Always an opportunity for birding in Saskatchewan

With over 350 species of birds, Saskatchewan is a solid destination for birding activities. That seems to be ringing true throughout the chilly winter months and is evident even in my backyard. As I learn more and more techniques for attracting certain types of birds into my yard, they seem to come a ‘flocking’. And they bring their friends.

I think I have even been able to get my neighbors on the bird train and there may even be some friendly competition going on for the most attractive yard for the feathery visitors.

At any given time I can see large families of sparrows can be spotted nestling contentedly in the pine tree; juncos cleaning up the fallen seeds in the snow; a downy woodpecker rapping on the maple tree; house finches hopping along the fence link; beautiful red polls who pose for me; and of course nuthatches and chickadees who have fierce speed competitions through the branches. Those are the most common yard visitors this year but certainly not the full extent. Winter birding in Saskatchewan has not disappointed.


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9 tips for the tube on the other side of the pond

Navigating London underground

This post is not intended for seasoned travellers who have many times over had to discover how to figure out big city underground transport, nor those who live in cities with subway systems. But rather for those, who like me who are newer to the game and may want some navigational pointers. As well, for us overly polite “sorry abusers” and space sensitive types (yes Canadians I am looking at you), this post should better prepare you.

This wasn’t my first subway. No, I was introduced to my first underground system in New York years ago, which admittedly I found quite simple. And this too was not a complex system to understand. But, I found there was definitely a protocol in London.

Below are tips based solely on my first time visit to London and how it could be made easier for new travellers to quickly acclimate to the tube system, with a few simple considerations.
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Travel inspiring creation

Those who travel know how very inspiring it can be, in fact for many it leads them into some sort of creative process. This certainly is the case for me. As a writer one of the greatest gifts is the ability to write about those who truly inspire me.

Enter in Nicole Valentine Don. I was fortunate enough to be able to tell the story of this very talented friend of mine in the February 2013 issue of Chatelaine. Nicole, a native Saskatchewanian who now calls Australia home is featured as Ms. Chatelaine; which can be described as a woman of style and substance. Nicole is both of those things and more.

She came to mind immediately when I was asked to think of who could possibly fit the Ms. Chatelaine profile. I have been inspired by her work from afar and relate with how her travel experiences clearly inform the aesthetic she draws upon to transform creative spaces. Plus she is always on the pulse of all things cool, making her a true leader of the pack.

I love seeing her creative process in action on her blog and you will too. Check out her visual diary at www.thetranscontinentalaffair.blogspot.com. This is a woman who is going somewhere. Without further adieu, I introduce you to Nicole via the article I wrote about her.

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Embrace winter. Get up and get out.

I did something different this weekend. I made a concerted effort to stay and play outdoors in the cold. Plus I chose where I thought would be a beautiful winter playground, Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan. I couldn’t have been more right. I had found Saskatchewan’s winter wonderland.

Heavy snow laden pine trees, windy white roads and animal sightings a plenty, Waskesiu  boasts a perfect winter landscape to get outside and reconnect with nature while trying out some fun winter activities.

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Moose Jaw: More than expected. Surprisingly.

Moose Jaw is a city that has a lot going for it in terms of tourism. In this month’s travel spread for Pink magazine, I go beyond the obvious hot spots and unearth some other gems found in this great southern Saskatchewan destination.

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Read this month’s magazine here.