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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".

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.

Common milkweed seeds.

Seeds on the Move

Dec 5, 2018

A great many seeds tap into the mobility of birds and animals to spread themselves around.

CSI: Natureworld The Case of Burying Beetle Bob

Nov 2, 2018

A CSI probe into Bob’s disappearance has revealed damning evidence linking Sam to the incident!

red-backed salamander

Autumn Salamanders

Oct 2, 2018

Small wonder so many salamanders are active at this time of year, seeking last suppers of grubs and spiders, crickets and millipedes.

Yellow morel ~ Morchella esculenta. Photo by Robert McCaw.

The Meaning of Mushrooms

Sep 18, 2018

The Fungus Among Us: The astonishing web of life beneath our feet.

Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar, snake mimic. Photo by Don Scallen.

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Sep 4, 2018

I’ve written about our remarkable caterpillars before, but so many interesting ones inhabit our hills that another look is warranted.

Tiger swallowtail. Photo by Don Scallen.

Flight of the Butterfly

Aug 3, 2018

To the casual observer the flight of a butterfly appears haphazard and inefficient, something like the bobbing of a cork on turbulent waters.

Birdsong – Brought to You by Bugs

Jul 4, 2018

I recently had the pleasure of watching a pair of house wren parents feed their babies in a backyard nest box.

Dog-strangling vine. Photo by Rob Routledge | Wikimedia Commons.

Invasive Species in Our Backyard

Jun 19, 2018

They’re big. They’re strong. And they’re probably here to stay. But keeping them in check will give native plant species a chance.

Yellow Lady’s Slippers

Jun 5, 2018

These botanical wonders sport whimsical – you guessed it – slipper-shaped blossoms.

Chorus frogs are even smaller than spring peepers. They can perch comfortably on the ends of index fingers.

Chorus Frogs

May 14, 2018

Chorus frogs are vulnerable to a who’s who of predators from ground-foraging birds, to shrews, to big spiders to small snakes.

Eastern cottontail rabbit.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbits

Mar 30, 2018

Cottontails conceal themselves in dense thickets of shrubs and brambles.

Rose-breasted grosbeak, May 16. Photo by Robert McCaw.

Spring Hikes on The Bruce Trail

Mar 26, 2018

Along the Bruce Trail, spring is the time to slow to a saunter 
and see, hear and scent nature’s renewal.

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.