Leave those leaves on the ground

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

As a child, I heard somewhere that if you catch a leaf as it falls from a tree, it’s good luck. So, naturally, I spent most autumns staring up at the huge trees in the conservation area behind my house, waiting patiently for a leaf to dance...

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Outside my window: Nature hidden in suburbia

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Over the summer, I’ve tried to be attentive and notice the nature in my eight-square-metre backyard. It’s where I can make unhurried observations without the looming thought of hogging the trail from fellow hikers. And you know what?...

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Paw in claw: Friendships in the wild

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Friendships are one of the most organic things that can happen between humans. An often magical thing, these bonds are strong and can last a lifetime. While these human connections are no doubt valuable, for animals, “friendships,”...

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No Mow May is over, now what?

Dandelion (Photo by Yinan Chen, Wikimedia Commons)

Dandelion (Photo by Yinan Chen, Wikimedia Commons)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) encouraged people across Canada to leave their lawns alone during May. Or if that was too much, people were encouraged to at least delay the inevitable mow for a few weeks. Where I live, this is relatively...

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Environment week 2021: Species we have saved

Trumpeter swan family (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Trumpeter swan family (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

For many of us, wildlife is the symbol of nature conservation. This isn’t surprising; humans have lived closely with other living things for most of our history. We knew the names and habits of animals, and we held knowledge of the plants...

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By conserving and restoring nature’s foundation we can build a more prosperous future for Canada

Low tide kelp forest (Photo by Mark Smith, Flickr)

Low tide kelp forest (Photo by Mark Smith, Flickr)

We are coming to the end of an era in human history. For much of our human existence, nature has been in abundance. While even early humans were able to deplete natural resources locally, and some past civilizations collapsed as a result, we have...

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5 ways insects make our world a better place

Dragonfly at Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC)

Dragonfly at Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC)

There are an estimated 10 quintillion individual insects on Earth. That’s 19 zeroes after the one! Insects make up 75 per cent of all animals. Despite their ubiquity, they have a PR problem. People often find them gross, scary or even...

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Create a messy garden for nature

Gardening is a great way to connect with nature (Photo by Lisa via Pexels)

Gardening is a great way to connect with nature (Photo by Lisa via Pexels)

As the warmer weather rolls across the country, many people have started tidying their garden for spring planting. But did you know that by leaving some of the stems and stalks that we traditionally clean up in the spring, you can create habitat...

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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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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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