A mouse, a beast, and a ghost: who’s using Pinery’s ecopassage?

In today’s post comes from Alistair MacKenzie, Discovery Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, shares one of his parks exciting new conservation technologies: ecopassages.

I have a lot to thank my parents for, not the least of which is for introducing me to nature as a young child.

When my family immigrated to Canada, we began exploring Ontario and seeking out opportunities to witness natural phenomena and wild species. Soon, this behaviour led us to Algonquin Provincial Park, and we started making frequent pilgrimages there in all seasons.

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What types of wildlife might I see at Ontario Parks?

If you’re new to Ontario Parks, you might be a little nervous about the animals that call our parks home.

Many of us live in cities or suburbs, with little interaction with wildlife, so we don’t know how to react or behave. We want your parks experience to be fun and safe, both for you and for the wildlife that live here.

Today, let’s talk about:

  • the types of critters you might encounter at Ontario Parks
  • some simple tips to prevent negative wildlife interactions

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We’re here for the birds: how to be an ethical birder

It’s officially spring, which means that birds are winging their way back to our parks — and birders won’t be far behind them!

As birding becomes more popular, and with the initiation of the third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, we’re expecting that this will be a big year for the activity.

Whether this is your first season birding or your 91st, we know you want to act in a way that is respectful and protects our feathered park inhabitants.

If you and your binoculars are venturing into a park this season, read on for our top suggestions for ethical birding.

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Armchair observations and sticking close to home

Today’s post comes from David LeGros, park naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park.

Even though our parks are currently closed, I’ve noticed people are continuing to submit observations to iNaturalist.

At first, I was a little worried that people were entering parks during the closure, but on closer inspection, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Up close and personal: macro photography tips

Macro photography exposes you to a whole new world.

Macro photography zooms in extremely close to its subject, making it appear bigger than it actually is. You may never notice the beauty and strangeness of a creature until you examine it up close.

Focusing your attention on new photographic subjects also lets you experience your favourite park in a brand-new way.

Instead of walking the same trail down to the same lake, you start noticing new details. You may discover a weird and magical collection of fungi on a rotting log beside the trail, or that jewel-like damselflies like to sun themselves on the cattails by the lake shore.

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The best apps for smartphone photography

Today’s post comes from Marketing and Communications summer student Mitch Jackson. 

Smartphone cameras keep getting better and better. No longer do park enthusiasts have to drag clunky DSLR cameras through the wilderness. Taking your smartphone with you will free up room for snacks, sunscreen, a lunch, a water bottle…did we mention more room for snacks?

We’ve seen that smartphones can already act as a field guide and support citizen science. Along with that, many phones also have incredible photo capabilities. Gone are the days of blurry, low-res phone photos. High-quality nature photography can happen right on your mobile device, without the burden of a camera strap.

Add some sparkle to your snapshots with the help of these apps:

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