Before hibernation, Vancouver Island marmots are nearly twice their springtime weight, averaging about 6.5kg. Photo submitted by NIWRA

VIDEO: Island marmots get a check-up and find their shadow on Groundhog Day

Vancouver Island marmot population rebounds, as Violet calls for 6 more weeks of winter

Before hibernation, Vancouver Island marmots are nearly twice their springtime weight, averaging about 6.5kg. Photo submitted by NIWRA
Hermann Thoene at his net-zero+ energy-efficient home in North Cowichan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Hermann Thoene at his net-zero+ energy-efficient home in North Cowichan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Fernie local Dave Richards with his latest carving creation - an ice bear carved from ice from Crowsnest Pass Lake. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

(Ice) bear spotted in Fernie

Local wood carver in training Dave Richards is the artist behind the ice sculpture

Fernie local Dave Richards with his latest carving creation - an ice bear carved from ice from Crowsnest Pass Lake. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Erin O'Toole poses with a chocolate bar in this undated handout photo. On the morning of Aug. 24, 2020, the Colorado O'Toole woke up to find a whole lot of new Canadian followers. Turns out, the politician O'Toole had just won the Conservative leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Erin O'Toole *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Twitter twins stay on top of Canadian news one misfired tweet at a time

Colorado’s Erin O’Toole shares birthday with her Canadian Twitter twin, the now ex-Conservative Leader

Erin O'Toole poses with a chocolate bar in this undated handout photo. On the morning of Aug. 24, 2020, the Colorado O'Toole woke up to find a whole lot of new Canadian followers. Turns out, the politician O'Toole had just won the Conservative leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Erin O'Toole *MANDATORY CREDIT*
The BC SPCA 2023 Calendar Contest is open for submissions.

BC SPCA accepting submissions for 2023 Calendar Contest

The BC SPCA is accepting submissions for its 2023 animal calendar. Entering…

The BC SPCA 2023 Calendar Contest is open for submissions.
(Associated Press photo)

What to stream in February: An Instagram fraudster, Black history and Ben Stiller

Here’s a look at some winning streaming film and TV picks set to debut this month

(Associated Press photo)
A woman and child wearing masks to protect from the coronavirus stand near the enclosure for flamingos at the zoo on the first day of the Chinese Lunar Year of the Tiger in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

PHOTOS: On Lunar New Year, Chinese offer prayers at temples

This year’s holiday has seen fewer people return to their hometowns for traditional family gatherings

A woman and child wearing masks to protect from the coronavirus stand near the enclosure for flamingos at the zoo on the first day of the Chinese Lunar Year of the Tiger in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
UFV is working with artificial intelligence robots that can help combat isolation and loneliness, thanks to funding from the TD Bank Group. (UFV photo)

Robots and AI being used to help combat COVID-19 loneliness at UFV

Findings will be shared with government, industry, and community partners to enhance wellness

UFV is working with artificial intelligence robots that can help combat isolation and loneliness, thanks to funding from the TD Bank Group. (UFV photo)
The New York Times has bought the popular online word game Wordle. (New York Times Games/Twitter)

New York Times buys Wordle; online game to remain free at this time

Millions of people play popular online word game each day

The New York Times has bought the popular online word game Wordle. (New York Times Games/Twitter)
Nikki and Jessica Gerson-Neeves (left to right) hold their blender triumphantly over their heads. (Facebook/Temperamental Chucklefuck and Friends)

Greater Victoria cats versus Vitamix chronicles come to an end

46-day standoff with 3 cats ends with margaritas

Nikki and Jessica Gerson-Neeves (left to right) hold their blender triumphantly over their heads. (Facebook/Temperamental Chucklefuck and Friends)
Ducks swim across the water at the Cheam Lake Wetlands on April 3, 2014. Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 is World Wetlands Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5

World Wetlands Day, Work Naked Day, Ice Cream For Breakfast Day are all coming up this week

Ducks swim across the water at the Cheam Lake Wetlands on April 3, 2014. Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022 is World Wetlands Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Castle Fun Park is hoping to re-open later this year. (File photo)

