I heard a strange sound last night – what was it?

Today’s post is from Mark D. Read, a senior interpreter at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

It’s a common question that park interpreters face almost daily during the summer and one that many folks already think they know the answer to:

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The superpowers of owls

Today’s post is from Alistair MacKenzie, our Natural Heritage Education & Resource Management Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.

I’ve been bird watching since the age of six. My dad was the main reason I began bird-watching, and he and I spent many hours in search of another species for our lists.

From the start, I was always fascinated by owls and to this day they are, hands-down, my favourite group of birds.  You have to work hard to find owls given that they are usually solitary hunters and most do not roost together in communal groups. Many, but not all, are nocturnal and they are generally shy and reclusive.

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Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery

Today’s post comes from Habitat Stewardship Technician Justin Johnson from Pinery Provincial Park. Justin has a M.Sc. in biology with a focus on bird acoustics. 

Birders are an interesting breed of people. Sometimes everything they do seems to subvert the norms of society.

Sleeping in? Rather not. Too much coffee? No such thing. $4500 binoculars? Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Birders’ bread and butter is local natural spaces and their trails. They can be very particular about which trails they walk. Seasoned birders often only use trails they perceive as “birdy,” neglecting those off their sacred path.

But how do we really know which trails are the “birdiest?”

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From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 1

This post kicks off a three-part photographic journey into the history of our universe! Read on to explore the key events that led to the formation of our provincial parks and the natural world we live in.

Have you ever stared up into a starry sky and wondered “how did it all begin?”

Today we will discuss the origins of the universe, the evolution of galaxies and globular clusters, and conclude with a history of the first stars and supernovae.

Stay tuned for Part II where we detail how stars are born and live out their lives, including the formation of the planets. Finally in Part III, we will discuss how different stars end their lives.

So let’s get started with our origin story!

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Autumnal campfire fare

In today’s post, Chef Deb Rankine, a.k.a. The Fridge Whisperer, shares recipes for two hearty seasonal soups that are quick to make and eat like a meal.

After a day of paddling, exploring trails, or hiking through forests awash in fall colours, who wouldn’t relish bowlfuls of goodness that warm mind, body and soul?

Here are a couple of hearty soups that do just that!

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Add nature to your self-care toolkit

As the days get shorter and the colder weather arrives, it’s time to talk self-care.  Bubble baths and meditation are great options, but have you considered adding nature to your self-care toolkit?

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and it’s the perfect time to think of ways we can take care of ourselves and our families.

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Mental health benefits of the outdoors

Do you ever find yourself feeling calmer, more relaxed, or more focused after spending time in nature? That’s because time outside has studied and proven benefits for your mental health.

Mental illness affects one in five Canadians in any given year. Let’s talk about what some Vitamin N (nature) can do for your mental health…

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A tale of star cross’d plovers

In today’s post, Marina Opitz, Discovery leader at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, regales us with shorebird drama of Shakespearean proportions. Thanks to Neal Mutiger for photographing our leading avian actors.

First, let us set the scene for our dramatic tale.

Picture an empty beach, orange sunrise gleaming across the waves, when two solitary plovers lock eyes from across the wrack line. It is love at first sight.

However, if we have learned anything from the immortal Bard, it is that not all romantic tales have a happy ending. And so we start on our path to eventual heartbreak…

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4 top tips for fall hiking adventures

Fall is our favourite hiking season.

It’s not too hot. The bugs are gone. Solitude is easier to find.

But fall hiking has its own complications, especially when it comes to weather.

Before heading out, check out this handy fall hiking checklist:

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Algonquin’s second fall colours peak: the golden encore

Today’s post comes from Ian Shanahan, Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Algonquin Provincial Park.

“Algonquin’s blazing landscape” is a term used to describe the park during the peak of fall colours, when the mid-slope of most Algonquin hillsides along the Highway 60 corridor truly seem ablaze with the bright oranges and reds of Sugar and Red Maples.

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