Intertidal life

An intertidal zone on Clayoquot Island (Photo by NCC)

An intertidal zone on Clayoquot Island (Photo by NCC)

Water flows in the fabric of West Coast culture. For those of us steeped in the maritime life, resisting the pull of the ocean is as futile as trying to still the tides. In my twenties, I experimented with living away from coastal British...

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The pine needle game

Play a game of Guess Who? with pine needles from four species  (Painted by Mena Wallace)

Play a game of Guess Who? with pine needles from four species (Painted by Mena Wallace)

Trees are a wonderous thing. Most of the time we barely notice them amid the scurry of our busy days, but every now and then you encounter a showstopper. I’m always on the lookout for a new tree to discover because species identification is...

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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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A pumpkin’s tale – life after halloween

Carved pumpkin (Photo by Ylanite Koppens, Pexels)

Carved pumpkin (Photo by Ylanite Koppens, Pexels)

The moral of this story is a reminder to people not to discard pumpkins into forests or natural areas and how they can be recycled after Halloween. I, Jill-o-Lantern, remember being so excited when you scooped me up, and chose me over my...

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A reckoning with bats

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Well folks, it’s that magical time of year once again. The leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and decorations are making their annual migration from the basement to the lawn. Indeed, fall is here, and Halloween is right around the...

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The best free nature apps

Engaging with nature doesn't mean you have to put down your phone (Photo by ©ysbrandcosijnfotografie via Canva)

Engaging with nature doesn't mean you have to put down your phone (Photo by ©ysbrandcosijnfotografie via Canva)

Some nature lovers may find technology and the natural world at odds. How can you enjoy tranquility with the ping of your smartphone? While nature may be a refuge to unplug, I would like to present an alternative view. Apps and the technology that...

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An introduction to the science of bird migration in Canada

Palm warbler (Photo by Marshall Faintich)

Palm warbler (Photo by Marshall Faintich)

Birds move. Actually, they do better than that: most birds fly. And the distances these tiny creatures can cover is jaw-dropping. On top of that, can you imagine the views from a bird's vantage point as it flies from South America to Canada?...

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Canada's splendid sparrow crew

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Sparrows often don’t get enough credit. Many don’t have flashy plumage like jays, orioles or cardinals, or melodic songs like thrushes or meadowlarks; however, sparrow species are often fairly distinct (once you get to know them) and...

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14 facts for World Wetlands Day

Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)

Musquash River, New Brunswick (Photo by Ron Garnett Airscapes)

The second of February each year marks World Wetlands Day, where everyone is encouraged to raise awareness and learn about the importance and value of wetlands! Be a wetland whiz this year with these 14 fun facts! A wetland, like its name...

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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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