Winter track surveys

In today’s post, Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the “best part of [her] job.”

I’m an ecologist for Ontario Parks. When people ask me what exactly it is that I do, I have a hard time answering – my job is so diverse and interesting.

So I like to give the example of my favourite job duty: doing winter track surveys for deer.

Continue reading Winter track surveys

Blue Lake’s Spruce Fen Trail

Today’s post comes from Maya Oversby, a Natural Heritage Education Student at Blue Lake Provincial Park.

As humans, we tower over many things. Because of our height, we often miss some of the most magnificent parts of the boreal forest — specifically, its wetland ecology.

Here at Blue Lake, the spruce fen is one of the most traveled trails, home to some of our most noteworthy critters and fantastic flora. Unfortunately, many go unnoticed due to their small size.

Continue reading Blue Lake’s Spruce Fen Trail

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:

Continue reading Frozen falls and other wacky winter water

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.

Continue reading The science of snow

How to be a winter wildlife detective

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Leader David Bree at Presqu’ile Provincial Park

With the onset of winter, we often think of nature going into a slumber, but while she slows down there is still lots going on outside. In fact, winter provides a better opportunity to learn what the animals of our fields and forests are up to than do the warmer seasons.

I am, of course, talking about tracking, tracking in the snow.

Continue reading How to be a winter wildlife detective

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.

Continue reading Woodpeckers 101

The scavenger hunt for survival

Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, a naturalist with Lake Superior Provincial Park. 

The arrival of snow and ice transforms the rugged landscape of Lake Superior Provincial Park into a stunningly beautiful, albeit unforgiving place to live.

As temperatures drop, the park can accumulate up to six feet of snow in the interior. This makes just about every aspect of an animal’s life more challenging.

Northern winters are a true test of an animal’s fitness. Let’s look at how they adapt to survive long, harsh winters.

Continue reading The scavenger hunt for survival