The Travelling Birder

I started birding by accident, intent on spending a year identifying the trees of Eastern Canada and instead falling in love with their feathered residents. In the space of a couple weeks I went from a lifetime of apathy toward birds to an abiding obsession, departing my home most mornings and every evening with camera...

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Snow covered shame

Spring can be an informative time, as the veil of winter is pulled back to reveal the indiscretions of a season filling our ditches. Into these reservoirs of outright laziness we discard styrofoam, rubber tires and old boots, occasionally fridges and dishwashers, and atop it all – plastic. This durable substance was very much a...

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Reclaiming coastal rock

“Remote islands are Canada’s most endangered ecosystem,” said Ian Jones, a professor of biology with Memorial University who specializes in seabirds and island conservation. An island qualifies as remote if its ecosystem formed more or less in the absence of the continents, lacking mostly or entirely in mammals and catering heavily to birds and marine...

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Burning Forests

I never thought we’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel like this. While Nova Scotian forests once yielded European fleets and world class lumber, today they have been degraded so completely that, in our desperation to continue the roller-coaster ride of clearcut forestry, we’ve begun chopping down the scraps and torching them for electricity,...

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To block a clearcut

Clearcutting, in my mind, represents everything that’s wrong with forestry past and present. Yes, there are nuances to this industry I will never fully grasp and the economic drivers involved are powerful, but through the lens of sustainability, clearcutting is absurd. I’ve had the privilege, and the misfortune, of walking through forests before and after...

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What’s in a name?

Your average North American can recognize 150 corporate logos without effort or preparation. Our evolutionary gifts for pattern recognition, once wielded by our ancestors to understand and embrace the complexities of nature, are now being clogged by companies from which we purchase the necessities. Most of us are incapable of missing a Tim Hortons on...

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