Greenspace makes for great headspace

Hikers in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

Hikers in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

The natural world has always been my fall-back position. Whenever life got too busy, scary or stressful or even when it was at its most fulfilling, I seemed to want, in fact to need, to find some green space to process it all, for a while. As a...

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Discovering the natural wonders of Manitoba

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

Fort Ellice, Riding Mountain (Photo by NCC)

I grew up in southwestern Manitoba, living only a few minutes from both the American and Saskatchewan borders, and I have remained in the province while completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees. In the past year, I spent a lot of time...

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Adapting to realities: From conservation science to sleeping outdoors

Evening sky at Old Man on His Back Ranch, SK (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj)

Evening sky at Old Man on His Back Ranch, SK (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj)

I was about a half hour out of Saskatoon when I realized I had forgotten to pack my tent. It was the middle of September and I was planning on camping at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Old Man on His Back Prairie and...

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Celebrating Canadian species: Swift fox

Swift fox cub and its mum (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

Cub and mum. (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

My unsuccessful search for the elusive swift fox has spanned nearly a decade.It was 2008, the winter semester of my first year at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta, when I first learned about the history of swift fox in Canada. The smallest...

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Why Canada’s prairies are the world’s most endangered ecosystem

Old Man on His Back rolling prairie, Saskatchewan (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj)

Old Man on His Back rolling prairie, Saskatchewan (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj)

Ask any Canadian kid to name the world’s most endangered ecosystem, and chances are you’ll hear one of the following answers: 1) rainforests; 2) coral reefs; 3) leave me alone. Ignoring the last answer, there’s a good reason why...

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The perfection of the morning redux: Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area

Morning sun shines on the grassy plains at OMB (Photo by Gail F. Chin)

Getting up at 5 a.m. to catch the morning sun cast blinding rays across the grassy plains at Old Man on His Back (OMB), I stood in the receding darkness in awe of the sublime. There was no silence! The din of insects carried on. An occasional...

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Tin cans, a Mormon cricket and a UFO landing pad: One perspective on the Conservation Volunteers weekend at Old Man on His Back

Tin cans capping fence posts (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

I understand there are likely to be a couple more Land Line blogs about the recent Conservation Volunteers (CV) weekend at the (inhale) Old Man On His Back Prairie Heritage and Conservation Area (OMB) (exhale), so let me give you my take on the...

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A walk through the prairies with Jared Clarke (Podcast)

Aerial view of Fairy Hill South, Saskatchewan (Photo by Shaylee Booty Sebastian)

Aerial view of Fairy Hill South, Saskatchewan (Photo by Shaylee Booty Sebastian)

After work on April 25, I went out with Jared Clarke from The Prairie Naturalist radio show (CJTR community radio) to Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC's) Fairy Hill property. Our conversation starts after we’ve walked down the hill...

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Wild bees in the grasslands

A summer storm gathers over NCC’s Fort Ellice prairie (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

In 2015, I had the good fortune to spend a second summer conducting pollination research on beautiful grasslands in western Manitoba. As described in my previous post, I have been investigating landscape effects on pollination service in...

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Alberta's ranching evolution (Part Three)

Waldron, Southern Foothills, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Waldron, Southern Foothills, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

For just over 130 years, the western rangelands of southern Alberta have been the cradle of the stock-raising industry. As long as the prairie grasses have been allowed to perpetuate themselves, the cow and the calf have been able to harvest a...

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