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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".

Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers

Feb 15, 2013

Hairy woodpeckers brandish large dagger-like beaks; the beaks of downys are smaller and more chisel-like.



Jan 6, 2013

Opossums, having migrated north are also unlikely winter survivalists. Naked ears, feet and tails slough off frozen fragments during our harsh winters.

Christmas fern

Evergreen Ferns

Dec 11, 2012

Many ferns boast exquisite form and are splendid photographic subjects. Seeking them is a fine excuse for a late season ramble.

The downed elm

The Death of a Tree

Nov 13, 2012

Denuded and sterilized, the land waits sullenly for the homes and strip malls that characterize the inexorable expansion of Brampton.

viceroy, the monarch mimic


Oct 15, 2012

Like everything in nature, mimicry is complex and nuanced.

Calico pennant male two


Aug 28, 2012

Dragonflies have been on Earth an incredibly long time, way before the appearance of the first dinosaurs.

giant swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail Butterflies

Aug 9, 2012

Giant swallowtail caterpillars are branded as “orange dogs” in the American south because they eat the foliage of citrus crops including orange trees.

Bobolinks, Grasslands and Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Jul 25, 2012

Bobolinks, though, are only one patch in the quilt of the glorious grassland ecosystem that exists at the Forks.

polyphemus moths

Polyphemus Moths

Jun 24, 2012

Moth communication hints at the wealth of cryptic messaging all around us.

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit

May 14, 2012

These plants can switch genders throughout their lives in response to growing conditions.

red admiral

Butterfly Invasion

May 2, 2012

Twenty times more admirals than normal are moving into the province.


March Madness

Apr 9, 2012

The next day spring peepers, chorus frogs and wood frogs heralded the early spring from sylvan pools.

Spring’s Croaking Chorus

Mar 23, 2012

Ten species of frogs and toads share our landscape, a rich assemblage of hopping amphibians for such a northerly clime.

White-Tailed Deer

Mar 17, 2012

There are probably more deer now than there were before European settlement.

Butternut Canker

Feb 22, 2012

Most of our butternuts are dead or dying, stricken by a fungal disease called butternut canker.

Friends of Ontario Snapping Turtles

Jan 31, 2012

Help the turtles by signing a petition being circulated by Friends of Ontario Snapping Turtles.


Jan 3, 2012

Cardinals appear at feeders most frequently at dusk and dawn. Perhaps during the twilight hours they are less visible to predators.

Cedar Waxwings

Dec 12, 2011

A lovely shrub that waxwings find irresistible in late fall and early winter is a native holly called “winterberry”.

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.