Sunday, December 18, 2011

Successful Christmas Bird Count

      Timmins Naturalists   
 2011 Christmas Bird Count 

Total Individuals : 522
Total Species : 21

Total Participants : 13
Total Party Hours : 21.5
Total Party Kilometres : 293.5

Great Observation : Pair of Bald Eagles!
The video is a little bumpy, I forgot my monopod, but used the youtube stabilizer app. I think fixed it a little, still you can clearly see it is an eagle. The pair flew down river a couple of times while we walked on the trail along the river.

Data 2000 - 2011 as a *.pdf  here
Timmins Naturalists page here

back to oxygen grows on trees blog  here

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2012 Christmas Bird Count

Timmins Christmas Bird Count

This year it will be  Saturday December 17th, 2011

More Info here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Grows on Cedar?

What is this grow on the side of an Eastern White Cedar?

Looks like a explosion of square cells.

Help me out.
Tell me what it is!

Spruce Loves Birch

This is a great picture of a Spruce Tree hugging a White birch.

These two land locked lovers will stand for many more years.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Edmund Fitzgerald


This Day In History


A new feature at Jane's Jewels will be the occasional 'This Day In History'. Today's story takes place on Lake Superior, that huge, treacherous, yet oh so beautiful Great Lake. I lived in Thunder Bay for six years during my late teens/early twenties, and what I remember most about my time there was the wind, which never seemed to stop blowing.

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that made headlines after sinking in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew. When launched on June 8, 1958, she was the largest boat on the Great Lakes, and remains the largest boat to have sunk there. Nicknamed the "Mighty Fitz", "Fitz", or "Big Fitz", the ship suffered a series of mishaps during her launch: it took three attempts to break the champagne bottle used to christen her and she collided with a pier when she entered the water. (Wiki)

Gordon Lightfoot immortalized this tragedy in his haunting 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald'. This song quite often comes to mind when I hear or see the word November; in fact that's how I ended up profiling this story. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wood Heat Answers

Is Wood Heat Going Backwards as a Technology?

History will teach us everything!

The Wood Pile is a great webpage resource.

Go take a look now

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wood Burning, Renewable Energy Source!

Warms the cool damp basement

Wood Warms Twice 
at least

Pick up the wood, carry it to the truck - makes me warm
Carry the wood from the truck to the cut and split pile - makes me warm
Cut and split the wood and carry to the wood shed - makes me warm
Carry the wood from the wood shed to the basement  - makes me warm
Finally, having a fire makes me and the whole family warm

Wood is a renewable resource, so is a great substitute for natural gas and electricity.
I burn white birch and dry jackpine.
 Great BTU (heat) from both.

I am lucky to work in the forest around Timmins, Ontario for Millson Forestry Service.
The best deal on Cut and Split dry white birch wood is Millson's
You can visit the webstore and webpage to see what is available.
What is great is you can buy a box full, pickup load or dump truck full.

Hiking Day in Timmins

Second Annual Hiking Day

Warm and sunny, just like we planned.

Long hike and short hike.

Did not want the hot chocolate at the end of the hike the cold juice box was more to my liking.

We walked a gentle 4 km, discussing the Hersey Lake area, trees and mushrooms.

Timmins Naturalists
Wintergreen Fund for Conservation

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Block of wood

ya just got to luv it.

Monty Python

I just love this!!

I also like to press wild flowers, womens clothing not so much

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider is my Guess??

My little Sony camera is not that hightech, but it sure can get some good pictures. It is little enough that I do carry it with me everywhere.

This spider is a big one!

August 31, 2011

TD Tree Days

Gillies Lake Tree Plant with TD

Friends and family of TD Bank tree planted at Gillies Lake. The environment fund provided the monies to make it all happen.

The group planted and mulched over 100 tree seedlings.  These areas will provide great habitat in another 5 years.

September 10, 2011

Trees were purchased from Millson Forestry Service here in Timmins.

Help us Catch a CAT | Win A Caterpillar CT660

Help us Catch a CAT | Win A Caterpillar CT660

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wintergreen Fund for Conservation Book Project

Walking Trails
Conservation Areas

The Wintergreen Fund for Conservation and the Timmins Naturalists are once again producing a perpetual date book.

