St. Patrick’s Day “green”ery

Our parks are wearing the green this St. Patrick’s Day and you don’t have to be Irish to appreciate it!

“You do need to be observant, though,” says Algonquin Provincial Park biologist Alison Lake. “But it will be well worth the effort.”

Taking St. Patrick’s Day stroll? Here are 7 shades of green you might spot in our parks:

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The science of snow

Today’s post comes from Brianne Brothers, a Zone Ecologist in Ontario’s Southwest Zone. 

Ah, snow. A substance that truly embodies what it means to be Canadian.

While many of us struggle with the idea enjoying something that inflicts hard physical labour and white-knuckled driving, it truly is clean, fresh and beautiful.

In that light, please grab a cup of coffee and a cozy window seat, and let’s explore the science of snow.

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Gray jays: the real early birds

Ontario Parks is recognizing iconic Canadian wildlife species this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. First up is the gray jay, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s pick for the official bird of Canada.

“The early bird gets the worm” usually makes us think of robins. But the real early bird isn’t Robin Red-Breast. It’s the gray jay, also known as the whiskeyjack or Canada jay.

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If Ontario Parks gave out the Oscars…

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

Nature sure has a lot of colourful characters and powerful performances.

This awards season, I would like to take the time to acknowledge the stars of our natural environments in their tireless efforts to put on their best act for the sake of survival.

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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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February’s digital download

Between Family Day and Valentine’s Day, February has us thinking about the people we love. This is our reminder that families — whether human or wild — come in all shapes and sizes.

Throughout 2017, we’re sharing a free downloadable graphic. Each month will feature a different park, season, activity or natural resource.

We’ve specially sized these images for your computers, tablets, smartphones and Facebook covers.

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The beaver in winter

Pop quiz: do beavers hibernate? Today’s post — from Natural Heritage Education Specialist Dave Sproule — answers common questions about beavers.

beaverIf you’re near water, especially in our northern parks, you might see signs of one of the most important animals in the Ontario landscape, one that molds the landscape to its own needs.

But in the depths of winter, with much of Ontario frozen and white, what are these aquatic creatures up to?

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Woodpeckers 101

Today’s post comes from Barb Rees, our Natural Heritage Education and Marketing Specialist in the Northwest Zone of Ontario Parks.

Winter is a great time to watch for woodpeckers. Why? Simply because there are less leaves on trees making most birds more visible.

Typically, there are also more birdfeeders placed out in the winter than the summer (since the bears are hibernating). So attracting birds closer to your home makes bird-watching possible right from the warmth of your living room window.

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