Monday, October 20, 2014

Mosaic Monday

Today is very rainy, grey and cold.  Not so nice, and not good for taking any photos!  I did want to get out there and take advantage of some fall colour happening in my yard (just small stuff), but the weather wasn't in my favour.  These are from last week ... some fall colours and fading blooms.

Linking up with Judith at Lavender Cottage for her Mosaic Mondays.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Burning Candles

I know I'm not alone when I say I like to burn candles in the house.  Now that fall has arrived (even though we're still sitting at mid 20'C these past weeks!), it gives us all the excuse to light those tapers once again and create a warm ambiance in the evenings.  I light a couple of pillar candles during supper each night to give a cozy glow round the kitchen table.  Even though the temperatures remain warm outdoors, the light is fading fast by 5:30 p.m. here.

But with all this candle burning, eventually the candles won't light anymore once the wick is far down a hole of melted wax.  I've saved the unused portion of candles with the intention of melting them down into new candles eventually.  I recently tackled that business using a tin can set in a pot of boiling water, a waxed milk carton for the mold, some purchased wick and a lot of masking tape.  I ended up with four square(ish) candles just in time for our Thanksgiving dinner.

I don't like having candles sitting directly on wooden funiture, so off to the thrift store where I found perfect clear glass holders for my square candles at only $2 a piece.  I believe these were originally used by florist's shops for small bouquets.  And once I put the candles into the holders, I thought maybe I should get some of those glass beads to add round the bottom of the candles.  But then remembered I had a lot of small collected stones sitting on the patio (I'm a self-confessed rock hound and have rocks and stones all over the place here).  So I rinsed off the stones of bugs and debris and brought them inside and this is what graced our Thanksgiving table ...

I really like the natural stones because they're all from our area and just remind me of sitting by lakes in the summer and fall.  

My daughter and her roommates burn a lot of candles at their house too, so she asked me to make her a candle to take back with her.  I had just enough wax from one last candle to make another for her.

I find the scent is a bit diminished with reusing the wax, but it still casts the same glow.  I also melted several different scented candles together since they were all fairly similar, and they came out fine. With only the cost of the glass holders, I had everything else, and saved myself about $30 by making these myself.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Misty Morning Camping ... Photo Intense

Our second day of camping, I woke my husband up really early, and we took off along Hwy 60 through Algonquin Park to watch the sun rise and to get some early morning misty photos.  I tried rousing my son, but he was quite happy to enjoy his comfy bed for a while longer.

When we drove past the above Lake of Two Rivers at 7:00 am, we were staring at a blank wall of mist.  It wasn't until a couple of hours later when we drove past again that we got this shot.  I believe this is the most-photographed lake along the highway in the fall.  The far side of the lake has spectacular fall colour right across, and the highway runs right alongside, so it's a real eye-catcher.

All along Hwy 60 there are beautiful little waterways.  Most of these next photos were taken just on the roadside.  We didn't see any wildlife, except for one poor female moose who had been struck by a car in the early morning fog ... telltale skid marks on the pavement.  Poor thing was dead on the side of the road.  I just love moose with their gangly legs and monstrous heads, so it was so sad to see the moose that morning.

There was a real chill in the air, but you could also feel the sun warming things up as it started to burn off the mist ... it was going to be another unseasonably warm day.

The highway is only two lanes, and as you can see below, there's not much of a shoulder to park your vehicle.  But that doesn't stop masses of people from pulling over wherever there are some brilliantly coloured trees.  This is why we went out so early to avoid all the craziness later.

The park is in the Algonquin Highlands of Ontario, so there are many high hills and low valleys.  The mist was thick in the valleys as you can see from the above (just barely you can see the tops of hills above the mist in the far distance), and below photos.

Who could resist travelling along this beautiful road?

I was so glad my husband was willing to make so many stops for me to take these photos.  Usually he's not so agreeable :[  We only saw about five other cars on the road ... most people were doing the same thing we were.  There were small huddles of people every so often with their cameras on tripods waiting for the sun to rise and lift the mist off the water just so.  The lenses on their cameras were mind boggling!  I'm seriously thinking I should have stopped and asked if I could take a photo of the people beside their lens ;)  

I don't have a massive lens on my camera, and I like to think that it's not always the camera that sees (and gets!) the nice shots.  I didn't use a tripod with any of these either.  My husband can be an impatient kind of fella, so while he waited in the truck, I would quickly assess the view before me, look through the lens for the shot, maybe take a step a little forwards or backwards, and snap the shot. Then I'd run back to the truck and we'd drive along till I saw the next photo opportunity.

As the sun rose, the mist disappeared and the colours became more vibrant.

There are all kinds of sideroads that lead into trail parking lots, and other park utilities.  The trees are gorgeous alongside the roadways since the sun can toast their leaves into brilliance.

The above service road led to a picnic area where I got a few shots of Lake of Two Rivers before a breath of wind made a ripple on the water (below).  I took these two shots the day before on our way to our hike, not the early morning drive.  There was only one man at the end of the lake here (crowds of people had stopped along the highway on the right), and you can see the attraction for everyone of this lake.  

There is one drawback to camping in Algonquin.  There's always a lot of driving up and down the highway to get to the hiking trails and the various lakes for canoeing, and there aren't any gas stations in the park.  Well, I should say you can get gas at a couple of outfitters stores, but it costs more.  On this misty morning, we decided to fill up with gas in Whitney just outside the east end of the park. This beautiful little lake is on the east end ... so pristine.

And then in Whitney, it was so misty, you couldn't see much of anything.  I thought this was a cool shot through the windshield (such a cheat!). It was Sunday morning, and the church bells were chiming which just added to the effect.

On our way back, we stopped at our recently located mystery spot at Lake of Two Rivers.  It didn't disappoint.

Gorgeous silent views, not a breath of wind, no water lapping, and we were the only two on the point.

What a beautiful spot to have had a log cabin all those years ago, and watch the sun rise every morning through these very trees.

I wouldn't want the morning quietude to end ... I didn't want it to end on this particular morning either.

But the mist kept rising, and the sun grew hotter, and we finally had to make our way back to our campsite for some breakfast.

So we said goodbye to the only other living creature we saw ... this massive spider hanging over the water! ... and drove away.

We camp in Canisbay Lake campground within the park.  There are some beautiful views right within the campground too.  This is a particularly boggy section that is off the beaten track.  My dog loves this spot and I let him off the leash to run ahead.  I like to move a little slower through here so that a) I don't step into soggy bog disguised as firm ground covered in moss, and b) there are so many spider webs through here in the morning, that I don't want to walk through them, and I also want to photograph them ;)

We don't usually take our own canoe on the fall trips because we just don't have time to hike and canoe, but another time (when we retire), we'll take the canoe and enjoy a paddle round a few lakes as well ... when I see the lakes like this, I just want to get out there.

Well, if you made it this far I'm glad.  I hope I didn't take up too much of your morning ;)  I guess I'm making up for not being on the blog for the past month or so, but I make no apologies because I do like to share my favourite place with all of you and I hope you don't mind.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you all have a wonderful day ahead of you.

A campsite ... they all looked like this that weekend ... magnificent!!
Roadway through the campground
Canisbay Lake park office ... such a stunning welcome!