March mating madness

Disney, in the movie Bambi, had a great word for it: Twitterpated (before the days of social media, of course). With melting snow and warm weather comes natural desires among many species to start the cycle of life over again. Among red squirrels in the trees above, formerly hostile male and female neighbours react to the mid-March glow by suddenly, but briefly, becoming the objects of each other’s desire. Flying squirrels mate around the same time. In remote areas of thick brush, lynx eager to meet and mate beckon with chilling caterwauls in late winter.

In March and April nights, the unmistakable hooting of the barred owl — “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all?” — is augmented by screams, barks, hisses and cackles, as owls get down to the serious business of courtship.

Listen for downy woodpeckers, among many other species, also calling out for love.

Nature by the 401

I know it’s not exactly up north, but a recent drive by Pearson Airport on the 401 reminded me again of nature’s resilience. In addition to the red-tailed hawk posed majestically on the airport sign (the hawks are common along highway corridors), I was surprised to see a couple of white-tailed deer grazing on a field not far from the end of a runway, by the Dixie exit. Jets, tractor-trailers, cars, deer and hawks… nature is everywhere.