The ants that herd aphids

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Oleander aphids (Photo by cory_silas_sheffield, CC BY-NC 4.0)

On July 21, 2021, I was carrying out annual conservation monitoring at the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB), when I came across an unusual sight: much of the silver sagebrush that covers the property was covered...

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Grasslands, close-up

Western bergamot (Photo by NCC)

Western bergamot (Photo by NCC)

As a conservation intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) this past summer, I have had the wonderful opportunity to explore the land that we help conserve here in Saskatchewan. Growing up in this province, I developed a love for the...

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Volunteers make Big Valley flourish

Volunteers and staff prior to planting (Photo by NCC)

Volunteers and staff prior to planting (Photo by NCC)

The Qu’Appelle River Valley is one of Saskatchewan’s prominent scenic landscapes. Its picturesque slopes and waterways host a wide variety species and offer views unlike any other in the province. I’ve driven through this region...

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Unlikely animal pairings: Part two

Brown-headed cowbird (Photo by David Dodd CC BY-NC)

Brown-headed cowbird (Photo by David Dodd CC BY-NC)

This is part two of a two-part series on unlikely animal pairings. Check out part one, the hunting partnership between an American badger and a coyote, here. Another unlikely animal partnership features a bird that is known to take advantage of...

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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the Prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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A peak experience at Buffalo Pound

Buffalo Pound Lake, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Buffalo Pound Lake, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Many Canadians, I think, perceive Saskatchewan to be one billiard table-flat, never-ending field of wheat. Not so. To prove my point, I recently made a second visit to a property at Buffalo Pound Lake, where the Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) is...

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A breezy hike at Buffalo Pound

Buffalo Pound property, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Buffalo Pound property, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

What a delight it was to watch a wary coyote cross the trail in front of me, sizing me up before continuing on its way into a nearby coulee. This encounter may not seem like much, but after three months of staying at home to help stop the spread...

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Grasslands: Climate change’s unsuspecting heroes

Napanee Plain Alvar Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by Vincent Luk & Evermaven)

Napanee Plain Alvar Nature Reserve, ON (Photo by Vincent Luk & Evermaven)

Carbon is the backbone of life on Earth. Carbon makes up everything we do, everything we eat, and it even makes us up. Carbon is stored in different reservoirs, which broadly include land, water and the atmosphere. Carbon cycles from one reservoir...

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Celebrate Native Prairie Appreciation Week

I believe that the best place to start with poetry is nature. (Photo by Mark Taylor)

I believe that the best place to start with poetry is nature. (Photo by Mark Taylor)

Since 1999, native prairie grasslands have gotten a little extra attention from the public during Native Prairie Appreciation Week, celebrated in Saskatchewan on the third week of June, thanks to the Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan....

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Tales of recovery: Small white lady's-slipper

Two small white lady’s-slippers, a threatened species with deceptive flowers (Photo by Steven Anderson/NCC staff)

Two small white lady’s-slippers, a threatened species with deceptive flowers (Photo by Steven Anderson/NCC staff)

There is no abrupt line marking the edge of Canada’s prairie region. No sign on the highway saying “thanks for visiting.” In western Canada, grasslands gently rise and merge into the forested foothills of the Rocky Mountains....

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