Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There is still lots of ice and snow up here!

There is room to move on the Smoke Lake skating rink!

Despite the recent warm weather, Algonquin Park remains covered with white stuff. Spring skiing conditions prevail!

I received a first-hand report from someone who drilled a hole through Source Lake just yesterday: six inches of mushy ice over top of at least 20" of clear hard ice. The weather is predicted to change tonight and temps will drop over the next few days, freezing it all up again.

One of the positive things about the wacky weather we've had this winter is that hard, skateable ice has lasted for weeks on Algonquin Park lakes. This is a rare event. In most winters, there might be one or two days where you can skate on a frozen lake without doing a lot of shovelling first.

The pictures in this post are of AO staff member Beth Brittain and son Jacob skating on Smoke Lake a couple of weeks ago, along with Beth's husband Paul, who was taking pictures.

Which way to the Ragged Lake portage?

Space Shuttle Discovery will fly over Algonquin Park TONIGHT

This just in...

From: Delta Grandview Resort's Echo Valley Observatory, Astronomer: Thomas Kovacs

This evening, the Space Shuttle Discovery, currently joined onto the ISS, will fly directly over Muskoka. This will be the best chance to witness this current mission.

To see this for yourself regardless of where you live in Muskoka, prepare yourself by facing south-west, roughly in the direction of the Sun, as it will have just set.
Low on the horizon also near the sunset you will see a very bright star, that is Venus.

  • 8:05pm: The ISS/Shuttle will pop above the horizon. At that point, it will be over 2,000kms distant.
  • 8:08pm: The Shuttle should be plainly visible quite high above the Sunset
  • 8:10pm: It will be almost directly above Muskoka. It will be about 360kms distant.
  • 8:13pm: It will be directly over Labrador when it will rapidly disappear as it enters the Earth Shadow.

The Space Shuttle Discovery will look similar to a star, and will be the brightest object in the sky aside from Venus, with a plainly visible motion roughly equal to a high airplane.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rick Mercer in Algonquin Park

Many people think that comedian Rick Mercer has the best job in Canada. He gets to travel the country, meeting interesting people and doing cool stuff. On this week's episode of the Mercer Report, Rick paid a visit to Algonquin Park and went looking for bears with research scientist Martyn Obbard.

If you missed it on television, you can watch it on-line on the CBC website or by simply clicking PLAY below. If you look closely, you'll notice that Rick is wearing the Park Superintendent's jacket. Hmmmm. It could be an interesting summer with him in charge of Algonquin Park!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

First thoughts on ice-out '09

Despite the seemingly endless winter this year (this coming from someone who loves the winter), we are thinking about spring. Or at least trying too, which isn't easy when the morning temperature has been averaging about -25 C for the last few days.

Our friend Scott Hayden over at the Blue Spruce Resort reports that the ice on Oxtongue Lake is at least 36" thick. He bottomed out his ice auger the other day in a vain attempt to go ice fishing. Hmmmm....

With that information, you might try to take an early guess and be the first to enter the 2009 Canoe Lake Ice-Out contest, which now up and running.