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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".

Monarch caterpillar on butterfly milkweed.

Caterpillars and Chrysalides

Aug 17, 2017

Caterpillar food plants will summon egg-laying female butterflies to your yard. Then, if sharp-eyed, you may find the minute eggs. More likely you’ll find the caterpillars.

Black swallowtail chrysalis


Jul 4, 2017

With a few exceptions, chrysalides are designed to be overlooked, to allow the wondrous alchemy of metamorphosis to proceed undisturbed.

For Mary and Brad Kruger, living lightly doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort for conscience. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Going off the Grid

Jun 21, 2017

For Mary and Brad Kruger, living lightly doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort for conscience.

Bluebird parent with food for young. Photo by John Beaudette.


Jun 5, 2017

The success of bluebird nest boxes tells us that we can help wildlife, if we care enough and have the will.

Gay wings

Woodland Wildflowers

Apr 30, 2017

Spring wildflowers are a varied lot, many graced with fanciful names that fire the imaginations of children and adults.

Cecropia caterpillar on choke cherry.

Trees for Birds

Mar 29, 2017

If you love birds, and you plant trees or shrubs this spring, please choose native plants.

Eastern red-spotted newt, juvenile or eft phase. Photo by Robert Mccaw.

Vernal Pools

Mar 20, 2017

These fleeting spring wetlands are factories of biodiversity. Unusual winters threaten vernal pools, as do hot, dry summers.

Deborah Wilson and her husband Bruce replaced the grass in their front yard with a ground cover of colourful, maintenance-free species geraniums, while a more diverse perennial garden flourishes in their backyard. Photo by Don Scallen.

8 Ways to Kick Your Grass Habit

Mar 20, 2017

Inspiring tales from those who broke free from the rule of lawn.

The Hollywood Finch

Feb 27, 2017

The house finch, perhaps more than any other bird species, is a confirmed urbanite, eating the bird seed we provide and cozying up to us at nesting time – hanging flower baskets are favourite nest sites.

Bald Eagles

Feb 2, 2017

Luther Marsh is likely the best prospective nesting real estate for bald eagles in the Headwaters region.

Starling at a feeder

Starlings – Birds We Love to Hate

Jan 4, 2017

Starlings were introduced to New York City from Europe in the 1890s, there are now more than over 200 million of them in North America.

Mastodon Food

Nov 28, 2016

Mastodons fed largely on the twigs and branches of trees but undoubtedly enjoyed fruit as well.

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

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.

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.