VIDEO: Abbotsford’s Castle Fun Park begins rebuilding after flooding

Owners share footage from inside damaged building, announce potential re-opening date

Castle Fun Park is hoping to re-open later this year. (File photo)
A social media post on Tuesday, Jan. 25, showing the escaped cattle entering a property on Gibbs Road. (Facebook photo)

‘Til the cows come home: Errington’s cruising cows back after adventurous escape

Owners notified animals were kept safe a short distance away; fence now beefed up

A social media post on Tuesday, Jan. 25, showing the escaped cattle entering a property on Gibbs Road. (Facebook photo)
Ryan Kehler was hiking north of Harrison Hot Springs when he found this somewhat rare phenomenon known as hair ice or angel hair frost, formed on cold, wet wood under the right circumstances. (Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)

Harrison-area photographer captures rare ‘hair ice’

Ryan Kehler found the strange weather phenomenon on an early morning hike

Ryan Kehler was hiking north of Harrison Hot Springs when he found this somewhat rare phenomenon known as hair ice or angel hair frost, formed on cold, wet wood under the right circumstances. (Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)
The development of the printing press in the 1400s led to the creation of books and other printed materials for the public to read. This file photo shows the first edition of the Alberni Valley News rolling through the press at the Black Press printing plant in Ladysmith. (Alberni Valley News file photo)

QUIZ: Celebrating the joy of reading

Family Literacy Day in Canada is held each year on Jan. 27.

The development of the printing press in the 1400s led to the creation of books and other printed materials for the public to read. This file photo shows the first edition of the Alberni Valley News rolling through the press at the Black Press printing plant in Ladysmith. (Alberni Valley News file photo)
Social media posts, dated Jan. 24, 2022, by an Errington resident who had corralled two missing cattle after their first escape. (Facebook photo)

Moo-vin’ around: Island cattle on the lam after escaping twice

Owners searching after animals slipped out through since-repaired Errington fence

Social media posts, dated Jan. 24, 2022, by an Errington resident who had corralled two missing cattle after their first escape. (Facebook photo)
The Life Journey Singers – John Bullas, Carolyn Franklin, Jennie Jones, Sharon Horncastle, Dorothy Mandy and Brian Short (from left) – have been serenading workers at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital since last fall. (Photo courtesy Jim Horncastle)

Vocal group serenading Vancouver Island hospital workers on a weekly basis

Life Journey Singers have been performing outside Nanaimo hospital since last fall

The Life Journey Singers – John Bullas, Carolyn Franklin, Jennie Jones, Sharon Horncastle, Dorothy Mandy and Brian Short (from left) – have been serenading workers at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital since last fall. (Photo courtesy Jim Horncastle)
Pamela Anderson at the Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)

Pamela Anderson and her B.C. contractor husband Dan Hayhurst getting divorced

Couple wed at Anderson’s Vancouver Island property in Dec. 2020

Pamela Anderson at the Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)
An excited school bus driver with two of her young passengers made a pit stop at 771 Vaughan Street on Wednesday, Jan. 26 for a photo with Vanessa Hildreth’s “Snowgopogo 2022’ sculpture. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Ogopogo made of snow sighted in Quesnel

‘Snowgopogo’ on Vaughan Street draws happy visitors and lots of smiles

An excited school bus driver with two of her young passengers made a pit stop at 771 Vaughan Street on Wednesday, Jan. 26 for a photo with Vanessa Hildreth’s “Snowgopogo 2022’ sculpture. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Julie Black, a Special Olympics athlete and Tim Hortons employee, shows off a Choose to Include doughnut, which will be on sale Jan. 28-30 benefiting Special Olympics Canada. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Tim Hortons asks customers to choose doughnut to benefit Special Olympics

‘Choose to Include’ doughnut available this weekend, Jan. 28-30

Julie Black, a Special Olympics athlete and Tim Hortons employee, shows off a Choose to Include doughnut, which will be on sale Jan. 28-30 benefiting Special Olympics Canada. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)