Backpack Essentials: Beat the bite

Backpack Essentials (Image by NCC)

Backpack Essentials (Image by NCC)

Summer is my favourite season. It’s the best time of year to be outside enjoying the sunshine. For mosquitoes, it is also a good time for them to feed on unsuspecting humans. In Canada, these blood-sucking creatures rarely carry deadly...

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Meadows for Monarchs

Meadows for Monarchs event participants (Photo by NCC)

Meadows for Monarchs event participants (Photo by NCC)

If you thought you saw more monarchs flitting about last summer and fall, you were right. Monarch Watch reported that 2018 was a good year for the iconic orange and black butterfly, thanks to a combination of aggressive conservation efforts in...

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Saving the bees: Plants to help our buzzing buddies

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

Humans have a very delicate relationship with bees. Despite their importance, many of us fail to understand just how much bees impact our daily lives — and how much we’re putting them at risk. Canada has over 850 native bee species,...

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Buzzing down the house: An update

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

This is an update to a post I wrote last year. The data has now been analyzed, and the results are ready for sharing. We commonly hear that bees are in decline and that we need to save them because they are important pollinators of crops and...

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Nature's most devoted mothers

Polar bear mother with cub (Photo by Scott Schliebe/Wikimedia Commons)

Polar bear mother with cub (Photo by Scott Schliebe/Wikimedia Commons)

Every day, millions of mothers around the world work tirelessly to protect and provide for their young. This Mother’s Day, learn about 10 mothers in the wild and the neat ways they take care of their offspring. Refrigerator mothers Polar...

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Enlighten yourself about species that glow

Fireflies (Photo by Zach Baranowski CC BY-NC-ND)

Fireflies (Photo by Zach Baranowski CC BY-NC-ND)

I had my first encounter with a “glow-in-the-dark” species when I was a child. My parents and I were visiting relatives in St. Catharines, Ontario, and we were in their backyard enjoying the warm, summer evening. In the distance, I...

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Open for business: Make your own insect hotel

An insect hotel (Photo by Marzena7 CC0)

An insect hotel (Photo by Marzena7 CC0)

Many insects and their relatives, such as ladybugs, wild bees, beetles and spiders, require shelter. Make your backyard or green space open for vacancy by making an insect hotel! Similar to a bee hotel, an insect hotel helps provide shelter for...

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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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Three reasons why it’s important to study winter

Me, my husband and dog bundled up during the polar vortex (Photo courtesy of Meghan Duell)

Me, my husband and dog bundled up during the polar vortex (Photo courtesy of Meghan Duell)

We tend to think of winter in temperate regions as cold, maybe snowy, maybe grey and with short daylight hours. Maybe you hate winter because you dislike feeling cold, having chapped skin, driving on icy roads and...insert weather problem here...

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Frick, I love nature: Comedy as nature education

"Frick, I love nature" logo (Photo by Stephen Robinson)

Last fall I was on a trip with my girlfriend on Vancouver Island. While there, we spent a good chunk of our time exploring its national parks and learning about how life survives in those particular ecosystems. While soaking it all in, I had a...

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