The Moose that Followed Us

I mentioned on another Post that I have been going through photos and reliving memories. I have some great stories of wildlife that I have posted here before. However, some of the stories were posted anywhere from 1 to 3-4 years ago. I thought I would revisit some of my favourite memories, complete with my photos.

This particular story occurred in October 2018. Clint and I were in Algonquin Provincial Park, our favourite place to be in the autumn. We love to hike and canoe but this story revolves around a hike. Algonquin Park has a lot of published trails for people to hike, we have done them all, more than once, but usually we like to head out on our own. This day we began hiking and after about 45-50 minutes we hadn’t seen anything so decided to turn back, get in our truck and try another spot.

The trail, part of the old railroad line that went through the Park
Clint walking ahead of me

We turned back on the trail and a few minutes later, we stopped dead in our tracks as there was a bull moose (albeit a young one) heading towards us on the trail. He didn’t look too happy and as it was rutting season we thought we would play it careful and take cover behind some trees. I got a couple of shots before we went into hiding. Clint videotaped him going slowly past us as we cowered quietly. Keeping in mind that Clint strategically placed me between himself and the moose lol. He denies it but we have video! The video is a little further down past some photos.

He is watching us
I feel like he is thinking what to do

Stopping and assessing, much like we were doing

Video below, you may have to doubleclick on it.

Here he is passing us, very, very slowly. I wanted him to go faster lol

Finally he went past us.

I looked behind me as we got back on the trail. He was watching.

He continued on down the trail and we let him get a fair bit away and we went back on the trail to continue.

After a few minutes we could hear the moose calling and moving through the marshy area to our right. If you have never heard a moose, it’s quite something. I was ahead of Clint and he kept saying walk faster! I was walking as fast as possible without running.

Hiding in the marsh parallel to where we were walking

Shortly afterwards, I heard my husband say “He’s running down the trail after us” I turned to look and yup sure enough, here he was running on his big gangly legs. I told Clint he was probably attracted to him! Clint said keep walking and don’t stop. The moose slowed down behind us but still following. I kept going until I got to the road and our truck and Clint was not behind me. I thought to myself that I would wait 10 minutes and if he didn’t come out, I would get a Park Ranger and we would drag Clint’s dead body out of the bush. lol Where my mind goes, you have no idea………….

Anyways a couple of minutes later my husband emerged from the trees. He said what happened was, he would stop and look back at the moose and the moose would stop and then he would continue walking and the moose would start walking again. He and the moose played this game for a bit all the while getting some nice pictures. And by that I mean, Clint got some nice pictures, not the moose. As he got closer to the road, the moose decided to wander off into the woods. Phew! What a relief. Note: I do not have photos of him running down the trail after us.

Over the years, we have spent a lot of time outdoors and I have always said I am more nervous about moose than bears. Bears, in Ontario, are fairly predictable. They see you, they run. OR they see you, they want your Pringles and you run. JUST KIDDING, never run from wildlife. That is the worse thing to do. But as I was saying, moose can be very aggressive, particularly in the fall when they are in rut. So we are always watchful.

He was a good looking young Bull for sure

We have had many encounters with moose, and bears, so more stories and photos to follow……..

Stay Safe

Some Feathered Friends

I have been going through my photos, trying to clear up my folders. I enjoy looking at my photos and reliving memories of some great trips and great day trips. I haven’t been out much lately doing any photography so I thought I’d do a short post on some feathered friends I photographed in Algonquin Park this past September/October.

Enjoy!

Red Breasted Nuthatch

Chickadee

White Crowned Sparrow

Spruce Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Raven – I love Ravens, they are so intelligent and friendly.

A couple of ducks, having fun

Stay Safe and Happy New Year!

Algonquin Park, Mew Lake – September/October 2020; Part Two

So here we are again, still in Algonquin Provincial Park. We like to hike and there are so many great places to hike in Algonquin Park.

Below are some photos of a trail by Cache Lake.

Some spots along Arowhon Road and the old railroad line.

March Hare Lake

Canisbay Campground and Trum out for an adventure.

It’s interesting some of the things you see when walking a trail. We spotted some cool mushrooms and an old abandoned? canoe on one trail.

Another trail we took started out as an old road and then turned into a trail in the forest. At one spot, we saw some turtle nests. The nests were old and had been trashed by another animal. Most likely a fox or raccoon. We could see the egg shells scattered around.

