A mid-19th-century fur trader checks out the pelts.

Springtime was trapping time

In the late 19th century, newspapers around Simcoe County published series in their papers, giving local pioneers a space to write about their experiences in the early days of settlement.Rev. Thomas Williams was probably the most prolific contributor, mostly to the Orillia Packet (before it merged with the Orillia Times). The Packet and the Barrie

BOB BOWLES/SPECIAL TO THE PACKET & TIMES Spotted and Jefferson Salamanders mating in ice cover vernal pools in Simcoe County in early April this year.

Birds springing up in area

One of the most interesting times of year for nature observations is early spring. Birds start to return from the south every year in March, with horned larks, red-shouldered hawks, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, turkey vultures, killdeer, eastern bluebirds and American robins. The flooded fields in March have large flocks of ducks, geese

Stefanie Moy-Shuster/Special to the Packet & Times Examples of 18th century enamelling.

18th-century enamelling no minor detail

Industrial espionage - that staple of modern thrillers, new product development and getting a jump on the competition - is nothing new. In the 18th century, so many new developments in industry and the arts happened at such a rapid pace, and trendsetting luxury goods were in such high demand that industrial spies were almost a dime a dozen. So, it

David Hawke/Special to the Packet & Times As we grapple with a rapidly-changing climate, we are also trying to fit a constantly-growing population into a space that environmentally can't support them. This double whammy has created an imbalance between our basic needs and what nature can provide. New ideas are needed, and both government bureaucrats and regular folk have to accept "the old ways" no longer apply.

Seeking a natural balance

Whether by accident or by design, Earth Day falls right smack dab between those depressing April showers and their proverbial result of uplifting May flowers. Good a time as any to reflect on our complex roles in the natural workings of this miraculous planet.If you're old enough to be reading this, then you will already be aware, at least in gener

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Tech co-workers wage Nerf wars in the office

Dear Amy: I'm a woman working for a software startup. We are all millennials. I really enjoy my job, except for this: Picture a group of (mostly male) software developers shooting Nerf guns at each other, with Nerf darts whistling past you, hitting windows, office equipment and other employees.

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Dr. Gifford-Jones seeks answers

This week, would readers help me answer a perplexing question? Your answer could be helpful to millions of people. I'm sure that very few in Canada and the U.S. have not witnessed a friend or loved one develop Alzheimer's disease (AD). First, some of the facts about this crippling malady.

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Some more thoughts on weight control

Weight control and exercise fall under the Youth Corridor umbrella for the obvious roles they play in a healthy body. Less critical, but not unimportant from our point of view, is the esthetic issue. There is little doubt that yo-yo weight gain and loss tests the capacity of skin to stretch, and then spring back into shape.

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