Under the ice: winter in Lake Simcoe

Today’s post comes from Laura McClintock, senior park naturalist at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

The sun is shining, glittering off the ice. It’s winter on Lake Simcoe.

From the shore, it appears the lake is ‘asleep’ for the winter months, with no movement to be seen. However, that’s just what’s on the surface. The reality below is quite different.

Winter for the aquatic species of Lake Simcoe is one of necessity and mystery. Let’s dive in.

Continue reading Under the ice: winter in Lake Simcoe

Has spring sprung? Depends where you are!

Watching winter slip away is a magical thing. Snow is melting, temperatures are warming, and some of our fair-weather bird friends are returning.

However, Ontario is a huge province, and the arrival of spring looks very different depending on where you are.

Spring comes slowly in many provincial parks.

Every year people are surprised to learn that while urban areas may be in bloom, many provincial parks, such as Algonquin, are still covered in snow and ice.

This can lead to some unwelcome surprises and unsafe situations for visitors who are expecting warm weather and spring-like conditions.

Continue reading Has spring sprung? Depends where you are!

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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A winter wander along a frozen Lake Superior

Today’s post comes from Bob Elliott, a past superintendent of the winter wonderland that is Lake Superior Provincial Park. Please note: so far in 2020, no ice caves are present.

Every so often, the winters around Lake Superior are cold enough to freeze the waters of Gitchee Gumee, providing a magical opportunity to walk on the ice of the world’s largest freshwater lake (by surface area).

Continue reading A winter wander along a frozen Lake Superior