NCC's new Happy Valley Forest Hike Series

Participants listen in as Todd Farrell talks about the plants in Happy Valley Forest (Photo by Evelyn Senyi)

City, meet nature “How far do you think we are from Dundas Square?” It’s an odd question that Todd Farrell, coordinator of conservation biology in central Ontario for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), poses to a group of...

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O'piping plover where art thou?

Group shot at the Mather Lake census (Photo by Gail F. Chin)

2016 marks the 5th international census of the piping plover population. Recently, I joined the Saskatchewan chapter of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in a two-day count at Mather Lake and Shoe Lake West in an area of central southern...

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Where are the monarchs?

Monarch butterfly (Photo by André Sarrazin)

Even as we delve deeper into the mysteries of the monarch butterfly’s migration, we still know very little about its breeding habits in the northern part of its range. To get to the bottom of the mystery, a group of experts has gotten...

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Getting down at the Yellow Quill Prairie

The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve on a sunny day (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Last week I started my field season by getting down on my hands and knees to collect plants and pollinators at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve south of Brandon, which is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. While that may not...

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In the eye of an osprey

Osprey in flight (Photo by Lorne)

Osprey in flight (Photo by Lorne)

Since the publishing of “An osprey family affair,” I’ve made three trips to a primary nest site to witness the arrival of the Kawartha Lakes osprey this spring. As a photographer, waiting up to four hours for even a short burst,...

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Wise seedling spree

Seedlings ready to be planted (Photo by NCC)

When I went on to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) website and read over the Conservation Volunteers (CV) events, I noticed the Wise Seedling Spree. I had planted trees before when my son was in Cubs and Scouts. I registered myself for the...

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In praise of perch power

Yellow perch swimming (Photo by USDA)

When I was 10 years old, I spent my first morning on Lake Erie reeling in yellow perch. By early afternoon, we caught our legal limit, and I found out first-hand why these little striped bandits are a great way to introduce kids to fishing and...

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How to be a botanist

One of the most beautiful of Happy Valley blooms is the fringed gentian flower. (Photo by Dr. Henry Barnett)

One of the most beautiful of Happy Valley blooms is the fringed gentian flower. (Photo by Dr. Henry Barnett)

You may know from my previous posts that I consider myself an amateur botanist and spend time associating with several naturalist and conservation organizations, including the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). I try to share my experience and...

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Darwin, phoebe and International Biodiversity Day

Eastern phoebe (Photo by John Benson, Wikimedia Commons)

I saw an eastern phoebe yesterday. Phoebes are small and drab birds, they don’t have a pretty song, they don't do anything particularly endearing, other than bob their tails when perched on branches. I know, I know...big deal. Phoebes...

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Wild bees in the grasslands

A summer storm gathers over NCC’s Fort Ellice prairie (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

In 2015, I had the good fortune to spend a second summer conducting pollination research on beautiful grasslands in western Manitoba. As described in my previous post, I have been investigating landscape effects on pollination service in...

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