Alvar explorations of a wandering biologist (part one)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

“You are going to drive seven hours away to go walk around on flat rocks?” my Grandad asked when I told him about my planned trip to Malham Cove in the U.K. at the end of 2018. To most people, alvars, or limestone plains, as they are...

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Manitoba: More than what can be seen from the highway

Tall grass prairie, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Tall grass prairie, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

As you drive through Manitoba along the Trans-Canada Highway, you might get the impression that the province is flat and covered in aspen trees and agricultural lands. But there is much more to Manitoba than what can be seen from the...

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Enlighten yourself about species that glow

Fireflies (Photo by Zach Baranowski CC BY-NC-ND)

Fireflies (Photo by Zach Baranowski CC BY-NC-ND)

I had my first encounter with a “glow-in-the-dark” species when I was a child. My parents and I were visiting relatives in St. Catharines, Ontario, and we were in their backyard enjoying the warm, summer evening. In the distance, I...

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Adventures in the night: My foray into astrophotography

Located on Plymouth's doorstep, Dartmoor National Park is a vast moorland known for its forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). This photo is of Great Staple Tor with me in the foreground. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Located on Plymouth's doorstep, Dartmoor National Park is a vast moorland known for its forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). This photo is of Great Staple Tor with me in the foreground. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

“Are we almost there?” I ask my new friend Matt as we wander along a sea cliff on the north coast of Cornwall, U.K., shivering, in search of our shooting location for the evening. Although by Canadian standards the evening was balmy at...

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The seasons of nature: Witnessing an ever-changing landscape along the Agassiz Interpretive Trail

Agassiz Trail, MB (Photo by NCC)

Agassiz Trail, MB (Photo by NCC)

At the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Agassiz Interpretive Trail in southeast Manitoba, a change of seasons brings a different tune to the landscape. In spring, you may hear sharp-tailed grouse rustling in the forest or...

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Connecting with nature, people and snowshoes on Stony Mountain, Manitoba

Snowshoers at Stony Mountain Prairie Preserve, MB (Photo courtesy of Julie Sveinson Pelc/NCC staff)

Snowshoers at Stony Mountain Prairie Preserve, MB (Photo courtesy of Julie Sveinson Pelc/NCC staff)

Winter on Manitoba’s wide open prairies is cold, windy and dark, and it seems to go on forever. It is easy to hibernate indoors all winter, under a warm blanket by the fire, with a good book and warm drink, but I wanted this winter to be...

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From the ground up: How Bunchberry Meadows came to be a place for nature exploration

A winter hike on the Bunchberry Meadows property (Photo by Brent Calver)

A winter hike on the Bunchberry Meadows property (Photo by Brent Calver)

Just outside of one of Canada’s busiest cities lies an outdoor adventure waiting to be had, with trees as tall as the eye can see. Located just 30 kilometres from downtown Edmonton, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s)...

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Skis with wolves

Cross-country skiing in search of wolf tracks on the Kenauk property (Photo by Jaimie Vincent)

Cross-country skiing in search of wolf tracks on the Kenauk property (Photo by Jaimie Vincent)

What do you get when you combine a picturesque winter forest landscape, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and wolf surveying? A dream trip is what I would have said just a few weeks ago. The answer, however, is a very real adventure that I...

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Volunteer to learn

A lesson on vernal pools by Jenna Siu (Photo by Daniel Abdelmassih)

A lesson on vernal pools by Jenna Siu (Photo by Daniel Abdelmassih)

On September 29, 2018, I participated in my first Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Conservation Volunteers event. We planted 175 early succession native trees (i.e., trees typically found in young forests) in Happy Valley Forest to help take...

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Five reasons to go green this St. Patrick's Day

Boreal forest by Fort McMurray, AB (Photo by Michel Rapinski)

Boreal forest by Fort McMurray, AB (Photo by Michel Rapinski)

More common than a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt on St. Patrick’s Day, the colour green is all around us. Whether it’s the leaves in the trees, on your plate or the scarf of someone sitting across from you on public...

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