The upside of the downside

Families riding along the Bow Valley Parkway (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Families riding along the Bow Valley Parkway (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

I have a confession: I really dislike like the word “staycation.” There’s something about this particular portmanteau that makes me shudder a wee bit every time I hear someone say it. And with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on...

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The joys of capturing memories with watercolour painting

Nature was the balm we’d needed after months of physical distancing and pandemic-related uncertainties (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

Nature was the balm we’d needed after months of physical distancing and pandemic-related uncertainties (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

In the last few years, I’ve grown to love the joys of landscape watercolour painting as a way to capture time spent in nature, usually on annual canoe trips with my dad. Unfortunately, this year’s pandemic meant I couldn’t travel...

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My Pike Lake Bioblitz

Caterpillar (Photo by Shirley Humphries)

Caterpillar (Photo by Shirley Humphries)

A Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) email popped up: "Big Backyard BioBlitz,” September 24 to 30, 2020! That sounded both appealing and doable without the risk of COVID-19 exposure. I would go to Pike Lake Provincial Park, where there are a...

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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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5 ways to celebrate a physically distanced Thanksgiving

A fall-themed pumpkin display (Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina, Pexels)

A fall-themed pumpkin display (Photo by Anna Tukhfatullina, Pexels)

The global pandemic has undoubtedly changed the ways we go about our everyday activities, especially how to interact with family and friends. These unusual times call for creative tweaks to how we celebrate the special days, like Thanksgiving....

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Weaving beads, inspired by trees

Beading outdoors is where I'm most at peace. Here, I'm beading while camping at Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario. (Photo by Chase Wastesicoot)

Beading outdoors is where I'm most at peace. Here, I'm beading while camping at Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario. (Photo by Chase Wastesicoot)

Beading is more than a hobby to me, it’s how I connect to my culture and to the land. My traditional name is Mein-gun kwe, and I identify as Mohawk and European. My family is wolf clan from Tyendinaga territory, but I was born and raised on...

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Pushing petals: Exploring Canadian botanical art

Illustration by Raymond Nakamura

Illustration by Raymond Nakamura

Summer has turned to fall, as the pandemic blurs the days. If you are able, please stay at home. But remember that you can still go outside and enjoy some nature, while maintaining a safe distance from others. Plants can provide a nature-based...

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What the knowledge of how trees communicate means for forest conservation

A shady Douglas-fir forest (Photo by Jenny McCune)

A shady Douglas-fir forest (Photo by Jenny McCune)

Japanese people are generally familiar with shinrin-yoku or forest bathing — the practice of being immersed in a forest. In Germany, the concept is referred to as Waldsehligkeit, a feeling of profound well-being that comes from being...

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Connection and conservation during COVID-19

Exploring Burntcoat Head Park in Noel, Nova Scotia. (Photo by Kyle Erickson)

Exploring Burntcoat Head Park in Noel, Nova Scotia. (Photo by Kyle Erickson)

A year ago, my husband and I sold our house, packed up everything we owned — including two cats — and relocated from Edmonton to Halifax. Between new jobs, a new home and a new city, we didn’t have a lot of time to get involved...

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Getting pushy in a puddle

Two American robins refusing to share a puddle (Photo by Janis Turner)

Two American robins refusing to share a puddle (Photo by Janis Turner)

This is the story of two American robins not very successfully sharing one road puddle for bathing. I observed this down by the front street from my condo, and the sun was just up over the buildings in the east. I heard a lot of robin activity...

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