Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo Rock

We headed out camping to this park for a few days. It is a great park and one of our favourites for paddling. We had a nice site and set up and thought WTH. There were Gypsy Moth Caterpillars all over the place, I’m talking thousands upon thousands. If you have never heard of them or have never had an encounter with them, I will tell you one important thing…….avoid them at all costs! They are horrible. You can hear sounds like it’s raining but it’s not, it’s the caterpillars pooping, I‘m not making this up. Had I known the park was infested, we would have stayed home. We are fortunate we don’t have any on our property but my son lives in Toronto and he says they are there. In fact, one of our favourite parks in Toronto, High Park, has an infestation. Long story short, we ended up coming home early.

A view from the shore
The Rock

We did not paddle because the wind was also horrible lol. There were white caps and rough waters every day. We did go for some drives and I got to watch a small snake eat a fish in the water!

Snake!

I watched him go under a rock, more or less, and eat a fish. It looked like a little Sunfish. He spent an inordinate amount of time under that rock with that fish.

Yum Lunch

Below are some photos of the area where we saw the snake.

Some random shots below of a few insects, not those caterpillars! haha

Below is one of the areas in the Park, we normally launch our canoe at this spot, and head out onto Bon Echo Lake.

One evening we went for a walk in the Park and we ended up standing by the shore. Two Loons were swimming around and one swam right up to me which was pretty awesome. I love Loons, they are a favourite of mine. I did a video on my phone of the Loons and one of them coming right up to me where I was standing. I love the sounds they make, so turn the sound on! Loon Video Below! Just click on the photo once, maybe twice and be prepared to be enthralled! They are the coolest birds.

We went for a drive another day and spotted this guy in a field. Somebody got creative! A very interesting tree and someone stuck a rubber mask on it.

Well that was our short trip, we ended up coming home earlier than we were supposed to.

Have a great summer !

My Favourite Park – 10 June Day Trip to Algonquin Park

Well here we go again….. up at 4 a.m. and out the door for Algonquin Park. We did this a week earlier and said that we wanted to get up there again before the 12th of June. Ontario Parks are finally all open for camping that day and it will be a madhouse! There was hardly anyone in the Park on Thursday when we went but the next day there would be thousands of people with all the campgrounds opening.

I thought last week we did good to see 4 moose but this trip we saw 10. And No, it wasn’t the same 2 or 3 running back and forth across the highway! Years and years ago we would always see 7, 12, 15 moose in the same day but the last few years it has been getting difficult to spot moose. We also spotted a newborn fawn and 3 deer and a fox but I only managed to get a quick shot of one deer. I was more interested to see and photograph moose. We saw 6 Bulls, 3 Cows and 1 Calf and he/she was adorable. It was a good day for moose for sure, the first one we saw was about 20-30 minutes before we even got to the Park, same as last week. I don’t know if it was the same moose or not. The highlight of the day was seeing this Cow and her Calf. Following Mom everywhere and hardly leaving her side.

You can see the little one beside Mom walking through the water in the ditch. She always made sure she was between people/the road and her calf.

He is so small compared to Mom.

They have such spindly little legs!

It was a long day, we didn’t get home until about 840 p.m. but it was worth it, thanks to my husband for driving us around, up and down the highways all day! And yes Clint does photography too, ever since he was in high school. He is one of the best photographers I know, but then again I’m bias. I put a link to his photography website on his name in the previous sentence if you are interested.

Another cow that we saw along the road.

A young Bull walking through the ditch

Thanks and hope you enjoyed the photos of moose. Until next time….

Algonquin Park Day Trip! – 4 June

I love Algonquin Park, I may have mentioned that a few hundred times before. We were able to go one day in March and we were supposed to go for 2 1/2 weeks in May but due to our Provincial Lockdown it was canceled. So I needed my fix and as our lockdown ended this past Wednesday, this was a day trip we were going for right away.

Up at 4 a.m. and hit the road with our camera gear and a cooler full of lunch, snacks and water. It’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive, maybe a little less. Just before we hit the turn off to go to Whitney, a little town outside the park, we spotted a moose in a marsh on the side of the road. We have only one other time spotted a moose before we got into the park. So that was a good sign for us. The lighting sucked at that time but we were able to get a few shots albeit not the best.

Into the park we went and to sum it up, we saw 4 moose total, 3 deer, 1 wolf and 5 turkeys. Turkeys for the win! We also saw a bunch of Canada Geese and some goslings and one heron.

Below are some Canada Geese and their gosling photos.

The photo below reminded me of the Abbey Road album cover! I know there is only three but still……………

We spotted another cow on the side of the highway, she was pretty skittish too. Didn’t stick around too long. I have a theory that because there has been so few people around the park for the last few months that the animals have become accustomed to basically having the park to themselves. And for the most part, are not used to humans again. I feel bad for them once the hordes of people invade their space when the lockdown is over. She did not want to come out from the shady trees.

