A mega-rare mistle thrush visited my mountain ash

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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Allies in Indigenous-led conservation in Canada

An aerial view of the landscape surrounding the community of Chisasibi, illustrating the vast expanses of open spruce and lichen forests, wetlands and waterways of Eeyou Istchee. (Photo by NCC)

In November 2017, I had the pleasure of travelling to the Cree community of Chisasibi with my colleague Chantal Otter-Tetreault, a protected areas coordinator from the Cree Nation Government. Chisasibi is one of the northernmost communities in...

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Emerald in the rough

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Hine's emerald dragonfly at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Chris Evans)

Deep in the heart of the Minesing Wetlands, southern Ontario’s third-largest wetland system, located just 15 minutes west of Barrie, Ontario, lives a mysterious creature. It is thought to inhabit only 50 distinct locations in the entire...

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Natural wellness solutions in the workplace

Yoga in the workplace (Photo by Jeremy Hess Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

Whatever you’re in the middle of, stop for a moment and run through this quick checklist of questions about your perceived state of health: Do you experience tightness or pain in your neck while on the job? Do your eyes feel dry or tired...

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In search of my totem

Great blue heron spreading its wings (Photo by Lorne)

I frequently awaken with pre-set routines and their parameters dancing in my head — actions and reactions caused by billions of neurons sending and receiving electrochemical signals to and from my brain. Whether stretching and slowly...

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How a hidden forest valley is a big opportunity for conservation

Photo assignment for NCC is a journey into a pristine habitat that will make a difference in southwestern Ontario. (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Towering hemlocks reaching for the sky. A deep and rugged valley covered with ferns. A coldwater stream flowing over and under moss-covered fallen pine trunks. Just the thought of these scenes makes my mind wander yet again to northern...

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Ringing in 2018 a little lighter: How reducing my impact kept me in the black

Festive lights (Photo by Jonathan McIntosh/Wikimedia Commons)

The holidays have come and gone, but there’s one thing that tends to stick around with the glitter: debt. In the past, I would rack up my credit card bill, year after year, causing a mini heart attack each time I looked at my bank account....

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Top 10 blog posts of 2017

Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Every year, Land Lines is filled with submissions from across the country, with tales touching on a variety of topics — from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) stewardship work, to heartwarming accounts of conservation...

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Where rivers and concrete meet the tall grass prairie

The Forks Prairie Garden, MB. (Photo by NCC)

I am an urban dweller. Sounds like an ugly confession, but it’s really not. It’s a just a different way of experiencing my natural world on a daily basis. Although I spent many years growing up in rural Manitoba and I still spend...

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How species survive winter: Hibernation

A big brown bat

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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