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What's up with the very hungry caterpillars?

Each spongy moth caterpillar can eat one square metre of leaves in one season (Photo by Paul Prior, CC BY 4.0)

Each spongy moth caterpillar can eat one square metre of leaves in one season (Photo by Paul Prior, CC BY 4.0)

If you have young children in your life, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by the late and celebrated children’s author Eric Carle, is probably a familiar read and has been a fan favourite since 1969. This spring and summer though, there is...

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Blanding’s turtle: A lesson about life in the slow lane

Blanding's turtle at Emma Young Property, Frontenac Arch, ON (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Blanding's turtle at Emma Young Property, Frontenac Arch, ON (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

I think many of us need a reminder to slow down. With a ground speed maxing out at only a few kilometres per hour, the only option for a Blanding’s turtle is slow. Although it takes them a long time to travel throughout their extensive home...

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Turtles: Canada's culture in a shell

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

It was a gloomy day in southern Ontario. Although the canoe I paddled in was quiet, the landscape — filled with croaks and chirping — was anything but. Three metres away, a small creature emerged from the glass-like water to stretch...

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The truth about ticks

Adult deer tick (Photo by Scott Bauer/Wikimedia Commons)

Adult deer tick (Photo by Scott Bauer/Wikimedia Commons)

Ticks seem to be everywhere these days. They’re on the news, on your social media feed and maybe even on your skin. People, especially those in southern Canada, are dealing with blacklegged ticks (also called deer ticks) with increasing...

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Reflections, roundtables and royalty: Thoughts from attending the IUCN Global Youth Summit

A group photo of one session during the IUCN Youth Summit

A group photo of one session during the IUCN Youth Summit

There are not many reasons I will willingly get out of bed at 5:30 a.m., but the opportunity to make a real difference in the world is one of them. Recently, I gathered with 13,000 fellow young people from across the globe at the International...

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The wildflower blog: Harbingers of spring for Ontario

Pepper and salt (Photo by Pat Deacon, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Pepper and salt (Photo by Pat Deacon, CC BY-NC 4.0)

I am a retired forestry scientist who has wildflower gardens. My mother introduced me to wildflowers at an early age. She grew up in Pennsylvania, and her favourite wildflowers were the delightfully fragrant trailing arbutus and mountain laurel...

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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 St. Patrick's Day, defy convention and celebrate snakes

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

Queen snake (Photo by Joe Crowley)

For many of us, Saint Patrick is known as the protector of the rolling hills of Ireland. Every year, people around the world join in celebrating his legendary story. The green beer, shamrocks and other verdant regalia synonymous with St....

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Things that go bump in the field

American woodcock (Photo by Lavandar Fields/Wikimedia Commons)

American woodcock (Photo by Lavandar Fields/Wikimedia Commons)

I have spent a lot of time at a lot of different field sites over the years. I have spent days in the blistering sun, days in the frigid cold and days in the pouring rain, but until last spring, I had never spent any time in the field after...

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Interns and olives

Autumn olive (Photo by James H. Miller)

Autumn olive (Photo by James H. Miller)

When I started my Canadian Conservation Corps internship (a three-part program funded in part by the Canadian Service Corps, a youth-focused nature and conservation experience) with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as a conservation...

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