This guy was on the wall at the Canoe Lake restaurant. Cute.

We like to do different trails throughout the Park, but there are some we don’t do as they are way too busy. Here is a view of the highway leading up to the Track and Tower trail. Crazy busy. This was during the Thanksgiving weekend. It normally doesn’t look this bad.

Below are some random photos of some of the hikes we do and some other parts of Algonquin Park. The photo below is described on maps as “Pond”, Clint and I named it Monkey Lake, one of my favourite spots.






Monkey Lake

We came across this sight while out walking. I guess it’s where firepits come to die.

I love Kearney Lake, we weren’t able to canoe there this trip but it’s a cute lake. And we saw a snake while walking around.

Some random mushrooms and pods. Mushrooms are so amazing, I can’t believe all the different styles and colours.

Source Lake Road is a pretty road in the fall to drive down.

Some of the trails we hiked needed some cleaning up. Sometimes you have to go under, over, around or through!

So that about wraps it up, just a few more random shots. Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Well another trip come and gone. But there is always next year.

Stay safe Everyone.

Algonquin Park, Mew Lake – September/October 2020; Part One

And…………..back to my favourite Ontario Provincial Park………..Algonquin !

I got a little behind in editing my photos and writing my Blogs, by the time this will be published, I will already have published another post on a day trip we took to Algonquin in November, Sorry about that! This is a trip that started 13 September, we stayed in Mew Lake campground and left for home on 13 October, so 2 1/2 weeks total.

We had a nice site, lots of room. We liked to play backgammon and have a beer at the end of the day, and eat peanuts, and we kept having Blue Jays drop by, literally on to the table. Little Bandits they are. For a few days, it rained so much that our site had a little lake, what are you going to do? So we made up a sign that said Boat Launch and stuck it in the water. People walking by laughed about that.

Algonquin is 772300 hectares compared to Sharbot Lake which is 80 hectares, so Algonquin is a fair size. I have written about Algonquin Park before, in detail, so I won’t do it again; suffice to say, there are about 12 campgrounds, back country camping, 14 hiking trails, biking trails and over 1,500 lakes and 1,200 kms of streams. Quite the place.

The colours in Algonquin Park were not the best this year, they peaked early. I think the high point was around the 20-22 September. We arrived 26 September and by then there were a lot of leafless trees and hardly any red trees. Majority of the trees were already looking dry and had that yellowy-brown colour.

We drove one day to Dorset, a small town that I just love. My parents owned a cottage near Dorset when I was growing up and we spent every summer in this area.

We then drove up past Minden and up to the Bracebridge and Gravenhurst area. The leaves were quite different in this area, more reds and oranges and the colours were overall much better and the trees were full of leaves. Quite a difference. We did stop at three breweries to pick up some craft beer. Muskoka Brewery, Boshkung Brewery and Sawdust Brewing Company. We really like Sawdust Brewery and Muskoka is okay. It was our first time buying Boshkung beer and it was so-so. We also spotted an old barn down a side road so we stopped for photos, I love old barns and in fact I love any old buildings.

We drove into Whitney a couple of times, mostly for gas, but one day we drove around the area. We followed the Madawaska Road which follows the river and a few other roads leading us here and there.

We always go to Oxtongue Rapids, a really lovely spot. This site is west of Algonquin, outside the park. We stopped at one area that we like, cute little bridge and then further on we stopped at the Rapids.

We did a lot of hiking this trip, not so much canoeing. In fact, I think in 2 1/2 weeks we only paddled once. It was pretty rainy almost every day and windy and cold ! The day we went paddling it was 4 Celsius.

I love moose and sadly this trip we saw only two. The first time I saw a moose I was about 6-7 years old. My parents, sister and I were hiking in Algonquin Park and I was running ahead of my family. A cow and calf ran across the path in front of me and I don’t know who was more startled, them or me! My husband, Clint and I have been together 20 years and since we met, we have been going to Algonquin every year, in all seasons, spending anywhere from 2-3 weeks up to 8 weeks a year in Algonquin. We do trailer camping but we also do back country camping and quite often we drive up for the day. It’s about a 3 hour drive each way for us.

On all the trails we hiked, well most of them, we saw lots of moose tracks and scat, and yet we only saw two moose and they were on the side of the highway. One dirt road we walked down, we followed the tracks of an adult and young one and they were somewhat fresh tracks. I would love to have seen them ! We have never come here and NOT seen moose.

