My (grizzly) neighbours - Part One

No need for coffee when you see this vision outside the kitchen window first thing in the morning. (Photo by Peter Shaughnessy)

No need for coffee when you see this vision outside the kitchen window first thing in the morning. (Photo by Peter Shaughnessy)

Never leave the house without a camera...and a spare battery. I learned that lesson well over the past 27 years while living and working in British Columbia’s Tatlayoko Valley and I will explain why. But first, where is Tatlayoko? It is a...

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Giants of the forest: My father's discovery of Ontario's tallest white spruce

White spruce bark (Photo by Rob Duval, Wikimedia Commons)

White spruce bark (Photo by Rob Duval, Wikimedia Commons)

When I was young we lived in Cochrane and Dad worked for the Department of Lands and Forests (now the Ministry of Natural Resources) as a forester. Around 1958 or 1959 he was cruising a lease for Abitibi somewhere in the Hudson’s Bay...

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Barnacle Bill: The loggerhead turtle of Belize

Left to right: Will Cascadden, the divemaster and Katie Cascadden (Photo courtesy of Katie Cascadden)

Left to right: Will Cascadden, the divemaster and Katie Cascadden (Photo courtesy of Katie Cascadden)

Last May my dad and I took a trip down to the beautiful country of Belize for a diving trip. Once at the docks off of Belize City, we had a two-hour boat ride we arrived at the Blackbird Caye of the Turneffe Atoll. Two days later on our second...

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On discovering Ontario’s tallest tree

Standing with Ontario's tallest pine (Photo by NCC)

Standing with Ontario's tallest pine; L to R: Katilijn Hester MacAfee, William White, local citizen, Steve D’Eon, local citizen (Photo by NCC)

Nature does not thank us for protecting nature reserves. But left to its own devices, it does offer up hidden rewards and ecological gifts for us to discover. We just found one of these natural gems in a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)...

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My Singapore turtle encounter

Red-eared slider (Photo by Maggie Cascadden/NCC staff)

Red-eared slider (Photo by Maggie Cascadden/NCC staff)

Conservation is different in every country. In Canada, for example, we have land protected at the national, provincial and municipal level, as well as privately through organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada. But what do you do if...

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A pilgrimage to the great Thessalon pine

White Pine (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

White Pine (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

When a giant tree falls in the forest, does it make a giant sound? One thing is for sure, when the Giant White Pine of Thessalon collapsed in 1997, it must have scared the heck out of local wildlife. And it would have been really shocking to any...

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Confessions of an NCC tour guide: Day Two

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

With still lots of ground to cover we headed out bright an early for a hike through the Elk Glen. Our trail wound through a beautiful mixed wood forest, opening up into a beautiful, hilly fescue prairie. I diligently explained to Lisa and...

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Confessions of an NCC tour guide: Day One

Riding Mountain Natural Area, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Riding Mountain Natural Area, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

This past October, four of us ladies (...women, females, gals...ya let's go with gals) from the Manitoba Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) embarked on a two-day survey of NCC properties across three natural areas. The purpose of...

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40 years of adventures at Lac du Bois

Ian Barnett surveys the landscape at Frolek Ranch, Lac du Bois, BC (Photo by Brendan Matthews)

Ian Barnett surveys the landscape at Frolek Ranch, Lac du Bois, BC (Photo by Brendan Matthews)

In the mid-1990s much of the grasslands and open forests situated near my home in Kamloops, BC were made a provincial park due to the unique flora and fauna present and the need to conserve shrinking native grassland habitat in BC. In 2008, the...

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Lichen hotspot discovered on Prince Edward Island

North Enmore nature reserve, PEI (Photo by Troy McMullin)

North Enmore nature reserve, PEI. Lichen-rich woodlands are in the background. (Photo by Troy McMullin)

In the fall of 2014 my colleague, Rachel Deloughery, and I travelled throughout Prince Edward Island in search of lichen. We visited 63 locations that had the potential of being good lichen habitat. Many of the areas were rich with lichens, but...

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