Emergence of the Dragonhunter

Today’s post comes from Evan McCaul, Ecologist with Ontario Parks’ Northwest Zone. 

While conducting an ecological inventory of Brightsand River Provincial Park, Ontario Parks staff witnessed and recorded a large scale emergence of dragonflies, including a Dragonhunter, the largest clubtail dragonfly in North America!

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Trailblazers of Ontario Parks interpretation

Last year marked Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary: 125 years of campfires, hikes, nights under the stars, days at the beach, and unforgettable family memories of the countless visitors who use our beautiful park system.

This year marks two other important anniversaries – Rondeau Provincial Park’s 125th anniversary and 75 years of interpretation in Ontario Parks!

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Forever protected: why Holland Landing Prairie belongs

Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar tells us Holland Landing Prairie’s story. 

“The mosquitoes have been exceedingly troublesome these two days past. It is almost impossible to sleep during the night, for they are quite as plentiful and every way as michievous [SIC] as during the day.”

Sounds familiar, huh?

This isn’t a comment from a frustrated camper – it’s a 200 year old journal entry by a Scottish explorer visiting what is now known as Holland Landing Prairie Nature Reserve.

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The cat and the Mudbug: a guide to using iNaturalist

Cellphones have changed our lives in many ways. It seems like there’s an app available to cater to our every need, from baking to banking and all things in between.

In Ontario Parks, we generally encourage green time over screen time, however there’s one app we believe every visitor should have on their phone.

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The Spotted Salamander, harbinger of spring

Salamanders are iconic and influential members of northern forest communities. As one of the most abundant vertebrates in eastern North American forests, salamanders are considered “keystone species” because of their disproportionate roles as predators and prey in regulating food webs, nutrient cycling, and contributing to ecosystem resilience-resistance.

In addition to fulfilling key ecological functions, amphibians are our modern-day “canaries in the coal mine,” serving as a measure of environmental health.

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Hiking through Halfway Lake, discovery-style

Today’s post comes from Megan and Cora, two of Halfway Lake Provincial Park‘s discovery guides. 

As discovery guides, part of our job is inspiring, encouraging, and motivating visitor to explore and discover nature everywhere!

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“Gathering” at Rondeau

Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

About a year ago, we looked at a well-loved, yet aging display in the Rondeau Visitor Centre.

Hundreds of visitors learned from it over the years, but it was becoming faded and worn — it was time for a change.

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Wildlife parenting strategies

This blog comes from Laura Penner, a Natural Heritage Education Leader at Rondeau Provincial Park. 

Happy Family Day! On this day we reflect upon and celebrate the unique bonds we make with the special people in our lives.

As a naturalist and a mother of three, I find great joy in catching rare glimpses of wildlife taking care of their young. This looks so different from species to species. It could be a female oriole meticulously weaving grasses into an intricate basket-shaped nest, or a Map Turtle digging test nests all over a campsite until she finds the perfect soil composition.

Each species has its own unique way to raise its young that best deals with the challenges in its environment. Let’s take a look at a few interesting ways wildlife care for their young.

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