A winter hike at Fairy Hill

A winter hike in Fairy Hill. Thanks to whoever placed pink ribbons along the trail. New fencing marks one boundary of the property. Coming down the trail here my footing was sort of “under control.” (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

A winter hike in Fairy Hill. New fencing marks one boundary of the property. Coming down the trail here my footing was sort of “under control.” (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

I wouldn’t say I’m one of those Canadians who heartily embraces winter, but I do enjoy getting out of the city to do some winter photography; at least until my ears and fingers tell me it’s time to retreat into the warmth. Since...

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Birdie num nums

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Paul Turbitt)

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Paul Turbitt)

You're not going to believe me. I'm going to tell a story with a crazy little hook and you're going to tell me I'm making it up (even after I show you the photos) or making a big deal out of nothing. But it is a big deal, so here goes. A couple...

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Fence fighting at Fairy Hill

Fairy Hill, an NCC property in Saskatchewan. (Photo by Gail F. Chin)

Fairy Hill, an NCC property in Saskatchewan. (Photo by Gail F. Chin)

I have been photographing in this area called Fairy Hill, which is a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, for more than five years. Fairy Hill is 36 kilometres north of Regina on Highway 6. It is one of the most beautiful places in...

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Paint your palette blue and grey

Old Man on His Back, SK, has just been named Canada's second Dark Sky Preserve (Photo by Alan Dyer)

Old Man on His Back, SK, has just been named Canada's second Dark Sky Preserve (Photo by Alan Dyer)

There are some songs that you sing for years without really understanding the lyrics. Maybe the music is catchy and you mumble along or you even know the words, but never get the meaning. There is an old Don McLean song called Vincent that someone...

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Conservation on a working landscape

The ground nesting, short-eared owl spotted from the cab of Bruce's tractor. Bruce stopped his tractor, found the nest, and saved the eggs because he could identify the bird and knew its ecology. (Photo by Bruce Boldt)

The ground nesting, short-eared owl spotted from the cab of Bruce's tractor. Bruce stopped his tractor, found the nest, and saved the eggs because he could identify the bird and knew its ecology. (Photo by Bruce Boldt)

I want to share an interesting conversation I had with my friend Bruce a couple of weeks ago. We had both recently attended a meeting by the South Saskatchewan Water Stewards about environmental farm plans, decommissioning wells and the threat of...

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Trail making at Fairy Hill

Volunteers carry sign posts to designated spot at Fairy Hill property for interpretive sign installation. (Photo by NCC)

Volunteers carry sign posts to designated spot at Fairy Hill property for interpretive sign installation. (Photo by NCC)

I now have another reason to appreciate time spent hiking a trail after helping out at a Conservation Volunteers event at Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Fairy Hill property this summer. I should clarify that NCC manages three...

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Fescue friendship

(L-R) Whitney McNinch, Alex Fisher and Ellen Potts harvest plains rough fescue by hand on NCC`s Maymont 5 property (Photo by Kerry Hecker, Environment Canada)

(L-R) Whitney McNinch, Alex Fisher and Ellen Potts harvest plains rough fescue by hand on NCC`s Maymont 5 property (Photo by Kerry Hecker, Environment Canada)

“If you can’t eat ‘em, pick ‘em!” That’s a saying, right? Well, it is now. While conducting my first property inspection of the year, I discovered, to my dismay, the fence at Maymont 5 was not going to hold any...

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Birds of Old Man on His Back

Barn swallow nesting at OMB interpretive centre (Photo by Dr. Steve Zack)

Barn swallow nesting at OMB interpretive centre (Photo by Dr. Steve Zack)

I moved to southwestern Saskatchewan in 1969 when I married a farmer/rancher whose land adjoins the Old Man on His Back Prairie Heritage and Conservation Area (OMB) on the south side. As a newcomer to the prairie, I had lots of fun learning about...

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No sunflower seeds in the washrooms, please: What it's like to hold a conservation planning meeting in small-town SK

No sunflower seeds in the bathrooms, please (Photo by NCC)

The only photo I have from the day, which perfectly relates what it is like to hold a meeting in a small town Saskatchewan in the middle of winter. (Photo by NCC)

“So, what are you guys up to today?” It is about 8:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I’m picking up the keys for the Lumsden River Park Centre at the town office. I arrived before the office was open so Chris, who apparently...

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Loggerhead shrike: A prairie jewel

Loggerhead shrike (Photo by Don and Karol Dabbs)

Loggerhead shrike (Photo by Don and Karol Dabbs)

A denizen of the native prairie landscape, the loggerhead shrike has captivated me for years with its beauty, behaviour and pizzazz. Even its Latin name, Lanius ludovicianus, rolls off the tongue with passion and grace. Of course, the romanticism...

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