Emerald in the rough

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Deep in the heart of the Minesing Wetlands, southern Ontario’s third-largest wetland system, located just 15 minutes west of Barrie, Ontario, lives a mysterious creature. It is thought to inhabit only 50 distinct locations in the entire...

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How a hidden forest valley is a big opportunity for conservation

Photo assignment for NCC is a journey into a pristine habitat that will make a difference in southwestern Ontario. (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Towering hemlocks reaching for the sky. A deep and rugged valley covered with ferns. A coldwater stream flowing over and under moss-covered fallen pine trunks. Just the thought of these scenes makes my mind wander yet again to northern...

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A soft spot for the infamous predator: Wolves

Gray wolf (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The timber wolf, also known as the gray wolf, is common in northwestern Ontario, where I have worked and lived for nearly 40 years. Common, but not always safe.I have a soft spot for predators such as wolves. In part because they are beautiful...

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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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