The Complete up North

The Complete up North

A Guide to Ontario's Wilderness From Black Flies to the Northern Lights

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A newly updated and expanded edition of the bestselling Up North books, this is an entertaining guide to Ontario's north for every cottager, camper, and nature lover.

Have you ever wondered how porcupines procreate? Or where you can best see the northern lights? Or how many fireflies it takes to equal the light of a 40-watt bulb? The answers to these questions -- and many, many more -- are in this lively and indispensable field guide to the plants and animals of Ontario's wilderness.

Filled with amusing trivia, easy-to-understand natural history, and little-known folklore, The Complete Up North is the perfect introduction and companion to Ontario's great outdoors. Naturalists Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner answer those questions we have always wanted to ask -- and many others we wish we'd thought to ask -- about plants, mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, clouds, the night sky, the weather, and the ground we walk on. Their infectious curiosity makes Up North as fun and interesting to read as it is useful to pack for a hike into the woods.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2010.
ISBN: 9780771011412
Branch Call Number: 508.7131 Ben 2010 9254mm 1
508.7131 Ben 2010 9254tv 1
Characteristics: 611 p. : ill., map.
Additional Contributors: Bennet, Doug
Scythes, Marta
Tiner, Tim
Alternative Title: Up north


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Jun 27, 2011

This book conjures up memories of long ago, of hot and humid days (and nights) spent at cottages around Huntsville or Peterborough or Georgian Bay. The rain has settled in for the duration and what was there to do in those days of party-lines; of no internet; nor DVDs; not even snowy TV reception in the hinterlands? So you had to resort to that pile of old magazines; Archie comic books; aged copies of TV Guide; Chinese Checkers, and paperback books, all damp, their high-acid pulp paper inevitably terminally moldy.
The Complete Up North would not be at all out of place in such a trove.
This is a thick book. At least by cottage standards . Almost an inch thick (everything was measured in inches back in those days) with almost six hundred pages in writing. The format is that of a lexicon: over 170 entries are included from Cormorants to Ospreys; from Leeches to Wild Sarsaparilla; from Beaked Hazel to Cassiopia. Most of these entries are given three or four pages of text as well as an extensive sidebar containing such jewels as, for example, the black fly: length 1 -5.5 mm.; flying speed: 1.7km/h; proportion of world’s crop pollinated by fly species: 19%
A neat book which could benefit from colour illustrations, this book would be helpful in whiling away those rainy interludes at the cottage or, even worse, in the tent. The school crowd working on “projects” would find this a useful source of material too. It’s a fun book that makes no great intellectual demands. It may even prove helpful tothose boning up for the world finals of Trivial Pursuit.
And now, I’m going on to look at the book’s scariest entry, the leech. Did you know that only three of the twenty species of leeches found in Ontario bite humans? And did you know the biggest of Ontario’s leeches, the giant horse leech, can grow to be up to 36 cm. long? That’s enough for me. I’m not going to as much as stick a toe into that lake: I don’t want to be nudged a few rungs down the food chain.

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