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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 its head and abdomen), in line with the base of its wings. It also most often has a...

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One tree at a time: Canada’s forests

Tamarack forest (Photo by NCC)

Tamarack forest (Photo by NCC)

What one habitat type runs through every province and territory, surrounds communities where most Canadians live and covers about 40 per cent of the country? If you guessed forests, you'd be right! We’re lucky to live in a country dominated...

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My native species bring all the pollinators to the yard

Northern crescent butterfly on swamp milkweed flowers (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff/NCC staff)

Northern crescent butterfly on swamp milkweed flowers (Photo by Jaimee Morozoff/NCC staff)

Now that spring has finally made its way across Canada (in some places it was slower in arriving than others), gardening season is in full swing! With all of the choices present at our local nurseries and big box stores, it is easy to get carried...

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If you go down to the woods today...

Canada jay (Photo by NCC)

Canada jay (Photo by NCC)

Spending my free time hiking and biking in the Rockies means my chances of a wildlife encounter are not unheard of. Usually it’s just a Canada jay looking for a hand-out, or an indecisive squirrel scurrying back and forth across the bike...

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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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A case of mistaken identity: Goldenrod and ragweed

Monarch butterfly on Canada goldenrod (Photo by Peter Jessen, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Monarch butterfly on Canada goldenrod (Photo by Peter Jessen, CC BY-NC 4.0)

I count myself fortunate when the change of seasons doesn’t bring about a runny nose, itchy eyes, headache and coughing, among other symptoms brought about by pollen (a fine powder produced by plants for sexual reproduction). Some pollen is...

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Hooray for hummingbirds

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

An Anna's hummingbird on one of her nests. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

You hear a buzz and see a streak of green, red or purple, and then you realize that a hummingbird just flew by! Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that have captured our attention for as long as humans have co-existed with them. They are...

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Drawing attention: Putting a love for nature on paper

My nature journal entry on the plant life at Yamnuska Mountain, AB (Photo by Emma Dunlop/NCC)

My nature journal entry on the plant life at Yamnuska Mountain, AB (Photo by Emma Dunlop/NCC)

Nature journaling; two words that I recently have noticed cropping up together, in everything from youth education curriculums to mindfulness and meditation workshops. My first encounter with nature journaling was during my reluctant participation...

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Canada's splendid sparrow crew

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Sparrows often don’t get enough credit. Many don’t have flashy plumage like jays, orioles or cardinals, or melodic songs like thrushes or meadowlarks; however, sparrow species are often fairly distinct (once you get to know them) and...

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This Groundhog Day, it's all relatives

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow marks Groundhog Day, a North American tradition dating back to 1888. The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is the largest member of the squirrel family and one of four marmot species that live in Canada. Rather than just focusing on...

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