On the road

Riding Mountain, MB (Photo by Cathy Shaluk)

Riding Mountain, MB (Photo by Cathy Shaluk)

As with most Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties in Manitoba that are spread throughout the central and southern part of the province, it’s inevitable that staff spend a fair bit of time travelling between properties. The hours...

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A reckoning with bats

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Northern long-eared bat (Photo by Al Hicks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Well folks, it’s that magical time of year once again. The leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and decorations are making their annual migration from the basement to the lawn. Indeed, fall is here, and Halloween is right around the...

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What’s that stuff on my tree? A guide to Manitoba’s lichens

Lichen on tree (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Lichen on tree (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

If you’re an observant person, you may have noticed colourful things growing on Manitoba’s trees and rocks. Although some of these organisms are mosses (especially near the base), they are more likely to be lichens. Bright orange...

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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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The importance of being a flower

Western red lily has one of the largest flowers in Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Western red lily has one of the largest flowers in Manitoba. (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Like many of you, I enjoy walking through my neighbourhood and smelling the sweet fragrances of the summer flowers. Unfortunately, like many things, flowers are ephemeral. When I see a flower, I am always reminded of the Robert Herrick poem urging...

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The Ralph Wang Trail: A family legacy

The Ralph Wang Trail sign (Photo courtesy of Ashley Greenley/NCC)

The Ralph Wang Trail sign (Photo courtesy of Ashley Greenley/NCC)

Growing up, I always enjoyed being outdoors and exploring nature. From a young age, I recall picking flowers, going for walks and birdwatching with my grandparents, Ralph and Mary Wang. They had a farm in southwest Manitoba where I got to enjoy...

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Anchoring the earth

Exhibit showing big bluestem on the left, June grass in the middle and white prairie-clover on the right. (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

Exhibit showing big bluestem on the left, June grass in the middle and white prairie-clover on the right. (Photo courtesy of Manitoba Museum)

One of the most impressive plant specimens at the Manitoba Museum is a huge, preserved clump of grass that shows the entire root system. I think the reason everybody likes this specimen is that it provides a perspective that no one has ever seen:...

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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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Thanks, all of you wonderful people!

A Conservation Volunteers event in 2015 attended by Virden Girl Guides. They got their hands dirty cleaning up old shingles and debris from the Jiggens Bluff property in Manitoba. (Photo by NCC)

A Conservation Volunteers event in 2015 attended by Virden Girl Guides. They got their hands dirty cleaning up old shingles and debris from the Jiggens Bluff property in Manitoba. (Photo by NCC)

As the community relations manager in Manitoba, when people want to work for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Manitoba Region, one of the faces they’ll often see in an interview process is mine. During these interviews,...

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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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