Bees and wasps a buzzin'

Bees have a good reason to be wary of crab spiders. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

Bees have a good reason to be wary of crab spiders. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

Through social media, I learned about the humble bumblebee’s need for drinking water. A need, no doubt, that has arisen as a result of prolonged droughts, loss of wetland habitats and loss of biodiversity. I was asked to incorporate a bee...

Continue Reading »

The void of indifference

American badger near its burrow (Photo by Gerald A. DeBoer/Shutterstock)

I often take forays out to wilderness areas for what I call it my sanity break. So it was one August afternoon, as I turned my vehicle down a gravel road, that I made an abrupt stop. There, about a quarter of a mile away, I spotted some creature...

Continue Reading »

Granny cannot walk on water

Wetlands at Reiser property, AB (Photo by NCC)

Early this September, I participated in a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Conservation Volunteers (CV) event at the Reiser property, located approximately 115 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. I knew it would be a challenge, in part because of...

Continue Reading »

Lessons learned from Mother Goose: How I learned to appreciate Canada geese through three seasons of careful observation

Canada goose (Photo by Denise Harris)

Sometimes we don’t know what we have until we lose it, and that is exactly how I feel about Canada geese this spring. This year, I have discovered the territorial a flock of Canada geese who conveniently bred in my urban backyard for the...

Continue Reading »

Hope is...

Denise Harris, Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary, AB (Photo by NCC)

Denise Harris, Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary, AB (Photo by NCC)

As I head into my 10th season with the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) Conservation Volunteers program, I am disturbed by news regarding climate change impacts, species extinction and so on. But whenever life’s challenges pop up, I...

Continue Reading »

Mother’s Day

Canada goose (Photo by Denise Harris)

Canada goose (Photo by Denise Harris)

When I think of a mother I think of my own mother who gave selflessly and tirelessly her entire life. My mother worked from dawn ‘til late every night, 365 days of the year. She was always busy with an endless list of chores. From growing...

Continue Reading »

When the walls came down

Volunteers at the Bears in Mind event help bring down an old structure on NCC property (Photo by NCC)

Volunteers at the Bears in Mind event help bring down an old structure on NCC property (Photo by NCC)

As I journeyed south on Highway 2 to participate in the Bear(s) in Mind Conservation Volunteers (CV) event, I pondered the cloudy skies hanging low over the mountains. Was this to be a cold and soggy day or would our historical luck for nice...

Continue Reading »

Robin

Robin (Photo by Lee Karney, USWFS)

Robin (Photo by Lee Karney, USWFS)

When I was a year old my parents moved to a quarter section of bush where they built a farm. I would guesstimate that 95 per cent of what our family ate was grown on that farm. To build the nutrients up in the field’s clay soil Dad planted...

Continue Reading »

A summer for nature

Denise Harris, Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary, AB (Photo by NCC)

Denise Harris, Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary, AB (Photo by NCC)

So why did I take the summer off to volunteer for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)? Well, let’s see. Several years ago, at the first NCC event I ever participated in, I was greeted with an undulating purple sea of four-foot-tall...

Continue Reading »

Ermine

Weasel (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, U.S. National Parks Service)

Weasel (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, U.S. National Parks Service)

It was a winter afternoon, warmed by the brightness of the sun, as I sauntered along the park’s walking trail. The air was crisp, refreshing and invigorating. I felt relaxed and my spirits were buoyed by the peace and tranquility of the...

Continue Reading »