Make Your Own Hinterland Who’s Who Spot

If you are Canadian (not too young) you will remember Hinterland Who’s Who on TV. I think this is a great idea for anyone wanting to make their own programs/ videos.

  • Pick a topic (animals if you want to submit it to Hinterland).
  • Do some research.
  • Make your film/ video.

Now you’ve got your own documentary on video.

The same idea can work for urban, rural or any exploring you do. No need to start with something exotic, look into the history of your own home, an interesting place on your own street, or the local park. Start documenting!

Make Your Own HWW Spot


  • camcorder or digital camera with video and sound recording (optional)
  • video editing software, such as:
    • MAC: iMovie, Final Cut Pro
    • PC: Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro
  • voice recorder


Most Canadians who had television in the 1960s or 1970s will remember it — the haunting strains of a lone flute, the trademark theme of Hinterland Who’s Who. The series of 60-second vignettes was created to educate the public about this country’s native wildlife through excellent film footage, natural sounds, and relaxed narration.

Now, more than 40 years after the series’ introduction, Environment Canada (EC) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) have relaunched Hinterland Who’s Who in an effort to connect another generation of Canadians with their natural heritage. The new public-service announcements carry on the classic theme of the original vignettes but also address the need to conserve and protect native species and their habitat.


Here are some simple steps to make your Hinterland Who’s Who production a success:

  1. Decide on a Canadian wildlife species on which to make a video.
  2. Research basic elements about that species, including information such as:
    • appearance
    • where it lives in Canada
    • how to conserve the species

    Information on many Canadian species can be found at

  3. If possible, take your own footage of your chosen species using a camcorder or digital recording device, or find available footage online.
  4. If possible take pictures of your chosen species, or find available photos online. Make sure you get permission from the photographer first!
  5. Combining all the above information, write a short (60 second) video script that ties the species information and imagery together.
  6. Record all audio and combine all elements together, including HWW music and logo, in video editing software.
  7. Submit your video to, and where appropriate, videos will be posted online.

Source: Hinterland Who’s Who – Make Your Own HWW Spot

Roadside Memorials

Explore your own local area along the roadside. Don’t be an idiot with traffic but, when you can, pull over and take a better look at the roadside memorials. What can you find out about them? If you get a name it shouldn’t be too hard to track down the news story online.  You could have your own backyard urban/ rural exploration project.

An ongoing photography project documenting the many Roadside Memorials found along the backroads and highways. Ontario Roadside Memorial Tributes.

Source: Roadside Memorials | Ontario | Freaktography |

House Along the Highway (2006)

These photos are from two different trips to see this house. The first time I could not cross the field, past the barn. So my photos were taken from far back. But I did get a few photos of the crumbled shed and the actual house peeking around the barn.

Later I went back and walked to the house. It had a wonderful front door. Odd, but there were doors on three sides of the house. Inside was a lot of storage, turned to junk from animals, weather, etc.

This house went down sometime early this year, 2015, or possibly late in 2014. A Car in the Field 277822619 Broken Panes 294964647 Farmhouse by Highway 400 277822603 Farmhouse in the Distance 277822517 Farmhouse near Cookstown 277822536

Porch at the Back 294965663 Shed on the Farm 277822688 Side view 294964007 The Backside 294964361 The Doorless Side 294963702 The Fancy Front Door 294965036 The Front 294965410 The Old Farmhouse off Hwy 400 277822495 Through the Window 294965976 Tumbled Shed 277822576 Wrecked Shed 277822646

The House with a Face (2006)

I still think of this house as the one with the best face (it looked like a face to me).

I think this is the second house I explored, but not on my own. I’ve taken three different people/ groups to visit here. The last time (with the group) the house was demolished. That was sad.

This was also from 2006. I will add more photos from the other visits I made over the years while the house stood.



This House is Long Gone Now (2006)

I’m beginning to upload my photos from Flickr. Trying to sort them by location. This is the first abandoned house I visited on my own. These are from 2006. At some point I lost track of my original full sized photos for the first three of these. I will have them burned to a disk if I find it.

The house is long ago demolished. I didn’t get back for more photos in time. But, that was early on, when I thought it would be around a long time.houseonhill 236926880

I had to crawl under the gate to get up to the house. There was a big space underneath so it wasn’t hard. I still don’t go to places past the point I can easily get in. But, it is sometimes hard to resist a closer look. I love the old buildings themselves. Going inside is less interesting than seeing the outside details. Too often the inside doesn’t have much left to see, except a lot of trash (or trashed by vandals).

When I explored here I was using my first digital camera. I didn’t know about memory – how much I would need. I didn’t have a memory card because I assumed the memory in the camera would be plenty. It was pretty close… I ran out of memory just at the point I would have taken a look at the back of the house. I still walked around, just didn’t get photos.

After my adventure I was feeling pretty happy and thought I’d come back again to finish getting photos. I crawled back under the gate, got to my car… no keys. I had put them in my pocket but they fell out somewhere along the way. Luckily for me they were just at the gate. Likely fell out when I was leaving.

I learned quite a lot about urban exploring from my first time. Most of all, I learned not to count on any place still being there the next time around. doorway 236926868chair 236926847Just More Broken Windows 294950629 More from the Big House 294951708 Side View of the Hill House 294950921 Side View of the Hill House 294951287

Old Photos and Old Blog Posts

I haven’t updated my own photos to my Flickr account (or the groups I started there) since 2013. I feel guilty, sort of. Mostly I think I just ran out of steam. I have still been taking photos. Getting them up online was a routine for awhile and then I got behind and more behind and then drastically behind.

