Hours of Operation

May 19 – September 3
Including Mondays & Holidays

Open Daily 10am-5pm
Fridays 10am-9pm

Thursday Evenings: 7pm-11pm•Laser Shows
Friday Evenings:
5pm-9pm•Museum Galleries & Hockey
7pm-Midnight•Laser Shows
Saturday Evenings: 7pm-Midnight•Laser Shows


Click for Holiday Hours
*Hours of operation vary for holidays. 

Tag Archives: Boreal Forest

Why a strawberry isn’t a fruit (sort of)

I was watching an old episode of “The Big Bang Theory” and Sheldon asked Penny what her favorite fruit was. Penny said “strawberries” to which Sheldon replied “technically NOT a fruit”. My daughter turned to me and asked “is that true” and I said “yes, sort of.” Let me explain why. Plants have sex. The evidence of their many dalliances lands on our lawns and patio furniture in the form of pollen in the spring and later on in the year as spores, seeds and fruits. What’s the difference between these structures? Well, pollen is like sperm in a tiny ping pong ball, a spore is like a naked baby,…

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The art and science of diorama making, part 1: Perfectly imperfect

When people come to the Museum and see our dioramas they are usually impressed with the majestic, taxidermied animals in them. But what they really ought to be impressed with are the plants. I find it amazing that the trees in the elk diorama are perpetually in the process of shedding their leaves. Anyone familiar with Manitoba’s forests and prairies, know that the plant species in our dioramas are the same ones that occur in the wild. That’s because, for the most part, they ARE real specimens. Although fake plants are readily available in stores, they are almost all tropical species that don’t occur in Manitoba. Further, mass-produced fake plants…

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Museum’s Charlie Brown Tree Gets “Spruced Up”

This January what I like to call the Museum’s “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” in the Arctic/Subarctic gallery, got polished up with some new paint and a new background. It’s still lopsided as ever (it did grow in the arctic after all) but now it has some friends in the background. This often missed mini-diorama is about Manitoba’s treeline: the part of the province where trees start to disappear.   The black spruce (Picea mariana) tree in the diorama is known as a “krummholz”, a German word that means “crooked wood”. Krummholz trees grow in environments that are extremely difficult to survive in, including the far north and the tops of…

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Oh no, mistletoe

Although Christmas is considered to be a “Christian” holiday, many of the rituals we associate with it, such as kissing under mistletoe, are actually pagan in origin. European mistletoe (Viscum album) was considered to be a magical plant by Druidic priests because it mysteriously grew on the branches of trees without its roots reaching the soil. Further, it stayed green in winter, and produced its berries in November and December when other plants were going dormant. Druidic priests collected mistletoe from oak trees to hang in homes in the hopes that it would ward off evil. The custom of kissing under it might have grown from a Scandinavian myth regard…

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Water-lilies and Wetlands

Wetland plants are the least commonly collected and photographed plants in Manitoba for good reasons. For starters they’re protected by the most vicious gangs of thugs you can imagine: bloodthirsty mosquitoes and black flies. I’ve taken many blurry photographs in my day because I was too busy swatting mosquitoes to focus properly. No matter how good the bug jacket is, the pests always seem to find a way in. Wetland work can be utterly exhausting: walking in a bog is like taking a stair climbing class taught by Satan! I got heatstroke from doing bog work once. Further, unless you’ve got a magical inflatable boat that shrinks to the size…

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Northern Exposure- Part 3

Boreal forest archaeology is very different from my experiences in the arctic, the biggest thing of course being the trees and massive roots that run through our excavation units.  Root clippers quickly became my best friend, but when they fail there’s always the good old chainsaw to take care of a few stumps! My crew worked hard to try and delineate the post, and half-way through our excavation we realized that the building was not oriented perfectly East-West, but rather on an angle of Northwest-Southeast to the shoreline.  We were able to find some remnants of the exterior walls, and the floor boards were fairly well-preserved. We didn’t find a…

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Historical Event in Cross Lake

I recently returned from the community of Cross Lake with a great experience I want to share. We experimented with cooking a meal inside a replica clay pot over a campfire. It wasn’t until we were cooking that we realized that it has probably been over 300 years since a meal was cooked inside a clay pot in northern Manitoba. The pot was made by Grant Goltz (Minnesota) copying one from Minnesota that is over 900 years old. Grant generously loaned the pot so we could cook a meal. You may ask “how is this relevant to archaeology?”. Broken pot sherds are often found at ancient camp sites and we…

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