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.
Maureen and I awoke Tuesday morning to a beautiful sunny day. A quick breakfast at the restaurant of the Best Northern. We were soon off to Fenton Lake. Then portaging over to Treeby Lake. These lakes were within Lake Superior Provincial Park. From the parking lot it is a 150 meter carry down to the lake. We soon had our gear loaded into the Quebecor 17 canoe. Edging out from shore, we paddled along the East side of the lake. The wind had picked up by now. The good thing was we were going with it. We soon reached our first portage and unloaded. This is a 50 meter portage. With all the gear hauled over. Maureen and I relaxed for a few minutes. Maureen was still suffering from her cold. We now had to make our way along a strip of water towards the Treeby Lake portage.
The Treeby portage is 150 meters in length. The ground and rocks were still wet from the previous rains. There were fallen leaves on the trail. With care we hauled our gear over the portage into Treeby Lake. We encountered a couple of downed trees on the trail. Pushing off from shore it was time to find a campsite to spend the next couple days. The wind had by now become stronger.
Treeby is a lake with approximately 23 islands. That was one of the reasons for coming here. Maureen and I set up camp on a point of land on the West side of the lake. The winds blew and gusted day and night until Thursday morning. I awoke Thursday morning at daybreak. Peeking my head out the tent I saw the leaves were not moving. Looked out upon the lake to behold the calm water surface. All was not perfect as there was a slight breeze skipping and dancing here and there on the lake. From past experience you learn to be patient and wait. In the mean time you set up your gear. The sky was getting brighter by now.
The above photo was captured as the sun splashed the hillside to illuminate the Fall colors. That is an island in front. I needed sunlight on this little island to make it stand out. Again you wait. This is what makes wilderness landscapes challenging. The long waits, the right conditions. When all the pieces fall into place, you have achieved your goal. The most important thing is you are standing on the shorelines of a lake taking in all the beauty, color and grandeur that can be found in our North country.
Well that is it for this post. Until next time happy trails
Received a phone call from a formal co-worker about going out on a 3 day canoe trip. Don Dupuis loves the outdoors, camping and canoeing. Don is also a member of the Search and Rescue Group. I suggested that we float the French River down to The Elbow. Don agreed and on Wednesday July 17 we arrived at the Hartley Bay House and Marina.
I payed our fees and we loaded up the canoe. It was a beautiful sunny day and hot. There was a chance of rain and thunderstorm activity in the forecast for the three days of our trip. It was 10:00 AM when we finally launched. As you paddle the French River you soon come to realize that this is not a small river. There are so many islands and bays to explore if one had the time. I estimated that we had approximately seven or eight kilometers to reach our destination. The wind was blowing towards us, but light. At about three kilometers from The Elbow we landed on an island to enjoy a shore lunch. As we ate the wind was picking up pretty good. So heading down stream we were now paddling into a strong wind that would gust from time to time. I have to tell you we where glad to spot The Elbow and look for a campsite. We chose campsite 625. It had a nice sandy beach. Don and I quickly unloaded the canoe and unfolded the camp chairs. A rest was in order. We both were feeling sore and hot. Must be getting old.
We finally got the campsite in order. It was time for a swim to cool off. That evening the wind was still blowing good and no possibility of photographing. The next morning we headed down to Dalles Rapids to explore around. Don and I pulled into the portage and walked it through. Then we hiked along the ridge until we came back to Dalles Rapids. We filtered water at the rapids as we had drank everything the day before. We returned to camp and after supper returned to Dalles Rapids for a little fishing until the sun lowered before doing some photographing. I managed to catch a couple smallmouth bass. The above composition is a result of my evenings photographing.
I was really turned on by the rock structure I found here and I had a large bent tree to add to the composition. There was beautiful detail and color to be had as the sun lowered.
Well that is it for this week. I will be in Killarney this weekend at the Killarney Art Show. For more info check here.
My photo daybreak went live a week ago at the Exposure 2013 Exhibition at Long Island City New York.
I had an interview over at Exhibitions Without Walls that is now posted.
