Monarch butterflies here today, gone tomorrow

Surprisingly, plenty of insects migrate. Just like birds, they seek to escape the cold, and find food and places where competition is lessened

Monarch butterflies here today, gone tomorrowMigration is a concept most people don’t really understand and have difficulty relating to, since it’s something we humans just don’t normally do. When we think of migration, we think of birds and mammals primarily, for these are the most obvious creatures to migrate. Twice each year, billions of them travel to or from their…

The amazing wild horses of Sable Island

As we approached the island, our anticipation rose and ebbed as we watched the weather. We weren’t sure if, after travelling so far, we could even land

The amazing wild horses of Sable IslandAs a guide, I often get to travel to exciting destinations. For example, I recently participated in an adventure to the Canadian Maritime provinces that took me to Sable Island. I’ve felt the urge, almost the need, to visit this magical place for most of my adult life. I’m not sure really why since it’s…

We must attack the coronavirus at its root

Though any deaths from a fast-spreading new disease can be frightening, panic isn’t justified. Most cases are mild and of short duration

We must attack the coronavirus at its rootI led a trade delegation in Guangdong, China, in December 2002. Business and life carried on as usual even though a new disease, SARS, had begun infecting and killing people in the province a month earlier. As visiting Canadians, we weren’t worried at all because we knew absolutely nothing about the epidemic and had never…

Surefire ways to find out if you’re a naturalist

Troy Media is pleased to introduce a biweekly column by naturalist and author Geoff Carpentier

Surefire ways to find out if you’re a naturalistTroy Media is pleased to introduce a biweekly column by naturalist Geoff Carpentier. Geoff’s interest in nature started when he was 13, wandering through the woods near his home in northern Ontario. He studied zoology and biological sciences at the University of Guelph before working for more than three decades in senior positions with the…

Approaching the end of fall on the Sunshine Coast

The days are increasingly short and grey, but nature is on full display everywhere we look

Approaching the end of fall on the Sunshine CoastI’m looking out of our living room window on a predominantly grey sea and landscape. The eye first trips over some close-in treetops before it encompasses five km of Jervis Inlet, leading to Scotch Fir Point in the mid-distance. The bulk of Texada Island beckons in the further background, hiding whatever it wishes behind its…

An epic fishing adventure at the Arctic Circle

Ten friends, a rustic lodge and days spent on the pristine waters of Great Bear Lake

An epic fishing adventure at the Arctic CircleBy Grady Semmens “Well, I guess I actually have to do this now that we’ve come all this way,” says Jeff warily as he eyes the cloud of mosquitoes that tracks our every move and bounces off the nets that cover our heads. And with that, he casts off every stitch of clothing save for…

A whale of a shift in seasons on the West Coast

Blackberries, figs, grey and humpback whales, and spawning salmon all herald the arrival of autumn

A whale of a shift in seasons on the West CoastAs August turns the corner to September, some notable and familiar signs of change occur at Skelhp, which is known as “The place where the ancients dropped down from the heavens and taught us how to make canoe paddles out of yew wood.” The blackberries that have been thriving over the past three weeks start…

Single-use plastic ban won’t solve waste problem

Economic reasoning and basic statistics show that such bans are largely symbolic gestures that come with real downsides

Single-use plastic ban won’t solve waste problemPrime Minister Justin Trudeau recently proposed a federal ban on certain single-use plastics, in an effort to protect marine life and the beauty of Canadian shores. But the proposal fails to get to the root of the problem. Trudeau justified the proposal by saying, “We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce…

Spring semester begins at Skelhp

Some familiar buzzes, croaks and tweets and a new cat-like cry as the turning of the seasons teaches anew

Spring semester begins at SkelhpMy British Museum 2019 Diary proclaims the vernal equinox arrived on March 20 this year, with a cryptic little note: “Spring begins.” At Skelhp, we already knew. In fact, I think spring began on Sunday, March 10, when we descended artfully on the deer-fenced garden with pruning clippers to shape some apple and cherry trees.…

Preparing for another Christmas at Skelhp

There are lights to hang, cleanup work to be done inside and out, kindling to split, a turkey to order and a final round of gifts to buy

Preparing for another Christmas at SkelhpIt’s very calm this morning and still a dark grey overcast at 7 a.m. The offshore islands are shrouded in mist. There’s no sign of human habitation right across the southern horizon. No rising plumes of chimney smoke are visible. No boats or tugs and booms are passing. And it’s cold in the house. Time…