In nature, the ordinary can be awe-inspiring

NCC's Danielle Horne with dogwood (NCC photo)

NCC's Danielle Horne with dogwood (NCC photo)

My friends are good natured about going hiking with me. Those who aren’t naturalists know that it can often be slow. I find that there are so many interesting species out there, and sometimes the most beautiful sights can be found in the...

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First snow at Gillies Grove

Newly planted eastern white pine (Photo by NCC)

Newly planted eastern white pine (Photo by NCC)

There is something magical about the first snowfall of the year. As the coordinator of conservation biology for eastern Ontario with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), I’m lucky that I get to experience all of our beautiful properties...

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Hugging trees

Anwar Knight and I hugging a black oak tree in High Park.  (Photo courtesy of Anwar Knight)

Anwar Knight and I hugging a black oak tree in High Park. (Photo courtesy of Anwar Knight)

I’m walking along a well-beaten dirt path in a favourite forest. The brilliant early fall sunshine streams through the leaves, which are gradually dimming from their vibrant summer green to hues of yellow, gold and the first tinges of red. A...

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Opportunities that shaped my view on conservation and the environment

Wetland assessment in Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

Wetland assessment in Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

In June 2018, shortly after graduation from the University of Winnipeg, I began my first internship with the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Manitoba Region as a stewardship intern. The next year, I was fortunate enough to come...

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Heard it from a Scout: Safe food practices in nature

You're venturing into animal territory when camping. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

You're venturing into animal territory when camping. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

We can probably all agree that spending time outdoors is one of life’s simplest pleasures. A blanket of stars tucks you in at night, a chorus of bird calls welcomes you to the morning and the natural wonders keep you exploring all day. Not...

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The magic of nature

Denise Harris with her granddaughter (Photo by NCC)

Denise Harris with her granddaughter (Photo by NCC)

When I first started going to my neighbourhood park, I often saw disturbing human behaviour; some from children as young as three. In the "School of Life," where my field-testing on educating others about our waterfowl neighbours initially failed,...

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I like to be outnumbered

Maia Herriot in the field (Photo by NCC)

Maia Herriot in the field (Photo by NCC)

In my last week at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as the communications intern for the Saskatchewan Region, I found myself standing on a hill, in the rain, on one of our Qu’Appelle Valley properties. I was looking through my...

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Heard it from a Scout: 5 ways to reuse your Halloween pumpkin

Jack-o-lanterns (Photo from Creative Commons)

Jack-o-lanterns (Photo from Creative Commons)

During the Halloween season, a staggering number of pumpkins become jack-o-lanterns, welcoming trick-or-treaters on October 31. But by the next morning, we're left wondering how to reuse them. From recipes to candles, here are five creative ways...

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Ode to a nature commute – part 1, fall

Early fall along the Bow River (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Early fall along the Bow River (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Living in a city of a million people means noise, traffic, concrete and a need to go, go, go, right? What if I told you it also means immersing yourself in urban nature? The mighty Bow River flows through Calgary, and city planners had their...

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The clock is counting down: It’s time to have a tick talk

Adult deer tick (Photo by Scott Bauer/Wikimedia Commons)

Adult deer tick (Photo by Scott Bauer/Wikimedia Commons)

Whenever I hike with my non-naturalist friends, I give them the usual safety spiel: wear long sleeves and long pants, stay hydrated, watch for poison ivy and nettles, and bring along some bug spray. But, as of late, I find myself adding a fifth...

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