Treasure hunting: The quest for queen snakes

Queen snake found on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula in 2017. When these snakes are observed, not only do we look for signs of snake fungal disease, we also examine them for signs of injury and measure them so we can better understand the number of young versus adults in the population. (Photo by NCC)

Paddling across the lake, fellow staff from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and I couldn’t contain our excitement. It was the first day of our annual queen snake surveys, and we were all curious about what we might find. I often...

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Biomimicry: Every step is a story

A bighorn sheep on Luxor Linkage conservation area (Photo by Bonnie-Lou Ferris)

A bighorn sheep on Luxor Linkage conservation area (Photo by Bonnie-Lou Ferris)

When I first learned about biomimicry, I was in a math and poetry class at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. It was 2004, and while the professor didn’t necessarily talk about the term “biomimicry,” he introduced us...

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The call of the Carden

Team Pedalling for Nature includes Cameron Curran, Aiesha Aggarwal, Dorthea Hangaard and Susan Blayney. (Photo by NCC)

Just imagine an opportunity to embark on an expedition that immerses you in the depths of wilderness, where you get to learn, explore and engage with nature alongside like-minded people — a whirlwind "safari," if you will. For 24 hours,...

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Spotting species in Norfolk Forest

Jenna Siu and Kayla Ellis ready to blitz! (Photo by Amanda Bichel)

It was 11:30 a.m. on an early summer day, and a steady trickle of people were arriving at the Bird Studies Canada (BSC) headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario. The Norfolk Important Bird and Biodiversity Area BioBlitz was set to start in just a half...

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My southern beauty

A tuliptree in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Fall Tulip Tree (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

As I sat on the hillside staring out at hundreds of lilacs, I couldn’t help but notice the giant trees shading out large patches of land. I’d never seen such a large tree in southern Ontario before, and I was fascinated. I had to know...

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Chasing butterflies on the Rice Lake Plains

Catching butterflies on the Rice Lake Plains, ON (Photo by NCC)

A hike through the tall grass prairie and black oak savannah habitats of the Rice Lake Plains in Ontario may lead to discovering a vibrant, quiet and critical player in grassland conservation: butterflies! The surprisingly adrenaline-filled...

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Snapping up turtle eggs

Snapping turtle eggs were packed in damp sand for transport. (Photo by David Beevis)

Turtle populations face a number of threats, including loss of habitat and being hit while crossing roads. Recently, turtle populations in a local lake near where we live in Port Hope, Ontario, was exposed to a combination of factors threatening...

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Hope, the gray ratsnake

Hope, the gray ratsnake (Photo by NCC)

This summer, I had the opportunity to go out with Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) field staff and reptile biologists from partner organizations to track a gray ratsnake dotingly named Hope, to which we'd previously attached a radio tracking...

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Join the invasion at Hazel Bird

Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)

Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by NCC)

When visiting the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) Hazel Bird Nature Reserve in Ontario, you are greeted by a stunning grassland prairie with strong, looming oaks scattered delicately within the fields. You see the occasional shift of the...

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My breathtaking adventure at Big Trout Bay

Looking down over Big Trout Bay, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by NCC)

Looking down over Big Trout Bay, Lake Superior, ON (Photo by NCC)

As part of the communications team for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Ontario Region, I get to see a lot of great photos of our properties. One, a beautiful photo of Big Trout Bay taken by John Anderson, had me dreaming of...

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