So until next time happy trails
Wednesday morning,clear blue sky and warm temperatures.I pulled into Paul Smith’s yard.Having loaded Paul’s gear in we were soon on the road.We stopped in Lively for gas and a Tim Horton‘s coffee and were soon driving down Hwy 69 to Killarney Provincial Park.
I pulled into the parking lot at the main entrance to the Park.Entering the Park office we were met by Kris Puhvel executive director for Friends of Killarney.We had a brief chat with Kris,then obtaining our camp permits we headed out.We were informed that there was a fire ban in effect.
We quickly loaded our gear into the canoe and were on our way to the East end of George Lake.As we approached the portage into Freeland Lake a yearling black bear was sitting on the shore among the grass observing us,minding his own business.Unloading the canoe we proceeded to carry our gear over the short portage.As I was walking a good size water snake crossed in front of me into the water. On my return trip I spotted a male Hummingbird on the ground.I placed the colorful little fella in the palm of my hand and looking him over did not see any damage and he was alive.I then placed him in the shade of a tree while Paul sprinkled water around him.We launched our canoe into Freeland Lake were we discovered our friend the young black bear was now rambling along the shoreline looking for food.
The portage over to Killarney Lake was soon accomplished.Here we met a young couple coming out.There were a few mosquitoes here to annoy you.But we soon left them behind as we made our way into beautiful Killarney Lake.The wind was light and before you know it we were at the O S A Lake portage.Here we were met by a pair of Canada Geese with six little goslings standing on shore. The geese entered the water as we pulled in and soon disappeared up the shoreline.
The portage into OSA Lake is one of my favorites with its open stands of large Maple trees.The sun filtering down from above through the forage to dapple the forest floor.Here you can spot tracks of whitetail deer and enjoy the wild flowers such as Johnny Jump ups.Reloading the canoe Paul and I paddled West on OSA Lake to a campsite on a large island.Before long our campsite was in place and we sat down to relax and enjoy the surroundings.Exploring the island we discovered a number of possible compositions.With luck the wind would calm down and we could do some photographing.
That evening our wishes came true and I captured the above scene.Early Spring the deciduous leaves are a nice yellow green in color.With the darker evergreen colors along with warm light you can achieve some very nice effects.The above composition is a result of this.The rock point in the foreground adds color and depth.The bit of forage on the rocks added to the scene as well.The reflections add a nice filler to tie everything in.
Well that is it for this week.I have not had time to read everyone’s blog so I apologize for that as I am very busy.So until next time happy trails.
Daybreak, Tuesday morning I peeked out the tent door.The wind was blowing,the sky was blue but there would be no photographing that morning.I rolled over and went back to sleep.We awoke around 8:30 a.m. We soon had the coffee pot going and enjoyed a breakfast of bagels and coffee.It is so nice to be able to sit there and enjoy the scenery.
Maryjean and I were soon out on the water exploring for possible photographic locations.There is an island at the West end of Grace Lake that consists of white quartz rock. We guided the canoe to the lee side of this island and pulled in.This was the island that A Y Jackson stood on when he produced the painting The Bent Tree back in 1948.You can watch a short video at this link by Jim Waddington discussing the painting.
We soon came to the conclusion that the most dramatic effects for landscape shots would be scenes facing East.All that was needed was for Mother Nature to co-operate.That did not come about until Thursday morning.Tuesday a cold front rolled in bringing cooler temperatures and stronger winds.
Maryjean and I continued our exploring around the lake and soon found the portage into Nellie Lake.We would leave that for another trip.Returning to camp we relaxed and checked out our immediate area.There were a profusion of wild violets or Johnny Jump-ups growing in the crevices and ledges among the quartz rock along the shoreline in front of our campsite.These little flowers are rather pretty.
I captured this shot of the violets as they were snuggled down in a crevice away from the blunt of the wind’
Wednesday there was no improvement in the weather so we just relaxed around the campsite reading and talking. After an early supper we paddled over to the portage and hiked down to Cranberry Lake.There we meet Paul Smith my photographic partner.He had came with his kayak.We helped him with his hear back to Grace Lake and then on to our campsite.We all turned in so that we could rise at sunrise.
Well that is it for this week.I have not had time to check everyone’s blog.I am getting ready for my next trip.So until next time happy trails