Frozen falls and other wacky winter water

When most of us picture winter ice, we conjure up mental images of skating rinks and icicles. But did you know there’s a lot of variety in wintry water formations?

From frozen falls to ice volcanoes, winter water is quite a sight to behold:

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The IBAs of Polar Bear Provincial Park

This installment of our 2017 blog series IBAs in provincial parks — brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada — is very “cool.” 

Welcome to our year-long blog series! For our inaugural spotlight, we are staying in the winter spirit and focusing on Ontario’s far north. That’s right: our worlds collide up there in a big way.

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5 walks through winter woods

The health benefits of hiking are head-to-toe. A walk in the woods can help alleviate mental fatigue, and improve creative thinking. Hiking is also great for cardiovascular health and muscle tone.

But is hiking an option in the winter?

Absolutely. We’ve collected a list of five parks with stellar options for winter rambles:

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Hike-in ice fishing at Frontenac

Today’s post comes from year-round multispecies angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.

Over the weekend, I traveled from my home in the Ottawa area to visit Frontenac Provincial Park. Growing up in nearby Napanee, I had visited the park plenty of times in the past, but this would be my very first hike-in ice fishing expedition.

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Licence-free fishing weekend 2017

At the first sign of frost, we often pack away our rods and reels, letting our fishing drive drift into daydreams until spring.

But what if we could reel in the dream catch during the sunniest and briskest days of the year?

With licence-free Family Fishing Weekend around the corner, we’re sharing our top tips about the season’s hottest — or should we say — coldest pastime — ice fishing!

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Some like it hot: cooking the perfect winter chili

In today’s post, Chef Deb Rankine, a.k.a. The Fridge Whisperer, shares her favourite campfire chili recipes.

Chili is perfect winter camping fare.

Cook it low ’n slow in a cast iron Dutch oven set over smoldering embers, or on a gas barbecue over indirect heat with the lid down. Or — if you’re on a serviced site — in a slow cooker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Today’s recipes use everyday pantry ingredients that are easily sourced and, for the most part, require no refrigeration.

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Eyes on the skies — February, 2017

Welcome to the new Ontario Parks “eyes on the skies” series. This space (<– see what we did there?) will cover a wide range of astronomy topics with a focus on what can be seen from the pristine skies found in our provincial parks.

The month of February brings the promise of both warmer weather and clearer skies. So grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate, dress warmly, and spend the day outdoors.

And when the sun goes down and the stars start to shine, don’t forget to head back out to enjoy the season’s beautiful night skies!

Here are our astronomical highlights for February, 2017:

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Happy World Wetlands Day!

Bog. Swamp. Fen. Marsh. Muck, mud and mire…

It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? When movie directors want to make things hard for their characters, they sometimes pick a wetland to chuck them into – think Humphrey Bogart in the classic movie “African Queen”, where he struggles day after day to pull his boat through an impenetrable swamp.

Wetlands get a bad rap, but they are hugely important to all of us. Without them, things would be a lot more difficult on old Planet Earth.  Like big sponges, they store water from snows and rains, and then let it out when things get dry. They provide rich habitats for plants and animals to live in, and they create “biodiversity”: the variety of life.

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