Saving the planet, one species at a time

Eastern mountain avens (Photo by June Swift)

Eastern mountain avens (Photo by June Swift)

Save the oceans. Save the rainforest. Save the planet. These are all incredible, daunting, pursuit-worthy goals, but to a student in Nova Scotia, these problems seem very distant. Although we ultimately all feel the effects of environmental...

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Finding peace in nature

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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After the clear-cut: A tale of resilience

Sun rising over the aspen forest (Photo by Emma Christensen)

When I think “clear-cut,” I automatically think habitat loss. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Pictures of ravaged swaths of cleared forest, punctuated by the upturned root systems of old-growth conifers, have been...

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Almost missing nature's boat

Volunteers at the Broom Bash event on James Island, BC (Photo by Ann MacDonald)

The alarm went off much too early that early winter morning. My body was heavy with sleep, covered in a sea of cozy blankets and it hurt to open my gluey eyes. I was tempted to silence the disturbance. The forecast was calling for rain and it was...

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My winter hike at Big Valley

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)

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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Heard it from a Scout: Hiking tips for rookies

Hiking in the Swiss Alps (Photo courtesy Scouts Canada)

The worst mistake I ever made while hiking was unintentionally stepping on a fresh cow patty. I would have been less embarrassed if it hadn’t happened while leading a group of giggly international Scouts. At the time, I was guiding in the...

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True North: A look at the NCC Magazine Winter 2017 issue

NCC Magazine Winter 2017

The winter 2017 edition of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Magazine — the cover adorned with a mother polar bear rambling toward the camera, with two cubs trailing behind — arrived in my mailbox on one of the...

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The hummingbird's igloo

Sweetiebird, an Anna's hummingbird, in her igloo. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I always thought of hummingbirds as warm-weather birds. So I was surprised to see an Anna's hummingbird building a nest in early February. I was even more surprised because it was its sixth nest in a year, built in our yard. I live in Victoria,...

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Love is in the air, and in the waters too

Mating arctic grayling (Photo by Charles Summers Jr.)

Did you know the amorous aura of Canada’s most romantic cities can be detected in nearby bodies of water? From coast to coast, and the rivers and lakes in between, there is no shortage of passion…among fishes. Coastal...

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