Not just mallards

Mallards — male on the left, female on the right. (Photo by Pia Kaukoranta/NCC staff)

Mallards - male on the left and female on the right. (Photo by Pia Kaukoranta/NCC staff)

Here in Toronto, winter and waterfowl don’t necessarily sound like two things that should go together. But the truth is, while some birds (and people) escape Ontario’s cold winter by heading down to Florida, others migrate from the...

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Stories from stewards of the land: The Cuzen property (Part Two)

Closeup photograph of the pinnae of a sterile frond of the cinnamon fern (Photo by Derek Ramsey, Wikimedia Commons)

Closeup photograph of the pinnae of a sterile frond of the cinnamon fern (Photo by Derek Ramsey, Wikimedia Commons)

In Part One I described how I got intertwined with the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) work and my experience at the Cuzen property (the sole property within the Galbraith stewardship project at present). A special part of the Cuzen...

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Stories from stewards of the land: The Cuzen property (Part One)

Periwinkle (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Periwinkle (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

I have had many positive interactions with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) over the years. It is surely one of my favourite nature groups to volunteer with. You see, I have no formal educational background in botany or environmental studies...

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Why did the turtle cross the road?

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

Minesing Wetlands (Photo by Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority)

I didn’t expect one of the neatest experiences of my summer to happen while surveying the Minesing Wetlands for road mortality last June. In fact, I’d spent the day preparing myself mentally to have to make difficult observations of...

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Something's Fishy: All about that bass

Largemouth bass (Photo by Trisha M. Shears)

Largemouth bass (Photo by Trisha M. Shears)

When I think of Canada's rich history, I like to look back at all of the knick-knacks in my grandparent's house. Their old two-story home in Oshawa, Ontario served as my own personal museum. Old books, leather crafts from my grandfather’s...

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Adventures on snowshoe

Tracks in the forest of NCC's Lincoln Wetland Nature Reserve in New Brunswick (Photo by NCC)

Tracks in the forest of NCC's Lincoln Wetland Nature Reserve in New Brunswick (Photo by NCC)

I started snowshoeing regularly last winter, and I am hooked! One of the things I love about it is being able to explore areas that are not easily accessible for most of the year. For instance, crossing a large expanse of wetland can be an...

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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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Caring for Canada's wetlands

Birding at the Tabusintac Estuary, New Brunswick (Photo by NCC)

Birding at the Tabusintac Estuary, New Brunswick (Photo by NCC)

If you used water today to brush your teeth, cook or quench your thirst, you should probably thank a wetland! World Wetlands Day, celebrated every February 2, is an opportunity to learn about the value and importance of wetlands to Canadians. If...

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Of crappies and conservation

Black crappie (Photo by Eric Engbretson, USFWS)

Black crappie (Photo by Eric Engbretson, USFWS)

If you've ever tossed a line into freshwater in eastern North America, there's a good chance that you've hooked a feisty, speckled panfish that puts up quite the struggle and is a year-round favourite of anglers everywhere. They go by a number of...

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Spot the species on World Wetlands Day

Coastal wetlands of Sandy Island, eastern Georgian Bay coast, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Coastal wetlands of Sandy Island, eastern Georgian Bay coast, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

If one slogan can help us appreciate wetlands more, for me it would be: “wetlands are not wastelands.” In fact, the term “wetlands” represents a wide variety of habitats (such as bogs, marshes and swamps) that offer a rich...

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