My friend Galina suggested a trip to the Carden Alvar located in the Kawartha Lakes region. It was a great opportunity to photograph one of Ontario’s newest provincial parks. So with my friend Nigel joining us, we all headed up to the Alvar for a day of shooting.
Since this new park is quite large we had to choose a specific area to explore so we started our day at Cameron Ranch. With an overcast sky above us to somewhat mute the harsh sunlight we set out on a hike in this beautiful park.
There was so much to see. The Alvar is full of all sorts of wildlife and flowers. I couldn’t get over how much was flourishing here. This bee was busy working away getting the pollen for his hive from some crown vetch.
The most interesting flowers that I came across here was the Prairie Smoke flower aka Old Man’s Whiskers. What fun names for such an interesting looking flower. I have never seen anything like it. It was also on of the hardest flowers to photograph because of its wispiness.
Hiking further down the trail I came across this Tawny Crescent butterfly sunbathing on some flowers. I’m surprised I didn’t startle it into flying away but it was nice enough to stay around while I shot some photos.
After spending most of the day at Cameron Ranch we decided to get in one more hike before heading home. Out next stop was place called Prairie Smoke. As we started heading over the clouds broke open and the rain came down. By the time we got over to Prairie Smoke the rain had petered off and we were able to get in our short hike without getting wet.
It was a quick hike here but I came away with some great photos. My favourite was of the raindrops that had accumulated on this Yellow Goatsbeard. It was a great day here at the Carden Alvar and I look forward to more trips here in the future.
You can find out more about the Carden Alvar here and here.
How quickly the weekend passes. It’s almost time to go home but before we do we have to hunt down some orchids. I mean, it is one of the main reasons we come up this particular weekend.
Unfortunately high water levels have struck the shorelines of Tobermory this year. Singing Sands beach, where we would find some of our favourite orchids, is water logged.
Instead we choose to hike a section of the Bruce Trail we haven’t tried before in the hopes of finding some flowers hidden among the trees. We lucked out on this decision when we came across trilliums galore in the underbrush.
And just as we thought the trilliums were all we would see, we came across a small bunch of Large Yellow Lady Slippers.
I was so excited to see these little flowers that I couldn’t stop photographing them. They all were still in the early stages of blooming. I’m not sure if that’s because we were further south of Tobermory or at a slightly higher elevation (we were high on the escarpment). Either way I was happy to finally see some orchids this weekend.
We made one final stop after our hike at Cabot Head Lighthouse. This is a favourite spot for some pretty great views of the bay not to mention all the wildflowers that grow here.
Tobermory is one of my favourite places to visit, especially in the spring or fall when less people are visiting. It’s become a popular place in the summer months and who can blame them. It’s one of the prettiest spots around.
We decided to stay in Lion’s Head rather than in Tobermory this year, just for a change in pace. The decision ended up being a good one since our B&B was so close to a harbour with a picturesque view of sailboats in view of the morning sunrise. We knew we had to get up early to take advantage of this.
The sunrise did not disappoint and neither did the view.
After the sun rose over the marina we headed back to our B&B and dug in to a well deserved breakfast. With our bellies full we were ready to conquer a hike on the Bruce Trail.
It turned out to be a great day with clear sunny skies and a bit of breeze as we hiked along with shoreline of Georgian Bay. I made sure to get really low on the shot above to make the driftwood seem much larger than it really was. Changing your point of view can dramatically change your photo results. Give it a try next time you’re out.
As we were driving back to the B&B we noticed an area filled with Lakeside daisies, so you know we had to stop and get some photos. Again I decided to get very low for this shot. The daisies are very short at only a couple inches so shooting down on them would not have given me the photo I was looking for.
Back at the B&B we got in a short nap before dinner and then it was time to prepare for a late night shoot. My main goal for this trip was to focus on improving my skills in astrophotography. One of the things I wanted to try was a panoramic to capture the full Milky Way across Little Cove.
It looks to me as though I may have captured some northern lights. It was a beautiful Way to end a great day on the shores of Georgian Bay.
Because I sometimes can’t get away from the house or I just don’t want to, I end up doing lot of neighbourhood photo walks. Which I’m sure you have noticed.
When I’m feeling uninspired I try to get myself out of the house and out into the parks around my home in search of that elusive inspiration or just to clear my head.
The parks in my area are essentially wild areas that they’ve decided to call parks with, of course, the occasional playground-type park sprinkled here and there. As you might guess my favourites are these wild areas.
These wild areas are where I find all sorts of things to photograph. Be it the flowers and mushrooms or sometimes people’s cast offs (which you’ve seen in previous posts). There is always something to spark the imagination.
Even if its not in colour.
What inspires you and helps you get out of a creativity funk?
Nothing says Ontario more than the white trillium flower. It is the emblem of Ontario after all. I’m lucky enough to have a few of these beauties in my backyard. They only show themselves briefly in mid spring and if it’s a good year you will see them in abundance when out hiking in the local parks.
They don’t just come in white but occasionally, if you’re lucky, you can find a red trillium, a nodding trillium, a painted trillium or the endangered dropping trillium here in Ontario. I’ve been lucky in my travels to have seen the red trillium and the nodding trillium. Which have you spotted in the wild?