Welcome to our “Considerate Camper” series. These are posts with tips and reminders on how to keep our provincial parks clean and healthy. Already know how it’s done? Please share these posts along for less-experienced campers 🙂
We’re taking a leaf out of the Lorax’s book and speaking for the trees today!
When maintaining our campgrounds, we often notice marks in our trees. Many are from axes and nails, and plenty of trees have names, shapes and initials carved across their bark.
Did you know these holes and gouges risk the tree’s health and may result in its destruction?
Continue reading Considerate Camper: Keep our trees healthy
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.
Continue reading The cat and the Mudbug: a guide to using iNaturalist
Today’s post comes from Isabelle Moy, a Discovery naturalist at Killbear Provincial Park.
As many faithful Killbear campers will remember, seven years ago our camping landscape changed dramatically with the felling of many American Beech trees due to Beech Bark Disease.
Unfortunately, Killbear has again been infested by an invasive species.
Continue reading Changing landscapes at Killbear Provincial Park
Today’s post comes from David LeGros, a park naturalist with the Ontario Parks Discovery Program.
“I’ve never seen one of those” is among my favorite sentences.
There’s a scary thing that happens the longer you look into nature. The more you find, the more you find out that you don’t know that much. It can be an intimidating feeling, but also, an exciting feeling.
Your mind is about to be blown.
Continue reading “What the heck is that?!”: when to #AskanOPNaturalist
Today’s post was written by David Bree, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
It’s a blustery late-May day on Presqu’ile’s beach and a few birders are out watching the shorebirds. The birds wheel in and land for a few minutes of frantic feeding before lifting off again and heading out to disappear over Popham Bay.
One can’t help but be in awe of their flying skill and wonder. Where are they going? Where have they have come from? Questions no doubt asked by people since questions could be formed.
One may also ask, “where does the wind go?” since it seems impossible to track the wind and the birds that ride it. But, of course, we now do know where many of these birds go, thanks to bird banding.
Continue reading Banding the wind riders
Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.
The beauty of a hike does not need to be enjoyed alone; your dog can be a great companion as you adventure through your favourite park.
Do it well by planning before stepping foot, or paw, on the trail.
Continue reading Hiking the trails with your dog
Today’s post comes from Assistant Ecologist and Piping Plover specialist Ian Fife.
If you’ve visited some of our popular Great Lakes beaches, you may have noticed restricted areas for a tiny bird no larger than a sparrow.
What’s so important about these birds, and why do we fence off parts of our beaches to protect them?
Continue reading Piping Plovers
Today’s post comes from David LeGros, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Algonquin Provincial Park.
I spent most of my youth in rubber boots and obsessed with nature. I was always looking for interesting animals and plants.
There are a few creatures then, just like now, that always inspire me.
Top of my list: the Snapping Turtle.
Continue reading Snapping Turtles
Today’s post comes from the Discovery Program staff at Neys Provincial Park and our Northwest Zone Office.
Parks are a popular spot for park visitors, but did you know they’re just as popular for animals like lynx, deer, and moose?
Continue reading Behind the scenes: on-camera creatures at Neys
When we think of bees, we often picture Honey Bees. We imagine a swarm buzzing around a honeycomb hive.
But the Honey Bee is just one of 400 different types of bees in Ontario (and we’re discovering new bee species all the time!).
And Honey Bees aren’t even a native species.
In fact, Honey Bees are relatively new to Ontario. They were an agricultural import, brought to North America for honey production and crop pollination. Before Honey Bees crossed the ocean, Ontario’s major pollinators were native bees, whose behaviour is often very different from the stereotypical honey bees.
Here are five other types of bees buzzing around our parks:
Continue reading Guess how many types of bee call Ontario home?