Fescue findings

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

As I near the end of my two years of pollinator research in the fescue prairie, I’ve been wondering what it all means. In particular I’ve been thinking about how the pollinator communities in fescue prairies are different than in the...

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Tailing biologists on a local "bat blitz" near Osoyoos

The big ears, strong bite and honey-coloured downy fur make this rare male pallid bat distinctive. (Photo by Richard McGuire)

The big ears, strong bite and honey-coloured downy fur make this rare male pallid bat distinctive. (Photo by Richard McGuire)

It’s Sunday afternoon and I have a date with a large group of biologists conducting a bat blitz at the Sage and Sparrow Conservation area [in BC's Okanagan region]. The forecast is calling for a severe thunderstorm, but I have no way to...

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Birds of Old Man on His Back

Barn swallow nesting at OMB interpretive centre (Photo by Dr. Steve Zack)

Barn swallow nesting at OMB interpretive centre (Photo by Dr. Steve Zack)

I moved to southwestern Saskatchewan in 1969 when I married a farmer/rancher whose land adjoins the Old Man on His Back Prairie Heritage and Conservation Area (OMB) on the south side. As a newcomer to the prairie, I had lots of fun learning about...

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Pollination deception: Manitoba’s lady’s slipper orchids

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

In Manitoba we have several species of lady’s slipper orchids, but the two I am most interested in, and have researched, are the yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) and the provincially endangered small white lady’s...

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The incredible journey

Well worth the trip: the Okanagan Valley from above (Photo by Catherine Dale)

Well worth the trip: the Okanagan Valley from above (Photo by Catherine Dale)

“We’ve got rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and…rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and water…in Canada.” As I glanced through the car window to the distinctive...

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What’s the buzz on bees at the Cowichan Preserve?

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve flowers, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve flowers, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

You’ve probably seen it in the news: bees are in trouble. There has been a lot of press about managed honeybees that have been introduced to North America for pollination and honey. Unfortunately, we also know that many wild bees are also...

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Conversations in the forest: The roots of nature's equanimity

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Misty Darkwoods forest, British Columbia (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and...

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Lichen hotspot discovered on Prince Edward Island

North Enmore nature reserve, PEI (Photo by Troy McMullin)

North Enmore nature reserve, PEI. Lichen-rich woodlands are in the background. (Photo by Troy McMullin)

In the fall of 2014 my colleague, Rachel Deloughery, and I travelled throughout Prince Edward Island in search of lichen. We visited 63 locations that had the potential of being good lichen habitat. Many of the areas were rich with lichens, but...

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Blazing ahead of climate change: The potential for assisted migration of Alberta’s native plants

The northern blazing star is being used to test assisted migration as a climate change conservation tool. (Photo by ABMI)

The northern blazing star is being used to test assisted migration as a climate change conservation tool. (Photo by ABMI)

It’s the Goldilocks principle. All species, including plants, animals and fungi, are uniquely adapted to a specific combination of climate and environmental conditions that they need to grow, reproduce and thrive; things need to be...

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Historical ecology: Probing the mysteries of ancient landscapes

A sunny Garry oak savannah (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A sunny Garry oak savannah (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A challenge for humans in our attempts to manage ecosystems is that we’re often dealing with beings much longer lived than ourselves. For example, a Douglas-fir tree can live to be 800 years old or more. A century is a long time for a human,...

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