Book review: The Vascular Plants of Bruce Peninsula, by Joe Johnson

The Vascular Plants of Bruce Peninsula (Photo by Bill Moses)

The Vascular Plants of Bruce Peninsula (Photo by Bill Moses)

The Vascular Plants of the Bruce Peninsula, by Joe Johnson, is a landmark book in the history of botany on the Bruce Peninsula — a place described as being Ontario’s most well-known botanical destination. The first person to attempt...

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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 Columbia,...

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Memorizing bird songs made easy with mnemonics

Yellow warbler (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Yellow warbler (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

I recall when I first heard a yellow warbler’s song; it was music against the backdrop of residential traffic in my suburban neighbourhood. At the time I had no clue where the bird was and I had no idea what bird was making this sound. I...

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Like a rock, elm that is

Short, gnarly side branches all the way up the tree (Photo by Bill  Moses)

Short, gnarly side branches all the way up the tree (Photo by Bill Moses)

My interest in botany came late in life. To compensate, I have restricted my primary interest to approximately 175 species of native woody plants of Grey and Bruce Counties. I try to give each one of them equal status and attention. Building on...

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Five tips to avoid #fieldworkfail

NCC Ontario staff identify meadow marsh plants, Lower Maitland River Valley, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

NCC Ontario staff identify meadow marsh plants, Lower Maitland River Valley, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

If you haven’t already explored the hilarious misadventures of field scientists and conservation workers through the hashtag #fieldworkfail, it is well worth a look. Fieldworkers are sharing incredibly honest and amusing anecdotes of when...

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Be a beaver believer

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

Aside from the long list of initiatives celebrated today, April 7 is also a day to celebrate beavers! For starters, here’s a little beaver-inspired anecdote from our Alberta office: “There was once a young man who walked to work...

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Archaeology research on NCC lands in Port Joli, Nova Scotia

Port Joli on a clear summer day. (Photo by Matthew Betts/Canadian Museum of History)

Port Joli on a clear summer day. (Photo by Matthew Betts/Canadian Museum of History)

In May of 1604, Samuel de Champlain sailed down Nova Scotia’s southern coast and mapped all he encountered. Early in his voyage, he came across a harbour so beautiful that he named it Port Joli. Of course, he did not know that the indigenous...

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Spot the species on World Wetlands Day

Coastal wetlands of Sandy Island, eastern Georgian Bay coast, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Coastal wetlands of Sandy Island, eastern Georgian Bay coast, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

If one slogan can help us appreciate wetlands more, for me it would be: “wetlands are not wastelands.” In fact, the term “wetlands” represents a wide variety of habitats (such as bogs, marshes and swamps) that offer a rich...

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Are you up for the #21daysofnature challenge?

Muddy hands at Nature Days (photo by NCC)

Muddy hands at Nature Days (photo by NCC)

It takes 21 days to form a habit, or so they say. This year (or even for many years), if you’ve once contemplated staying active and closer to nature, but just aren’t motivated enough or unsure of where to start, we have a challenge...

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A new hope for nature: Was 2015 a turning point for conservation?

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

No one was expecting 2015 to be a special year for nature conservation. As we started the year, it seemed Canadians were mostly focused on the economy, security and health care. Yet when we reflect on the year that was, it’s clear the...

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