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Category Archives: ecology

A tiger in your back yard?

When we think of endangered animals, among the first things to come to mind may be creatures like rhinoceroses, tigers, or condors. Large animals, lots of press, and pressing concerns. There are an estimated 799 eastern black rhinos, ~400 Siberian tigers, and 237 California condors left in the wild. In some cases, as with these animals, their numbers have […]

Skiffs and shifts

Over the past few summers, I have been spending about a day a week (give or take) on the Crooked River just north of Prince George. This little river, just a few dozen kilometres in length, flows north from Summit Lake into McLeod Lake. Its source is just on the north side of the Arctic […]

Book review: Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra

Field Notes for the Alpine Tundra by Elena Johnson 2015, Gaspereau Press 48 pages $17.95         One of my favorite poets, Dylan Thomas, once wrote the following in response to being questioned on his definition of poetry: I, myself, do not read poetry for anything but pleasure. I read only the poems […]

Finding something new

It seems that, with this post, I have inadvertently blogged a three-part series on why field work matters. In part 1 I wrote about the value of getting out, rather than being stuck behind a desk. In part 2 I wrote about the idea of place and how regular field work in one discrete location […]

Place and rhythm

In “The Dry Salvages,” part of his Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot wrote the following*:      I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river Is a strong brown god – sullen, untamed and intractable, Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier; Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of […]

Getting out

For various reasons, over this past summer I have had the opportunity to get out into the field much more than usual – rivaling the amount of time that I was in the field during my Ph.D. studies. While I generally do ensure that I go out several times in any given summer, the frequency […]

Hot ice crawlers

I enjoy reading older literature for many reasons. I love the “time capsule” aspect of it, as I get a glimpse into what people were thinking in decades (or centuries) past. I also enjoy finding little bits of information that have served as part of the foundation for ongoing current study – or that could […]

Damn the torpedoes!

My family is probably one of the few that still receives the morning newspaper delivered to the front door. My winter morning ritual consists of braving the cold for a couple of seconds to bring in the paper and then settling down to read it at breakfast with a hot cup of tea. For some […]

Spider Monday

To help to celebrate Spider Monday, here are a few spider-related papers from the archives of the Journal of Entomological Society of British Columbia. Bennett, R.G. 2001. Spiders (Araneae) and araneology in British Columbia. J. Entomol. Soc. Brit. Columbia 98:83-90. A fantastic survey of everything spider in British Columbia. My favorite paragraph: Large areas and many specific […]

It’s cold out there!

Most of us would find it pretty hard to live outside all winter anywhere in Canada, let alone in places where temperatures routinely dip below -30ºC. But this is exactly what the mountain pine beetle (and many other insects) does. The question is, of course, how does it pull this off? What is it about […]