The hurdles of the charisma-challenged

Eastern mole (Photo by Bert Cash, CC BY 4.0)

Eastern mole (Photo by Bert Cash, CC BY 4.0)

What do dodgeball and charisma-challenged species have in common? In elementary school, I was always, by far, the shortest kid in the class, and I barely cracked 80 pounds. In gym class, I was pretty much the last player chosen for the dodgeball...

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A love letter to the mountains

Hiking in the Canadian Rockies (Photo courtesy of Gayle Roodman/NCC)

Hiking in the Canadian Rockies (Photo courtesy of Gayle Roodman/NCC)

Dear mountains, You don’t know me personally, but you might recognize me by my feet. I’ve skied, hiked, snowshoed and biked your contours for the past several decades. You see, you changed the course of my life. When I finished high...

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The upside of the downside

Families riding along the Bow Valley Parkway (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Families riding along the Bow Valley Parkway (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

I have a confession: I really dislike like the word “staycation.” There’s something about this particular portmanteau that makes me shudder a wee bit every time I hear someone say it. And with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on...

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Ode to a nature commute – part 4, summer

A bee on wild bergamot plant (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC)

A bee on wild bergamot plant (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC)

This is part four of a four-part series on bike commuting through nature. Read part one – fall here, part two – winter here, and part three – spring here. Silly me, hoping that for part four of this blog I’d be back on...

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Ode to a nature commute – part 3, spring

Spring 2019 green-up along my bike route. (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC)

Spring 2019 green-up along my bike route. (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC)

This is part three of a four-part series on bike commuting through nature. Read part one – fall here and part two – winter here. Ahhhh, spring. As a winter bike commuter, I do look forward to spring so I can shed some layers, remove...

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Ode to a nature commute – part 2, winter

Nearly frozen over Bow River with downtown Calgary in background. (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Nearly frozen over Bow River with downtown Calgary in background. (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

This is part two of a four-part series on bike commuting through nature. Read part one – fall here. What kind of wingnut would bike commute in the dead of winter, you ask? Well, this one does, and I’ll tell you why. I find winter...

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Just get out the door

Bluebird sky hike at -30 C. (Photo courtesy of Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Bluebird sky hike at -30 C. (Photo courtesy of Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Back in the day, I was a long-distance runner. When two knee surgeries forced me to finally hang up my Asics for good in 2005, I switched to cycling. And to fill in the gaps in my fitness regime, I threw in hiking, cross-country skiing or whatever...

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Ode to a nature commute – part 1, fall

Early fall along the Bow River (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Early fall along the Bow River (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Living in a city of a million people means noise, traffic, concrete and a need to go, go, go, right? What if I told you it also means immersing yourself in urban nature? The mighty Bow River flows through Calgary, and city planners had their...

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The winter of my content

"Spike" hiking (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

One of the many joys of living in Canada is that we have four seasons. In southern Alberta, where I live, it’s not uncommon to have all of them in one day. Each season has its merits, but there’s something special about winter. Maybe...

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Conservation beyond the cubicle

Conservation Volunteers at the Last Stand at Blind Canyon event. (Photo by NCC)

Conservation Volunteers at the Last Stand at Blind Canyon event. (Photo by NCC)

Despite working for a conservation organization, I spend my workdays in an office, surrounded by cubicle walls, eyes glued to my computer screen and my fingers happily tapping away at my keyboard. So when an opportunity to join one of the Nature...

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