Why snowshoeing is my favourite winter activity

Snowshoe (Photo by katpatuka, Wikimedia Commons)

Snowshoe (Photo by katpatuka, Wikimedia Commons)

It’s the dead of winter and by now many of us are eagerly looking forward to a new spring, when the natural world reawakens. Many of us suffer at this time of year from a deficit of fresh air and natural sunlight, which we usually get...

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My favourite day in the field

Winter field trip, Elk Glen, MB (Photo by NCC)

Winter field trip, Elk Glen, MB (Photo by NCC)

As a biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Manitoba my field work is typically over once there is snow on the ground and ice on the ponds. Most of the time things need to be green or moving to do my work. However my last day in...

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A winter celebration in the Canadian Rockies

Hockey game, Winter Celebration, Marion Creek Benchlands, BC (Photo by NCC)

Hockey game, Winter Celebration, Marion Creek Benchlands, BC (Photo by NCC)

In the days leading up to the second annual Canadian Rockies Winter Celebration it seemed that Mother Nature had decided it was already spring before winter had even truly arrived. A foot of snow melted in less than a day and the lake ice had...

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My 2014 Christmas Bird Count

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

Believe it or not, when my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday, December 14, 2014, I actually sprang out of bed with a smile on my face. While I typically rue any waking in “the 5s”, this was one day I knew would be worth it: the...

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Real animals don't wear scarves in winter

Of all the enticingly cute plush toys currently in store displays, the owl is one of my favourites. But the way marketers portray animals with toques and scarves throughout the winter make me cringe…slightly. Perhaps that’s because we...

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Tales from the pond - Part 1

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

Kristyn Ferguson out for a snowy day of field work (Photo by NCC)

At a property owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the Georgian Bay–Huronia sub-region, a beautiful stream courses through a deciduous forest, providing excellent habitat for coldwater fish species including brown trout, and...

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Finding nature at home

Toronto skyline (Photo by Taxiarchos228, Wikimedia Commons)

Toronto skyline (Photo by Taxiarchos228, Wikimedia Commons)

Nature and cities can seem like opposing ends of an ecological spectrum. Many see nature in its purist form only in wilderness — where our human influence is minimal, or at least hidden. Cities are the grey places on the map that testify to...

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Deep freeze frogs

Pulling the heavy sled (Photo by NCC)

Pulling the heavy sled (Photo by NCC)

It’s a chilly day in March when we meet with Dave Prescott, Alberta Fish and Wildlife species at risk biologist, amidst snow drifts and icicles at the Twin Butte General Store. Despite the weekend blizzard and challenging road conditions,...

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Any bird you can spot, I can spot better: My backyard bird bonanza

Chickadee at feeder (Photo by Kaitlyn Finnegan)

Chickadee at feeder (Photo by Kaitlyn Finnegan)

As I washed dishes at my kitchen sink I saw a flicker out of the corner of my eye. By the time I looked up, my backyard and the high wooden birdfeeder filled with sunflower seeds were both perfectly still and empty. I looked back to the sink and a...

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Canada's favourite winter birds

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Paul Turbitt)

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Paul Turbitt)

Winter can be a cold, bleak and depressing time of year, yet there is incredible beauty, if you know where to look. Birds that are usually hidden by dense foliage are revealed by the starkness of the frozen landscape. It is the perfect time to...

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