Frozen falls and other wacky winter water

REMINDER: venturing out onto unsafe ice puts your life (and the lives of first responders) at risk. Take in the beauty of winter shorelines from solid ground.

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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Virtual programs: nature gone digital!

Today’s blog comes from Jessica Stillman, Discovery program project coordinator. (She’s pretty much famous among Ontario’s elementary students tuning in for virtual field trips!)

Virtual field trips are AWESOME!

No forms, school buses, or headcounts! Once you log in, our knowledgeable and engaging Discovery staff do the rest.

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a flying squirrel?

Today’s post comes from Discovery Interpreter Mitchell Duval at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

When the sun goes down and most people are going to sleep, some of the most wonderous animals are waking up – including flying squirrels!

You may have heard of these fantastical creatures of the night, but how much do you really know about them?

Read on and find out why they might just be Ontario’s most unusual and interesting rodent.

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How to be a winter wildlife detective

Today’s post comes from former Discovery 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.

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.

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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. The snow 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.

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The science of snow

Today’s post comes from Brianne Brothers, a zone ecologist from our southwestern parks.

Ah, snow. A substance that truly embodies what it means to be Canadian.

While many of us struggle with the idea of 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.

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How 6 species at Ontario Parks survive the winter

Today’s post was written by Connor Oke, past marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Assistant Superintendent Mark Read at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

If Canada is known for one thing, it’s for our long, cold winters.

Wild animals rely on evolution and natural adaptations to survive until spring. The strategies they’ve developed are varied and, simply, incredible.

Here are six species, sporting six different ways Ontario Parks’ wildlife makes it through the winter:

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Should we beware the Fisher… or the Fisher fiction?

In today’s post, Awenda Provincial Park‘s Chief Park Naturalist Tim Tully tackles (not literally) a terrifying beast.

Pick a negative adjective and it has likely been leveled at the Fisher. There are few predators in North America which suffer from a worse reputation than this mid-sized member of the weasel family.

Fishers come with the reputation of being mean, nasty, and combative – devil-beasts with social skills that would make the Grinch look like Mr. Rogers.

Many can’t seem to resist the temptation to pass along and exaggerate a gruesome telling of a predator encounter – a tradition that likely dates back to a Stone Age campfire.

Everyone has a “did ya hear about” story about this maligned mammal. But exactly how much of the Fisher’s story has gotten away from its ecological reality?

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