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Will sportfishing be unsustainable?

The cover of the 2015 Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations brought an agonized, involuntary groan from deep within me: a gorgeous portrait of a native fish — an Arctic grayling — a too-frequent sign in recent years of another native species in such trouble that yet another zero limit is being imposed on anglers.

Inside, the “Message from the Minister” confirms the worst, that the provincial Fish Sustainability Index shows “overall declines in Arctic grayling populations,” therefore “we are implementing a province wide catch —and — release regulation to better protect this species.” READ

Dahlia season is on the horizon

Those who walked through Bower Place mall last fall when the Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society were hosting their annual show know what these flowers look like at their best. They are magnificent and easy to grow. Every garden should boast a few. Start with good roots or tubers. READ

Everything was my fault

I woke up with a start. I was dreaming that in some perverse and twisted universe, my husband’s stinky work clothes had gotten mixed in with my whites. READ

Beware of false wisdom and those who peddle it

“I’m not sure I can answer that,” I replied, “without sounding self-important.” I was talking with a friend about life and he surprised me by asking if I considered myself a wise person. It reminded me of the Zen paradox about enlightenment: the moment you think you’re enlightened, you’re not. I told him I thought wisdom was a journey and not a destination. READ

Stay safe and FireSmart

FireSmart is a concept that has been around for a number of years. But its flame was rekindled as a result of the wild fires that destroyed much of Slave Lake in 2011 and parts of the mountain areas around Kelowna a few years earlier. READ

Beware the Ides of March

The soothsayer’s dire “beware the Ides of March” to Julius Caesar in 44 BC has taken on new meaning this year; that and flying kites. Even in the ’toons, one sooths sad truths: the coloured Classic Peanuts of March 7 showing Charlie Brown, a red kite hung on his nose, and saying “Eventually, I may have to give up kite flying,” immediately brings Premier Jim Prentice to mind. READ

Surprises of spring cleaning

A miniature green and yellow triceratops greets me when I open my eyes. He is plopped on top of my chaotic bedside table and for some reason, upon waking, my eyes move automatically to him. “Well good morning small play thing,” I say, but not loud enough to give my husband a reason to commit me. READ

Building a better ego

“Hey, we’ve got mail!” That may seem like an odd statement but not when you consider the demise of door-to-door mail delivery. Since moving to our new house, I’d picked up our mail at the community mailbox down the block. I began to wonder why we bothered having a mailbox next to the door. READ

A fond farewell to a friend

I’m starting to notice an accelerating pace of our losses among the giants of Alberta’s outdoors recreation and conservation worlds, most too soon, many the victims of myriad maladies. READ

Some tips for purchasing heirloom seeds

Heirloom plants grow from seeds that have always been pollinated by wind and insect. Open pollination means that the genetics of each seed are slightly different. Over the course of many years, the seeds will adapt to the area where they are grown. READ

Spring cleanse a time for renewal

Consider a time before every home had a refrigerator. Green vegetables were as scarce in January as a robin’s song. Salted meat was chewed on through short days and long nights. By February, the root veggies in the cellar were limp and spongy. Pickled eggs and fish were a treat. READ

Walking on ice is treacherous

Although ‘walking on thin ice’ may be the more readily used phrase, this winter I’ve come to the conclusion that any kind of ice walking is a dodgy endeavour. READ

The busyness of addiction

“What the hell are you doing?” My wife’s question startled me. Now to be fair, it was 3 a.m. and I was sitting in front of my computer in my underwear. (Sorry for the unpleasant visual.) I had woken up in the middle of night convinced that I hadn’t responded to an important email from my employer. As it turned out I had, but seeing that I was up, I decided to work on a small writing assignment. READ

Aligning with the health that is you

Trying to work out but can’t seem to make it to the gym? Wanting to make changes in your eating behaviors but can’t seem to kick the takeout and fast food? Confused about which diet is right for you or how to truly know what to eat and how to prepare? READ

Dealing with fossil fuels in a SSE

In my previous column, I quoted an economist by the name of Kenneth Boulding on the subject of a “steady state economy.” READ

Elk, cougars on the AFGA agenda

One of the best parts of an Alberta Fish and Game annual conference is what you learn in the hunting and fishing committee meetings from presentations by Alberta’s few remaining fish and wildlife biologists about what they are up to and what regulation changes you might expect in the coming fishing and hunting seasons. READ

Be on the lookout this year for AAS seeds

Google new plants for 2015 and over 300 million results appear. Further research shows that the plants might be a newly introduced variety or they might be new to the company that is selling that plant or type of seed. All American Selections (AAS) READ

No more mister nice guy

“You’re much too nice,” said his boss. “You let people walk all over you.” “You’re much nicer than I am,” said his friend. “I would have told that SOB off.” “You’re such a nice guy,” said the girl of his dreams. “Someday you’ll find someone.” As these examples suggest, sometimes, being really nice isn’t the greatest quality one could posses. READ

Getting to the bottom of a tall tale

Have I told you about my two little parrots? I’m sure I’ve mentioned them in an article or two — I have come to quite enjoy their antics, you know. READ

Viral dancing genitals, accidental butt-dialing

The world is full of it these days. Boy, is it ever. Bad news I mean. What with wars and pestilence and movies like Hot Tub Time Machine 2, it can be downright depressing. That’s why it’s so nice to see some meaningful, life-affirming, important news stories once a while. Significant news items like Butt-Dialing Bust and Dancing Genitals Video. READ

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