Most of us live by our calendars to keep our schedules straight.
But did you know the calendar has astronomical origins?
While the constellations were, largely, created to help people remember significant star patterns, they have plenty of other uses. One of these is for the formation of the calendar.
Continue reading The astronomical origins of the calendar
In today’s post, Rondeau Provincial Park‘s Chief Park Naturalist Jess Matthews takes us back in time…
There may be a time when you used your paddle to get through white caps. At other times, it leisurely pulled you over still wetlands.
They are a lifeline. Solid, reliable; something that won’t break down on whatever journey you may be on.
But what if we told you that a paddle can also take you through time to the very beginning of the provincial park system? A time when the only two superintendents in Ontario Parks were 600 km away from each other, and correspondence was mainly though letters.
Just two paddles are the tangible pieces of history that connects Algonquin Provincial Park and Rondeau Provincial Park through a story of beginnings, friendships, and marriage.
Continue reading Where can a paddle take you?
Today’s post is by Jess Matthews, the chief park naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park.
One hundred years ago, there was a lot we didn’t know about managing parks.
The idea of maintaining ecological integrity is relatively new. Ontario’s first parks were primarily established for recreation and tourism.
During the first half of the 20th century, wildlife was often seen as a tourist attraction or a nuisance. There was little understanding of how animal diseases spread, or how local populations were adapted to the places they lived.
Because park managers didn’t know about any of this, some animals found themselves packed up and shipped off far from their homes.
This is the story of squirrels from Rondeau Provincial Park that, due to their fashionable coats, traveled as far as the White House lawn.
Continue reading Squirrels for sale: the incredible history of squirrels at Rondeau
If you’ve visited Presqu’ile Provincial Park, it is almost certain you have spent some time admiring their iconic Presqu’ile Point Lighthouse.
For over 180 years this lighthouse has remained a landmark in times of great change.
Although the Presqu’ile Point Lighthouse has remained a beacon along the north shore of Lake Ontario, it has had its own transformations and changes.
Today we’re highlighting the efforts that have taken place on Presqu’ile’s lighthouse to preserve and maintain this historic and functioning landmark – the second oldest continually operating lighthouse on Lake Ontario!
Continue reading Shining a light on the historic Presqu’ile lighthouse
On September 23 and 24, 2023, you’re invited to the annual Bronte Creek Harvest Festival.
Experience harvest season as it might have been over 100 years ago at Bronte Creek Provincial Park‘s historic Spruce Lane Farm!
Continue reading Bronte Creek Harvest Festival
Today’s post comes from Micaela Lewis, a Discovery Program student at Neys Provincial Park.
Gazing through Neys’ iconic forested dune system is an awe-inspiring experience that park visitors cherish.
With the soft sand, lichen-covered trees, and colourful wildflowers, the forest appears almost enchanted.
But the landscape didn’t always look this way.
The dunes have been present for thousands of years, as the Little Pic River has deposited sand along the banks of the river and into Ashburton Bay.
The bay is hugged by a long stretch of beach that the park is well known for. Waves created by the winds over Lake Superior move the sand ashore, forming the dunes.
The dunes of Neys have seen years of change. Come with us on a journey through history to explore this unique ecosystem.
Continue reading 80 years of change in Neys’ sand dunes
Today’s post comes from Dave Sproule, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist in our Northeast Zone.
Can you hear the water speak? The waters of the French River have many voices.
These voices travelled the river and lived along its shores. The French River has been a conduit for people, goods, and culture for thousands of years. The voices of the river are celebrated at the spectacular French River Visitor Centre.
Continue reading Voices of the river: exploring the French River Visitor Centre
Today’s post comes from Kenton Otterbein, Discovery Program leader at Killbear Provincial Park.
In a time before instant communication, accurate weather forecasts, or GPS, the navigation lights and lighthouses on the Great Lakes helped guide ships to safe harbour through dangerous shoals and stormy seas.
Just over 100 years ago, one ship met its early demise travelling a route which included the shores of Killbear Provincial Park.
This is the tragic story of the Lambton.
Continue reading The wreck of the Lambton
Today’s post comes from our Discovery Specialist (and history buff), Dave Sproule.
On June 29, 1946, a Meteor struck the waters of Helenbar Lake in the remote forests 60 km north of the town of Blind River…
… but it wasn’t the kind of Meteor you’re thinking of.
This Meteor was a jet fighter plane!
Continue reading The Meteor in Helenbar Lake
Today, we join Discovery and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule for a chat about the ecological and cultural significance of the beaver, which became Canada’s official symbol in 1975.
We all know beavers are industrious. They build dams, canals and sturdy homes called lodges, which are warm in winter. They repair all those dams and collect enough food to survive long northern winters.
We know beavers are well-suited to the Canadian environment. Beavers are amphibious — they’re more at home in the water than on land — with webbed hind feet, nostrils that can close, a third see-through eyelid that protects the eye when they’re underwater, and a big flat tail that acts as a rudder while swimming.
However, the biggest reason to celebrate the beaver is that it built Canada, shaping both its historical and ecological landscape.
Continue reading The beaver: architect of biodiversity