A Canadian winter warrior

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

A few years ago, I became absolutely obsessed with finding a snowy owl. I would spend long car rides travelling to visit relatives, with my nose literally pressed against the glass (with my husband driving, I promise!), scanning every fence post...

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One human's trash is an endangered snake's treasure

Gray ratsnake (Photo by Jessica Ferguson)

I spent my summer radio-tracking a female gray ratsnake and assessing habitat characteristics in Norfolk County, for Natural Resource Solutions Inc. (NRSI), an ecological consulting company based in Waterloo, Ontario, and Ontario Nature, a...

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Good things happen when you take your class outside

Jenna Siu leading the group at Nature Days, Happy Valley Forest (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

In many urban areas, children and families lack access to nature and the freedom to explore local plants and animals. Anxiety levels, attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) and antisocial behaviour in children is on the rise, and, it's said, that the...

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Winter strategies for at-risk birds

Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Now that I’m hunkered down for the cold winter season, I often find myself reminiscing about summer days and the colourful feathered friends that have long departed for warmer climates. Yearning for a trip somewhere warm, I wonder, what...

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Tracking eastern loggerhead shrikes

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of USFWS)

Eastern loggerhead shrike (Photo by Dave Menke, courtesy of USFWS)

Driving past the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Napanee Plain Alvar Nature Reserve, north of Napanee, Ontario, you might not notice anything overly special about the site. In fact, if you didn’t stop to have a closer look, you might not...

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From chaotic to biotic

Forest along Long Tusket River, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

There’s a new breed of problem emerging, and these problems are making a lot of people uncomfortable. Aptly named “wicked problems” because of their complex and high uncertainty, they're defined by having multiple contradicting...

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Painting Big Trout Bay

Réjean Roy. <i>Piercing light, McKellar Point </i>[cropped], 2017. Oil on panel, 24 x 30 inches. © Réjean Roy

The pursuit of art is a solitary endeavour. Most artists tend to follow their own personal lead, motivated by self-expression. Even though their muse might be an object, person or an event, they recognize inspiration by being attuned to their own...

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Winter is for the birds

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

When the temperature drops and fall colours give way to bare trees and snowy scenes, we tend to huddle up for the winter. Much like the natural world, we either take off somewhere warm or enter a state of torpor, often staying in to conserve our...

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Halloween monsters rooted in nature

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves have changed, the air has cooled and the pumpkins have been carved. You know what that means — it’s Halloween! This spooky custom has always been my favourite. Growing up, I always took the opportunity to dress up as the...

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Coming home to NCC

Teamwork makes the dream work (Photo by NCC)

I don’t claim to be an expert on every inch of Ontario's Frontenac Arch. One summer as a conservation technician with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is nowhere near enough time to explore everything, but in 2016, the wetlands, rock...

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