This book is full of natural history information, Timmins temperature extremes and best of all it has City of Timmins historic information for each day. Great book for the 100 year celebration here in Timmins.

What can I do with a perpetual book, why is it so special?

Write all the events you want to remember, you can use it every year!
Leave it at your front door, visitors sign the day are visiting, use it for many years to see the popular days.
Many use it as a garden book, what date did you plant what every year.
Natural observations - turns out robins appear in Timmins within a couple of days of April 11th every year.
Birth and death dates - a book you can pass on to the kids.

Money raised is for conservation efforts in Timmins.

Please pick your day carefully and let us know as soon as possible.

See the Commercial on Youtube

Go directly to the Project summary page, go now

oxygen grows on trees

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ecole Secondaire Theriault Class come to Learn

Future Environmentalist 
Learn the IMPORTANCE of our Forest Resources

The grade 12 class from Ecole Secondaire Theriault came for a tour at the greenhouse complex to learn what we do at Millson Forestry Service.   

Map of school location and street view of the entrance

École Secondaire Theriault

2011 Arbour Day in Timmins Announced


Wintergreen Fund Will Be Handing Out Trees This Saturday at Three Locations Across The City The Wintergreen Fund for Conservation  with the support of Millson Forestry is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the Annual Arbour Day celebration at three locations across the City; the White Waterfront Conservation Area in South Porcupine, the Mattagami Park in Mountjoy and at the Gillies Lake Conservation Area.  The event will be this Saturday, June 4 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

In addition to the handing out of white spruce seedlings, everyone will be eligible to win one of three bat boxes or one of the new Birds of Timmins posters. As in past years, those picking up trees will be asked for a small voluntary donation. The monies raised will go towards the  many Wintergreen community conservation projects including trails, conservation education and student bursaries.  It should be noted that Muddy Mark will be on hand at the Mountjoy location to answer any questions you may have concerning trees, birds or what you can do to help the environment.

Those wanting more information can contact the Wintergreen Fund
or the Conservation Authority at 360-2660.

Timmins Times article

Last Year Arbour Day

Trees have never been free



Friday, May 20, 2011

Free Tree Seedlings, NOT, in Timmins

Free Tree Seedlings (not free)
June 04, 2011

Tree Seedlings have never been free.

I have been involved in Arbour Day here in Timmins for more than 30 years. For almost 10 years with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), others and finally Wintergreen Fund for Conservation for the last number of years.

The OMNR handed out trees for so many years that budding tree planters expected to get free trees every year. Many still expect that today. The fact is the trees were never free. You did not pay for them when you picked them up, you paid for them before you picked them. The tree seedlings all came from Provincially funded tree seedling nurseries. Your tax dollars paid for every tree.

Now all the tree seedlings come from private tree nurseries, the OMNR has no production tree nurseries anymore.

Here in Timmins, the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation buy the tree seedlings from Millson Forestry Service and ask for a donation on Arbour Day to cover the cost and raise money. You must remember this is a money raiser for Conservation efforts here in Timmins!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Flower on the Floor of the Forest

First Bloom in the Boreal

Finally, a colour other than white snow and green trees, now the subtle pink and purple of a flower. The first flower I have seen this season in the forest.

I took a picture, as you can see, but it is not great. The camera I use, Sony DSC-W350, is not the greatest camera I have ever used, but it is the smallest camera that can come with me everywhere. It is in my pocket in the rain, the snow, the 40 below.

The camera will fit in a plastic peanut butter jar. When we go kayaking the camera is in the jar, sealed and water proof. Need to take a picture? Let me just throw it at you. Soft landing in the water, you retrieve the camera and get a wonderful picture of me with the loon in the foreground.

Nice compact camera, but one day I would like to be able to afford a digital camera similar to the SLR I used to have.

This little flower, I am not sure what it is. My guess is Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana), but if you have another suggest I am interested.

See more information at


Ontario Wildflowers
I'm looking Good!!

oxygen grows on trees Oxygen G.O.T.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring Beaver

Spring in the step of a beaver

I like to stop and check out the black dot on the road before I let the dog out for a chase. With the binoculars I can tell the dot is not a rabbit, rather it is a beaver. Dog must stay put. Beaver can be very mean.

I drive up to the beaver and it will not move off the road. I take some pictures and a little video. The beaver did not like when i got to close. Run away run away.


