Skip to content

Don Scallen

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

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.

American naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir sauntered through Headwaters in 1864. He came to Ontario to avoid conscription into the Civil War.

John Muir

Mar 26, 2018

A saunter through the hills in 1864.

Mink

Mink: Master Predators

Mar 5, 2018

Winter is the best time to find evidence of mink. With snow cover, mink tracks can readily be found along streams or the verges of ponds and lakes.

Snowy owl on hydro line. Photo by Ian Jarvie.

How to Find Owls

Feb 2, 2018

Myths, legends and modern literature feature owls, a notable example being Hedwig the snowy owl, loyal companion of Harry Potter.

Skunks

Skunks and Porcupines, Masters of Defence

Jan 12, 2018

Skunks, in contrast to porcupines, are positively cuddly with soft, luxuriant fur, just begging to be stroked.

A Headwaters’ Giant

Dec 5, 2017

Do you know of a bigger tree in the Headwaters Region?

northern flicker male

Flickers

Oct 29, 2017

Northern flickers are boldly and beautifully marked woodpeckers that are common throughout the Headwaters.

Beautiful wood nymph caterpillar.

Night Creatures

Oct 17, 2017

Night Hikes – A purposeful walk along a path, playing a flashlight over leaves, branches and trunks will reveal wonders.

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.