Emerald in the rough

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Deep in the heart of the Minesing Wetlands, southern Ontario’s third-largest wetland system, lives a mysterious creature. It is thought to inhabit only 50 distinct locations in the entire world, most of which are concentrated around the...

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A Canadian winter warrior

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

A few years ago, I became absolutely obsessed with finding a snowy owl. I would spend long car rides travelling to visit relatives, with my nose literally pressed against the glass (with my husband driving, I promise!), scanning every fence post...

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Rescuing roadside reptiles

Snapping turtle crossing the road, ON (Photo by NCC)

Snapping turtle crossing the road, ON (Photo by NCC)

It was a warm, late-June evening, while driving on a backroad near my home in Guelph, Ontario, when I saw a familiar sight up ahead: a car pulled off to the side of the road, at least one human standing on the road, looking concerned, and the dome...

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Magic shrubs: How to master live staking

Willow live stakes (Photo by NCC)

Willow live stakes (Photo by NCC)

I remember raising my eyebrows skeptically when my colleagues from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority told me that we were going to be cutting branches off of shrubs and hammering them into the ground along the Nottawasaga River to...

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Feeling happy about conservation

Kristyn Ferguson, spring monitoring, ON (Photo by NCC)

Kristyn Ferguson, spring monitoring, ON (Photo by NCC)

I was 21 years old, and I was going to save the world, starting with one particular forest. In 2004, during my third year of an undergrad degree at the University of Guelph, I took a course called "Problem-solving in Environmental Biology." My...

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Poems for Trees: Wilson Island

Wilson Island's cobble shores, Ontario (Photo by Michelle Derosier, Thunderstone Pictures)

Wilson Island's cobble shores, Ontario (Photo by Michelle Derosier, Thunderstone Pictures)

In August 2011 I visited the Wilson Island Archipelago with Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff Brenda Van Sleeuwen and former NCCer Laura Mousseau, along with Pays Plat First Nation seasonal employees Gary Bouchard and Andrew Wynne. Our goal...

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Poems for Trees: Nature close to home

Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)

Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)

This poem originally appeared in Kristyn Ferguson's blog Poems for Trees and is reposted with permission on Land Lines. The early morning sun sizzles orange Rays flicker across sleeping faces Roused by light, warmth and anticipation It’s...

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Poems for Trees: Barred owl

Barred owl (Photo by NCC)

Barred owl (Photo by NCC)

In early spring the world hovers in limbo Water drips and melts from tree branches and towering drifts Drizzling into rivers, sneaking across roadways, filling lakes with the cold, fresh promise of summer But night skies are frozen, laced with...

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Why did the turtle cross the road?

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

I didn’t expect one of the neatest experiences of my summer to happen while surveying the Minesing Wetlands for road mortality last June. In fact, I’d spent the day preparing myself mentally to have to make difficult observations of...

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What's flapping around in two Christmas Bird Count circles? (Part Two)

Bob and Mike checking out a flock of sparrows and finches (Photo by Kristyn Ferguson)

Bob and Mike checking out a flock of sparrows and finches (Photo by Kristyn Ferguson)

A ways up Highway 400 and across the top of Lake Simcoe from the Richmond Hill count circle (read about it in Part One), the Carden Alvar Christmas Bird Count took place on Saturday, January 2. It was a cold and dark morning when I left my house...

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