I do wildlife photography and this trip was pretty slim pickings for us. Now I have always said, as have many people, wildlife photography is “Right Place, Right Time”. We know Algonquin Park very well and we know the areas to go where you will have a better chance to see wildlife but no guarantees. On this trip, we did see a bull moose, a cow (female moose), beaver, herons, wood ducks, pine marten, mink, loons, otters, ducks, grouse and assorted birds. Having said that, it sounds like a good haul, so to speak, but a lot of them I was not able to get photos of. For example, the otter I saw was way faster swimming away than me grabbing my camera ! The mink was also very quick, I did manage to get off one photo but he is behind branches on a rock and therefore not a very good picture.

Some photos on Opeongo Road, east end of the park.

Some other photos from the same area.

Years ago, it was normal to drive the highway through the park and see 10-12-14 moose in one day! Not so much anymore. We were told by a friend that lives up that way that the moose population has declined significantly and I believe that. Also we normally see bears, probably 3 out of 5 visits, but none this visit. But there is always the next time.

Whitefish Lake is a great lake and Centennial Ridges Trail looks over the lake.

East Beach is a nice spot and we like to put our canoe in here and paddle. The Park’s Amphitheatre is on the way to the beach. When you get to the launch to put your canoe in, you can paddle to the right to Lake of Two Rivers or go to the left down a little river and into Pog Lake and you can go further into Whitefish Lake.

This Blog Post is getting kind of long so I am going to break it into two parts.

Stay tuned for Part Two where I’ll have more photos of the park and some of the trails.

Algonquin Park Day Trip – 20 November

We had quite a few days of nice weather so last week we decided we needed a day trip to Algonquin Provincial Park before the weather gets too bad for driving. So last Friday, we got up a o’dark thirty, packed up our lunch, water and coffee and were on the road before 5:30 a.m. It takes 2 1/2 – 3 hours to drive there from where we live.

It was already 7 Celsius when we left and later in the day it rose to 11-12 Celsius with beautiful blue skies. We drove from one end of the Park to the other with stops in between. The Park was pretty quiet, hardly any people at all which was fantastic! We were surprised to see that ice was forming on the smaller bodies of water already and there was lots of ice on some of the rocks along the highway. They must have had some really cold days prior to us going for our trip.

We were hoping to spot some moose but no such luck today, which was disappointing. But we had a great day anyways spotting beavers, otters, grouse, a pine marten, Bufflehead ducks and assorted other ducks and birds. It was a great day to get in some hikes and some photography.

The photos below were both taken on Arrowhon Road (west end); first one taken last Friday and one taken in early October. Quite a difference!

We saw lots of Grouse, everywhere we went. We also spotted some Bufflehead Ducks, from a distance.

We spotted a couple of otters but they were pretty far away and my lens is only a 300 mm so I snapped one photo just to say I saw him ! To be honest, even editing couldn’t help this photo! It would have been nice to have been closer.

We saw the little Pine Marten that we always see, in the same spot. He really liked our truck this visit. They are super cute until they open their mouths and then they look like little vampires!

There are always tons of birds hanging around, Grey Jays, Chickadees, Blue Jays and more.

Some photos taken along one of the trails we walked.

One of my favourite spots along Arrowhon Road. March Hare Lake.

Mew Lake Campground had a few campers, such a different vibe when there is hardly anyone around. The Squirrels were busy getting ready for winter.

The beavers were out in full force, we probably saw 1/2 dozen that day.

Why did the beaver cross the road?

He crossed the road to get his stick, that’s why.

The branches these guys chew down and drag back to their houses are incredible. The photo below is from a distance but I wanted to show the length of the branch he was swimming with. You notice to the left there are some grey branches sticking out of the water and he is on the right of the photo. Quite amazing really. The second photo is a close up and third photo is of a beaver just sitting in the grass, deciding whether to go get another branch or head back to the water. That’s right, I’m a beaver whisperer……..lol

Well that’s that, a nice day but long. I think we got home around 8 p.m. but we always enjoy our time spent in Algonquin Park.

Stay Safe Everyone.

Algonquin Park – June 2016 – REVISITED

I haven’t been out anywhere to be able to put anything of interest on my Blog.  So, I went back to June 2016 and am re-posting this Blog post.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Algonquin Park (Ontario, Canada)  and we spend a few weeks every year there, in all seasons.

