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.
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.
It is late June.
The evening sun low
In the western sky
Sunlight filters through
The shoreline Pines
Pine pollen drifts on the quiet waters.
The La Cloche Mountains
Visible through the narrows
Clouds are scudding overhead
Moose tracks are visible
Along the muddy shoreline
Only hours old
A scene that greets
Many a portaging canoeist
As they journey into
The heart of the
White quartz La Cloche Range
Threading their laden canoes
Through narrow channels
Paddling gently to observe
The quiet evening beauty
Before emerging into the
A clear, sapphire lake
That is Killarney Lake
Set among Jack Pine hills
White quartz ridges rise
High on either side
Pink granite scattered haphazard
Along the rugged shorelines
A tranquil scene
Of turquoise blue waters
In the even stillness
Before the last rays
Of the setting sun
Spring is here now in the North Country. It is getting warmer. But the snow is deep.
Until next time happy trails.
Monday morning dawned.I had loaded my Ford Explorer the previous night.The Quetico 17 Kevler canoe was loaded the night before also.I am a big fan of the Quetico 17 made by Souris River.For more info check here.
After a quick stop to pick up my partner Paul Smith for this trip we were soon on the road to Killarney Provincial Park.This is about an hour and a half trip for us.A stop at the main office to obtain our permits ,we were soon loading the canoe and heading out into George Lake.
The winds were light,the sun was warm and the Fall colors were beautiful.The water levels on George Lake were good considering the dry summer we had.The paddling through Freeland was uneventful and we were soon over the Killarney Lake Portage into Killarney Lake itself.While at the portage I talked to four gentleman who were making there first trip into the interior.There destination was OSA Lake. As we paddled the West end of Killarney Lake it was noted that there were a few campsites taken.The water levels were low on Killarney Lake.
Arriving at the shorelines of OSA Lake is always breathtaking.The pebble beach at your feet,The La Cloche Mountains with white quartz rocks on either side of you,the turquoise blue water stretching before you,the distant islands in the distance.The mountains were adorned with there Fall color. That is why this lake is a popular destination for many canoeist.
Two couples were portaging out and they told us the big island was available.Paul and I made our way to the large island.We unloaded our gear and set up our chairs for a little rest before setting up the campsite.
Monday evening the winds started to calm down.Paul and I stayed on the island that evening to do our photographing.This is a good campsite to work from, for the variety of angles one can work with.Some areas of the lake the wind was calm while in other parts a ripple effect was left.I was able to capture the above scene by combining the La Cloche Mountains with a bit of the near shoreline.I set my Canon D7 on the tripod and shot two vertical images overlapping.This allowed for the inclusion of the near shoreline.The sky was quite interesting as well as the sky reflecting in the water.You will also get a glimpse of the lake bottom in the foreground.The colors on the mountain side was great.There is a bit of a pink hue on rounded mountain peaks.
The evening was cooling down now.It was a good idea to put on long johns before we went to bed that night.Paul got the fire going as the days are short with darkness coming early.It was nice to sit by the warm glow of the fire.The moon came up as we sat,casting its silvery light over the lake surface.We were soon off to bed.It was nice and warm in my sleeping bag thinking as to what dawn would bring us.
I will continue at a later date on this trip.It was to prove to be a different five days than the five day trip last year at this time due to the weather.Until next time happy trails.
This past Friday myself,my daughter and son-in-law headed for Muriel Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.We had to cover 5 lakes and 4 portages to the campsite.We did not get away till 4:00 that afternoon.A quick check into the park office for camping permits and we were soon loading the canoe at the George Lake beach.We decided to eat a quick supper before we left.It turned out to be a very hot weekend.
Launching the canoe we were off on our adventure.George Lake is about a 40 to 50 minute paddle to the first portage of 90 meters. Off loading our gear we quickly carried over to Freeland Lake and headed to the next portage.The wind was light so the going was easy.Freeland Lake has a fair amount of vegetation in the form of lily pads.
The Killarney Lake portage soon arrived and we carried all our gear and canoe over.This was a 380 meter carry over.You could feel the heat.Once out into the open water the beauty of the La Cloche Mountain system is much evident.We had a short canoe paddle at the upper end of Killarney Lake to get to the carry over into O S A Lake.There are a lot of campers at this time of year and most folks are friendly.
