Sunday, October 04, 2015

Saturday in the Park

I took a lot of photos while camping last weekend in Algonquin Park, but I don't want to lose any readers by trying your patience to see all of them! But I did want to share a few of my weekend away.

On Saturday we planned for a long hike in the woods. We were rather disappointed that the trees were not at their peak of colours as yet (probably this weekend would have been perfect!). Rather than doing the more difficult and much longer trail we had originally planned for, Centennial Ridges 11 km, we opted for the shorter 5 km hike on Booth's Rock Trail. Our dog Cody had been collapsing at home because he had chewed his paws raw from allergies, he just couldn't stand on his feet! We didn't want to push him too hard on an 11 km trail. I put little baby socks on his feet and wrapped medical tape around them. They stayed on the entire weekend and he was able to run along the trail without any pain.

In my opinion Centennial Ridges has the best view in the park! But Booth's Rock comes in a close second, so we were satisfied with the hike in the end. And Booth's Rock only has one steep climb up the trail, compared to countless breathless climbs on Centennial. By doing the shorter Booth's Rock, it left us some extra time to also go for a canoe paddle across Rock Lake afterwards :)

On the first section of trail it's flat, and as you can see, very green!! We were hoping for reds! oranges! and yellows!

This is a favourite part of the trail for me. These trees (which I believe are hemlock) allow a soft filtered light through the forest, and there's very little undergrowth. It's an area that a wealthy lumber baron built a summer home. The home has long since gone, although there are still remnants of their concrete boat dock along the shore and a few foundation pieces, oh, and the tennis court there in the middle of the woods (now covered with pine needles, so I didn't bother with a photo).

After all this beauty, we started the big climb, which is not too bad if you're in halfway decent shape. At the top we get this spectacular view ...

Really, the only red we could see in this view was our own red pickup truck back at the parking lot. Just a faint tint of colour starting throughout these hardwood forests. 

I loved these old dead pine trees on the side of the cliff. Their trunks were all silvery and smooth from the sun, wind, rain, ice and snow polishing them up for many years ...

We ate our lunch from this vantage point, and Cody was happy to stare me in the face watching me enjoy my sandwich. He had a couple of biscuits, but I think a ham sandwich was what he really wanted. He was feeling great despite his bout with allergies. You can see he has rubbed the fur off from around his eyes, and he doesn't even have any eye lashes!

His brown-eyed side ...

and his blue-eyed side ...

Ahhhh ... that view!! All that you can see here (and more!) is Algonquin Park ...

But what goes up, must come down ... dreaded stairs again. At least these were only on the way down, but my knees were feeling a bit jelly like at the bottom.

My son found a perfect armchair beside the sparkling waters once we got back down :)

Of course Cody had to join him ...

We took a few hours on the trail since we stopped for a leisurely lunch. Once we got back down, we immediately got the boats off the truck and set them in the water for our paddle. It was a gorgeous day with a high of around 27C, and the sun was dazzling! At this time of year it seems the sun is forever at that angle that it shines straight into your eyes. We had a couple of hours to paddle across Rock Lake before it would start to get too dark to be on the water. Motor boats are allowed on this lake, and we didn't want to get caught out on the water when it's difficult to see (well for people in the motor boats to see us!!).

From the water we can see the rock cliff we had just visited ...

These are the rock faces that have the pictographs painted on them, and here's my son being silly holding the whole cliff on top of his head ;)

The same cliff a bit further away ...

How do you like this rock garden full of ferns?

On the other side of Rock Lake were it heads far down this arm to a portage (which we didn't go through). It was then time to turn around and head back to our campsite for some well-earned supper.

And that was our Saturday in the Park!

Thanks for stopping by!

and Cody of course!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Five on Friday

Every spring and every fall we get these really annoying swarms of tiny black flies collecting around doorways and in swirling masses around trees. They're not the "black flies" ... dreaded for their secret bites which you never notice until it's too late. These flies are non-biting, but you can't walk out the front door without inhaling a few ... cough/gag, or open your car door without a few sweeping inside. The only good thing about these flies is that they attract beautiful warblers. Warblers love these little flies and gobble them up until they're full to bursting! The warblers only visit my yard during their migration to the north of us in spring, and then back to the south in fall. Today I was honoured to witness my pine tree full of flies ... but just as full of Myrtle Warblers :)

There was also a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker trying hard to look inconspicuous deep in the pine's boughs. He too was after the tiny black flies. He's awfully shy, and I couldn't get a decent photo of him. I rather like the quality of this photo though. I think this must be the female as the males are much more colourful.

Another little visitor was the tiny Brown Creeper, which creeps around on the trunk of the tree picking off all the little flies one by one ... you get 'em Brownie!!

We didn't see many birds while in Algonquin, apart from the last of the Turkey Vultures that were migrating away to warmer (warmer than 27'C?!) climes. But we did see these two beauties ...

What's that? You can't really tell what this is?! Yeah, it was terrible lighting at the end of our day, and the zoom lens was not with me, but this is a photo of a mother moose and her baby. I have 14 photos that all look about this bad. Thankfully, when we went for a drive early the next morning about 7:00 am, the same two moose were having breakfast in the ditch across from our campground, and I got some much better photos ... 51 better photos! I had to be dragged away from them ... so gosh-darned adorable :)

We saw a couple of foxes on the drive up to Algonquin, but it was nighttime ... no pics. I saw a martin just as we arrived ... in the dark ... no pics. The only other "animal" we saw was this rabbit-man petroglyph  pictographs on the cliffs of Rock Lake. 

It's difficult to see him, but I took a photo of this last summer too ...

Linking up with Amy of Love Made My Home and her Five on Friday! 
Be sure to pop by Amy's and see other people's Five for this week :)

Thanks for stopping by!


... and Cody (of course!)

Forever in the way!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Birthday Weekend in Algonquin Park

For many years now, I've spent my birthday weekend (or as near as we can get it) in Algonquin Park. The last two weeks in September are usually the best weeks to head up there to see the fall colours at their peak. This year the weather was lovely ... warm and sunny ... but the fall colours had only just begun. A bit disappointing because I was hoping to blast some colour into my camping post, but it just didn't happen.

Before we left for camping on Friday, I had been receiving birthday cards from my a new card exchange group I joined. It was a real pleasure to receive cards from people I have now known for a few years, and from some new people in this group.

It's a tea & card exchange, so I received lots of new flavoured teas tucked into the cards, together with fun little gifts on the side. It made my upcoming birthday a bit more fun :)

And there were other very special cards received that were not part of the exchange ;)

Thank you all so much for your kindness in sending these lovely cards and all the little surprises of tea and gifts. It really made my day to visit the mailbox and find another card waiting inside!!

My weekend away with my husband and son was really, really nice. We hiked and canoed for two days in idyllic weather. We climbed to a cliff top to get this view (below). And then we hiked back down and took the canoe & kayak out across this same Rock Lake to a new area we hadn't explored before. That's what is so nice in Algonquin Park, you will never have finished exploring all the beautiful hidden areas! This time we went to the right of the island you can see and down a long stretch that eventually ended at a portage. The day was getting late by then, and we were forced to turn around and paddle back.

I'll do a separate post with more photos, but for today, just a quick peek. 

And here's Cody  riding shotgun in our canoe ...

Thanks for stopping by today!


Linking up with Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday

Mosaic Monday