! Just like firewood, insulating with snow warms twice. First, when you work at piling the snow, second by keeping more heat in the basement.

Here in Timmins, ON I talked to a gal who told me her Dad always piled snow on the side of the house. When did we lose that art?

Some say it puts more pressure on your drainage tiles, but actually it reduces the pressure. Since the wall stays warmer the snow is melted along the edge of the house. The snow along the wall under snow will melt after the snow further away from the house has melted ensuring no water along the wall will be part of the quick spring melt.

Laplander's Natural Lore Blog read more

Mother Earth News read more

New World Encyclopedic - Igloo read more

The insulation properties of snow read more

Basement window once covered in snow will melt into a little fridge. At -40C outside, the temperature in the little igloo will be about -4.  The window will never feel the -40. The side of the house at the sill will never feel the -40.

Since the snow is piled the highest on the north side of the house the snow will stay longer then the other sides. The water will melt very slow and the drainage tiles will not become over full, I hope!

all the pictures at my house are here

NO beer was consumed during the writing of this blog. NO beer was consumed during the taking of the pictures or researching this natural event. In fact I do not like beer.