We quickly hauled over the 455 meters to O S A Lake.This lake is one off my favorite lakes to photograph.Launching into the turquoise blue waters,the sun fading,we made our way to the West end of the lake.Arriving at our last portage we made haste to make it over to Muriel Lake.This portage was 595 meters.By this time it was now dark.There was enough light to make our way to the West end of the lake.There are two campsites at this location.We chatted with one of the campers who told us were the campsite was.
We arrived at the general location of this campsite and proceeded to search for it on shore with flashlights.My son-in-law located it and we unloaded and got the tent setup.The mosquitoes are bad here once the sun goes down.I was tired so off to bed I went.
The above photo was a panoramic that I took the following evening.At the time it was hot and muggy.As I strolled along a path behind our campsite I came across this beautiful,serene scene.This would make a different take on what I usually photograph.I set the Canon 7d to take multiple exposures at different shutter speeds.With The camera set at vertical I proceeded to do six shots to cover the whole scene that you see above.
When I got home I processed each set of exposures in HDR.Then I did a photo-merge in Photoshop to create the 20″x60″ photo.I did not do any processing in HDR.This is a great way to bring out the shadow details.With the La Cloche Mountains in the background and reflecting into any open water,the various shades of green and grey deadheads over the swampy area added up to an interesting shot.
Well that is it for now.I will continue the story at another date.So until next time happy trails.
Paul Smith and I headed back down to Killarney Provincial Park on the past Monday.It was mid morning with clear sunny skies.The wind was light.After receiving our camp permits we loaded the canoe and launched into George Lake.One thing that we noticed was that the fire danger was set at low.
Reaching the East end of George Lake,we made a quick haul over to Freeman Lake.It was an uneventful trip to the Killarney Lake Portage.There were a few mosquitoes on the trail,but nothing serious.It is always a joy to canoe Killarney Lake with its clear turquoise colored waters.As we paddled through the channel we spotted a female Common Merganser on a log, head tucked under a wing sound asleep.Our presence did not even disturb her.
Paul and I decided to set up camp at the first campsite on Killarney Lake.Quickly setting up camp, we soon were relaxing in our camp chairs.It is always a pleasure to just sit back to enjoy the beauty of what nature has to offer.
It was not long before I had a package of Uncle Ben’s rice cooking on the propane stove.I added cooked chicken breast pieces to give it body.This makes for a nice meal.I set up to make us a pot of tea and guess what.I had left the coffee and tea at home.Oh well we survived quite well without the caffeine.
The lake was calming down quite noticeable as even approached.We gathered our camera gear and paddled back down to the portage.The first thing we noticed along the portage shoreline were large a large set of moose tracks that were not there when we first hauled over that afternoon.The above photo was the result of that evening of photographing.You can notice beautiful back lighting on the trees on the point to the left of the photo.I included the deadheads standing to the right to add more interest to the composition.The reflections lead you into the center of the photo.
Paul and I returned to camp knowing that we had captured a pretty decent photo.We had always passed through this area at the wrong time of day on our way to other lakes in the Park.
The next evening was not so successful as the wind never calmed down.As we sat by the shore we watched a Trumpeter Swan circle in front of us.A male Common Merganser went flying by us with two female Common Mergansers in pursuit just above the lake’s surface.A Black Cormorant landed on the far shore. Flocks of Canada Geese flew overhead.The Common Loon pair were always present drifting in front of us.Then towards dusk a Blue Huron passed by heading to its roost. A busy evening for bird life on the water.
We woke up at daybreak but there was to be no photographing.Packing up our gear we were soon on the water heading for home.The wind was light so we made good time.As we approached the George Lake portage a pair of Common Loons were spotted near the shore on Freeman Lake.Quietly paddling we were able to get within 15 feet and I let the canoe drift as the Loons followed the shoreline .Paul did the photographing and I kept the canoe on course.This went on for a good 10 minutes before the Loons dived and were soon too far ahead of us.In short order we reached the beach on George Lake.Loaded everything into my Explorer and another great trip in the bag.
Well that is it for this week so until next time happy trails.
One of the many lakes found in Killarney Provincial Park that offer picture book settings.Killarney Lake is nestled in the La Cloche Mountain system.With sapphire colored water and surrounded by white quartz mountains that creates a picture of serene beauty.Killarney Lake runs in a East, West direction with a large open expanse of water.There are two islands located at the East end of the lake that offer some interesting photo compositions.But bear in mind that the wind can create a problem due to the open expanse of water.There are portages at each end of the lake.The West end portage will take you int OSA Lake.The portage at the East end of the lake goes into Norway Lake.