We spotted three deer in the park, we don’t often see deer but they are there. In all the years of coming here, I have seen 10 times more moose than deer. I remember my Grandfather telling me years ago, he was from this area, that moose and deer don’t typically inhabit the same area. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I don’t see it to be honest.

The photo below is one of my favourite spots. On some Algonquin maps, it’s referred to as Pond. It’s between Source Lake and Tanamakoon Lake. We named it Monkey Lake, after Trum of course. We did this so when we are having a conversation, it’s easier to say Monkey Lake than you know where the highway blah blah blah. So below is Monkey Lake and a photo of Trum at his favourite lake too!

It was rather strange we saw no other ducks of any kind, we usually see a fair number on the waters. Maybe they are all in hiding from the mosquitos. The bugs were what you would expect in Ontario this time of year……..Brutal. We parked at one spot to walk down to one of our favourite areas in the park and even with our bug hats on, it was not pleasant. That idea was squashed rather quickly. Can I do a trail with a billion mosquitos flying around my face? Yes. Do I want to? No chance in hell. lol We did spot our second moose of the day right there in the parking lot though so that was okay. We didn’t get great photos of him either as I think he got startled pretty quickly and took off. It’s amazing how fast they can move. I was trying to exit the truck, run to the front of the truck all the while trying take a photo, by the time I actually got myself sorted out, he was gone.

Below is a photo taken from Arowhon Road.

You can see the moose below in the photo, that is how far away she was from us. Then of course I was able to get a bit closer and then zoom in.

A view from off Opeongo Road.

As we were driving up and down the highway, we all of a sudden saw this guy run across the road in front of us. Then he ran back to the other side, walked up the ditch and then ran back in front of us again. He was beautiful. We didn’t think there were coyotes in the park but we are pretty sure it is . Our initial thought was a wolf but we didn’t think we were lucky enough to see a wolf in the middle of the day. UPDATE – I asked a guy I know who is a professional wildlife photographer and goes to Algonquin more than I do, and he said it is indeed a wolf, so I guess we were lucky enough. This was our initial thought, pretty thrilling to see him regardless. Thanks Mark Raycroft for helping me out. (Check out Mark’s link, he has published books and does a Podcast called Wild and Exposed )

Our mode of transport! We took our canoe as we thought we might get a paddle in but there was way too much activity on the roads so we’ll wait and paddle another day in our area.

And in case you were wondering………..and really who wouldn’t? Here is where Trum gets situated in the truck lol

So we did a lot of driving and some walking. Some of the places we stopped to walk at were okay for bugs. Up until Covid hit, we used to spend 2 – 3 weeks in June camping in the Park. Looking back I don’t know how we did it or why. haha

Anyways, long story short, it was a great day.

Prince Edward Point – Our Day Trip 17 May

This guy fell asleep, he must have read my Blog Post

We went to this spot a couple of times in the last two weeks. It’s a great spot for the birders, Clint and I like birds but we aren’t experts by any means. I know they have feathers…….lol So as per usual, we packed a lunch, grabbed our coffees and headed out about 530 a.m.

So Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory is located in the south-east corner of the County in the Prince Edward Point Bird National Wildlife Area. It was established in 1978 and is about 560 hectares; it is a great area, right on Lake Ontario. I feel like wherever we go on our day trips in our area we are somehow beside, or near Lake Ontario, it seems to be everywhere. We have been out here so many times, I like driving around this area. But today we were here for the birds! Thousands and thousands of birds go through this area every spring. It is quite the spot if you are into birding.

Signage
Trail to see the birds
Catbird
Yellow Warbler and he’s very happy
Yellow Warbler, not so happy

The photo below is not about the bird but there were swarms of bugs, some form of shadfly all over the place. You would be walking along and all of a sudden there was a swarm just flying in one spot. You can see the little dots in the photo below. There were no mosquitos though so that was great.

Bird and some bugs
Some flowers aka weeds beside the trail
Chipping Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager

When we were done on the trails, we drove down and parked across from the Point Traverse Lighthouse. The road to the lighthouse was gated off but you can walk a trail to get to it. We did part of the trail.

Point Traverse Lighthouse

Nice spot and lots to look at. We were photographing these seagulls diving into the water. I got one with just the wings sticking out of the water, it was kind of neat watching them. I think they get a bad rap.

Seagull diving in for his dinner
Heading out to Lake Ontario
Tiny Nest

On our way home we passed this field and I thought it was pretty. I believe it is a field of canola.

Canola Field

Until next time……Stay safe