Skating on the Rideau Canal. Photo by Xiaozhuli via Flickr According to a recent Statistics Canada study, “just 15 per cent of adults are meeting the latest proposed guidelines in Canada for averaging 2 1/2 hours per week of moderate to vigorous activity. For children, just seven per cent are achieving the benchmark of at least one hour of activity per day.” Spending time outside is an easy way to increase your physical health. Even as the cold and snow of winter have a firm grip on most of the country, there are many fun activities to do in nature. Skiing, snowboarding, skating and sledding immediately come to mind as favourite winter sports, and we can’t forget about hockey! But… read more →
If you’re still looking for something to make 2011 a year to remember, why not join your local naturalists’ club? These groups organize wildlife hikes, bird identification, and nature seminars among many other activities. Whether you already have a passion for nature or are just starting your connection with our natural world, a naturalists’ club is a great way to learn more about the world around us. And don’t forget to tell us about your adventures in nature in the comments. There’s no time like the present to make the commitment to connect with nature!
Johnston Canyon Nature Walk Photo by Sangudo via Flickr Gifts have been unwrapped. Holiday meals have been eaten. The spirit of the season has been shared with friends and family. What better way to relax after the festivities and reconnect with nature than with a winter wildlife walk? You don’t have to go far at this time of year to notice the beauty of the natural world. It can be as simple as walking through familiar areas and noticing how different they are in the winter. Wander along a favourite route and see if you can identify the trees without their leaves. Look for animal tracks in the snow, matching the prints with the creature that made them. And, of… read more →
The Christmas Bird Count is a wonderful holiday tradition that allows nature lovers to spend an entire day outdoors, in the company of other naturalists and bird enthusiasts, gathering important information on the birds in their neighbourhood. The 111th edition of this citizen science intiative is taking place now, through January 5, 2011. Christmas Bird Counts take place in a set circle 24 kilometres in diameter during a single day. Depending on your location, you may even be able to count the birds at your backyard feeder and report them to the group leader. Each count then feeds into a larger tally and scientists use the collection of data to better understand how birds and the environment are faring –… read more →
Chickadee by Lynn Pady Birdwatching is a wonderful way to connect with nature, and winter offers us many opportunities to watch our feathered friends. Get your yard or balcony ready for birds this winter, and enjoy the show! Provide cover. Birds need shelter from harsh weather conditions, and vegetation in your yard will help to furnish it. Don’t prune back dead vegetation like vines and stalks – these provide both valuable winter cover and nesting material for birds in the spring. Add habitat in your backyard in the form of a brush pile, which may attract foraging birds and mammals, and even over-wintering reptiles, amphibians and insects. Balconies have a special opportunity to attract nesting birds as they provide great… read more →
Long-time Nature Canada supporter Sandra Soos has been spurred by her observations of the natural world around her to start her own petition to protect frogs and their habitat in Ontario. Frogs provide benefits to us through their role in the food chain – both eating bugs and becoming prey for fish, birds and mammals. They are also an important indicator species, providing information about changes in the environment that may ultimately impact humans. If you agree with Sandra that the Ontario government should take action to protect frogs and their habitat, sign her petition today. And way to go Sandra for standing up and doing something on behalf nature!
A new mobile app for sharing nature photos is turning random plant and animal sightings into a fast-growing citizen science project.Networked Organisms and Habitats and their nature-focused application, Project Noah, is used to explore and document local wildlife, in backyards, city parks and other places, and it has already attracted both the casual naturalist and the professional ecologist. I know how it sounds. Electronic media consumption is supposed to spread nature deficit disorder among our young, not increase our appreciation for nature and wild things, right? Butwith technologylike this, it’s often how it’s applied that really matters. And Project Noah could have the capacity to bridge the gap between professional researchers and amateur wildlife enthusiasts. So exactly how does Project… read more →
Untitled Photo by Jan Jansinski Jan Jasinski, winner in the photography category of the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest, is a 7th grader from Sherbrooke, Quebec. He has been interested in photography for the past three years and especially loves taking pictures of aircrafts! He always has his camera at the ready whenever anything interesting crosses his lens. Although his hobby takes patience, he still feels it is something well worth doing and hopes to inspire others to do the same Nature Canada is looking forward to next year’s new crop of upcoming artists so get outside, get inspired and capture the beauty and essence that is mother nature. For a complete list of all Get to Know winners… read more →
Hello Readers, This week I’d like to focus on a couple of indirect ways in which my wife and I are trying to forge our daughter’s connection to nature as she grows. The idea for this post started as I was looking at my daughter’s growing book collection. Yes, that’s right, she’s not even 7 weeks old and we already have tonnes of books. And tonnes of music – but that’ll be a later installment in this series. We make sure to read, sing, hum and chat to our little one as much as possible to help her on her way. Anyway, back to the point: I noticed that the majority of her books and music had some sort of… read more →
RuiLin Guo’s poem, Against All Odds, is one of twelve winning entries in the writing category of the 2010 Get to Know Contest. Ruilin is a 10th grade student living in beautiful Barrie, Ontario. She loves art, poetry, reading, and nature, as well as figure skating and badminton. This calm perfectionist is also an avid birdwatcher and wants to change the world! Here is an excerpt of Ruilin’s winning entry. Against All Odds By RuiLin Guo, age 15, from Ontario The green plant unfurls From a crack in grey pavement Nature still survives For a complete list of all Get to Know winners please follow this link.