Mr. Beaver on Youtube

Bicycle built entirely of wood

is the most versatile material to work with.

They call it SplinterBike


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nature Deficit Disorder - have you been touched?

Are you Suffering?
Have you hugged a tree this week?

While driving into the forest the other day a story on CBC radio suggested we suffer from nature deficit disorder. We are are doing well as a species being taken out of the forests. They cited a study that proved young people did better if they were exposed to pine trees. I was driving past a Jack pine plantation with the window open at the time. Lucky me.

We are losing touch with nature, but more important we are losing contact. The smells and fell of the forest is important to human growth. The smell from the pines triggers something in our brains that just makes us more in-touch with our surroundings.

You need to plant a tree close to you, one every year. Why not plant a bonsai, then you can have a tree in your living space year-round. It is not hard. You can order a tree from Millson Forestry Service store in Timmins.

Nature Deficit Disorder links

Nature Canada - blog entry from 2008 describing the disorder
Best Health - What is nature deficit disorder?
PhD in Parenting - Cures for Nature Deficit Disorder? Help for our Planet?
Canadian Living - Quiz: Is your family suffering from nature deficit disorder?
Human Well Being and the Natural World - Just some facts
Canadian Institute of Forestry - Summer Outdoor Camps:  The best remedy for nature deficit disorder
Child and Nature Alliance - Get outside!! they need contact with nature
Psychology TodayExploring the natural world's psychological effects on human beings.
Education.comThe Critical Role of Environmental Education for your Child’s Future
An Interview with Robert Batemanincreasingly popular term among educators

Frogs are Greendefinitely what the doctor ordered.

National Environment WeekTake the Nature-Deficit Disorder Survey Here

Trees we see plenty. It is green grass we do not get to see or smell for many months. So every year we grow our own grass in the house. A different container every year. When the kids were smaller we grow a big tray of grass to hide easter eggs in. It is wonderful to smell the grass after a trim with scissors. Looks like my grass is due for a trim this weekend.

Oxygen Grows On Trees

You are a Scientist - Citizen Science

You are a citizen
and must be a scientist

Get involved, the trees, birds, bees, and dirt will love you for it!
Many Timmins people have been involved in making observations of our Natural Environment. It has been very helpful to have the many eyes helping make observations. Check out the Timmins Naturalist page : Observations Naturally. We keep track of sightings of unusual species and events. Hope you will participate!

There are many different types of surveys and data collection efforts you can participate in. Some take a little skill and some require more effort.  The Christmas Bird Count is one data collection program that has been around for more then 100years. The effort required is minimal and is always a fun event. The Timmins Naturalists usually count the Saturday before Christmas. Join us this year.

I have provided links to many favorite programs, take a look and get involved.

Bird Studies Canada

NatureWatch Canada

Toronto Zoo


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Timmins Checklist of the Birds Poster - Hot off the Press!

Great locally taken photographs.
Checklist of the Bird down the side.
Fund raiser for 
Wintergreen Fund for Conservation.
The poster was ready for the Sportsman Show. Many commented on how nice the poster looks. I think it turned out great! Many thanks to Lynn and Mark Clement for providing us with all the pictures.

You can see more of Lynn and Marks work on their websites.

You can find the poster at the MRCA office at Gillies Lake. They are only $5.00. You will need one for the cottage, one for the office and one for home, this is a fund-raiser. The poster was also supported by Xstrata Copper, with thanks to Larry and Syvia Labelle.

You can see the Timmins Naturalist Checklist of the birds here.
You can add your observations of local species to Observations Naturally. 
Winter Green Fund for Conservation supports local trails and the 

I will get some here at the house so you can drop by and get yours. Small delivery charge may be added if you do not come with a smile. Always love to here about observations of birds and trees. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trout Unlimited Canada

Muddy Mark learns about Trout Unlimited

While in North Bay a lad came asking about tree seedlings for a Trout Unlimited project.

He was hoping for a few hundred free seedlings, maybe a few thousand free seedlings. Free tree seedlings, pretty sure the government use to do that, but stopped that 20 years ago. 

At Millson Forestry Service tree seedlings is our business. With planning ahead Millson can provide as many seedlings as you want, what ever size you want, but it will cost you.

