How species survive the winter: Skin breathing and antifreeze

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

Northern leopard frog (Photo by NCC)

Previous blog posts have discussed how small songbirds and big brown bats survive the winter. Those blogs briefly covered some strategies used by birds and mammals. But what about amphibians? How do frogs survive the many months of sub-zero...

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Tips on how to squeeze in time for nature

Skating at –41 C (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Skating at –41 C (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

We all lead busy lives, full of work and family commitments, errands and to-do lists that, over the course of a day, seem to magically grow longer. It’s easy to become consumed by it all, but there’s nothing like a little nature to...

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Snowy shutterbugs: My top six tips for winter photography

Large-format camera lens (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture))

Large-format camera lens (Photo by Wikimedia Commons, Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture))

Blue Mountain outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was late afternoon after a fresh snowfall. Like many people, I tend to keep my camera tucked away more often during winter. But the hike to the top of this granite ridge is rewarded with a panoramic...

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A mega-rare mistle thrush visited my mountain ash

Mistle thrush (Photo by Peter Gadd)

Mistle thrush (Photo by Peter Gadd)

On Christmas Day 2017.... It is here! It is here in the mountain ash tree at the crack of dawn. It is a brief appearance, as it turns out, but one long enough to perhaps sense it is sending a Christmas greeting. A bird, once known as the ...

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My guide to surviving winter

Snow forest on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by NCC)

Snow forest on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by NCC)

I love winter. Yes, you heard me right; I love Canadian winters. It’s part of who we are, it brings us together and it creates for some friendly competition between provinces. I mean, it’s practically a Canadian pastime to talk about...

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Winter strategies for at-risk birds

Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Bobolink (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Now that I’m hunkered down for the cold winter season, I often find myself reminiscing about summer days and the colourful feathered friends that have long departed for warmer climates. Yearning for a trip somewhere warm, I wonder, what...

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My winter hike at Big Valley

Looking out over Big Valley, SK. (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Looking out over Big Valley, SK. (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has a knack for giving their properties memorable names. On a (relatively) mild February day, I set out to get acquainted with Big Valley, north of Regina, at the southwestern edge of Last Mountain Lake in...

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True North: A look at the NCC Magazine Winter 2017 issue

NCC Magazine Winter 2017

NCC Magazine Winter 2017

The winter 2017 edition of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Magazine — the cover adorned with a mother polar bear rambling toward the camera, with two cubs trailing behind — arrived in my mailbox on one of the...

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The hummingbird's igloo

Sweetiebird, an Anna's hummingbird, in her igloo. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

Sweetiebird, an Anna's hummingbird, in her igloo. (Photo by Eric Pittman)

I always thought of hummingbirds as warm-weather birds. So I was surprised to see an Anna's hummingbird building a nest in early February. I was even more surprised because it was its sixth nest in a year, built in our yard. I live in Victoria,...

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Heard it from a Scout: A beginner's guide to winter camping

Scouts pitch insulated tents to keep warm in winter. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Scouts pitch insulated tents to keep warm in winter. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

During the winter months, most Canadians dream of flying south to escape the snow, ice and below-zero temperatures. Scouts, on the other hand, like to get outside by heading to campgrounds to enjoy all that nature has to offer. A scout’s...

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