Category Archives: author

Tough, tenacious turtles

Spring time is a time of new life and new beginnings: trilliums bloom, maple buds burst and red fox kits playfully tussle. At this time adult turtles are also thinking of new life, as they search out mates, breed and lay eggs. Turtles are fascinating creatures: there is fossil evidence that turtles have been around for 200 million years, which means they existed alongside dinosaurs. And turtles survived whatever catastrophic event(s) that led to the extinction of 90% of plant … Continue Reading ››

Pygmy Grasshoppers

Particularly in Spring, a walk in the woods might turn up a very tiny grasshopper among the dead leaves. These are likely Pygmy Grasshoppers, not ‘baby grasshoppers’. They are also known as ‘grouse locusts’ or ‘grouse grasshoppers’ or in one case, a ‘frog groundhopper’. Pygmy Grasshoppers are members of the suborder Tetrigodea and most occur in the Family Tetrigidae. One exception is Tettigidea lateralis that occurs in the closely-allied Family Batrachideidae. The seven species that are known to occur in … Continue Reading ››

Results of Monitoring Late-flowering Plants in Halton Hills, 2002-2011

The impact of climate on the biota of an area can be manifested in a number of ways. One possible effect of global warming and climate change in general is that the growing season could be extended. We can measure temperature changes easily enough but the effect of the temperature changes may not be immediately apparent. In part, this is … Continue Reading ››

Results of the 2011 Halton Hills Christmas Count

The 21st annual Christmas Bird Count for Halton Hills was held on December 27, 2011. The weather that day was marked by a fairly constant snowfall that restricted viewing of birds and generally made for a dull day with temperatures just above the freezing mark. The results for the 2011 Count are summarized in the attached table. For comparison, the average and high numbers recorded for the previous 20 years are also included in the table. The total number of species … Continue Reading ››

Giant Swallowtails and Climate Change

Recently, one of the items covered by the news media was the change in distribution of various species owing to climate change. There are other causes for expansions of populations other than climate shifts but this discussion is limited to the global warming phenomenon. The media accounts included the recent appearance of fish species in the ocean much further north than where they normally occur. One species that was mentioned that has relevance to our own area was the Giant … Continue Reading ››