Paw in claw: Friendships in the wild

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a hermit crab. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Friendships are one of the most organic things that can happen between humans. An often magical thing, these bonds are strong and can last a lifetime. While these human connections are no doubt valuable, for animals, “friendships,”...

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We’re in a biodiversity crisis. What we plant and how we alter landscapes matters

Front yard naturalization in spring. (Photo by Lorraine Johnson)

Front yard naturalization in spring. (Photo by Lorraine Johnson)

Spring hadn’t officially sprung, but the season was warm, and so the annual ritual began. People began to clean up the dried stalks and dead leaves protecting the earth. While tidying up, people were also throwing out countless insects...

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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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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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Monarch migration reflections

One of the millions of monarchs I saw in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico (Photo by Alberto Becerra)

One of the millions of monarchs I saw in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico (Photo by Alberto Becerra)

I am an immigrant to this country, as are most people across this diverse continent with such a complex history. In fact, all who are not indigenous to this land are immigrants. When I was just a toddler, my family and I immigrated to Canada from...

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

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A rare encounter with a rare species

Allison Patrick stands among the tall grasses and wildflowers at NCC's property on Hog Island. (Photo by NCC)

Allison Patrick stands among the tall grasses and wildflowers at NCC's property on Hog Island. (Photo by NCC)

As a conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Fredericton, I spend each summer working in some of the most beautiful parts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. One of my favourite areas in New Brunswick is...

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The flight of the monarch inspires an international relay run

Monarch (Photo by NCC)

Monarch (Photo by NCC)

This is the story of the Monarch Ultra: an international relay run involving 46 ultra runners who ran along the monarch’s migratory route from Peterborough, Ontario, to Macheros, Mexico, this past fall. I yearned to understand the...

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Don’t trust lady’s-slippers (if you’re a bee)

This honeybee was tricked into pollinating this yellow lady’s-slipper. (Photo by Steven Anderson/NCC staff)

This honeybee was tricked into pollinating this yellow lady’s-slipper. (Photo by Steven Anderson/NCC staff)

Before I began working at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), I spent six years studying the pollination of two species of lady’s-slipper orchids in Manitoba and the northern U.S. While I no longer spend all of my time thinking about...

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The birds and the beans

October 1 marks International Coffee Day (Photo from Creative Commons)

October 1 marks International Coffee Day (Photo from Creative Commons)

October 1 marks International Coffee Day, a day that celebrates and recognizes the millions of people across the globe who work hard to create and serve the warm, blissful beverage that we all know and love — especially in the morning. From...

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