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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the Prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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Something’s fishy: While you were sleeping

Atlantic whitefish (Photo by Bob Semple)

Atlantic whitefish (Photo by Bob Semple)

There are few things I love more than a good power nap. As an avid runner, I put my body through a lot, and rest is an important part of the training process. But sleep is essential for all humans, regardless of how many kilometres we are...

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Things that go bump in the field

American woodcock (Photo by Lavandar Fields/Wikimedia Commons)

American woodcock (Photo by Lavandar Fields/Wikimedia Commons)

I have spent a lot of time at a lot of different field sites over the years. I have spent days in the blistering sun, days in the frigid cold and days in the pouring rain, but until last spring, I had never spent any time in the field after...

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Lessons in winter wildlife photography

Male cardinal (Photo by Lorne)

Male cardinal (Photo by Lorne)

Distant memories of my first film camera come to mind when I think about photography. Its silver colour and round dials looked impressive, everything was manual, all decisions were mine and feedback was non-existent, until the film was processed....

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The Great Backyard Bird Count: Counting birds for community science

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a global community science project that aims to gather a snapshot of bird populations and distributions in mid-February, before their annual spring migrations begin. The GBBC runs for four days each year,...

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Let's talk about bulls this Lunar New Year

Muskox (Photo by camerondeckert, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Muskox (Photo by camerondeckert, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Lunar New Year is celebrated every year and is marked by an animal zodiac on a repeating 12-year cycle. This year marks the year of the ox. According to Chinese mythology, the ox was the second animal to cross the finish line in a great race held...

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This Groundhog Day, it's all relatives

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow marks Groundhog Day, a North American tradition dating back to 1888. The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is the largest member of the squirrel family and one of four marmot species that live in Canada. Rather than just focusing on...

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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)

It isn’t a secret that most city dwellers have complicated relationships with winter (myself included). When the weather takes a turn for the worse, it seems to have a domino effect on urban centres, increasing traffic and slowing everything...

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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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10 spectacular species to celebrate during the holiday season

Snowy owl (Photo by rosstaylor from Canva)

Snowy owl (Photo by rosstaylor from Canva)

During the holiday season, we often show gratitude and express appreciation for our friends and loved ones. It can also a time to celebrate the resilience of Canadian species and to learn about the biodiversity that is all around us. Join us as we...

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