NCC's new Happy Valley Forest Hike Series

Participants listen in as Todd Farrell talks about the plants in Happy Valley Forest (Photo by Evelyn Senyi)

City, meet nature “How far do you think we are from Dundas Square?” It’s an odd question that Todd Farrell, coordinator of conservation biology in central Ontario for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), poses to a group of...

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Poems for Trees: Nature close to home

Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)

Eastern painted turtle (Photo by Greg Schechter)

This poem originally appeared in Kristyn Ferguson's blog Poems for Trees and is reposted with permission on Land Lines. The early morning sun sizzles orange Rays flicker across sleeping faces Roused by light, warmth and anticipation It’s...

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Book review: The Vascular Plants of Bruce Peninsula, by Joe Johnson

The Vascular Plants of Bruce Peninsula (Photo by Bill Moses)

The Vascular Plants of the Bruce Peninsula, by Joe Johnson, is a landmark book in the history of botany on the Bruce Peninsula — a place described as being Ontario’s most well-known botanical destination. The first person to attempt...

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In the eye of an osprey

Osprey in flight (Photo by Lorne)

Osprey in flight (Photo by Lorne)

Since the publishing of “An osprey family affair,” I’ve made three trips to a primary nest site to witness the arrival of the Kawartha Lakes osprey this spring. As a photographer, waiting up to four hours for even a short burst,...

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A Canadian river story

La Chasse-galerie, 1906, by Henri Julien (Photo by Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

Our rivers carry many responsibilities. For years, they have been pathways for communication, exploration and discovery. Like any great journey, these rivers have stories. From coast to coast, myths and legends have been passed down for almost as...

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In praise of perch power

Yellow perch swimming (Photo by USDA)

When I was 10 years old, I spent my first morning on Lake Erie reeling in yellow perch. By early afternoon, we caught our legal limit, and I found out first-hand why these little striped bandits are a great way to introduce kids to fishing and...

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How to be a botanist

One of the most beautiful of Happy Valley blooms is the fringed gentian flower. (Photo by Dr. Henry Barnett)

One of the most beautiful of Happy Valley blooms is the fringed gentian flower. (Photo by Dr. Henry Barnett)

You may know from my previous posts that I consider myself an amateur botanist and spend time associating with several naturalist and conservation organizations, including the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). I try to share my experience and...

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Cracking down on garlic mustard: A delicious and therapeutic experience

Garlic mustard are no match against our staff (Photo by NCC)

On May 12, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff had the opportunity to step away from their desks to crack down on invasive garlic mustard at the Happy Valley Forest. Commanders of the day, Todd Farrell and Mark Stabb, asked us to form pairs...

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Something's Fishy: Risky business

Eastern sand darter, Grand River, ON (Photo by Alan Dextrase/Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2016

Close your eyes and think back to the best gift you’ve ever received. Was it that shiny red bike you got for your 10th birthday, a sentimental gift from a loved one or a token you still cherish to this day? When I think back to the most...

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Turtles: Canada's culture in a shell

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, ON (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

It was a gloomy day in southern Ontario. Although the canoe I paddled in was quiet, the landscape was anything but, filled with croaks and chirping. Ten feet away emerged a small creature from the glass-like water to stretch its tiny head from...

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