•07/21/2014 • Leave a Comment
Launching the canoe onto Bassfin Lake on a warm sunny afternoon, Don Duprius and I glided over the rippled lake surface. We entered a world of quiet and beauty. We paddled lazily along heading for the North shore. Having brought our fishing gear along, we were soon drifting along with the breeze catching 4 to 5 inch perch. Nothing to write home about. A good way to past time until the evening shot started.
Removing my watch from my pocket, I noticed that it was now 5:30 p.m. I suggested to Don that we go head to shore for supper. Don was in agreement and the canoe was soon beached ashore. Grabbing our lunch bags we sat along the shore and ate supper. The bug population has been dramatically reduced so it was a pleasure to sit on the rocks in the shade looking over the lake before us. Having finished eating, Don stretched out for a nap and I commenced to explore the shoreline. As I entered a small cove a small stream appeared ahead of me. Upon approach it, I noticed how clear the water was as it entered the lake. Kneeling down I ran my hand into the water. It was quite cool feeling specially for this time of year. I called Don over and he suggested we backtrack the stream to its source. So off we went walking on higher ground as the stream was in dense vegetation. As we made our way with the stream to our left, an opening appeared ahead of us. Don and I made our way down the sloping ground to the woods edge. We emerged upon a small bog pond surrounded by lush vegetation and tiny white flowers.
I quickly returned to my canoe to gather up my camera equipment. Reappearing at the pond’s edge, the camera and tripod in hand I made a quick survey of my surroundings. With the sun settling to the west, I decided to move around the pond to my left to eliminate sun glare on the camera lens. Now this pond was dominated by the various shades of green. I was cast in shadow around me which would also effect my foreground.I felt this would add to the depth of the photo. I also thought that the best way to portray this scene was by doing a panoramic to capture the sense of the mood. That it was quiet and peacefulness. There was also a feeling of serene beauty about this location. Like an oasis in the woods. With the lush vegetation and clear waters, I was of the impression that this was a spring fed pond. As I walked along the pond edge I had the feeling of walking on air. The vegetation underfoot was holding me up. I had to remain completely still to allow everything to settle down. I have my camera set to 2 sec. after the push of the shutter button. Thus helping to eliminate vibration. Completing my series of shots I took one last look at this little oasis in the woods and hiked back to Bassfin Lake. I believe that I will return here in the near future.
This coming week-end I will be set up at the Killarney Art Show along with many other artists. The show runs Saturday and Sunday. For more info go here.
Till next time happy trails.
•07/14/2014 • Leave a Comment
June 24 dawned misty and cloudy. Maureen and I drove into Wawa to the North of 17 restaurant for breakfast. The day cleared up. So that evening we drove back down the Gargantua Bay Road. As I drove along a weasel ran out in front of us to then disappear back into the woods. Upon arriving at the parking I loaded up my camera gear. Our aim was to hike the two km trail into the back of Gargantia Bay. The Ojibwa people had built a road here, so the going was very good. There was soon an onslaught of the mosquito population to annoy us.
We soon arrived at the bay’s end. We were greeted by a young couple and there two young children. They were set up at one of the campsite available here. There was a nice sandy beach here, but I saw nothing of interest to photograph . The Ojibway had constructed a longhouse on the beach from were they performed their religious ceremonies. The longhouse consisted of saplings fastened together. It was quite sturdy looking. We chatted with the campers for awhile. They suggested that we hike up the hill to a lookout that gave a view of the bay to the North. Picking up the lookout trail at the end of the beach, we were soon sweating as we made our way up the steep hillside. Upon arrival we were greeted to a magnificent view looking towards the Devil’s Chair. Descending the hill back to the beach I headed over to the Ranger’s cabin. It had seen better days as the walls had been removed for an open air effect. I suspect that people had taken free firewood. We bid the campers goodbye and picked up the trail to the parking lot. I swore the mosquito clan had brought in more reinforcements as they seemed to be thicker. It seemed at times that my hands were covered with these pest. We arrived back at the parking lot. Arriving back at the highway I suggested that we go to Fenton Lake.
Maureen dropped me off at the side of the highway. I suggested she go to Wawa and stop at Tim Horton for a coffee. Meanwhile I set up my tripod and Canon 7D to capture the above photo. As I was waiting the wind calmed down. The could cover changed to what you see in the above composition. I needed depth so I put shoreline on both sides of the composition. The cloud cover is shown to its best effect. There is lots of depth here. The island is visible. A typical Northern Ontario scene in the Boreal forest.
Maureen soon returned with her coffee. I packed my gear away. It was getting dark now. It was time to head back to camp. The 37th Annual La Cloche Art Show concluded yesterday with recorded sales. There was an excellent turnout of artist and the public.While that is it for now Until next time happy trails.
