An ode to narwhal (Part One)

Narwhal (Illustration by David Scheirer)

a pod of magic /breaks through the floe /what a peculiar way / (Inspired by Moby Dick) The whale series returns with Ishmael’s nostril whale, a.k.a. the narwhal. Whether you pronounce its name nar-wall or nar-whale, this creature’s...

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Understanding the buzz of bees

Honey bee (Photo from Bees Matter)

For residents of northern Alberta, the coming of spring is never a guarantee of the mild weather it suggests; but this year we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the seasonal warmth. The bees here have also appreciated the early thaw, with many...

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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)

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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The prolific nature of the hummingbird

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I had no idea how many nests a hummingbird could build in a year. In fact, I hardly thought about hummingbirds at all until Sweetiebird entered our lives. Sweetiebird revealed herself to us by fluttering out of the pear tree in our backyard every...

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This man's first sign of spring

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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Broaden your view of nature

Enjoying the view at NCC's exhibit on Wideview at the Art Gallery of Regina. (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Put your hand up if you would like to experience plains bison grazing their way around your living room walls. Sure, as long as they don’t make a mess on the carpet, you might say. Well, recently Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) offered...

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Heard it from a Scout: The business of bees

Female squash bee on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

Female squash bee covered in pollen on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

Everything in our world is connected. So when you get a group of species dying at an extremely rapid rate, such as bees, it not only affects them, but humans and other species too. Pollinators provide a monumental impact on wild plants and crops,...

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Hidden gems in the Darkwoods

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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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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