This was one my favourite trips there.  Now the old fox in the photo below (he’s on the right) passed away about a month ago.  He was amazing to photograph and he was an amazing Dad.  That is one of his kits on the left.

Anyways Enjoy!   Hope to get back out there one day !

foxes at water

I love Algonquin Park in the spring !   I love seeing all the babies, they are on the trails, on the rivers and in the woods!  And quite often the loons are still sitting on their eggs.  So we finally were able to secure site 77 at Lake of Two Rivers.  We have always wanted to try this site.  Very big, on the water (but not really good water access) private except on one side is a valley area of bush between us and the sites on the southwest side.  We had a few people tromping through that bush and ending up in our site !    Happened more than you would think lol.  And they always look surprised as if our 20 foot trailer and truck are invisible !

Continue reading “Algonquin Park – June 2016 – REVISITED”

Back Country Canoe Trips, Part 11 – 2011

This was our final year doing this kind of trip (for now).  In the years following, 2012 and 2013 two of us had surgeries.  In 2014 Clint and I retired and then our “big” trips started.  We would leave May/June and return home October.  In 2018, we stayed in Ontario traveling and did get in another back country trip.  I hope to be able to do a few more years of this but the way we travel now, I don’t know.  Anyways, this year Back to Pen Lake !

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Portage access from Rock Lake into Pen Lake

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Clint portaging the canoe

So we made it back to Pen Lake.  We had a huge big site, up above a rocky shoreline.  It was pretty spacious and open.  Lots of room for us and we were able to see anything coming lol

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Campsite

So a fair walk in behind our site was the toilet.  And I mean literally a box as per below photo.  No roof, no walls, just you and nature.  This type of camping is not for everyone.  You take your roll of toilet paper and off you go.

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Clint went for a little paddle on his own and snapped this photo of us relaxing at our site

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The rocky shoreline of our site

This is the third time we have been on this lake and we have had three different sites and we have loved each and every one of them.  All were unique and I don’t know which would be my favourite.

My sister and I would swim off these rocks and I remember one day when we got out of the lake, Clint asked me a question.  Here is how the conversation went:

Clint – what was that swimming in the water with you?  It kept circling you for a good 20 minutes.

Me – What????

Clint – the animal in the water, what was it?

Me – and you are just thinking to mention this NOW?  Why didn’t you yell at me when I was in the water with it?

Clint – I didn’t want to scare you or startle the animal.

Me – (&^%*(((*^%?)*

Anyways, pretty sure it was a muskrat or a mink or who the hell knows.  But I lived to tell the tale !

It was not a water snake, which I mention because there are a lot of water snakes around but they don’t bother me. If they aren’t poisonous and can’t kill me, I don’t worry about them.  Just shoo them off.  But this was not a snake.

Our site also contained a squirrel nest.  In a tree right beside the fire pit, there was a huge hole and a bunch of baby squirrels.  The mom would leave the tree in the daytime and come back at night.  What also would come out at night were owls.  We had a couple of owls hanging around, trying to capture these babies so they could have a nice dinner.  Kind of sad but that’s nature.  The babies were cute to watch.  They would come out a bit and then dive back in, I think they were unsure what to do and where to go.  Plus they didn’t want to get into trouble with mom.

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Baby checking to see what’s going on

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One of the young

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Mom having a rest

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One of the Baby Squirrel Hunters aka Owl

We also saw lots of waterfowl, including herons.  We love herons, sometimes we sit in our canoe for hours taking photos.

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Just a frog………..

When we were at our site, we would sit and relax.  It became an intersting spot.  Clint noticed this bush with this huge spider nest in it, and the Mom spider.  So gross, for me anyways.  If you don’t like spiders, don’t look at the next two photos and honestly I’m not sure which photo freaks me out more.  I hate spiders.

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Mom Spider

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Nest and look at all the baby spiders, bleh

There is lots to do in this area which is one reason that it’s very popular.  You can do day trips to Galipo River, Welcome Lake, Night Lake, Clydegale Lake and more.  So every morning, early we, as per usual, pack a lunch and head out.  When we got back to our site late afternoon, it was time for a sit on the rock and a nice wine or vodka/orange.

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Evening

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Another year gone and every time I look at these photos I want to go back.  It was hard doing these Throwback Blog Posts because it makes me nostalgic for those times.  I think next year will be the year for a couple more back country trips.  Our summer this year (2019) has been all planned and we have no time but next year………………………Well that’s another story.