Naturely Speaking


Jim Ferguson and his young protégé, grandson Jack Cruise.


Naturalist and educator Jim Ferguson, who lives in Ontario’s Ottawa Valley, has always had an interest in things wild and natural: birds, animals, insects and anything that lives in the water.

His love for hiking and camping in the out-of-doors began as a youth during his years as a Cub with Scouts Canada. During high school and university, athletics and studies took over but once Jim began teaching his interest in nature returned and became an intergral part of his classrooms and career.

In 1980, Jim began writing a column about birds for the Renfrew Mercury. When readers requested stories about other things natural, Jim introduced a second column entitled ‘Naturely Speaking’ in the Renfrew Weekender. This writing lead to appearances on CBC’s Radio Noon with Rob Clipperton and Dave Stevens.

Now retired, Jim spends time on the elementary and secondary panels of local schools presenting programs and seminars in natural history. “It is a wonderful subject and making the presentations to groups of all ages certainly adds to my enthusiasm for the out-of-doors. Come out and join me!”


Jim invites emails from interested conservationists of all ages!


The CFA is proud to present several of Jim’s most popular columns:

Lunas, Lunas, Lunas

Little Brown Bats

A Coat of Many Quills

The Butterflies-in-Your-Stomach Blues

Butterflies Prepare for Winter

For the Monarch, A Long Journey Both Coming and Going

The Early Plant Gets the Sunshine

How Sweet It Is — Maple Sugar That Is!

Could We Not See the Trees for the Forest? (Maple Genus)

The Plant That Makes Us Hop on One Foot (Thistle)

Called Many Names But Often the Wrong One (Daddy Longlegs)

They Get the Vibrations (Fish)

Peat – Only Good When It Turns Bad

Paul Bunyan Started It All (Horse Snowshoes)

The Cross and The Square – Two Constellations

When is a Red Fox, Not a Fox?

Your Local Wildwood Pharmacy (Wintergreen)

A Horrible Thought, No Doubt! (Insects)

The Milk Snake – False Impression, False Name

The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail – A Rare Treat