I just returned from Midland,Ontario where I attended the Quest For Art 8th Annual Juried Art Show.I had both my works accepted.There was a good turn out and I enjoyed meeting a lot of new people.If you are in the area stop in at the gallery and enjoy the show.
Well that is it for this week.So until next time happy trails.
As I am out photographing I am always on the lookout for something unique.Last June while camping on Killarney Provincial Park, Paul Smith and I were canoeing along the shoreline.The lake we were on was Killarney Lake.This is a large lake with clear turquoise blue water.We spotted a group of stumps along the shoreline in a little cove.I selected this particular one where the top of the stump was in the shape of a dog’s head.I set up the tripod and Canon 7D at the waters edge.By placing the stump in the foreground and the lens at f22 for depth I captured this composition.The water is so clear here that you can see the texture of the rocks underwater.
With an eye for detail you will be able to spot many such subjects such as this.Also bear in mind that it is the angle that you look that has a bearing on what you see.While that is it for this post.I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe one.I would like to thank everyone for coming for a visit.So until next time happy trails.
This has been an uneventful week in terms of photographing. I spent a few days with my three youngest grand kids at the beach and we had a blast. With that said,the above photo is a pano taken last week looking West of George Lake.This was quite late in the morning so I felt quite fortunate to capture this scene.You will notice the rock on the left looks like a prehistoric crab with a tail.The La Cloche Mountains in the background along with the deep blue skies and water create a pretty scenerio.
At the 34th La Cloche Art show I was fortunate to place 1st in photography and along with that all three of my photos were sold.So thank you very much to the folks who brought my work.So that is it for this week.I hope to be back out next week so until then happy trails
This past Thursday morning I pulled into Paul Smith’s driveway and proceed to load his gear into my Ford Escape.Our destination, Killarney Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.
We stopped off at Killarney Kanoes on Bell Lake to rent a canoe for a couple days.Our plan was to come out Saturday.We also booked a campsite for two nights.The canoe that we rented was a Souris River 16 foot Prospector.We came across a Whitetail doe feeding in a swamp beside the road.This was something I had never seen before.The doe was feeding on lily pads.
We arrived at George Lake and proceeded to load the canoe for the trip out.Heading up George Lake we soon arrived at the first portage into Freeland 188 Lake.This portage is short only 80 meters.We paddled on to the next portage and hauled over to Killarney Lake.This portage was 380 meters so it was a good haul over.The canoe being made of Kevler weighs only 38 pounds.When we arrived at the entrance to Killarney Lake we both commented on the fact that there was a good scene to be had here at the right time.
Paul and I proceeded to explore the West end of Killarney Lake.We made our way to the OSA Lake portage with the idea of walking over the portage to check out the view.As we paddled along the shoreline we came across Canada Geese with young and the Common Loons were actually quite tame.The Loons showed no fear of us.We had to haul over one small beaver dam and arrived at the OSA Lake portage. A quick hike and we were treated to a beautiful view of OSA Lake.I really loved the shoreline here as it was made up of small pebbles in shadow waters.We agreed that this would be a trip of its own as we would need to go to the far end to get some good photos.
We then made our way back and headed to the East end of Killarney Lake where the islands were located. It was discovered that our campsite was taken by someone else so we paddled down to the islands and set up our camp on the last island. The both of us also realized that the best scenic was in front of our campsite.That evening the wind would not calm down.I took a few shots but none were great.The black flies were paying havoc at the same time.
I awoke at 5:00 am Friday morning and crawled out of the tent The wind was lightly gusting here and there.Not good. The sun finally burst over the hills to warm the hillsides with good lighting.A short while later the wind calmed down and I called to Paul that this was our chance.We got maybe 15 minutes shooting time.The panoramic above is one of the results of the lull in the wind.Using the point and island in the foreground and the La Cloche Mountains in the background for depth.As I say our shooting did not last long.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the lake as we waited for the evening shooting.Friday evening turned out to be windy as a weather front moved in.We watched from the campsite as huge clouds of green pollen from the Pine trees blew over the lake. I had never seen such a sight before.The pollen was so thick that the hillsides were obscured.Our equipment was covered with the pollen as while as ourselves. Paul and I were both having problems with allergies by this time.
The next morning the wind was stronger eliminating any possibility of photographing.Paul and I decided to pack up and head out. We arrived back at the George Lake landing and headed home. There was a resident population of from 50 to 70 Canada Geese on Killarney Lake.They would fly over our campsite every evening.
Paul and I both enjoyed the trip and will be planning a trip back in to Killarney Lake in the near future