Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Photo Blog | 0 comments

Last week (early May 2011) I had the pleasure of heading to Tim Lake in Algonquin Park.  My buddies are fishermen.  Me – not really.  I like to eat the fish, and it is exciting to catch one – but I wouldn’t normally go out of my way.  That being said, I did go ICE fishing this winter.  Might I pontificate once more about ice fishing (stay on course, this writing IS about Algonquin)….  fun, freezing….  and, freezing!  Next time we get one of those sweet cabins.

Now, back to Algonquin.  The weather was just gorgeous – reaching 16-18 during the day.  Then there was the night….  oh-ho-ho, the night.  Luckily, my camping buddies are much more astute countrymen – heck, I didn’t even bring rubber boots or wet-shoes.  You see, Adele didn’t come (it was a boys’ trip) and that means I had to pack my stuff.  It isn’t easy to remember all the essentials – and easy to forget them when the first things I think of packing are my camera gear.  For me, this trip was a confidence builder regarding shlepping around some new gear.  It’s heavy and bulky – but when the moment is right I sure am glad I have them in hand.

We strolled into the access point – which to me, was surprising busy.  The boys were concerned that we wouldn’t get the sweet spot they were hoping for.  Surely, when we approached the island site – with a cool tree-island just off its shore, there was a camper with a dog.  Fortunately,  Steve spearheaded the effort and smooth-talked the nice fellow.  Turns out he was leaving within the hour and didn’t mind us hanging about.  I got to play with his dog – so I was happy.  I noticed a ‘Bell’ logo embroidered on his vest – so I had to take a poke at the nice man, I asked him why we couldn’t get any reception deep in the park.  Ha-ha, I think he actually thought I was serious for a second.

Bell Buddy hit the lake, we gave him a shove off and a wave, and we had the site!  His fire was still going, and we managed to keep it burning all day.  We assessed the site for our tents.  The site was on a gentle slope.  It appeared as though we picked a nice flat spot, but as all four of us found out, a nice comfortable, stable sleep just wasn’t in the cards.  We all slid around in our tents like a fish in a canoe.  Oh the fish.  I actually dreamt about catching a big one!  I was getting into it.  But, it just wasn’t in the cards.  We ran into one lucky fellow who caught a few ‘specks – but everyone else got skunked.  Surprisingly to me, there were quite a few people there – and it seemed they were all fishing.  Since touring Ecuador last year with Birder friends I’ve been becoming more keen towards the winged wildlife.  So, I was more interested in searching for birds and checking out nature….  oh ya, and I yearned to see a moose – better yet snap a photo.

My moose desires took a hit when I learned that they shed their antlers every fall.  Of course, I probably learned that years ago and forgot.

Well, I still wanted to see one and get a picture.

I woke early the first morning, and Steve was already fishing.  The sun rose gorgeously, directly across from our site.  Our star cast a wonderful reflection on the crystal clear & calm lake.  It appeared as though we woke to a celestial  phenomenon…the sun had undergone it’s own form of mitosis and produced a duplicate of it’s self.

Far of in that sunrise reflection is a loon approaching our  site.  He’s fishing too, and I hope sincerely hope he had more luck than us.  I managed to grab a couple nice stills of the laugher.  What a sound they produce.  One loon is entertaining, never mind a group of them.  Speaking of a group of loons…  the plural adjectives are whimsically interesting and fitting, these include; an asylum, cry, loomery, raft and water dance.

 

The light was beautiful, casting a wonderfully balanced, glowing reflection across the lake.  Zooming in on my photos I noticed the bright red eyes, dynamic body pattern and specks on their face that appeared to be water drops.

Later on in the trip, I was the fortunate witness to a Loon Mating Dance!  Regretfully, the challenges of shooting telephoto from a moving canoe proved to be to great a challenge to capture such a wonderful display.  Well, I can tell you it was a marvel as the birds dipped, ducked and plunged, seemingly in sync.  Next time, I’ll have some stills or better yet, a movie file.

Our site wasn’t facing the sunset, but we did witness some gorgeous colours.

We also witnessed a huge goose ‘V’.  So large, I missed the whole thing…

Not to be outdone, our island was also home to an Adult Male Ruffed Grouse

Anyway, I’m blabbing on…

Let me say, there was some gorgeous scenery.  We got skunked on the fish – only got rained on a little – luckily for myself and my gear I was prepared.

Finally, back to that moose.  On the way out, at the last turn… I had my head down.  Looking for logs in the water.  Adam blurted out an alerting whisper… “moose, moose, moose”.  There he was in all his gigantic grandeur.  Little antlers.  Barely peeking out of the forest at the waters edge.  Alas, my gear was packed.  I’d made it that far though the weekend with no casualties so I took a break from it all.  I tell myself the setting wasn’t ideal, and the moose had no antlers.  It wouldn’t have been worth it, ah heck though – lesson be learned.  At least have the gear accessible.

Well, there’s always next time.  Hopefully that includes eating fish, and shooting moose… with my camera.

 

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