American Toads

By Alexis Newman This Fall, I took a course in Conservation Biology, which provided me with the opportunity to ask my professor, David Green, what species of toad I happened to stumble upon in my yard last summer. According to him, an expert in the field of amphibian research, this is a female American Toad, … Continue reading American Toads

Painted Lady Butterflies

By Alexis Newman Throughout the late summer and early fall, Montréal was greeted with a gorgeous influx of painted-lady butterflies, also scientifically known as Vanessa cardui of the Nymphalidae family. They were visible fluttering about over nearly every floral surface, with their distinctive brown upper-hind white-spotted wings and beautiful 42 to 66-millimetre yellow and salmon … Continue reading Painted Lady Butterflies


By Alexis Newman This is our friendly backyard chipmunk Jimmy (we don’t actually know if it’s a male though). Chipmunks can range from 4 to 7 inches in size with 3 to 5-inch tails, weighing 1 to 5 oz. in total (2). Jimmy comes to see us daily, usually during the afternoon, for peanuts. It … Continue reading Chipmunks

Mourning Doves

By Alexis Newman Despite the cliché rhyme, the dove does exhibit and yearn for true love. For several years now, I have been observing the strength of the beautiful bond between a pair of mourning doves living in my backyard, and it has not faded one bit. They rarely leave each other’s side, and can … Continue reading Mourning Doves

Red Foxes

By Alexis Newman With reference to Dora the Explorer (a beloved childhood television show), Swiper began swiping quite a long time ago. Dating back to the Illinoian glaciation during 300 000 to 130 000 BP, the fossil record shows red foxes having crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Eurasia into North America. The red foxes … Continue reading Red Foxes


By Alexis Newman Groundhogs are most commonly known for their ability to announce the arrival of springtime on February 2nd in Canada and the United States (and for driving off a cliff with Bill Murray). However, there is much more to know about these adorable creatures aside from their cultural stereotypes. Belonging to the rodent … Continue reading Groundhogs