An ode to whale (Part Two)

Blue whale (Illustration by Denise Wong)

morning! /he takes in the salt /retiring to depth / (Inspired by Eden Killer Whale Museum) Facts: Baleen, also known as whalebone, is not bone. Baleen is the bristly drapery that lines the mouth of a dozen species of whales, including the...

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Something's Fishy: A feast for fish

Illustration by Frits Ahledfedt

My favourite holiday memory is learning to make mashed potatoes in my grandma’s kitchen, her hand gently clasping mine as I firmly squished down into a large yellow bowl using an old wooden-handled masher. I recall the way she recited the...

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Keeping Kettle Island out of hot water

Volunteers clear debris from Kettle Island (Photo by NCC)

On a sunny Saturday morning in early fall this year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) team prepared to meet 20 or so members of the community from the Ottawa River Valley area, who all had one thing in common: they all cared deeply about the...

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Something's Fishy: Colder waters

Bull Trout in Cultus Creek, Darkwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Bull Trout in Cultus Creek, Darkwoods, British Columbia (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Snow and colder temperatures are synonymous when it comes to talking about Canada. Whether they’re a fan of the fluffy white stuff or they’d rather snuggle up with a hot cup of cocoa, Canadians across the Great White North have adapted...

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An ode to whale (Part One)

Sperm whales (Illustration by Elena O'Neill)

royalty’s fish / radiating into the night / to fathoms and float / (Inspired by Moby Dick) Facts: I’ve been reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick during my lunches. Needless to say, this book is markedly different from my...

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Something's Fishy: The freshwater slasher

Westslope cutthroat trout (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

When you think about Halloween, spooky species such as spiders with venomous fangs and blood-sucking bats usually come to mind. Of course, Hollywood is often to blame for these misrepresentations of species, with accounts of bats turning into...

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Vernal pools (Part Two)

Vernal Pool (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Vernal Pool (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

In Part One of this blog I provided a 101 on vernal pools; why this seasonal ecosystem created from rainfall that accumulates in land depressions is so important to wildlife, in particular amphibians. Here I will go into detail about the...

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Vernal pools (Part One)

Vernal Pool (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Vernal Pool (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Ecosystems come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from as large as the Amazon Basin to as tiny as your backyard pond. Regardless of their size, ecosystems and habitats provide homes for animals to breed, raise their young, forage and feed. Some...

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Something's Fishy: A year underwater

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

For someone who writes about fish, it is no surprise that when I tell people what I do, it is always prompted by an inquiry about which finned species is my favourite.That’s like asking a mother which of her children she likes best. Each...

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Life in freshwater country: How helping water helps Canada (Part Two)

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

In Part One of this blog I presented an overview of Canada's freshwater resources and the need to protect them for people and nature. Here I will further explain how today’s problems need new solutions. Over the last year the Nature...

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