•07/07/2014 • 2 Comments
As I waited for the sun to descend to the horizon I walked the beach to the North. Once you leave the rocky part of the beach, it becomes all sand. I noticed three campsites along this stretch of beach. There were old tracks of a moose that had walked the beach. This is a common site in this park. The sand was crumbling in at the side of theses tracks and there was debris in the tracks Geese tracks were evident on the beach. Two islands could be seen in the distance. Ducks floated in the distance, silhouette like. Backtracking I returned to the little stream to set up for the above composition. I thought I would create something a little more abstract or create a pattern. There was a green colored rock sitting above the water with interesting marking. With the low setting sun allowing for slow shutter speeds, thus the water took on a dreamy affect. Yet the color of the rocks still shone through the water. By setting the tripod low to give me a face to face look with the subject rock I used my Canon EOS 7D to capture my composition.
It was soon time to leave. The 14 mile drive out was enjoyable as the woodlands passed by me. A Grouse hen walked across the road in front of me. Slowing to a stop I observed four tiny chicks following her. They must have been only a day or two old. The fourth chick huddled down in the middle of the road among the grass. Then a moment latter it dashed off after its mother. I waited a bit to make sure there was none other. I slowly proceeded by and was soon on my way. As I rounded a corner a Black Bear sow dashed across the road with two very small cubs in tow. They disappeared into the woods out of sight. It was not long before I turned North onto Hwy 17 To our campsite at Rabbit Blanket Campgrounds. It was time to call it a night.
I will be at the 37th La Cloche Art Show Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday this week. I am a host for the show. My schedule is 2 to 5 each day. If you are in the area stop in for a chat. Three of my compositions were selected. I had the honor of receiving the Peggy Forbes Award. Peggy was one of the original founder of this wonderful show. So That is it for now. Until next time happy trails
•07/02/2014 • 6 Comments
Sunday June 22, Maureen and I traveled to Lake Superior Provincial Park. This large and beautiful park is North of Sault Ste Marie. Here is a great opportunity to explore the shorelines of Lake Superior and the interior wilderness with many lakes and hiking trails. We decided to set up a base camp at the Rabbit Blanket Campgrounds. Thus allowing me to photograph the North half of the Park. Being close to Wawa allowed for getting gas easily.
The tent and screen tent were soon gracing our campsite. The screen tent is a real bonus. The mosquito population was here. Supper was soon over and we drove the fourteen mile gravel road to Gargantua Bay. This is a narrow road with a couple of newly built bridges. It is a nice drive through open forests in many places. At the parking lot we took the hiking trail to the South. A bridge was crossed and we emerged on to a stony beach. Before my eyes was this small stream flowing over these colorful rocks into Lake Superior. This little stream had to be only ten feet across. Being a long day as it was we headed back to camp for a good nights sleep.
I returned to Gargantua Bay the next evening. The above composition is one of the photos I captured that evening. This was about capturing the beauty of the rocks with the stream flowing around and over them. At the same time the setting sun gives a dramatic effect to the overall scene. If you look close you can see specs of red sunlight on some of the rocks. You need low light or cloudy days to bring the color out on these rocks.
One of the things that I like to empathize is for one to stop for a moment and see the beauty that can be found in the little things around us. The colorful rocks.The sound of running water. Rising of fish during their evening feed that occurred while I sat on the beach. The changing of the sky as dusk approached. Waterfowl floating on the water surface like silhouettes. So many little things that happen when one becomes aware of his or her surroundings. Give yourself to Nature and you will be at peace.
I did a interview over at Exhibition Without Walls. You can read it here.
This Friday is the opening of the La Cloche Art Show at Whitefish Falls. This is show is in its 37th year. It runs from July 5 to July 13.
I am still in the process of working on my photos from the Superior trip. There will be more to come. So until next time happy trails.
•06/20/2014 • 2 Comments
My daughter Maryjean and I spent last Sunday evening canoeing Bassfin Lake, off the Matagamasi Lake Road. She fished and I photographed. The bugs were there, thus requiring a bug jacket. The wind was here and there. Never totally calming down. I was dropped off on the largest island on the lake. As I walked the shoreline, I spotted this reddish colored rock in the shallow waters. It was ringed with Pine pollen. It has a face effect to it. The blue water gave me good contrast with the reddish rock. You can just observe the lake bottom on the left side of the photo. I utilized the water vegetation to create the odd number of objects.
