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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Emblems of Canada: tree edition

Red maple (Photo by Jean Isaacs)

Red maple (Photo by Jean Isaacs)

Trees have played a significant cultural role in the lives of many Canadians; they are engrained in our national identity. Take the Canadian flag, for instance. It features a single, prominent red maple leaf in the centre, which speaks to the...

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One tree at a time: Canada’s forests

Tamarack forest (Photo by NCC)

Tamarack forest (Photo by NCC)

What is the one habitat type that runs through every province and territory, surrounds communities where most Canadians live and covers about one-third of the country? If you guessed forests, you would be right! We’re lucky to live in a...

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The buzz about bumble bees

Western bumble bee (Photo by sydcannings, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Western bumble bee (Photo by sydcannings, CC BY-NC 4.0)

The western bumble bee is a medium-sized (measuring one to two centimetres in length) bumble bee, with a band of yellow hair across its thorax (the area between the head and abdomen), in line with the base of its wings. It also most often has a...

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An original poem: The Bluebirds Have Returned

Mountain bluebird (Photo by Leta Pezderic/ NCC staff)

Mountain bluebird (Photo by Leta Pezderic/ NCC staff)

Springtime is making its appearance across the country. Buds are starting to appear on bare branches, blades of grass turn green again and signs of critters abound. One feathered friend is particularly endearing, and a delight to welcome back: the...

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Look for these first signs of spring across Canada

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

With the springing forward of our clocks and the increased daylight, many Canadians are getting antsy for the arrival of spring. What can be more delightful than noticing the little signs that signal the arrival of a new season, such as the...

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Forces for nature: Celebrating International Women’s Day (part three)

Morgan Higginson at Bohomolec Ranch fence removal event. (Photo by NCC)

Morgan Higginson at Bohomolec Ranch fence removal event. (Photo by NCC)

In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), we are profiling a few Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) friendly female faces from across the country. These women contribute to our mission and our work in different ways. Morgan...

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The race against rats: The most successful invasive species in the world

Brown rat (Photo by Dunpharlain, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Brown rat (Photo by Dunpharlain, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Everyone has a rat story, except for, maybe, Albertans (the lucky ones); I’ll explain why in a bit. In Hong Kong, where I grew up, rats and mice were collectively called lo shu in Cantonese. The term was probably tossed around by parents to...

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Ode to a nature commute – part 2, winter

Nearly frozen over Bow River with downtown Calgary in background. (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Nearly frozen over Bow River with downtown Calgary in background. (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

This is part two of a four-part series on bike commuting through nature. Read part one – fall here. What kind of wingnut would bike commute in the dead of winter, you ask? Well, this one does, and I’ll tell you why. I find winter...

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