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October 2015

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Woolly Bears & Very Hungry Caterpillars!

Who is the special caterpillar guest joining us on Oct 16 - 18 for Woolly Bear Weekends? Find out below! 
How do we know that autumn has officially begun? Pumpkin-spiced treats appearing on menus; falling leaves; cooler temperatures; and the "migration" of the woolly bears!

Although the Banded Woolly Bear caterpillar can be found throughout the summer, it is most often encountered in the fall as they wander about looking for food and for a place to sleep for the winter. Even as you're driving, you can watch for these fuzzy critters quickly crawling across the road.

So why do woolly bears wander? They tend to go on a "walkabout" before preparing for the next step in their life cycle. Many caterpillars overwinter in their pupa (cocoon or chrysalis), but not so for the woolly bear; it curls up under a cozy blanket of fallen leaves, or tucks itself in between some rocks or sticks, and waits until the warmth of spring to make its cocoon.

Most people are amazed to learn that a small caterpillar can withstand the freezing temperatures and ice and snow of winter, just to re-awaken in the spring and continue on as if nothing had happened! How many of us wish we could curl up and sleep until winter is over?

Each October we celebrate this fun, fuzzy critter during our Woolly Bear Weekends. Come meet some of our "bears," go on a bear-hunt to see if you can find some woolly bears and discover how other insects are preparing for winter. 

This year we're also excited to celebrate all things caterpillar on Oct 16 - 18 when we have a very special caterpillar guest joining us! The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be making an appearance during Storytime for kids (please view scheduled times on our webpage). Join us for lots of caterpillar fun this month!

Butterfly of the Month 


When the woolly bear caterpillar grows up, it becomes the lovely Isabella Tiger moth (Pyrrhactia isabella)! These nocturnal moths fly throughout the summer and are attracted to lights. This winter's woolly bear caterpillars will become next summer's tiger moths.
Mark your calendars for these exciting upcoming events!

Halloween Weekend


Dress up and come "trick or treating" at the Conservatory Friday & Saturday (Oct 30 & 31)! Meet some creepy crawlies, participate in Halloween-themed activities, and maybe even get some candy! 

Cheecho's Birthday 


You're invited to Cheecho's party Nov 7 & 8! Come for cake and crafts, sign Cheecho's birthday card and sing "Happy Birthday!" Activities throughout the day; see website for details.

Meet Live Raptors!


In honour of our Owls Exhibit (on loan from the ROM until Dec 27, 2015), our friends at the Mountsberg Raptor Centre will be bringing some of their feathered friends on Nov 21 & 28. More details to come soon!

Open Thanksgiving Weekend!

We're open for the long weekend! Come for Woolly Bear activities on Monday. Paradise Garden Cafe also open Thanksgiving Monday 10 am - 4 pm
 

Fall & Winter Hours

Starting October 26, we will be closed Mondays for the fall/winter season. Please check our website for holiday hours and Cafe hours through November - March.
 
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