If you live on a lake, river or by the ocean, then you probably already know how lucky you are. (And you may hear me sighing as I sit in my little yard in the middle of Ottawa’s suburbia.) Having a home — or a cottage — by a body of water means wonderful sunsets, the call of loons, summertime fun on the waves…and shoreline maintenance. There are plenty of things you’ll want to do to protect your shoreline and safeguard the value of your investment, while saving time, money, and the environment.
Many, many years ago, a mentor suggested to me that it was all about “search image.” I am not talking about the internet, but rather an individual’s own internal system or ability to observe and process information to find what he or she is looking for. This probably relates to so many aspects of our lives . . . emotional, sexual, material, just about everything. Evidently this ability is refined for certain vocations such as detective work, but really the ability to notice and find what we are looking for is in some ways a reflection of our connection to the world around us. It is fair to say that everyone is different but also that there are patterns to… read more →
So you love birdwatching? But you’re starting to wince a little about the trains, planes and automobiles you use in your quest to complete your life list? Try carbon-free birdwatching. Check out this friendly competition that combines birding with a truly lighter carbon footprint. It’s called the Big Green Big Year, and the challenge is to compile a list that includes only birds you see within walking or cycling distance of your home or place of work. True, this does by definition mean you won’t be able to add that South American crippler species you’ve had on your list for ages, but then, the birds will thank you for it.
The list of threats that the tar sands pose to Canada’s environment gets longer and longer… Check out this news release for details of why the Métis Nation of Alberta are concerned about the future of Canada’s largest freshwater aquifer. (Please note that there is a mistake in the contact number for Rick Boucher; the correct number is (780) 520-0258)
Congratulations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, BC Nature and nature lovers in British Columbia. For years, naturalists have been working to protect the habitat of the Mountain Caribou. Thank you all for your great efforts. Today is a day to celebrate!
The gang at Nature Canada has selected July’s Photo of the Month! This image of a harlequin duck comes from Larry Kirtley, who had this to say about his pic: “This picture was photographed at Humber Bay in Toronto with perfect evening light to show his great colours . Sometimes you get that lucky shot and with the proper light, I hit the jackpot.” All photos donated to Nature Canada to be used in our web or print materials are eligible to be named the photo of the month. So share your favourite shot — we’d love to see it!
As part of BirdLife International, we’re celebrating the recent publication of a map of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Alaska. Extensive identification efforts by Audubon Alaska have resulted in the designation of 145 IBAs for birds such as Kittlitz’s Murrelets, Emperor Geese and Bar-tailed Godwits. With 69 IBAs of global significance, Alaska has the highest number of globally significant IBAs of any US state. These sites join a network of thousands of IBAs stretching throughout the hemisphere and around the world, including close to 600 IBAs that we’ve identified in Canada. By identifying the world’s sites that are critical to the survival of birds, the BirdLife partnership highlights their importance and is taking concrete steps to ensure that these… read more →
Sue (who works at Nature Canada here in Ottawa) has visitors at her front door! Robin fledglings (Turdus migratorius) have taken up temporary residence in a tree that stands in Sue’s front yard, overhanging her front deck.Says Sue: “The mother used a bit of fabric from one of our dog’s toys to construct the nest. We have watched as the robin parents protected the eggs and then the babies over a few weeks. The day of this picture, one of the two fledglings boldly moved to the edge of the nest and tested his wings. He never left the nest that day that I saw, but two days after this picture was taken they had flown the coop.” Here’s what… read more →
Every summer I spend a few weeks up in the Muskokas, spending as much time in, or on the waters of Big Doe Lake as I can. My uncle has lived on that lake his entire life, and I’m counting the days when I can flee the city and re-enter his world again. No doubt we’ll be going out in his boat, which reminded me of this green boater’s checklist, first published in On the Living Edge: A Guide to Waterfront Living. It’s a handy to-do list for those who want to go boating without harming the shoreline, waters or the wildlife within it. This handbook was published as part of the Living by Water project, which provides waterfront residents… read more →
Today is Parks Day, which means that hundreds of events are taking place across this country in our national parks, provincial parks, and historic sites. Most Canadians know national parks as places to vacation, camp, hike and canoe, but they are far more than just summer playgrounds. They are spectacular and serene landscapes that harbour globally significant wildlife populations and habitats of endangered species. And they continue to provide goods and services to us that are impossible to replace — clean air, water, and soil,for example. They also regulate climate and disease. And Canadians are apparently willing to do more to support parks. According to a University of Guelph study, 61 per cent of Canadian households are willing to contribute… read more →