The Cry of the Loon

An edited version of this article appeared in the Winter 2005/06 issue of ON Nature. The first of several ironies in our relationship with the common loon is the way we’ve turned a vocalization born of stress—the multiple-note tremolo with an octave jump near the end—into an audio signature of northern tranquility. Loons make this... Continue Reading →

The Aesthetic of the Northland

The good people at the Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE) asked me to contribute an essay to a series marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Canadian landscape art collective, the Group of Seven. Fresh from a boat trip up eastern Georgian Bay, through many locales where members of the Group painted during and before its formation, I was happy to oblige.

The Ghost Cat

It was early autumn, 1968, and a teenaged Dave Anderson was booting along a gravel road in a light-green Dodge half-ton pickup with his brother Richard. They were in the northwestern corner of the province, north of Kenora, on the way to a family trap line, when they saw something they weren’t supposed to see,... Continue Reading →

Devil Bird

Ever since Milton cast a cormorant in the role of Satan in Paradise Lost, this family of birds has been loathed, with precious little to no scientific reason.

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