I still moderate at Flickr. I don’t login as often as I used to but I’m keeping the groups going. I like to see the new photos come in and (for the groups which I moderate for someone else) new photos can’t get posted without moderator approval. On my own groups I didn’t set them up that way. But, this means I have to have faith in people to post relevant photos. I’ve been really lucky or fortunate. I seldom need to moderate my groups for Ontario or Canadian explorers. Now and then someone posts a road trip photo, not understanding the idea of urban and rural exploration versus a road trip.

Anyway, I am merging older posts from my personal blog into this one so my older exploring and photos will be here, soon. I’ve started adding some but the old blog is a disorganized mess. It has been around since before the days of categories and tags. I’ve found posts which don’t have anything, not a title even. So, it is taking time to sort out the madness.

The nice thing about doing this is finding places I had forgotten about. I only hope all the photos will come along nice and easy as I move the posts over. At least it is another WordPress blog so it shouldn’t have a conflict that way.

Wish me luck!

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

urbanexplorationasciiartUrban exploration covers a lot of different types of exploring and people who explore. First, it’s modern exploration. Not unlike explorers in history who go where few others have gone before, but we tend to focus on what was built and then neglected. The things people may see every day but don’t get close for a good look.

Second, urban exploration is not about salvage or vandalism. Take only photographs and leave only footsteps – that’s the rule. Trespassing is part of it, but most of us have our own rules about how far we go. I will take as many photos as I can from the street when I can’t get closer. But, if access is available I will walk around the building and try to photograph it from all sides. Within reason. I don’t want to take too many risks and as a BBW woman I do watch where I step and avoid close encounters with wild animals too.

I very rarely enter a building. For me this is breaking and entering and not respecting the property of others. If someone were to complain about my being on the property and taking photographs they would have a lot more reason to complain if I were inside versus just walking around in the grass, rubble and abandoned gardens.

Of course, I mainly photograph abandoned farm houses in Ontario. So, there are not many people around when I am there. The few times someone has approached me it was out of curiousity (most often). I would usually get some history of the place from these people and they were happy to tell me all that they know once they knew I was there to document it and not doing anything to cause harm.

So that’s an introduction to this site and myself. You can read more about me on my other sites.

One other thing, the name of this site, Wrecky Rat Bird, comes from my nephew Zack. When he was a little boy we talked to him about the old abandoned places and he began calling them “wrecky rat bird” because they were wrecks with rats and birds living in them. I still call them all wrecky rat bird sometimes, so the name stuck even though the nephew is almost 19 now.

Vintage, Found and Hand Drawn Typography

I wrote a post for Word Grrls today about typography. At least that was how it started. Soon I discovered more about old lettering, found lettering and hand drawn lettering. Also, ghost signs, which have been a long time interest along with urban and rural exploration. So here are the links, reposted from the Word Grrls post. If I get looking for more (most of these are Flickr groups) I will add them in new posts. Eventually, all of these links will be in the web directory I want to get done. (It is started!)

Vintage Typography

Flickr: Font of all Wisdom – Unique vintage lettering.
Flickr: Historical Type and Lettering
Flickr: Vintage Product Signs/ Murals

Hand Lettering

Flickr: Hand Drawn Type
Flickr: Hand Lettering
Flickr: Typostruction
Flickr: Custom Lettering
Flickr: Signpaintr
Flickr: Handpainted Signs of the World
Flickr: Handmade Signs
Flickr: Handmade Typography/ Lettering
Flickr: Bad Type
Flickr: Folk Typography
Flickr: Blackboard Lettering

Found Typography

Flickr: Found Typography
Flickr: Urban Typography
Villa Type – Type and lettering found in the public domain.
Letterpeg – Fonts found around Winnipeg, Manitoba
NYC Type – Typography and lettering found in New York.
Flickr: Street Typography
Flickr: Found Type
Flickr: Signs, Signs
Flickr: Fontspotting
Flickr: I Love Typography
Flickr: Signage and Typography
Flickr: Font Whores
Flickr: Barn and Building Painted Advertisements

Ghost Signs

Flickr: Faded Signage
Flickr: Ghost Signs
Flickr: Old Painted Wall Advertising
Flickr: Old Signs
Flickr: Ghost Signage
Flickr: Ghost Ads
Flickr: Half Lost Signs
Flickr: Old British Signs
Flickr: Fragmented Urban Language

Also, I read a couple of posts in typography related blogs about sign painting becoming a lost art. So that is something else I will add to my to-do list. I am always interested in lost arts, like bookbinding. Industries and technologies falling into disuse as new technology evolves. The main downside (other than the employment issue) being repairs to old equipment and such still in use and requiring someone who knows the old ways to keep it going.

About Green Living History

Everything becomes history, everything has a history.

I thought about starting a new blog and began writing down ideas:

  • Holidays/ events, traditions with recipes, crafts, etc.
  • Pagan/ Wiccan/ spiritual topics.
  • Green living compared to old pioneer and etc. ideas.
  • Armageddon, science fiction ideas.
  • Urban and rural exploration.
  • Women in history.
  • Canadian history.
  • Folk tales, fairy tales and the paranormal.
  • Old things, vintage, antiques.
  • Arts and crafts from the past.
  • Local history and societies/ groups.
  • Survivalist theories.
  • Living off the grid.
  • Old words and phrases.

Then I narrowed down my ideas to three topics from the list. As I was looking at the list I realized all the topics connect in the theme of history. That was interesting. I enjoy history. But, so many people think it is dull when you present it as a topic of conversation. I think they are assuming history is all about long winded tomes in the library under attack by dust bunnies and cobwebs. History is so much more! See the list above.

So, here I am, starting history.