Demystifying spooky species this Halloween

Black purse-web spider (Photo by Rob Craig, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Black purse-web spider (Photo by Rob Craig, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Why do some species spook us more than others? Some say it is an evolutionary adaptation, some say it is irrational fear, while still others say that is because some (like spiders) are always shrouded in myths. If you’re not a fan of...

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Thirteen spooky facts about Canadian bats

Big brown bat <i>(Eptesicus fuscus)</i> (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

There are 19 known bat species in Canada. Although they are subjected to a spooky stigma around Halloween, they’re nothing to be afraid of. Here are 13 things you didn’t know about this not-so-scary mammal: 1. The snooze button....

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Visiting coastal heathlands on Walk With NCC Day

Walking on the Barrens in NS (Photo by NCC)

Walking on the Barrens in NS (Photo by NCC)

On a sunny October morning, a group of enthusiastic hikers enjoyed a fall walk through the coastal heathlands on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Dr. Bill Freedman Nature Reserve in Nova Scotia. Our walk started off with a...

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Something's Fishy: Ghosts of fishes past

A 60-day-old American paddlefish <i>(Polyodon spathula)</i> fry (Photo from Wiki Commons)

A 60-day-old American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) fry (Photo from Wiki Commons)

They’re there, lurking the depths of Canadian lakes and rivers, unseen by humans or other fishes. Ghosts of fishes extirpated or extinct from waters across Canada haunt other species and scientists alike. Their absence leaves an impression...

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Something pumpkiny this way comes

Pumpkins (Photo by Nino Barbieri, Wikimedia Commons)

Pumpkins (Photo by Nino Barbieri, Wikimedia Commons)

It’s that time of year when we experience fall everywhere we go: brisk air, turned leaves, harvest displays, the donning of warmer apparel and more. This festive atmosphere becomes even more pronounced with the coming of Thanksgiving, and no...

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Tweeting on the Toronto Blue Jays (and their bird counterpart)

Blue jay <i>(Cyanocitta cristata)</i> (Photo by NCC)

Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) (Photo by NCC)

Let's go Blue Jays, let's go! To help you cheer on the Toronto Blue Jays, here are some handy tweetable facts about the bird from which they get their name. Just like the base-stealing...

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Something’s Fishy: Swimming with the sculpin

Deepwater Sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) (Photo by Doug Watkinson/Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsonii) (Photo by Doug Watkinson/Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

The first time I saw a sculpin splashing around was in a large bucket, among several other fish species, captured for a population survey of small creek on a piece of residential land. I was working with the Central Lake of Ontario Conservation...

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The biggest nature lesson I learned from kids

Children walking in the woods, Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Children walking in the woods, Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Years ago I worked at an overnight summer camp as its nature director. My main role was to teach and help campers discover the beauty of Mother Nature. I was given very few guidelines, other than it was highly recommended that I take the campers...

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Leaving no trace during outdoor adventures

Leaving no trace during outdoor adventures (Graphic by Fix.com)

Leaving no trace during outdoor adventures (Graphic by Fix.com)

Anyone lucky enough to spend a significant amount of time in the wilderness can appreciate pristine nature… and they have likely seen people’s negative impacts on the outdoors. No one heads down a trail or to a campsite planning to...

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#HowToNature series: How to butterfly

Cranberry blue. (Photo by Claire Elliott/NCC intern)

Cranberry blue. (Photo by Claire Elliott/NCC intern)

Though August may be drawing to a close, butterfly season is not over yet. Many of Canada’s 200 plus species of butterflies remain active well into the fall. Below are some tips to take with you into the field next time you go out searching...

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