Pick up an issue of the Canadian adventure travel magazine Outpost to find great feature articles… and a nice review of The Complete Up North. Here’s an excerpt:
“The Complete Up North is not your typical field guide… unlike the majority of nature guidebooks, it’s also a surprisingly entertaining page turner from start to finish. Its prose is so engaging and the author’s curiosity so obviously infectious that you’ll be completely unable to set it aside.
“The book is filled with those bits of folk-lore and little-known trivia that made your grandpa’s almanac fascinating fireplace reading. You might know that the Canada goose mates for life, but did you peg it as a sneaky adulterer? Can you cite the estimated size of Toronto’s raccoon population? Do you know the detection range of the mosquito, and why this cottage plague finds women more appealing than men? Know why a ladybug is called a ladybug? Can you forecast rain by looking at a poplar leaf? You’ll find the answers to all of these questions, and much more.”
I was fortunate to spend a few days in Ontario’s magnificent Algonquin Park recently and we had some wonderful wildlife sightings. The highlight was a close encounter with a female moose as we canoed up the Amable du Fond river from North Tea Lake back to the put-in. We knew we were in for a treat when, rounding a bend, our companions in the canoe ahead waved at us and mouthed the word “moose!” Sure enough, as we rounded the corner, a beautiful full-size female loomed into view just a few feet away. She was contentedly munching on lily roots. She glanced at us only briefly (not long enough to get a good picture), then continued her meal. The kids laughed when she started peeing in the water. Moose eat up to 66 lb of plants a day, including water lilies, pondweed, ferns, horsetail, asters, jewelweed, grass, sedges and deciduous leaves (in summer). There are about 110,000 moose in Ontario in midwinter. Our specimen looked very healthy, and we passed another one on the drive out of the park.
Doug in his favourite conveyance, here on North Tea Lake
Our friendly female moose on the Amable du Fond river in Algonquin