Some fun facts about chipmunks

Chipmunks are adorable, but ...

Some fun facts about chipmunksAlthough over 200 kinds of squirrels can be found across the globe, 25 of those are chipmunks and all but one of these species of chipmunk lives in North America. The outlier is the Siberian Chipmunk which can only be found in Asia.  In Canada, we have several kinds of squirrels – Eastern Gray, Red,…

Who doesn’t want to eat a meadow vole?

Meadow Vole poop is an essential source of nutrients for grasses and other plants where they forage

Who doesn’t want to eat a meadow vole?It’s easy to admire big animals, but without tiny critters nothing can survive. From the soil insects, micro-organisms and small mammals that become food for predators up through the food chain, everything relies on something smaller to survive. One of the most overlooked mammals is the Meadow Vole. It’s a small mouse-like animal that lives…

The science behind what attracts and repels pesky mosquitoes

One simple tip to get some natural protection is to wear light-coloured clothing

The science behind what attracts and repels pesky mosquitoesIt’s nearly impossible to head outdoors during the summer without coming across mosquitoes – and experiencing the itch-inducing bites they bestow. But as irritating as those bites may be, mosquitoes are a necessary part of the ecosystem. “Both the larvae and the adults are food sources for other insects such as dragonflies, amphibians, birds and…

Why do birds really migrate in the fall?

It isn't so much to escape the cold but to find enough food to survive

Why do birds really migrate in the fall?I get both excited and saddened at this time of year. In the spring, I await the return of the birds and then all summer long I enjoy their song, but in the fall I know they will soon be migrating south. The young have fledged and the adult birds have put on enough weight…

How to be eco-friendly when mowing your lawn

Helping insects survive is more valuable than practically anything else we do to help nature

How to be eco-friendly when mowing your lawnI recently wrote about haying and the delicate balance between harvesting a crop and protecting nesting birds. Today, I would like to offer some advice to help us protect the beauty and functionality of our properties while simultaneously protecting wildlife. Why should we care? Wildlife is more than just an attractive feature of the landscape;…

Fall is in the air and trees are changing colour

We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where our four seasons are distinct

Fall is in the air and trees are changing colourAutumn is a time of reflection. I love the fall as it is both a time of awe-inspiring colours and a foreboding of winter soon to come … but the former somehow overshadows the latter for me. We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where our four seasons are distinct and…

Lime shows promise for controlling clubroot in canola crops

Spot-treating soil with lime could give farmers another option to stem the costly disease and improve soil health

Lime shows promise for controlling clubroot in canola cropsLime is showing promise as an additional way to help manage clubroot, a deadly disease in canola crops, University of Alberta research shows. Spot-treating soil with the mineral reduced the overall occurrence and severity of the disease by 35 to 91 per cent, growth experiments showed. The finding, published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology,…

Canada Jay is the best choice to be our national bird

The Jay lives and breeds from coast to coast to coast

Canada Jay is the best choice to be our national birdMy friend and colleague Dr. David Bird, formerly of McGill University, has been driving a movement to have a national bird declared for Canada. Although many thought it was a done deal already and we had affirmed the Canada Jay as our national bird, Canada has not yet done so. Starting in 2016, the community…

What to do when you see wildlife on urban trails

Four tips on making wildlife encounters of every description safe and enjoyable for all parties

What to do when you see wildlife on urban trailsIt seems one can’t swing a cat without hitting a coyote, a jackrabbit, a Canada goose, or a bear – and not just in the far-flung wilderness. Wildlife encounters are now common in cities, with urban populations of coyotes, skunks and Canada geese increasing throughout North America. Here are four tips on making wildlife encounters…

Running Everest Marathon takes a community to reach your goals

Edmontonian Kate Storey ran the 42.2-km Everest Marathon. It took her seven and a half hours

Running Everest Marathon takes a community to reach your goals  When you hear stories about Everest, they usually involve people trying to get up the mountain. Not for Kate Storey. At the end of May, she ran the Everest Marathon – a 42.2-km race down the mountain from Everest’s South Base Camp that took her seven and a half hours. She finished as the second-quickest international…
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