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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Three takeaways from a communications internship in conservation

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

Big Valley planting site (Photo by NCC)

It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2021 went by so quickly. I was hired as a communications and engagement intern with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the spring, working alongside Saskatchewan staff, to tell stories of...

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Going paperless: Introducing a new data collection tool

NCC intern and volunteers conducting a tree survey at Upper North Saskatchewan River Basin (Photo by NCC)

NCC intern and volunteers conducting a tree survey at Upper North Saskatchewan River Basin (Photo by NCC)

Over the past few years, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Saskatchewan Region has used pen and paper to complete their rangeland health assessments. Rangeland health assessments are score-based sheets that are used to monitor...

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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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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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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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Sights of the sky: Stargazing and nighttime photography in Saskatchewan

Night sky above Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, SK (Photo by Alan Dyer)

Night sky above Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, SK (Photo by Alan Dyer)

When the sun sets on our prairie province, the night sky comes alive with some pretty magnificent sights. Despite my extremely limited knowledge of astronomy and stargazing, I often find myself gawking in wonder at evening skies. Luckily for me,...

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The essential Asquith aspens

Trembling aspen at Asquith property, SK (Photo by NCC)

Trembling aspen at Asquith property, SK (Photo by NCC)

It’s difficult to imagine many natural habitats without the presence of trees. Trees provide humans and wildlife with essential needs; it’s easy to take them and forests for granted. In their many shapes, sizes and varieties, trees...

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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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