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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Winter is for the birds

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Prothonotary warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

When the temperature drops and fall colours give way to bare trees and snowy scenes, we tend to huddle up for the winter. Much like the natural world, we might prefer to take off to somewhere warm or hunker down indoors, to conserve our energy and...

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A close encounter like no otter

Two river otters peeping their heads above the water (Photo by Nila Sivatheesan/NCC staff)

Two river otters peeping their heads above the water (Photo by Nila Sivatheesan/NCC staff)

Walking through fields of wildflowers and towering trees is an incredible feeling. It reminds me that there’s so much more to this life than just me and my bubble. It’s a humbling feeling. But what’s even more incredible is...

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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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A Canadian winter warrior

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

Snowy owl (Photo by Gregg McLachlan)

A few winters back, during the continued irruption of snowy owls into southern Ontario, I was lucky enough to come across a “snowy hot spot” just 25 minutes from my home in Guelph, Ontario. My husband and I have passed many Sundays...

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Wallowing: More than scratching an itch for plains bison

Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (Photo by Jason Bantle)

Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (Photo by Jason Bantle)

Have you ever had an itch that you just couldn’t scratch? Needed to cool down on a hot summer day in the Prairies? Want a new way to show off to the ladies? If you answered yes to any of these questions, have you tried simply rolling around...

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Super cool species to know this Halloween

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Vampire finch (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The leaves have changed, the air has cooled and the pumpkins have been carved. You know what that means — it’s Halloween! This spooky custom has always been my favourite. Growing up, I always took the opportunity to dress up as the...

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A reckoning with bats

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Well folks, it’s that magical time of year once again. The leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and decorations are making their annual migration from the basement to the lawn. Indeed, fall is here, and Halloween is right around the...

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The ants that herd aphids

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

On July 21, 2021, I was carrying out annual conservation monitoring at the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB), when I came across an unusual sight: much of the silver sagebrush that covers the property was covered...

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What’s that stuff on my tree? A guide to Manitoba’s lichens

Lichen on tree (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Lichen on tree (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

If you’re an observant person, you may have noticed colourful things growing on Manitoba’s trees and rocks. Although some of these organisms are mosses (especially near the base), they are more likely to be lichens. Bright orange...

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