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Deep in a thousand-hectare woods: Protecting the magic of Happy Valley Forest

Aerial view of Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Aerial view of Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

One day it rained red in Happy Valley Forest, and I was there to see it. This was not the red rain of cast-off maple leaves in the fall. This rain painted the tree branches in the spring. And I have witnesses. This is how it went down. It was...

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The Yarrow

Spread Eagle Mountain from The Yarrow (Photo by NCC)

Spread Eagle Mountain from The Yarrow (Photo by NCC)

As the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s natural area manager for the Waterton region in Alberta, I need to sometimes simply pinch myself and look around at the spellbinding landscapes that I work on. I started this role in May 2022. But I...

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Leaves like a familiar face

The breathtaking Backus Woods in Ontario. One of the best examples of Carolinian old-growth forest in the country. (Photo by Ann Tipper and Zach Melnick)

The breathtaking Backus Woods in Ontario. One of the best examples of Carolinian old-growth forest in the country. (Photo by Ann Tipper and Zach Melnick)

When you think of wild spaces filled with tall, deciduous hardwood trees tilting in warm winds, frost-free days late into the fall, an abundance of reptiles and amphibians shifting between swamps and marshes, and words like sassafras, Kentucky...

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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...

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Big, bold and boreal: Once complete, this will be Canada’s largest private conservation project

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Spring is unfurling across the country, and those who know me know I love my birds. Birdwatching is great in any season, but I start to get a specific set of goosebumps when I hear the first sounds of migratory birds returning from the south in...

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CARE: What does impact look like?

Hikers at Freshwater Bay, NL (Photo by Dennis Minty)

Hikers at Freshwater Bay, NL (Photo by Dennis Minty)

We know there has never been a more important time for nature, nor a greater need for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) mission. The twin global crises of dramatic biodiversity loss and climate change will mark the decade...

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10 facts about fresh water in Canada

Vidal Bay, Manitoulin Island, ON (Photo by Striking Balance)

Vidal Bay, Manitoulin Island, ON (Photo by Striking Balance)

Fresh water may seem like a ubiquitous substance to some of us, especially if we live near an abundance of it in the form of lakes, rivers and streams. When I take a stroll to my neighbourhood greenspace that has a small tributary running through...

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Learning to love wetlands

Crossing bogs in Algonquin Park to study Canada jays (Photo by Sam Knight/NCC staff)

Crossing bogs in Algonquin Park to study Canada jays (Photo by Sam Knight/NCC staff)

For a few years I looked forward to February because it was the start of the Canada jay research season at Algonquin Park and I assisted with the field work. At that time of year, we crossed frozen bogs to check up on the birds, yet the spring...

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Appreciating hibernation

Richardson's ground squirrel (Photo by Charles Thomas Hash, Jr. CC-BY-NC)

Richardson's ground squirrel (Photo by Charles Thomas Hash, Jr. CC-BY-NC)

January 21 marks Squirrel Appreciation Day, an occasion meant to recognize squirrels’ importance in nature. It also happens to be the middle of winter, a time when many animals, including some squirrel species, are hibernating. To me, one of...

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Diving into winter hibernation

Northern map turtle (Photo by D. Gordon and E. Robertson)

Northern map turtle (Photo by D. Gordon and E. Robertson)

It’s official: winter has made its way across Canada, and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Humans layer up to brave the cold, and migratory birds make their way to warmer climates, but turtles have their own way of toughing out the...

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