Cameron Ranch on the Carden Alvar

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.

Hoverfly on Chicory Bloom

Hoverfly on Chicory Bloom

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.

Bee with Crown Vetch flowers

Bee with Crown Vetch flowers

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.

Old Man's Whiskers

Prairie Smoke Flower

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.

Tawny Crescent

Tawny Crescent

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. 

Yellow Goatsbeard

Yellow Goatsbeard

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.

Departing Algonquin

It’s our last day in Algonquin. It’s time to go home. How has this time already come? I’m not ready to go back to the city just yet. *sigh* I’ve packed my gear into the car but it’s not over just yet. We have one more trail we’re going to check out – Peck Lake Trail.

Green Eyed Dragonfly

Green Eyed Dragonfly

Just like the other trails we were inundated with the mosquitos but we had some help in controlling the numbers. There were dragonflies aplenty on this hike.

Just Chillin

Just Chillin’

We also spotted a snapping turtle taking a daytime nap on a log by the side of the trail. I wish I could spend all day by the water enjoying the summer sun but unforutnatley it was time to head home.

Strange Clouds

Today was another day on the trail and as I drove up to the start of the trail I noticed strange cloud formations as some rain made its way through the area.

Strange Cloud Development

Strange Cloud Development

It didn’t seem to bode well for a dry hike. I was lucky enough to have the strange clouds to move out just after I started my hike and there was no sight of rain while I was out. 

I decided to be on the look out for insects while I was out to challenge myself to go beyond the large landscape in front of me. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many interesting subjects to photograph. 

Tiny Spider

Tiny Spider

My favourite was this little white spider on a white daisy. There were actually two of them on this flower but the other spider was uncooperative and ended up on the back side of the petals. When we open our eyes to the smaller worlds around us our world becomes that much larger.

Feeling Sorry for Food

I was couped up for too long today so I took a break out in the backyard for some fresh air. As I pulled open the screen door I noticed this moth(?) fly from the screen to the ground. I quickly ran upstairs for the camera and my macro lens so I could get a quick shot before it disappeared.

Fuzzy Moth

Fuzzy Moth

What I didn’t realize was that this moth would be lunch to a hungry robin very soon (and it may or may not have been my fault). In getting some of my shots the moth finally had enough and flew away right in the eyeline of the robin in the tree above.

Robin

Robin

Needless to say that robin fed her chicks some moth lunch that day. Sorry little moth.

Miniature Worlds

Today I was hiking the Bruce Trail near the Kimberley area and my focus was on the miniature worlds that are sometimes forgotten on our hikes. As always there are some mushrooms but also a nice surprise when I discovered a lone praying mantis on the boardwalk.

I won’t be writing too much today but hope you enjoy the photographs of the small worlds that hide by our tromping feet.

Between the Rings

Between the Rings

Mini Mushrooms

Mini Mushrooms

Miniature Worlds

Miniature Worlds

Grasshopper

Grasshopper