Heard it from a Scout: Leaving only footprints in nature

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

The view was incredible and the challenge of the hike up to the Eagle Bluffs in North Vancouver made it even more worthwhile. Ruby, my yellow lab, was happily sitting and begging for food from me and my Scout troop. Her behaviour was in stark...

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Overlooked plants and new discoveries: Moss and liverwort surveys in Manitoba

New liverworts to Manitoba on decaying log (Photo by Richard Caners)

New liverworts to Manitoba on decaying log (Photo by Richard Caners)

As part of updating the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Natural Area Conservation Plan for the Whitemouth River Watershed in southeastern Manitoba, I spent a day assisting Royal Alberta Museum botany curator and good friend Dr....

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Searching for worms in Ontario’s restored tall grass prairie

Ontario’s largest exotic earthworm, <i>Lumbricus terrestris</i>. (Photo by Heather Cray)

Ontario’s largest exotic earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris. (Photo by Heather Cray)

Looking across a beautiful stretch of native tall grass prairie in its full glory, the first thing that might strike you is, well, the grass; big bluestem, switchgrass, Indian grass, all of them might reach up to or above eye level. Then there are...

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This man's first sign of spring

Blue-winged olive (Photo by Paul Weamer)

Blue-winged olive (Photo by Paul Weamer)

For many, spring can often be hard to pinpoint. A botanist may list countless flowering plants, a birdwatcher may look to the skies in search of spring in the form of returning melodies, while Homo consumeris will notice the piles of winter...

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Hidden gems in the Darkwoods

Devil's Hole Lake (Photo by John Anonby)

Devil's Hole Lake (Photo by John Anonby)

In the Nelson Range of the southern Selkirk Mountains in eastern British Columbia lies a large area of great natural variety and beauty, much of which has been set aside to protect and manage its ancient forests and habitat for rare caribou herds...

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Finding peace in nature

Walking through a BC forest dripping with witch's hair lichen (Photo by NCC)

Walking through a BC forest dripping with witch's hair lichen (Photo by NCC)

Do you ever just wake up in a bad mood? Or something, or someone, has you unsettled? Sometimes the best way to clear your mood, and silence those “mice talking to each other in your head” (as my brother-in-law puts it), is to go for a...

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My winter hike at Big Valley

Looking out over Big Valley, SK. (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Looking out over Big Valley, SK. (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has a knack for giving their properties memorable names. On a (relatively) mild February day, I set out to get acquainted with Big Valley, north of Regina, at the southwestern edge of Last Mountain Lake in...

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Biting down on the eastern subterranean termite

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Watching a termite farm through a glass aquarium is fascinating, as you peer into the life of a mysterious species whose activities are normally hidden from view. Workers can be seen excavating tunnels, using their jaws to move soil grain by...

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February roundup: Conservation and nature stories that caught our eye this month

Roaming bison at Old Man on His Back ranch (Photo by Mark Taylor)

Roaming bison at Old Man on His Back ranch (Photo by Mark Taylor)

Every day, countless inspiring and informative stories are published about conservation successes or discoveries in nature and wildlife around the world. Here are some that caught our attention in February 2017: Nature’s butt...

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What nature means to an 89-year-old

Author Zoë and her granny standing beside Lake Ambleside in England. (Photo by Zoë Arnold/NCC staff)

Author Zoë and her granny standing beside Lake Ambleside in England. (Photo by Zoë Arnold/NCC staff)

At six months shy of 90 years of age, my granny Vera is a strong-willed (some might say stubborn) English woman. Each time she boards the double-decker bus, she insists on climbing the narrow, winding stairs up to the top deck. As the bus begins...

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