The best free nature apps

Engaging with nature doesn't mean you have to put down your phone (Photo by ©ysbrandcosijnfotografie via Canva)

Engaging with nature doesn't mean you have to put down your phone (Photo by ©ysbrandcosijnfotografie via Canva)

Some nature lovers may find technology and the natural world at odds. How can you enjoy tranquility with the ping of your smartphone? While nature may be a refuge to unplug, I would like to present an alternative view. Apps and the technology that...

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Three takeaways from a communications internship in conservation

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2021 went by so quickly. I was hired as a communications and engagement intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the spring, working alongside Saskatchewan staff, to tell stories of...

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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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Remembering his cedar canoe

My grandfather's canoe, his pride and joy. Our neighbours out for a paddle in the canoe (Photo courtesy of Asha Swann/NCC intern)

My grandfather's canoe, his pride and joy. Our neighbours out for a paddle in the canoe (Photo courtesy of Asha Swann/NCC intern)

The cedar canoe hanging from my grandparents’ garage roof stands out for good reason. A dusty photo album in the basement with “1993” scrawled in my grandmother’s cursive tells me that this canoe is older than I am, though...

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Outside my window: Nature hidden in suburbia

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Over the summer, I’ve tried to be attentive and notice the nature in my eight-square-metre backyard. It’s where I can make unhurried observations without the looming thought of hogging the trail from fellow hikers. And you know what?...

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Cockroaches and colours: Exercises in attention on Pelee Island

Woodburnings of some my favourite species on Pelee Island: the eastern banded tigersnail, broad-banded forestsnail, and striped whitelip. These snails are all nationally endangered and threatened by a range of factors including climate change, habitat loss and competition from introduced snails and slugs. (Photo by Hashveenah Manoharan/NCC intern)

Woodburnings of some my favourite species on Pelee Island: the eastern banded tigersnail, broad-banded forestsnail, and striped whitelip. These snails are all nationally endangered and threatened by a range of factors including climate change, habitat loss and competition from introduced snails and slugs. (Photo by Hashveenah Manoharan/NCC intern)

On one of my first days working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada as conservation intern on Pelee Island, a cockroach had nestled itself into my copy of Mary Oliver’s collection of poems, Devotions. As a lifelong urbanite, my instinct was...

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Reflections from 500 days of birds: A story of citizen science

Me and my birding sidekick (Photo by Jodi Elchyshyn)

Me and my birding sidekick (Photo by Jodi Elchyshyn)

Following the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, many of us faced new challenges during these unprecedented times. As a recent graduate and working biologist, I was lucky to be able to work remotely from my apartment in...

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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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My best Canada's Parks Day wishes!

Penouille Beach, Forillon National Park, QC (Photo by François Duclos/NCC staff)

Penouille Beach, Forillon National Park, QC (Photo by François Duclos/NCC staff)

It was summer of 1983, or maybe 1984. I was six or seven years old, and this is the earliest memory I have of a national park experience. I vividly remember standing in the cold waters of the Bay of Gaspé, with the water just above my...

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The calming effects of natural soundscapes

Birds, wind, rain – these sounds enrich our experience of natural landscapes. (Photo by André Cook, Pexels)

Birds, wind, rain – these sounds enrich our experience of natural landscapes. (Photo by André Cook, Pexels)

Birds chirping, wind brushing through treetops, the babble of running water — nature’s music is abundant and has long been a source of comfort for humanity. Shakespeare noted the beauty of nature’s sounds in The Tempest: The...

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