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Hittin' the marsh

My one educational breakthrough was to teach them to emulate my hayseed ways by chewing on a piece of grass before touring the property (Photo by NCC)

My one educational breakthrough was to teach them to emulate my hayseed ways by chewing on a piece of grass before touring the property (Photo by NCC)

It wasn’t even really that hot. I think that’s the thing that got me. Warm? I guess…for early June. Sunny? Mostly, but there were clouds and a bit of a breeze, so even saying it was warm is pretty generous. And forget about a...

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Sand dunes that want to be free

Asquith North 3 starts off pretty unassuming, a fairly flat piece of dry grassland, but a somewhat stunted forest of aspen and shrubs hides a transitioning to dramatic sand dunes frozen in place (Photo by NCC)

Asquith North 3 starts off pretty unassuming, a fairly flat piece of dry grassland, but a somewhat stunted forest of aspen and shrubs hides a transitioning to dramatic sand dunes frozen in place (Photo by NCC)

Asquith North 3, a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property that abuts Crown land, is one of my favourite places to visit. That’s a little weird for a NCC staffer in Saskatchewan to say because it really isn't good burrowing owl habitat,...

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Birdie num nums

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Paul Turbitt)

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Paul Turbitt)

You're not going to believe me. I'm going to tell a story with a crazy little hook and you're going to tell me I'm making it up (even after I show you the photos) or making a big deal out of nothing. But it is a big deal, so here goes. A couple...

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Paint your palette blue and grey

Old Man on His Back, SK, has just been named Canada's second Dark Sky Preserve (Photo by Alan Dyer)

Old Man on His Back, SK, has just been named Canada's second Dark Sky Preserve (Photo by Alan Dyer)

There are some songs that you sing for years without really understanding the lyrics. Maybe the music is catchy and you mumble along or you even know the words, but never get the meaning. There is an old Don McLean song called Vincent that someone...

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Conservation on a working landscape

The ground nesting, short-eared owl spotted from the cab of Bruce's tractor. Bruce stopped his tractor, found the nest, and saved the eggs because he could identify the bird and knew its ecology. (Photo by Bruce Boldt)

The ground nesting, short-eared owl spotted from the cab of Bruce's tractor. Bruce stopped his tractor, found the nest, and saved the eggs because he could identify the bird and knew its ecology. (Photo by Bruce Boldt)

I want to share an interesting conversation I had with my friend Bruce a couple of weeks ago. We had both recently attended a meeting by the South Saskatchewan Water Stewards about environmental farm plans, decommissioning wells and the threat of...

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Fescue friendship

(L-R) Whitney McNinch, Alex Fisher and Ellen Potts harvest plains rough fescue by hand on NCC`s Maymont 5 property (Photo by Kerry Hecker, Environment Canada)

(L-R) Whitney McNinch, Alex Fisher and Ellen Potts harvest plains rough fescue by hand on NCC`s Maymont 5 property (Photo by Kerry Hecker, Environment Canada)

“If you can’t eat ‘em, pick ‘em!” That’s a saying, right? Well, it is now. While conducting my first property inspection of the year, I discovered, to my dismay, the fence at Maymont 5 was not going to hold any...

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No sunflower seeds in the washrooms, please: What it's like to hold a conservation planning meeting in small-town SK

No sunflower seeds in the bathrooms, please (Photo by NCC)

No sunflower seeds in the bathrooms, please (Photo by NCC)

“So, what are you guys up to today?” It is about 8:15 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I’m picking up the keys for the Lumsden River Park Centre at the town office. I arrived before the office was open so Chris, who apparently...

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