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Don Scallen

Don Scallen enjoys sharing his love of nature through his writing and presentations. Check out his blog "Notes from the Wild".

Where the Moose and the Elk Used to Roam

Mar 24, 2020

Wildlife populations in Dufferin and Caledon have come and gone over the past few centuries, most dramatically since European settlement. Some species have vanished from the landscape. Others have arrived. Now things are changing again.

Otters

Mar 9, 2020

The reappearance of otters in our hills is a hopeful sign that the capacity of our rivers and landscapes to support wildlife is improving.

Animal Tracks

Feb 6, 2020

Tracks inscribed on snow by unseen animals offer tantalizing multilayered puzzles.

Goldenrod gall predated. Photo by Don Scallen.

Insect Engineers

Jan 10, 2020

Football-sized bald-faced hornet nests, hanging from branches, are prominent in the winter landscape.

Trees can host multiple burls and still lead long, robust lives. Photo by Don Scallen.

Burls and Trees on Stilts

Dec 5, 2019

The reasons burls grow on trees are still not fully understood, but infection by viruses, fungus and bacteria are likely causes.

I’d love science to explore the possibility that two of our local tree species, beech and hemlock, might also be co-operating through fungal networks.

Tree Co-operation

Nov 12, 2019

The research into the co-operative nature of trees is in its infancy.

Caligraphic beetle

Night Creatures

Oct 8, 2019

Most of the nocturnal critters my friends and I find are insects, but spiders, millipedes and amphibians also appear in our flashlight beams.

River World

Sep 16, 2019

The Credit, the Humber, the Grand and the Nottawasaga rivers are home to a lively community of creatures that form a complex, interdependent web of life.

The Flight of the Mayflies

Sep 14, 2019

The annual emergence of mayflies, wherever it occurs, brings predictable responses.

Amazing Beavers

Aug 6, 2019

This serendipitous meeting with a near-sighted beaver was my favorite type of wildlife encounter!

Freeliving caddisfly larva from the Credit River in Alton. Photo by Don Scallen.

Benthic Invertebrates

Jul 3, 2019

The abundance of these aquatic larvae in our streams and rivers is a good thing.

Male and female rose-breasted grosbeak. Photo by Fiona Reid.

Spring Songbirds

Jun 14, 2019

May and June herald the arrival of a trio of supremely beautiful tropical migrants: indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks.

Piebald spotted salamander 2010. Photo by Charlotte Cox.

The Return of the Salamanders

May 9, 2019

This year I managed to take video of the underwater breeding of spotted salamanders.

Peregrine falcon from Brampton balcony. Photo by Peter and Rose Bailey.

Urban Animals

Apr 5, 2019

Raccoons, squirrels and robins adapted to urban life long ago.

A six-spotted tiger beetle. Photo by Robert Noble.

Incredible Insects

Mar 19, 2019

The benefits of the bugs in our backyards.

racoon in tree cavities

Tree Cavities

Mar 8, 2019

Squirrels, racoons, owls, chickadees, and many other creatures find safety and shelter within trees.

Barred owl streamside in a hemlock. Photo by Don Scallen.

Barred Owls

Feb 5, 2019

Barred owls, like all owls, exercise a mysterious hold on our psyches. Birders and non-birders alike are drawn to their expressive faces and large liquid eyes.

Evening grosbeaks feeding on sunflower seeds northeast of Shelburne

Boreal Birds

Jan 4, 2019

Over 300 species, totalling billions of birds rely on Canada’s boreal forest as breeding grounds, some boreal birds are migrating through Headwaters during the winter months.

In The Hills is an independent, locally owned print and online magazine that has earned its reputation as the best-read, best-loved magazine in Headwaters.

The magazine is delivered to more than 40,000 homes and farms throughout Caledon, Erin, Dufferin, Orangeville and Creemore – up to double the circulation of any other local publication. And it is available to visitors at local inns, restaurants, specialty retail stores and other tourist locations.