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Wild Ideas: A place for hunting in a more environmentally-conscious world

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Camouflage gear is not an unusual sight in Kawartha Lakes. Like many rural Ontario communities, hunting is part of our recreational history and has long kept retailers stocked with leaf-adorned bedspreads, decals and, yes, even masks.

But people don’t relate to hunting, or to hunters, like they once did. Despite hunters’ widespread presence in our community, a lot of folks are uncomfortable or even downright angry that some among us would go out of our way to kill an animal. Hunters are increasingly portrayed as behind the times, the strange and unfortunate remnants of a less progressive era. So, it raises the question — does hunting still have a place in our society?

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Lindsay to Fenelon Falls on an electric bike: Here’s what it’s like

in Community/Environment/Opinion by
Lindsay to Fenelon Falls: Here’s what it’s like on an electric bike                                
The Advocate's Jamie Morris on a Pedego electric bike. Photo: Sienna Frost.

It’s the first “heat event” of the season and temperatures are forecast to reach 35 degrees with the humidity. This — of all days — is the day I’ve arranged to borrow an electric bike and ride the Victoria Rail Trail from Lindsay to Fenelon Falls and back.

Maybe not what the doctor ordered for a 68-year-old who’s barely broken a sweat since early March, when the pandemic confined many of us to long stretches at home with brief, anxious expeditions to pick up groceries.

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The Icelandic fish sticks revelation

in Opinion by
Reykjavik, Iceland's capital. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Common sense is apparently what my grandmother had and what I lacked, at least as a child. This information was often relayed to me at her rural Apsley home many decades ago, when I would spend time with her almost every summer. If I acted too much the smart aleck she would remind me of how much I still didn’t know.

The Oxford dictionary defines common sense as “the ability to think about things in a practical way and make sensible decisions.”

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New episode of The Advocate Podcast to feature interview — with a cup

in Community/Environment by
New episode of The Advocate Podcast to feature interview -- with a cup

Podcast producer and host Denis Grignon has drawn on his 30-plus years as a journalist to conduct an interview…with a discarded Styrofoam cup.

It’s a unique interview, to be sure. “And, likely, the first of its kind,” boasts the Dunsford-area resident, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, before adding that he also drew on his training as a professional standup comic and sketch writer.

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Garden of renewal is here, even as we cope with social distancing

in Environment/Opinion by

It would be easy to imagine that everything is the same as I head outside to do the morning chores. The ducks aren’t really concerned about staying clean and washing their hands. The cats do some washing, but they keep licking their paws first, so I’m not sure that counts.

The chickens are blissfully unaware of pandemics and the need for physical distancing, although a couple of them keep running away from the rooster.

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The elusive waters of spring are essential for our farm land

in Community/Environment by

Every spring, as I walk through the woods on my farm, I see the pools of water that appear between and around the trees. They remind me of the wood between the worlds, made famous in C.S. Lewis’s stories about Narnia. By jumping into a shallow pool in the woods, one is able to enter whole other worlds, some old, some new. All linked by the woods where the pools live.

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Trash talk: A plastic waste challenge

in Environment by
From L to R: Jamie Morris, Sylvia Keesmaat, Councillor Tracy Richardson, Ginny Colling, and Deb Pearson.

Last year, more than 917 tonnes of plastic was collected from our 38,000 households in Kawartha Lakes. That’s the calculation of Kerry Snoddy, whose forbidding job title is City of Kawartha Lakes waste management regulatory compliance officer.

It’s so easy for each of us to produce heaping, full bins of plastic waste. Reducing plastics to the absolute minimum? Much more difficult.

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Unwrapped: New store aims for zero waste and sustainable living

in Community by
Jenny Connell, owner of Unwrapped. The store is located at 101 Kent St., Lindsay.

For her rustic and reused-themed wedding Jenny Connell took a friend’s mother up on an offer of mismatched dishes and cutlery that otherwise sits in boxes 363 days of the year — brought out only for the annual Amnesty International and Machik dinners.

Afterwards Jenny and her husband, Sam, rolled up their sleeves, cleaned off the dishes, and before heading off on their honeymoon, returned them (along with a donation to Amnesty International).

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Our heritage of trees: Look up, way up, at these gentle giants

in Community/Environment by
American sycamores, Victoria Avenue north of Peel Street. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Consider this an introduction to a collection of remarkable local residents. Some were here long before any of us were born and will be here long after we die; some are, comparatively, youngsters; one is dead. All of them — even the one that’s dead — contribute immeasurably to our town and ask little in return.

Your guide is Tom Mikel, coordinator of Fleming’s urban forestry programs. Each year he takes his students on a field walk to check out these residents, our Lindsay trees. Described here are the ones that always impress those students, that impressed me when he took me on a tour, and that might just impress you, too.

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250 trees and shrubs planted, spearheaded by Lindsay couple

in Environment by
This new forest will act as a windbreak, feed humans, animals, insects, and help with water run-off.

An incredible 250 trees and shrubs were planted recently at Lavender-Blu EcoFarm in Seagrave, spearheaded by a Lindsay couple who operate ‘Plant a Forest.’

Richard and Sandi Gauder’s ‘Plant a Forest’ concept is not an organization, though. It’s a grass roots concept: just buy trees and plant them, according to Richard Gauder.

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