Back to Trout Unlimited. I did not know anything about this. What is really exciting to me is the one creek they are working on : BRONTE CREEK WATERSHED PROGRAM

Close to my hometown. I spent plenty of time in the Bronte Creek watershed back when I am sure the creek had plenty of trout. Also in the Bronte Creek clean up is the Lowville Park part of the creek. Lowville! Lowville is the best hill for sliding for miles around! 

There is a Bronte Creek blog check it out!

Water Level Look for yourself. Realtime

Like to watch weather
You can watch the water rise and fall.

No this is not about taking your girl to the lake side
to watch submarine races. But still always a good idea!

Environment Canada has a site that shows you the realtime water levels of water systems all across Canada. You can use the google map search to see what stations are near any location in Canada.

It is a very cool site for water watchers. Real-time Hydrometric Data

Ontario Power Generation has a site that will allow you to view the real-time data at the hydro electric dams. You need to check here when water is low to know if the water is high or not. You need to know the elevation that may effect you or your pleasure of the water system.

Pick a dam, see the water elevation. See the data

Monday, April 25, 2011

Earth Day 2011 Timmins Ontario - Honda

Timmins Honda for Earth Day
April 21, 2011

Being in our backyard is always plenty of fun. 
Ryan, owner of Timmins Honda, took me for a spin in one the hybrid cars. He is so knowledgeable. 
These cars are truly becoming leaders in the automobile industry.

Jason, from CTV, checks in with me and Forester Moe. One day that facial hair he sports will look as good as mine, he hopes. His kids will help him acquire the grey of maturity.

If you missed us you can always get a tree seedling from Millson Forestry Service of Timmins, Ontario.
Visit the webstore for tree seedlings of boreal species and more.

The best time to plant a tree 
was 100 years ago, 
the second best time is today!

2011 Earth Day summary on Youtube
2011 Earth Day Timmins Commercial on Youtube

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earth Day 2011 Sudbury - Rainbow Concrete

Sudbury people LOVE trees.
Busy Muddy at Rainbow Concrete!

Just like last year the staff at Rainbow were fantastic to welcome us into the show room. The weather was not as nice as last year, so we were not able to set up outside.
Boris (far left) and his staff really are committed to the environment with many different projects on the go to make living in the urban jungle more earth friendly.

Free Tree Seedlings at Rainbow Concrete Sudbury Ontario!

A real interesting part of these traveling Earth Day events is the people you meet. I love to talk trees with everyone that comes by. In Sudbury a surprise for me. A co-worker, a friend from many years ago sent his daughter to come visit. She is more then 20 years old, so I am thinking I have not seen Dan for 15 + years. Emails over the years now and then, but really had lost touch. He saw the commercial, but work kept him away.  Hope Dan will send me a picture of himself with the seedling planted.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ontario Fishing ON-Line

For those of you who are fishing people the Province has a very neat new tool. It works with Google.maps and is very interactive.

Lakes that have fish or are stocked can easily be found and explored.

What a great use of Google.maps

I guess you could use the ``how to use`` information, but come on boys, we do not need that.

Check it out. Click on the picture.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Today - AWESOME !!

Gemini Breakfast

this morning i got up at 5:30am to put my swim stuff together.  on tuesday and thursday mornings i drive kid number one to the pool for work. if i am going to the pool i stay and swim a bit. then a nice long hot show, and the showers were very hot today. AWESOME.

i came home and figured i had plenty of time to make eggs, rather then just cereal. leftover potatoes in the pan first, then add the eggs.  2 eggs easy over.

both eggs had double yokes. AWESOME.

later at work i realize i had not completed the usual ritual with kid number one, to say have a good day. a hand shake thing, that is our thing. we forgot.  i text her later "LB it, pulse, hy5". her text back was oh we forgot. kid number one thinking about dad. AWESOME.

these are my 3 thing today to add to my book of AWESOME.

for those of you that have not read the book or heard about it, more about awesome is here.

check out more of the blog now


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Free Tree for International Year of Forests

Start your own Forest
With free tree seedling

2011 declared International Year of Forests by the UN.

You can start your forest by getting a free tree seedling in North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins.

Come see Muddy Mark and Forester Moe.

The best time to plant a tree is 
100 years ago, 
the next best time is today!

Free Tree Seedlings North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins

Earth Day Tour Continues
Free Tree Seedlings in 
North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins

One free seedling to everyone that shows up. If you want more we will have more at just $1.00 each.

