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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".

It was a long plod for a pair of porcupines. Photo by Robert McCaw.

Tracking 101

Nov 22, 2016

It’s not just the tracks, but the story they tell.

Blue jay in summer

Blue Jays

Oct 25, 2016

Blue jays are villains – winged brigands with a penchant for raiding the nests of other birds to devour eggs and nestlings.

Green heron

Herons and Egrets

Sep 27, 2016

Herons, egrets and bitterns are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae.

Meadows deserve the same protection and respect as our woodlands and wetlands.

In Defence of Meadows

Sep 16, 2016

Too often belittled as “idle” land awaiting development – or “rescued” by reforestation – meadows deserve the same protection and respect as our woodlands and wetlands.

Ambush Bug

True Bugs Suck

Aug 25, 2016

To an entomologist, “true bugs” are insects that suck. No insult intended – they really do suck.

Crab spider


Jul 29, 2016

Next time you stumble across a spider try not to scream or reach for a shoe.

Red Fox courtesy Ian Jarvie

Fox Scat: the scoop on poop

Jun 30, 2016

On a Bruce Trail hike I came across a small mound of freshly deposited fox scat.

caddisfly case made of shells and cedar needles


May 30, 2016

French artist Hubert Duprat capitalized on this in the 1980s by supplying caddisflies with flecks of gold and tiny precious stones.

Mourning cloak

Spring Butterflies

May 1, 2016

Five ways butterflies survive the winter.


Mar 28, 2016

Muskrats are largely herbivorous – chomping cattail roots and shoots is a favourite pastime.

A Foraged Feast

A Foraged Feast

Mar 21, 2016

Skip the supermarket, find the ingredients for gourmet dining in forest, field and stream.

Wild Leek Soup

Mar 21, 2016

Please harvest wild leeks sustainably, taking only 5 to 15 per cent of a given population a year.

Pineapple Weed Tea

Mar 21, 2016

Pineapple Weed is a member of the aster family, it is easily overlooked because it lacks petals.

Squirrel triumphant atop the feeder


Mar 1, 2016

The bird feeder was now far enough from trees to thwart my backyard community of furry filchers.

Pileated woodpecker in a tree. Photo by Ian Jarvie.

The Pileated Woodpecker

Jan 30, 2016

Not only do these woodpeckers have remarkable adaptations for excavating wood, they also have acute hearing that allows them to pick up the telltale sounds of ants scurrying within trees.

Red-tailed hawk in white pine

Red-tailed Hawk

Dec 23, 2015

A red-tailed hawk’s vision can be 10 times more acute than ours.

Camouflage Five

Camouflage and the Vision of Birds

Nov 25, 2015

How good is your eye? Take our camouflage challenge and test your knowledge.

Talking Turkey

Nov 4, 2015

Turkeys – especially rival tom turkeys can be highly entertaining to watch at this time of year.

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.