It was a nice evening canoeing and photographing. It was a fitting way to finish off Father’ Day with my daughter enjoying a couple hours outdoors. I am off to Lake Superior Provincial Park for a week of photographing. So until next time, happy trails
•06/14/2014 • 5 Comments
Saturday dawned as another beautiful day. Tim and I enjoyed a leisure breakfast of bagels and coffee. The lake was fairly calm. The past evening I had explored a small stream flowing a couple hundred feet from Norway Lake. It crossed the portage. The water was clear and cool as it flowed over gravel and stones. This was were we obtained our drinking water by filtrating it into our drinking bottles.
Tim and I canoed over to the portage. We walked along the stream until a steep slopping rock ridge appeared. Here the water flowed down through a crevice in the rock structure as a series of very small waterfalls. The crevice was no more than four feet across. The tiny pools were clear and colorful. There was a green tinge to everything in the crevice. One of the problems I had here was very low light. I would say that there was very little sunlight appearing here. Thus I was shooting with very low shutter speeds. I used the small rocks in the foreground to give the sense of depth. The little waterfalls in the background added to the magic allure to the scene. You can see how the rock face on both sides are slanted.
Tim and I had agreed to portage back over to Killarney Lake the next morning. This would eliminate the hardest portage on Monday. Sunday morning on another beautiful calm day we packed up our gear. We soon had our gear over the portage, leaving the bloodthirsty bugs behind. A short paddle brought us to the first island at the East end of Killarney Lake. I had camped here two years ago. The campsite has a beautiful view looking West. Minnows were present along the shore. We observed one of about four inches long. It was deep bodied like a bass. But then we saw a flash of silver like you see on a shiner.
Monday morning at dawn we did our morning shoot. The wind was very light. Just enough to mess up the photographing. It was not long before we were on our way out. The winds again were good, making for relaxing canoeing. As we approached the last narrows to the portage landing a yearling black bear was walking the shoreline. Letting the canoe drift, Tim took a few shots of the bear. As we passed the bear, it came down off the rock structure and swam across to the other side, disappearing into the woods. The trek across the portage was uneventful and we were soon paddling on Freeman Lake. As the next portage over to George Lake appeared, a yearling doe was spotted in the water feeding on underwater vegetation. There was a pair of loons to the South of us. The female climbed up on a small mud island followed by the male. The male mounted his mate. This to me is late as I have seen eggs in there nest by late May.
It was not long before The vehicle was loaded and another wonderful trip over. Tim and I bid farewell until the next trip and we headed off on our separate ways. Well that is it for now. Until next time happy trails.
•06/10/2014 • 2 Comments
Friday June 6 Woke up at 6:00 am. Loaded the canoe onto my Ford Escape. I was soon on my way to Killarney Provincial Park. I arrived at 8:00 am as they were just opening the office. My cousin Tim Bennison pulled into the parking lot shortly after. Tim and I had not seen each other for many years. Obtaining our camping permits, we were soon paddling on George Lake. It was a beautiful sunny day with the lake waters being calm. After a leisure paddle we arrived at our first portage into Freeland 188 Lake. This is a 80 m portage. Easing out into Freeland 188 Lake Tim spotted a yearling Black Bear ambling along the shoreline. We soon approached the portage into Killarney Lake. Unloading our gear we hauled our equipment over the 380 m portage. The creek between Killarney Lake and Freeman 188 Lake was running quite high. Here we encountered our first taste of Northern Ontario, bugs. They were out in force.
Tim and I did not waste much time here and were soon on our way. It does not matter how many times I have paddled here, that I am in awe of the scene before me when you arrive onto the open water of Killarney Lake. It is very awe inspiring to see the turquoise blue waters nestled among the white quartz of the La Cloche Mountains rising on either side of Killarney Lake. This was Tim’s first trip to Killarney Provincial Park. We paddled East down the length of Killarney Lake on calm waters. Paddling slowly and indulging in the vista before us. Upon reaching the Norway Lake portage, the canoe was unloaded. Being lunchtime we ate sandwiches. It was a good size clearing here that looked like there may have been a building here at one time. Tim discovered a small patch of rhubarb growing in the clearing.
Well it was time to move gear over this 1390 m portage. Neither one of us had undertaking this portage. It was getting warmer and the bugs were waiting. The portage had a series of mud holes at the beginning to slog through. The portage then became dryer as we pushed on. The forest was fairly open here with Maple, Hemlock and some Yellow Birch. After battling flies and uneven ground we made it to Norway Lake. It took us two trips to get everything over the portage. It seems that we always have too much equipment. Tim and I were both now tired and sore. The first island had a campsite, so that is where we headed for. With the tent up and everything layed out, it was time for a nap. Norway Lake is very nice, but in terms of photographing not very good.
The canoe was launched after supper to explore the lake. Concluding our trip around the lake I was of the opinion that we had our work cut out to obtain any good photographic works. With the sun gone down and darkness descending we were soon nestled in our sleeping bags for the night.
That is it for now. So until next time happy trails.