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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Why I welcome a conservation plan for the Great Sand Hills

A tree sunken into the sand and snow at the Great Sand Hills, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

A tree sunken into the sand and snow at the Great Sand Hills, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Fifteen years ago, I signed up for a photography workshop at Saskatchewan’s Great Sand Hills, a place I’d heard about from other photographers but had never visited. I remember the first morning of the workshop, watching the rising sun...

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The magic of seaweed

Kelp forest (Photo by Robert Schwemmer/NOAA via Wikimedia Commons)

Kelp forest (Photo by Robert Schwemmer/NOAA via Wikimedia Commons)

Along the Pacific Northwest, there are over 640 different species of seaweed. They come in many different shapes and sizes. However, they’re commonly grouped into three colours: brown, green and red. While these different species of seaweeds...

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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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Wanting wetlands: Marking 50 years of wetland conservation and loss

Black River Bog, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Black River Bog, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Fifty years ago, nations gathered to create the world’s first global agreement to conserve a habitat. Maybe it will surprise you that this agreement wasn’t for tropical rainforests or coral reefs or oceans. It was a for a habitat that...

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The wonder of winter wetlands

Brighton Wetland from a nearby field in early fall. Note that the cattails in the distance are already turning brown and falling down. (Photo by NCC)

Brighton Wetland from a nearby field in early fall. Note that the cattails in the distance are already turning brown and falling down. (Photo by NCC)

Two summers ago I spent a lot of time trekking through beautiful wetlands, both while working at NCC and for leisure. I loved every moment of my time there, whether I was wading out into knee-deep water to hand pull invasive European frog-bit,...

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Rhubarb and monarchs: an unlikely duo

Monarch butterfly on aster (Photo by June Swift)

Monarch butterfly on aster (Photo by June Swift)

June is my favourite month. That time of year when you’re on the cusp of hot summer weather, daydreaming of how you’ll spend the dog days of summer in some sort of lake or having a picnic in the shade. For gardeners like myself,...

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Protected doesn’t always mean perfect

Volunteer cutting the giant knotweed using a hedge trimmer (Photo by NCC)

Volunteer cutting the giant knotweed using a hedge trimmer (Photo by NCC)

Imagine frolicking along on a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, hoping to stumble upon some neat findings, like rare herptiles and unique plants. But then you look up and scan the landscape to see what may be your worst nightmare: a...

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Stopping habitat loss is the key to saving Canada’s endangered species

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Evening grosbeak (Photo by Anna Tchoulik)

Canada has been losing and saving species for a long time. Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated and species that are considered historic (no one has seen...

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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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