The hummingbird's igloo

Sweetiebird, an Anna's hummingbird, in her igloo. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I always thought of hummingbirds as warm-weather birds. So I was surprised to see an Anna's hummingbird building a nest in early February. I was even more surprised because it was its sixth nest in a year, built in our yard. I live in Victoria,...

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Heard it from a Scout: A beginner's guide to winter camping

Scouts pitch insulated tents to keep warm in winter. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

During the winter months, most Canadians dream of flying south to escape the snow, ice and below-zero temperatures. Scouts, on the other hand, like to get outside by heading to campgrounds to enjoy all that nature has to offer. A scout’s...

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What nature means to an 89-year-old

Author Zoe and her granny standing beside Lake Ambleside in England. (Photo courtesy Zoe Arnold)

At six months shy of 90 years of age, my granny Vera is a strong-willed (some might say stubborn) English woman. Each time she boards the double-decker bus, she insists on climbing the narrow, winding stairs up to the top deck. As the bus begins...

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Leave only footprints: Minimizing your impact in nature

Grace and Pepper exploring the winter wonderland (Photo by NCC)

I love that my daughter is growing up with wildlife as a part of her daily life and with all the room to roam and freedom a kid could want. (Photo by Elke Meyfarth/NCC staff)

Nature has been my greatest teacher. As a child growing up in the semi-desert of the Okanagan in British Columbia, I learned not to touch prickly pear, which plants smelled the most like sage and to move away from the warning rattle of a...

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Digging deep into Groundhog Day

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog Day is a tradition that has always been dear to my heart, probably because it also falls on my birthday. Even though I’m not a groundhog, my family and friends used to tease me by saying that if I didn’t see my shadow on my...

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Natural Continuities: Connecting to nature through photography

Looking out over a pond at the MacMillan Nature Preseve. (Photo by Sara Schiavello)

This month, our class from Mr. Senisi’s Grade 12 photography class at St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic High School in Woodbridge, Ontario, hosted a photography exhibit called Natural Continuities: A Photography Exhibit in Honour of Lyn...

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12 tweetable facts about Chinese zodiac animals

Sable Island horses (Photo by Bill Freedman)

Sable Island horses (Photo by Bill Freedman)

Lunar New Year is a celebration of the first day of the first month in the lunisolar calendar. The tradition, believed to have started as early as 2300 BC, is based on a 12-year-long cycle, with each year in the cycle corresponding to a particular...

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Greenspace makes for great headspace

Hikers in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

Hikers in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

The natural world has always been my fall-back position. Whenever life got too busy, scary or stressful or even when it was at its most fulfilling, I seemed to want, in fact to need, to find some green space to process it all, for a while. As a...

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Take them to feel the forest: Winter sensory activities for kids

Snowshoeing in Parc de la Gatineau, QC (Photo by DJ)

Snowshoeing in Parc de la Gatineau, QC (Photo by DJ)

I‘ve walked in the woods all my life, but it wasn't until I took young children with me that I noticed how fascinated they were with the variety of textures found in their surroundings. Kids can spend hours feeling, building, touching and...

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Celebrating Canadian species: Wolf

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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