The wonder of winter wetlands

Brighton Wetland from a nearby field in early fall. Note that the cattails in the distance are already turning brown and falling down. (Photo by NCC)

Brighton Wetland from a nearby field in early fall. Note that the cattails in the distance are already turning brown and falling down. (Photo by NCC)

Two summers ago I spent a lot of time trekking through beautiful wetlands, both while working at NCC and for leisure. I loved every moment of my time there, whether I was wading out into knee-deep water to hand pull invasive European frog-bit,...

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Rhubarb and monarchs: an unlikely duo

Monarch butterfly on aster (Photo by June Swift)

Monarch butterfly on aster (Photo by June Swift)

June is my favourite month. That time of year when you’re on the cusp of hot summer weather, daydreaming of how you’ll spend the dog days of summer in some sort of lake or having a picnic in the shade. For gardeners like myself,...

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The most majestic seagull

Bald eagle (Photo by Brittany Foster)

Bald eagle (Photo by Brittany Foster)

As a child, I split my time between a forested acreage and an old farmhouse in Nova Scotia surrounded by lush fields and cow pastures. From coyotes meandering up the driveway and bats roosting in the garage, to raccoons raiding the compost and...

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Heard it from a Scout: 5 ways to reuse your Halloween pumpkin

Jack-o-lanterns (Photo from Creative Commons)

Jack-o-lanterns (Photo from Creative Commons)

During the Halloween season, a staggering number of pumpkins become jack-o-lanterns on October 31. But by the next morning, we're left wondering how to reuse them. From recipes to candles, here are five creative ways to find a second use for your...

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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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