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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".

milkweed beetle

Beetle Mania

Aug 4, 2020

Four beetles among hundreds of thousands, each with a unique story to tell.

Promethea Moths

Jul 6, 2020

While most moths release their pheromones after dusk, promethea moth females are an exception.

Red fox kits by their den entrance under an old garage. Photo by Don Scallen.

Red Foxes

Jun 16, 2020

The Georgetown fox family is lucky to be living in an older section of town where yards are spacious and tree filled.

Jefferson salamander eggs. Photo by Don Scallen.

Dispatches from a Vernal Pool

May 5, 2020

Vernal pools, like coral reefs, are theatres showcasing life and death struggles between prey and predators.

Southern flying squirrel. Photo by Kim van Oosterom.

Flying Squirrels

Apr 7, 2020

Remarkably, flying squirrels can glide up to 90 metres, though most of their aerial journeys are much shorter.

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.

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.