How getting outside can help with the winter blues

Winter bud (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

Winter bud (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

In 2012, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Community Health Survey on mental health conducted a survey on the Canadian population living with mental illness. The survey showed that 5.4 per cent of Canadians, aged 15 and older, had experienced...

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How tracking animals leaves a different imprint on winter

Tracks of a coyote walking - note the straight track pattern. (Photo by NCC)

Tracks of a coyote walking - note the straight track pattern. (Photo by NCC)

No matter where you live in Canada, temperatures have dropped and there’s most likely snow on the ground — a telltale sign that winter’s here and isn’t going anywhere for the next little while. It isn’t a secret that...

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Heard it from a Scout: Five outdoor winter adventures

Skiing is one of Canada's favourite winter sports (Photo by Emma Savić Kallesøe)

Skiing is one of Canada's favourite winter sports (Photo by Emma Savić Kallesøe)

The temperature has dropped and frost is nipping at everyone’s nose — but don’t let the chilly weather scare you from adventurous opportunities outdoors. Pictures of your outdoor discoveries are fun to share with your friends,...

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Your winter getaway is a lot closer than you may think

Ancient cottonwoods (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Ancient cottonwoods (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Who says you can only enjoy nature when the snow has melted? There’s nothing like breathing in the crisp, fresh air on a winter nature hike as you take in the sights and sounds of wildlife around you while braving the cold. I love hearing...

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How species survive the winter: Skin breathing and antifreeze

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

Previous blog posts have discussed how small songbirds and big brown bats survive the winter. Those blogs briefly covered some strategies used by birds and mammals. But what about amphibians? How do frogs survive the many months of sub-zero...

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Tips on how to squeeze in time for nature

Skating at –41 C (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Skating at –41 C (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

We all lead busy lives, full of work and family commitments, errands and to-do lists that, over the course of a day, seem to magically grow longer. It’s easy to become consumed by it all, but there’s nothing like a little nature to...

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Snowy shutterbugs: My top six tips for winter photography

Large format camera lens (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture))

Large format camera lens (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture))

Blue Mountain outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was late afternoon after a fresh snowfall. Like many people, I tend to keep my camera tucked away more often during winter. But the hike to the top of this granite ridge is rewarded with a panoramic...

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A mega-rare mistle thrush visited my mountain ash

Mistle thrush (Photo by Peter Gadd)

Mistle thrush (Photo by Peter Gadd)

On Christmas Day 2017.... It is here! It is here in the mountain ash tree at the crack of dawn. It is a brief appearance, as it turns out, but one long enough to perhaps sense it is sending a Christmas greeting. A bird, once known as the ...

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How species survive winter: Hibernation

A big brown bat

A big brown bat "hanging out." Often when found outside, big brown bats sit in this position on the side of a building, tree or (ideally not) on the ground. (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC)

Previously, I discussed how small songbirds, and black-capped chickadees in particular, survive winter on the Canadian prairies. Now I will discuss another strategy that animals use to survive the long, cold winter months: hibernation. Hibernation...

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How birds survive the winter

Black-capped chickadee in winter (Photo by NCC)

Black-capped chickadee in winter (Photo by NCC)

Winter on the prairies is long and cold, often lasting from November until March, and with temperatures falling to -20 °C or -30 °C, it’s a wonder that anything can survive here at all. However, a walk around any residential...

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