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Arboretum Main Trail – Interactive map (Winter)

We have created an interactive trail map for visitors following the Main (Orange) Trail in the Morgan Arboretum. This map is full of interesting information for walkers taking the trail during the winter months – a spring/summer version will be published around Easter time. Use the map on this page to plan [...]

2021-01-21T14:54:09-05:00Sunday, January 24, 2021|

Snowshoe Day

18 January, and after a weekend of heavy snowfall we went out to enjoy the countryside on the West Island. Considering this in Montreal, it's very pleasing to have such places within a very short distance from home. Lovely deep snow with a thin and crisp topping to wade through - thank [...]

2021-01-18T15:45:01-05:00Monday, January 18, 2021|

“Naturally Speaking” – A Really Big Woodpecker

Even the woodpecker owes its success to the fact that he used his head. —Author Unknown Continuing with the theme of occasional “Naturally Speaking” accounts of species you can encounter on the West Island of Montreal I am going to introduce a another bird. Botanists and entomologist friends of mine need [...]

2021-01-11T21:59:21-05:00Friday, January 8, 2021|

Garden Bird List for 2020

If you are not a keen birder this will perhaps not be of great interest - unless you have decided to really take up birding with the start of a new year and wan a target to aim for. Anyway, assuming you plan to read on ... here is what we saw [...]

2021-01-01T15:50:52-05:00Friday, January 1, 2021|

On the Naming of Birds

Tits or Chickadees?Not sure how I had missed this after a lifetime looking at creatures but I recently came across a photograph of a small bird and thought "funny looking Chickadee". This was the bird: It didn't take me long to work out that it was similar but different - here [...]

2020-12-28T13:56:55-05:00Monday, December 28, 2020|

“West Island Wildlife #2” – FREE

Do you know just how varied is the wildlife on the West Island in Winter? West Island Wildlife is an occasional webzine. It is FREE and fully illustrated, and has the intention of introducing readers to the surprisingly varied wildlife and native plants to be found on the West Island of Montreal. Following the [...]

2020-12-23T17:05:28-05:00Sunday, December 27, 2020|

The Dark Morris and Climate Change

Terry Pratchett wrote a wonderful book under the title of “Wintersmith” that mentioned the essential role of the annual silent performance of the Dark Morris in ensuring that winter arrives as it should. I was reminded today, the winter solstice, of this tradition and, as a former morris dancer/musician myself felt the need [...]

2020-12-22T09:09:44-05:00Tuesday, December 22, 2020|

Winter Music

This winter, instead of sorting through the CDs deciding what seasonal music to listen to while putting up the winter tree I opted to spend a happy afternoon creating a seasonally specific Spotify playlist - and sharing it. We do Christmas, of course we do, but we really enjoy the Winter Solstice [...]

2020-12-14T22:19:54-05:00Sunday, December 20, 2020|

Winter Duties Start Again (Birds)

Best time of the year Well - almost :) Faithful followers of this journal will recall that we spend three to four months each winter visiting and walking around the nearby bird observatory in the snow and deep cold to top up the feeders and to take a census of what birds [...]

2020-12-04T15:10:55-05:00Friday, December 4, 2020|
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