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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Take them to feel the forest: Winter sensory activities for kids

Snowshoeing in Parc de la Gatineau, QC (Photo by DJ)

Snowshoeing in Parc de la Gatineau, QC (Photo by DJ)

I‘ve walked in the woods all my life, but it wasn't until I took young children with me that I noticed how fascinated they were with the variety of textures found in their surroundings. Kids can spend hours feeling, building, touching and...

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An unexpected discovery: green dragons!

Green dragon on the Gasser Farm property, QC (Photo by NCC)

Green dragon on the Gasser Farm property, QC (Photo by NCC)

On September 1, 2020, toward the end of a work day in the Lake Champlain area and finding that I had an extra couple of hours, I decided to take advantage of the dry season. I wanted to try my luck at crossing the channel of the Pike River to...

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A Canadian winter warrior

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

A few winters back, during the continued irruption of snowy owls into southern Ontario, I was lucky enough to come across a “snowy hot spot” just 25 minutes from my home in Guelph, Ontario. My husband and I have passed many Sundays...

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The fossils of Camden East Alvar

A particularly exposed section of the Camden East Alvar, an NCC property just west of Kingston, Ontario. (Photo by NCC)

A particularly exposed section of the Camden East Alvar, an NCC property just west of Kingston, Ontario. (Photo by NCC)

Doing field work in the middle of the summer can be hot, but doing it on an alvar feels even hotter. An ecosystem formed with little to no soil on top of limestone bedrock, alvars typically have large areas of low-lying vegetation and exposed...

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Happy Pi Day! The importance of 3.14 in nature

Pi pie (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Paul Smith)

Pi pie (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Paul Smith)

March 14: it has many of us sharing photos of pies, Π and pies with Π on them. But our fascination with the number 3.14 goes beyond a good excuse to eat baked goods. The mystery and wonder of pi is evident everywhere around us, including in...

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Do you get enough Vitamin N?

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

You find yourself breathing more deeply, taking in the sharp scent of pine and the sweet mustiness of leaves returning to dust on the forest floor beneath your feet. For a moment, the quiet is broken only by birdsong — the notes that...

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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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Heard it from a Scout: Leaving only footprints in nature

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

The view was incredible and the challenge of the hike up to the Eagle Bluffs in North Vancouver made it even more worthwhile. Ruby, my yellow lab, was happily sitting and begging for food from me and my Scout troop. Her behaviour was in stark...

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Sharing a quiet forest with a Canada lynx

Canada lynx (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Canada lynx (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Sitting for hours inside a cramped, cold blind waiting for wildlife doesn't sound exciting — but it is. Being able to observe animals in their natural surroundings isn't just a thrill, it's a passion, and one that doesn't come easy and is...

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