Author Archives: Mark Whitcombe

Spring Bingo for 2020 April 04

Here’s the Headwaters Nature Bingo page of clues for the next several weeks! We’re now encouraging you to include up to three of your personal observations that go beyond the list of 22 other observations! Make this your own challenge — and include observations that mean a lot to you! (I am personally going to include the Merlins that I saw earlier this week in downtown Orangeville. They were exciting to see!) Send your observations to the Webmaster for prizes of ‘inestimable value’! Here’s a printable blank bingo card (including instructions) for you to use if you wish. We’re also including a printed version of the current clues: Wild Leeks / Ramps (poking above the ground; bonus point for sustainably digging and eating one leek! Woolly Bear caterpillar (bonus point: what is the name of the moth, and what colour is it?) Baby bird of any species and name the… Read more »

What’s in a name?

We are Headwaters Nature, a group of nature enthusiasts, in the beautiful Headwaters region of Southern Ontario, around Orangeville. We live and explore nature in the Headwaters of the Credit, Humber, Nottawasaga, Saugeen, and Grand Rivers. ONheadwatersnature.ca? onHeadwatersNature.ca? onheadwatersnature.ca? https://www.ONheadwatersnature.ca? https://www.onHeadwatersNature.ca? https://www.onheadwatersnature.ca? All six are functionally the same. All are the website addresses or URLs for the rejuvenated website for our Headwaters Nature club. It doesn’t matter whether you include ‘www’ or not. It doesn’t matter if you include ‘https” or not. It doesn’t matter whether anything is capitalized or not. All the various options end up sending you to this website. Please bookmark this and refer to it regularly. We see this name, onHeadwatersNature.ca, as having various possible interpretations. Firstly, ‘ON’ could stand for Ontario, the home province of our club. Or it could mean ‘on the topic of’ Nature within the Headwaters region: “exploring nature in the Headwaters… Read more »

dawn over wetlands

Is this a waiting time for everything?

I was out strolling along the cracks and crannies of the natural world in Orangeville for a couple of hours at dawn this morning. In this Covid-19 isolation time, the town was — thankfully! — so quiet from a human perspective. So few cars out; the lineup for Timmies near where I live was down from the typical dozen cars wound around the place to one or sometimes none at all. But the trails and stream valleys were often filled with the morning cacophony of bird song and screeching. The gangs of Grackles and the swirlings of Starlings were especially noisy! What struck me was that the Common Grackles and European Starlings were still in flocks. Not in pairs carrying nesting material. They were in remarkably large groupings, perhaps hundreds of grackles and several swirls of fifty or more starlings. Why? I’m wondering if these birds are not quite ready for… Read more »