Beginner's guide to winter tree identification

White ash bud and twig (Photo by Quinten Wiergersma, CC BY 4.0)

White ash bud and twig (Photo by Quinten Wiergersma, CC BY 4.0)

Many trees are easier to identify without their leaves. When you’re out for a winter hike, it may seem that there aren’t many clues to identifying the trees around you. Because trees are sporting bare branches, you might think they...

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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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How the pandemic turned me into an urban gardener

Seedlings in pots layed out on the veggie bed (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

Seedlings in pots layed out on the veggie bed (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

It’s amazing how slowing down and staying put in a place helps you connect with the life around you. I used to have quite a busy travel schedule, moving back and forth across the country several times a year to visit family or for work...

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A case of mistaken identity: Goldenrod and ragweed

Monarch butterfly on Canada goldenrod (Photo by Peter Jessen, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Monarch butterfly on Canada goldenrod (Photo by Peter Jessen, CC BY-NC 4.0)

I count myself fortunate when the change of seasons doesn’t bring about a runny nose, itchy eyes, headache and coughing, among other symptoms brought about by pollen (a fine powder produced by plants for sexual reproduction). Some pollen is...

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The importance of being a flower

Western red lily has one of the largest flowers in Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Western red lily has one of the largest flowers in Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Like many of you, I enjoy walking through my neighbourhood and smelling the sweet fragrances of the summer flowers. Unfortunately, like many things, flowers are ephemeral. When I see a flower, I am always reminded of the Robert Herrick poem urging...

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Paw in claw: Friendships in the wild

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Friendships are one of the most organic things that can happen between humans. An often magical thing, these bonds are strong and can last a lifetime. While these human connections are no doubt valuable, for animals, “friendships,”...

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The Wildflower Blog: Three favourite wildflowers to grow

Bloodroot (Photo by Thomas Noland)

Bloodroot (Photo by Thomas Noland)

Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches and Virginia bluebells are three lovely spring-blooming wildflowers that are worthy of any flower garden, not just a wildflower garden. In my garden, its always a race between bloodroot and Dutchman's breeches for...

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To mow, or not to mow, that is the question

Maria Olkinitskaya picking dandelions at Baie Verte CV event, NB (Photo by NCC)

Maria Olkinitskaya picking dandelions at Baie Verte CV event, NB (Photo by NCC)

During the month of May, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is encouraging people to hold off on trimming their lawn in favour of letting the flowers and grasses grow, to provide habitat for insects and birds. The idea is to reimagine our...

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Be on the lookout for these eight common invasive species

Purple loosestrife (Photo by Liz West, Wikimedia Commons)

Purple loosestrife (Photo by Liz West, Wikimedia Commons)

Spending all this time at home has helped me realize something: I’ve been in denial about the invasive plants growing around my home. The little patch of garlic mustard by our front steps, which I’m sure came from seeds on my boots...

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We’re in a biodiversity crisis. What we plant and how we alter landscapes matters

Front yard naturalization in spring. (Photo by Lorraine Johnson)

Front yard naturalization in spring. (Photo by Lorraine Johnson)

Spring hadn’t officially sprung, but the season was warm, and so the annual ritual began. People began to clean up the dried stalks and dead leaves protecting the earth. While tidying up, people were also throwing out countless insects...

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