The wildflower blog: Harbingers of spring for Ontario

Pepper and salt (Photo by Pat Deacon, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Pepper and salt (Photo by Pat Deacon, CC BY-NC 4.0)

I am a retired forestry scientist who has wildflower gardens. My mother introduced me to wildflowers at an early age. She grew up in Pennsylvania, and her favourite wildflowers were the delightfully fragrant trailing arbutus and mountain laurel...

Continue Reading »

Hooray for hummingbirds

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

You hear a buzz and see a streak of green, red or purple, and then you realize that a hummingbird just flew by! Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that have captured our attention for as long as humans have co-existed with them. They are...

Continue Reading »

10 fascinating facts about beavers

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

First launched in 2009 by non-profit organization Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife (BWW), International Beaver Day celebrates the rodent’s environmental contributions and its important role in shaping landscapes. The dams that beavers build...

Continue Reading »

The hurdles of the charisma-challenged

Eastern mole (Photo by Bert Cash, CC BY 4.0)

Eastern mole (Photo by Bert Cash, CC BY 4.0)

What do dodgeball and charisma-challenged species have in common? In elementary school, I was always, by far, the shortest kid in the class, and I barely cracked 80 pounds. In gym class, I was pretty much the last player chosen for the dodgeball...

Continue Reading »

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...

Continue Reading »

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...

Continue Reading »

This St. Patrick's Day, defy convention and celebrate snakes

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

For many of us, Saint Patrick is known as the protector of the rolling hills of Ireland. Every year, people around the world join in celebrating his legendary story. The green beer, shamrocks and other verdant regalia synonymous with St....

Continue Reading »

Something’s fishy: While you were sleeping

Atlantic whitefish (Photo by Bob Semple)

Atlantic whitefish (Photo by Bob Semple)

There are few things I love more than a good power nap. As an avid runner, I put my body through a lot, and rest is an important part of the training process. But sleep is essential for all humans, regardless of how many kilometres we are...

Continue Reading »

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....

Continue Reading »

The Great Backyard Bird Count: Counting birds for community science

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Dressed for birding in the polar vortex (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a global community science project that aims to gather a snapshot of bird populations and distributions in mid-February, before their annual spring migrations begin. The GBBC runs for four days each year,...

Continue Reading »

Items 1 - 10 of 500  12345678910Next