Muddy Mark will have the Oxygen Grows On Trees t-shirts. read more
Tell Muddy that Peter sent you and you will get a deal. And yes Peter if I sell 10 shirts on the tour you will get one free!

The inlaws of Muddy came to visit again this year. How wonderful. This is the second year we have been involved in the handing out of free tree seedlings in Sault Ste Marie.  Last year Earth Day read more.

CTV Regional commercial watch now
CTV Timmins commercial watch now

Success in the Sault

Former Mayor 1996-2000 - Steve Butland and current councilor 
Muddy Mark and Maria, manager at the Country Way.

Forester Moe is QC for all the seedlings. 

More free tree seedlings for everyone, and everyone get one free!

Next stop North Bay Toyota on April 18th, then Sudbury Rainbow Concrete on April 19th. Our last stop is in Timmins at Honda. Come join us and get your free tree seedling.

And they are seedlings! Forestry
A small tree, usually between 2 and 4 inches diameter at breast height
(a) A tree, usually less than 2 inches diameter at breast height, that has grown from a seed rather than from a sprout.
(b)A nursery-grown tree that has not been transplanted in the nursery.

Wiki entry tell us 
A seedling is a baby tree that has just started to grow.  It is the first stage of the growth cycle.  It can not make new life and it has a job to do.  Its job is to grow up to a sapling to make a new forest.  Deer sometimes like to eat new leaves and can can hurt a new seedling.

A sapling is a child tree.  It is the second stage of development.  It is one meter tall and stays a sapling until the stem reaches 7 cenitmeters in diameter.

This paper has some technical info.
trees = 10 cm or more DBH; saplings = basal diameter 1 cm or more and DBH <10 cm; seedlings = < 1 cm basal diameter. Seedlings were subdivided into 3 height classes: <10 cm, 10-30 cm, and >30 cm.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Free Tree Seedling Sault Ste. Marie

Earth Day 2011
April 11th
Nature's Way
10 am - 5pm

Similar to last year we will again travel from Timmins to Sault Ste. Marie with a truck load of tree seedings. I have also added some interesting forest finds.

Come visit us.  One free tree seedling for every one.

We will be in North Bay April 18, Sudbury April 19 and back in Timmins on April 21st.

See the commercial on Youtube

Ask Muddy Mark to get a picture with you, and it will end up here.

Muddy will also have Oxygen Grows On Trees t-shirts. (tell him you saw it here and he will sell you a shirt for $15.00)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Muddy Mark
Educating the little saplings!

A school tour last week at the complex.  It was too cold to take the kids for a walk in the mud, it was all too frozen. Too bad, I had my rubber boots on.

All dressed up with no place to mess.

The kids had some great questions and many of them were about trees.  Sometimes the cats and dogs get some of the kids attention.
Trees  are important and I am sure that message was well received. 

Yellow-headed Blackbird in Timmins

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Visits feeder in South Porcupine

This is a sighting from a couple of years ago (May 6, 2008 at 4:15pm), but it is never too late to add an interesting observation. The bird flew in with a flock of blackbirds and was only here for maybe 5 minutes and never came back.

The Yellow-headed Blackbird is on the Timmins Checklist of the Birds, so it has been spotted here before.

This is the area it was sighted see the map

Great observation and picture.
I will add this to the Observations Naturally page of the Timmins Naturalists

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lynn's incredible photograph


Lynn got this picture this weekend. What a great shot!
I love the squirrel looking over the shoulder of the Great Horned Owl.
The snow falling from the Red Squirrels perch.
The Owl looking directing at the camera.
The Tamarack tree will soon start bud flush.

Check out Lynn's page to see more fantastic pictures..
More information about the Great Horned Owl at : Environment Canada   eNature     Cornell

I wish I could get pictures like Lynn does. I am glad she shares!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

'Supermoon' Saturday March 19th, 2011

Earth's closest celestial neighbour will appear to loom larger and brighter than usual on Saturday night, as astronomers anticipate a cosmic event called an "extreme supermoon".
Scientists say the natural phenomenon — in which the moon reaches its closest point to this planet — will cause abnormally high and low tides worldwide.

Technology; Science - CBC News

Tonight is forecast to be clear. The moon will be big tonight. I will see how my little camera is for taking moon pictures.