Learning new things in familiar places

Forest canopy in Backus Woods, ON (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

Forest canopy in Backus Woods, ON (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

To most people, warmer weather means soaking up the sun at the beach, making a northern weekend getaway to a picturesque cottage, or spending time with friends and family around the campfire or barbeque. While this applies to those of us in the...

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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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Outside my window: Nature hidden in suburbia

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Over the summer, I’ve tried to be attentive and notice the nature in my eight-square-metre backyard. It’s where I can make unhurried observations without the looming thought of hogging the trail from fellow hikers. And you know what?...

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Cockroaches and colours: Exercises in attention on Pelee Island

Woodburnings of some my favourite species on Pelee Island: the eastern banded tigersnail, broad-banded forestsnail, and striped whitelip. These snails are all nationally endangered and threatened by a range of factors including climate change, habitat loss and competition from introduced snails and slugs. (Photo by Hashveenah Manoharan/NCC intern)

Woodburnings of some my favourite species on Pelee Island: the eastern banded tigersnail, broad-banded forestsnail, and striped whitelip. These snails are all nationally endangered and threatened by a range of factors including climate change, habitat loss and competition from introduced snails and slugs. (Photo by Hashveenah Manoharan/NCC intern)

On one of my first days working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada as conservation intern on Pelee Island, a cockroach had nestled itself into my copy of Mary Oliver’s collection of poems, Devotions. As a lifelong urbanite, my instinct was...

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A thank you letter to the young professionals of conservation

The 2021 eastern Ontario team at Elbow Lake, ON (Photo by NCC)

The 2021 eastern Ontario team at Elbow Lake, ON (Photo by NCC)

Spring is one of the best times to be a conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). I get to dust off my field boots, turn off my laptop and get back outside. There is a beautiful rhythm to resuming field work, and my to-do...

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Reflections from 500 days of birds: A story of citizen science

Me and my birding sidekick (Photo by Jodi Elchyshyn)

Me and my birding sidekick (Photo by Jodi Elchyshyn)

Following the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, many of us faced new challenges during these unprecedented times. As a recent graduate and working biologist, I was lucky to be able to work remotely from my apartment in...

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The fossils of Camden East Alvar

A particularly exposed section of the Camden East Alvar, an NCC property just west of Kingston, Ontario. (Photo by NCC)

A particularly exposed section of the Camden East Alvar, an NCC property just west of Kingston, Ontario. (Photo by NCC)

Doing field work in the middle of the summer can be hot, but doing it on an alvar feels even hotter. An ecosystem formed with little to no soil on top of limestone bedrock, alvars typically have large areas of low-lying vegetation and exposed...

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The Wildflower Blog: Three favourite wildflowers to grow

Bloodroot (Photo by Thomas Noland)

Bloodroot (Photo by Thomas Noland)

Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches and Virginia bluebells are three lovely spring-blooming wildflowers that are worthy of any flower garden, not just a wildflower garden. In my garden, its always a race between bloodroot and Dutchman's breeches for...

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It’s turtle time!

Blanding's turtle (Photo by NCC)

Blanding's turtle (Photo by NCC)

Anyone who drives the winding, hilly roads of Ontario’s Frontenac Arch is familiar with the picturesque views of forest rolling along granite ridges, lakes scattered across the landscape, diverse wetlands and the potential for wildlife...

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Keep your coffee mug covered: How LDD put a lid on my camping trip

A caterpillar crawling on my pants (Photo by Jensen Edwards/NCC staff)

A caterpillar crawling on my pants (Photo by Jensen Edwards/NCC staff)

As a west-coaster, I’ve come to relish the soothing splats of raindrops on my tent — so long as, of course, I am dry and warm inside. That sound, that damp smell that steams up from rainforest ferns, they awaken in me memories of...

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