It’s October – what are Black Bears up to?

It’s getting a bit cold, there’s not much food anymore, and Black Bears are thinking seriously about having a long nap.

Black Bears in Ontario Parks start heading to the den by mid-October.

We know you have questions about Black Bears’ big sleeps, so let’s go through for FABQs (frequently asked bear questions):

Continue reading It’s October – what are Black Bears up to?

The life of a lumberjack in 5 objects

Today’s post comes from Sonje Bols, a Discovery Program Coordinator with Ontario Parks’ Northeast Zone. 

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be a lumberjack 100 years ago?

Was it a life full of adventure? Or was it a hard, grinding existence?

Did some lumberjacks really have superhuman strength? How much truth can be found in the legends and songs describing their feats, struggles, and triumphs?

Here are five objects from Marten River that illustrate what the life of a lumberjack was really like!

Continue reading The life of a lumberjack in 5 objects

Sparrows: it’s all in their heads

In today’s post, Rondeau Provincial Park Interpreter Shane Smits will take us through identifying just a few of the many sparrow species found in Ontario. 

For several reasons, whether rightfully so or not, sparrows are often overlooked when it comes to birdwatching.

For starters, they tend to be plentiful. There are usually many sparrows seen hopping around near the forest floor or within dense cover.

But seemingly the most common reason to overlook sparrows amongst beginner bird watchers — that “all sparrows look the same” — is actually a misconception.

This is admittedly something that I have said on multiple occasions. Here’s why it’s wrong. Yes, all sparrows have their similarities. But after spending some time getting to know these little brown birds, their differences become more apparent.

Continue reading Sparrows: it’s all in their heads

Bats at Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Supervisor Alistair MacKenzie and Bat Stewardship Technician Heather Sanders.

Bats are the only mammal capable of true sustained flight, and with over 1,300 species and counting, they make up the second largest order of mammals.

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A Colorado snake fight made my life easier

Today’s post comes from Alistair MacKenzie, Discovery Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.

Have you ever thrown a tangle of rope to the ground in a frustrated fit?

I used to, but then I was lucky enough to be exposed to the sport of rock climbing. In short order, I learned a few essential knots that have changed my life.

Continue reading A Colorado snake fight made my life easier

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Today’s blog was written by Jessica Stillman, Discovery program project coordinator.

What is ferocious like a lion, fast like a tiger, or hibernates like a bear?

These three amazing insects!

Antlions, tiger beetles, and Woolly Bear Caterpillars might not be the first things that pop into your mind when you think of a furry or ferocious predator, but believe me, these small critters are mighty impressive!

Continue reading Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Students: join our Discovery team this summer

Applications are for our 2024 season are now open! Read on to learn more about spending the summer with us.

Discovery rangers are the storytellers of Ontario Parks.

Roughly 300 Discovery staff work in over 60 parks across the province engaging visitors with stories of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage.

Discovery rangers help our visitors experience the best of what Ontario Parks has to offer by facilitating experiences through educational and interpretive programming.

Piqued your interest? Learn more about how you can join our Discovery team. Continue reading Students: join our Discovery team this summer

5 items a Victorian can’t live without

Today’s blog was written by Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Contained within these brick walls are stories of family, hard work, urbanization, and an era gone, but not forgotten.

This building is Spruce Lane Farmhouse at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Today, it is a living history museum designed to share stories of the Victorian era  through objects that fill the home.

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From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 1

This post kicks off a four-part photographic journey into the history of our universe! Read on to explore the key events that led to the formation of our provincial parks and the natural world we live in.

Have you ever stared up into a starry sky and wondered “how did it all begin?”

Today we will discuss the origins of the universe, the evolution of galaxies and globular clusters, and conclude with a history of the first stars and supernovae.

Stay tuned for Part II where we detail how stars are born and live out their lives, Part III with the formation of the planets and our solar system, and finally in Part IV, we will discuss the future of the Sun and larger stars.

So let’s get started with our origin story!

Continue reading From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 1