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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My (grizzly) neighbours - Part Two

Grizzly bears attempt to corner a horse.

Grizzly bears attempt to corner a horse in the Tatlayoko Valley. (Photo by NCC)

If you followed Part One of my grizzly bear chronicle, you'll know my motto to, "never leave the house without a camera." Over the years, I've captured many images, too many for a single posting so I have singled out bears as being the most...

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My (grizzly) neighbours - Part One

No need for coffee when you see this vision outside the kitchen window first thing in the morning. (Photo by Peter Shaughnessy)

No need for coffee when you see this vision outside the kitchen window first thing in the morning. (Photo by Peter Shaughnessy)

Never leave the house without a camera...and a spare battery. I learned that lesson well over the past 27 years while living and working in British Columbia’s Tatlayoko Valley and I will explain why. But first, where is Tatlayoko? It is a...

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Beyond the boardwalk at the Garry oak preserve

BC Garry Oak (Photo by Tim Ennis NCC)

I’ve been wanting to visit the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC's) Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve since we moved here, but as an endangered ecosystem it’s not open to the general public. We’d wandered the (short) boardwalk...

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Why I'm hooked on birding at the Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory

Avery Bartels with a sharp-shinned hawk (Photo by Kristie Foster)

Avery Bartels with a sharp-shinned hawk (Photo by Kristie Foster)

Many years before I was born my parents bought eight acres (three hectares) with a small cabin on it near Nelson BC. As their family grew, so did their humble abode to accommodate my four siblings and me. From as early as I can remember I have...

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Bloomin' flowers at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

In Bloom Wildflower Festival, Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by NCC)

In Bloom Wildflower Festival, Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by NCC)

Here in the BC Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, one of our favourite conservation projects is the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve. It's a favourite because there is so much that goes on there — university research, Conservation...

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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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Ecosystem restoration: A practice of patience

Wetlands on Columbia Lake - Lot 48 (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Wetlands on Columbia Lake - Lot 48 (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

I am an immediate gratification kind of person. If there is something I can do now to see results now, I will go the extra mile just to feel that satisfaction. Sometimes this means sleep deprivation or failed attempts to learn something new; like...

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The year the bluebirds stayed the winter

A pair of western bluebirds is spotted in March prospecting for nestboxes at a territory that has not been used by bluebirds since 2013. (Photo by Trudy Chatwin)

A pair of western bluebirds is spotted in March prospecting for nestboxes at a territory that has not been used by bluebirds since 2013. (Photo by Trudy Chatwin)

In Canada, conservation activities for the western bluebird normally begin in earnest in late March or early April, timed with the arrival of the first birds returning from migration to their breeding grounds. But it was only mid-January when we...

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There's no place like home

Catherine Dale with bluebird (Photo by Angela Boag)

Catherine Dale with bluebird (Photo by Angela Boag)

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.” ~ Henry David Thoreau It seems to be an immutable law of nature photography (at least in my experience) that anything mobile will move the second you’ve gotten your camera ready,...

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