Moths:Amazing, beautiful, important and in need of study

Wood nymph moth (Photo by NCC)

Wood nymph moth (Photo by NCC)

Moths are amazing creatures that are only beginning to receive attention from naturalists. Many people have difficulties determining the difference between moths and butterflies. They can be similar-looking, as they both have scales that cover...

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The eastern subterranean termite: An introduced species in Ontario

Eastern subterranean termite (Photo by United States Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia Commons)

Eastern subterranean termite (Photo by United States Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia Commons)

Most of us in Ontario, I think it is safe to say, don't give a moments thought to termites, or realize that they are found in this region. In fact you are unlikely to ever meet the acquaintance of one, unless your house unfortunately becomes...

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It's the great pumpkin pollinator! Meet the squash bee

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)

At my house, Halloween is a frenzy of pumpkins — those lovely globes that throb with the vitality of summer. We carve them into frightening orange-skinned, ghoulish-grinned beasts set aglow by the light of beeswax candles. I fell in love...

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Where have all the pollinators gone?

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

Cold, cloudy weather at the preserves in September meant that most of the pollinators just stayed home. (Photo by Diana Robson)

After a summer filled with ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies, I was ready for a pest-free pollinator survey at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties near Riding Mountain National Park this September. Autumn field work can be quite...

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The search for an elusive species

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)

The black purse-web spider is not well known in Ontario. The species has been found occasionally across Southern Ontario, from Windsor to Belleville, including a recent find in Rouge Park in 2012. Interestingly, it belongs to the group of...

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Butterfly moments

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC)

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC)

"Just living isn't enough," said the butterfly, "one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flower." ~ Hans Christian Anderson Sometimes a place speaks to you. You may not even consciously notice it until you find yourself thinking of...

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Bring bees back to your garden

Bee pollinating a cherry tree (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff, NCC staff)

Bee pollinating a cherry tree (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff, NCC staff)

A few weeks ago, my mother texted me a photo of a shallow bowl with some rocks that she had set up beside her flowerbed. I didn’t have a clue what it was, and I told her as much. “It’s for my bumblebee,” she replied....

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Why not count some butterflies?

Identifying species at a CV butterfly count in Waterton (Photo by NCC)

Identifying species at a CV butterfly count in Waterton (Photo by NCC)

This summer, my 12-year-old son Benny and I enjoyed helping out with two butterfly themed events for Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Alberta; one at the Ghost Horse Hills, and the other at the Weston Family and Bruder properties along the...

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My native species bring all the pollinators to the yard

Bee pollinating a cherry tree (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff, NCC staff)

Bee pollinating a cherry tree (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff, NCC staff)

Now that spring has finally made its way across Canada (in some places it was slower in arriving than others), gardening season is in full swing! With all of the choices present at our local nurseries and big box stores, it is easy to get carried...

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The rapid return of bees to an early restored NCC property

Bombus (Photo by Sheila R. Colla)

Bombus (Photo by Sheila R. Colla)

I started working on a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property in the South Walsingham area of Norfolk County in 2007. It is a unique 400-acre (160-hectare) property. Historically, 150 acres (60 hectares) of the property were used to grow...

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