The Life of the Titan Arum

Three large Titan Arums in Floral Showhouse

The Titan Arum is a giant among plants – both for its massive below ground corm and the world-record heights of its flower. Indigenous to the wild equatorial rainforests of western Sumatra, Indonesia, the Titan Arum grows on steep limestone hillsides on the island at an elevation of 120 to 365 m (390 to 1,200 feet) above sea level.

The plant grows from a large underground corm (like an overgrown potato) which stores water and nutrients. As the Titan Arum grows the corm gets larger and after 10 years, when the corm reaches the biggest blooming size, it can weigh a hefty 100 kg (225 pounds) or more. Continue reading

March Break Fun at Niagara Parks

School’s out and it’s the perfect time for family fun. Luckily, Niagara Parks has so much to see and do during March Break, the only question you’ll have left is, “What’s next?”

Here are just a few of the exciting things to see and do this March Break in Niagara:

Frozen Falls spectacular

The chilly winter temps are bringing out more than just scarves and mittens this year. Niagara Falls has partially frozen, creating a unique chance to see this breathtaking marvel encased in ice and snow. But don’t take our word for it, check out some of the images captured below.

Collage of Niagara Falls images

Creatures of the night are a visitor favourite

Man holding a snake

Nocturnal: Creatures of the Night is still on at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, where you’ll find over one dozen nocturnal animals on display, plus several animals available for hands-on learning with zoo experts.

Learn about how these exciting creatures live in the dark. Did you know that the African Emperor Scorpion actually glows under ultra-violet light? Their exoskeletons appear to be bright green! Check out this video for a sneak peak at just a few of the creatures you’ll find.

Nocturnal: Creatures of the Night is on until May 10 and is included with regular admission to the Butterfly Conservatory. Or save over 55% with the Niagara Falls Wonder Pass!

Step back in time at Table Rock Welcome Centre

Don your red coats and muskets for a unique photo opportunity next to the Horseshoe Falls. Niagara Parks Heritage interpreters will share stories of the history of Niagara Falls and the War of 1812, all in authentic costume!

Come relive history in Niagara Parks!

March Break matinees at Old Fort Erie

Movie buffs and history lovers unite for this incredible film series! All week long during March Break, enjoy matinees screened in the theatre of Old Fort Erie.

Whether you like classic favourites such as Goonies or you want to catch up on the new Hobbit trilogy (they’re screening all three!), there’s something for everyone.

Check out the full list of showtimes online.

Spring is in the air at the Floral Showhouse

Despite the chilly temps outside, it’s always spring at the Floral Showhouse! Celebrate the annual spring display in this warm and tropical setting.

The Floral Showhouse features eight annual shows, so there’s always something new in bloom!

Niagara Falls goes green for St. Paddy’s Day

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Every evening at dusk, Niagara Falls is lit in the colours of the rainbow, but on St. Patrick’s Day watch as the Falls is lit green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day! And you can enjoy the show with a pint of Guinness at Elements on the Falls Restaurant.

Chef Elbert Wiersema has created a special St. Patrick’s Day feature that is sure to bring out the Irish in anyone. Enjoy an entree, dessert and coffee or tea for just $23.50 per person.

Elements on the Falls Restaurant is FeastON certified, featuring the freshest ingredients from local farms and a fantastic selection of world-class VQA wines from the vineyards of Niagara. Call (905) 354-3631 to reserve.

Don’t forget to try Chef’s latest mouth-watering creation, the Frozen Ice Wine Parfait! This Frozen Falls-themed dessert feature takes fresh vanilla-dipped apple slices that have been fried to a golden crisp, then drizzles Kittling Ridge ice wine brandy caramel sauce on top. Served over vanilla ice cream, this Niagara-inspired winter treat is the perfect finish!

Feature menu in front of pink and blue Falls

Discover the Wonder & Save

Make March Break an adventure with the Niagara Falls Wonder Pass, including the breathtaking Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara’s Fury, and Butterfly Conservatory for just $19.95 for adults and $16.95 for kids 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free! You’ll also get two days on WEGO, so leave the driving to us!

The kids will love the new Nocturnal: Creatures of the Night exhibit, included in the Pass.

You can even buy online and print your tickets from home.

 

Has Niagara Falls ever stopped?

American Falls with heavy ice and snow

Despite the frigid temperatures in Niagara Falls this winter, Niagara Falls continues to rumble! Images much like the one above show the American Falls heavily encased in snow and ice, but only partially. With almost 750,000 gallons of water flowing over Niagara Falls every second, it’s hard to imagine that incredible force could ever be stopped.

Yet, that is exactly what happened in March, 1848. For thirty long hours the Niagara River dried up and the American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls (the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls) fell silent. Then, as suddenly as it began, the silence was broken by a deafening roar as a solid wall of water crashed down-river, over the brink of the precipice. Niagara Falls was back!

So, what caused this rare, one-time occurrence? It turns out that high winds moved the ice fields of Lake Erie to the source of the river, blocking the flow completely. When nature had enough, the jam was loosened and the water broke free!

Technically, Niagara Falls has never frozen solid. Even during this event in 1848, the Falls ran dry because of the blockage at Lake Erie.  Visitors during this short stretch were treated to a dried up channel, even riding horse and carriage across the river’s bed!

With the sheer volume of water crashing down, traveling 65 kilometres per hour, we may never see Niagara Falls literally frozen solid. Still, the spectacular sight of the Falls encased partially in ice and snow is a rarity in itself.

Here are just a few of the spectacular images shared on the Niagara Parks Facebook page. Visit yourself and see if you can catch a once-in-a-lifetime snapshot!

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American Falls at Night, submitted by George Rosema

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Horseshoe Falls at Night, submitted by George Rosema

American Falls encased in snow and ice

American Falls, shared by Charles Vandersluys of “Baldini and Vendersluys Photographers”