Our national critter

By Jim Poling Published July 27 2017 If you see a beaver this summer stop to give it a hug. The poor little guy or gal could use some affection and some appreciation. If you don’t…

Mother Nature fights back 

By Jim Poling Published July 20 2017 “Don’t mess with Mother Nature” used to be a cute and humorous expression. Not these days. Too often now we witness how an angry Mother Nature fights back.…

It's Tom Thomson! 

By Jim Poling Published July 13 2017 One hundred years ago this week a vacationing Toronto doctor was relaxing at his rented cottage on Algonquin Park’s Canoe Lake. He looked out over the water and…

Fear of the water

By Jim Poling Sr. Published July 6 2017 I’ll never forget Canada Day 2017. It was the day Louie learned to swim. Louie is my 14-month-old great-granddog. He is a chocolate Labrador retriever a water…

Why are they called ‘Burpees’?

By Laurie Sweig Published June 22 2017 I don’t know anyone who likes doing Burpees. When I have clients do them (notice I didn’t say “ask clients to do them”) this question often comes up…

Paying by the piece 

By Jim Poling Published June 29 2017 There is hope. Despite the collapsing daily newspaper industry and concern that people are not getting enough factual balanced news on current affairs there is hope. Hope is…

Whispering killer wings 

By Jim Poling Published June 22 2017 I love the sound of dragonfly wings in the evening. From my deck easy chair I savour the whispering clicks of their translucent wings as they float through…

When culture changes  

By Jim Poling Published June 15 2017 There is an important anniversary in my life this month. It is an anniversary that tells more about a changed culture than my individual life. Twenty years ago…

Finding Hal 3  

By Jim Poling Published June 8 2017 Finally the mystery is solved. It took considerable poking and prodding of the federal bureaucracy but we have found Hal 3. It is a weather site in fact…

Machines with screens 

By Jim Poling Published June 1 2017 Machines and I don’t get along. I have never done them any bad but they have never liked me. Whenever we meet they treat me like an idiot.…

Less debate more action 

By Jim Poling Published May 25 2017 We live in an increasingly peevish society. Smartphones tablets and social media have made it much easier for us to share thoughts and create immediate debate on anything…

Frogs on the road 

By Jim Poling Published May 18 2017 Sloughs marshes and ditches along the roads are brimming and finally getting some warm sun. So it won’t be long now before thousands of amphibians begin their annual…

The bear and the back scratcher

Published May 11 2017 Back scratchers do not have video screens so I was surprised when my 10-year-old grandson Anderson asked me to make him a wooden back scratcher. Kids do make odd requests so…

My first 100 days By Jim Poling 

Published May 4 2017 Judging the first 100 days in office is ridiculous artificial and something invented by the news media. That’s how U.S. President Forrest Trump sees it. I feel it is important however…

Some baby advice 

By Sue Tiffin Published April 27 2017 Ah the joys of becoming parents. Here it is Ingrams. You’ve imagined it maybe even planned for it. You’ve got that baby in your hands and you’re home…

Stale pretzels and soda water 

By Jim Poling Published April 27 2017 The cattle are prowlin’ the coyotes are howlin’ Way out where the doggies bawl Woo-hoo-woo-ooo-ti-de Woo-hoo-woo-ooo-ti-de-de Woo-hoo-woo-ooo-ti-de Yodel-odel -lo-ti-de Singin’ his cattle call Anyone remember that catchy but…

Maple syrup mysteries

Published April 20 2017 S pring is a season of mysteries. For instance: How do plants know when to start growing? How do hibernators such as bears know when to wake up? Why do mosquitoes…

Spring Clean-up Series: Get strong for spring

By Laurie Sweig Published April 20 2017 Spring feels like the time of year  to exhale. After being wrapped up and shut in for the winter  everything is uncurling  stretching and getting ready for new…

A walk in the spring woods

By Jim Poling Sr. Published April 13 2017 A long-awaited walk in the spring woods is like stepping through a looking glass and entering a remarkably different world. Before me is life as it was…

Be bear aware this spring

By Lee Ross Published April 13 2017 It's spring in Muskoka which means that pretty soon we're going to start seeing bears.  If you encounter a bear remember to stay calm because bears want to…

Nature’s Place season in Minden

By Laurie Carmount Special to the Times Published April 13 2017 Climate Change is a hot topic heard daily in our media. There is much concern and debate about it. For this reason the programming…