Category Archives: Winter 2010

Fire on the Ice

By Andrew Wagner-Chazalon

He worked slowly and carefully, keenly aware of his danger. Gradually, as the flame grew stronger, he increased the size of the twigs with which he fed it. He squatted in the snow, pulling the twigs out from their entanglement in the brush and feeding directly to the flame. He knew there must be no failure.

Jack London, To Build A Fire

In Jack London’s 1908 story, an unnamed man is hiking through the Yukon bush alone when he falls through the ice and soaks his feet. It’s 75 degrees below zero, and he knows he has to build a fire or die…

What happens next?

Birdie Num-Nums

Winter has gone to the birds

By Kristen Hamilton

Winter can sometimes be long and dreary, but learning how to attract birds to your backyard can add some excitement and make for a great hobby to keep you busy this winter.

Feeding the birds is been something I’ve done since I was a little kid. It’s wonderful to watch them swoop from feeder to tree and back to the feeder. By providing the birds with food, water and shelter, you are bound to attract many lovely species…

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Fish Wish

Tommy Waldock

A sport for all seasons. Tommy Waldock on Pen Lake.

By Pamela Steel

Huntsville’s Tommy Waldock is a fisherman. Four seasons, he can be found out on the lakes of Muskoka.

He’s hooked.

And he has a dream. The 24-year-old has founded his own charity, Shots for Kids; an ecologically minded outdoor education business, Hooked Young; and he dreams of opening a world-class aquarium in Huntsville some day.

“My cousin is an engineer and we are working with some architects to help design a state-of-the-art educational facility,” he says. “To be built in the Huntsville area, the aquarium will cater to educational studies, class trips, supporting companies with green initiatives, and the public at large. The focus is to promote environmental education and practice looking towards a brighter, greener future.”…

More about Tommy

Stormy Weather

The weather station

Local weatherman Harry Brown remembers Muskoka's stormiest seasons.

Story and photo by Gillian Brunette

When Huntsville and area residents awoke on the morning of Dec. 11 last year, they might well have believed they’d been transported to the North Pole overnight.

As people slept, a huge snowstorm blasted its way across the region. By 7:30 a.m., Huntsville’s mayor reported more than 50 cm (1.64 feet) of snow had fallen and residents of Ontario’s cottage country were being told to stay home amid predictions that a massive snowstorm could dump as much as 80 centimetres of snow in some areas.

It took days before the area returned to normal…

How did they survive?

The Stars of Pine Lake

Costume party on Pine Lake

A digital yearbook keeps one family warm in winter months. Photo by Joe Virball.

By Sarah Ryeland

You’ve seen it a million times in the media. Stars being followed around by the paparazzi, hounded by adoring fans and blinded by flashbulbs. We don’t really feel sorry for them – they know what they signed up for and they’re usually happy to see the pictures when they come out. Besides, if they didn’t spend their time in high-profile locations, they wouldn’t be in this position, right?

We don’t usually think of Muskoka being a place where celebrities worry about cameras in their faces, but for certain cottagers near Gravenhurst, it’s part of daily life…

Who are the stars of Pine Lake?

A New Way to Ski

Photo by Louise Choquette

By Alison Brownlee

You love to ski and you love to skate, so why should you have to choose between the two? Thankfully, you don’t.

Skate skiing has taken the amateur and professional worlds of Nordic skiing by storm. The winter sport combines the snowy trail travel of cross-country skiing with the leg movements of skating to create a fast-paced, exhilarating experience for people of all ages.

“It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s different,” says Peter Briand, park superintendent at Arrowhead Provincial Park. “If you do get the technique right and you realize you can actually skate up a hill, it’s pretty cool.”…

Learn more

Music Maker

Rod Jennings

Having a good ear for acousitcs is only the first step. Jennings combines his musical talent with a gift for woodworking and craftsmanship to create and restore guitars.

Turning broken into beautiful

Story and photo by Sarah Ryeland

Have you ever listened to a piece of wood?

Of course you have. You’ve heard beautiful music from guitars, banjos, violins, and maybe even a cello or two. But have you ever picked up a simple piece of wood and tapped it just so, dropping it on the floor to hear the sound living inside?

Rod Jennings does it every day.

Jennings is a luthier – a maker of stringed, wooden instruments. He chooses the finest wood and takes the utmost care with his creations, earning himself a stellar reputation in the process…

How does he do it?