Cold Nights in Killbear

It’s been a week since the heat wave and the camping trip to Tobermory, Ontario and this time I’m camping with my friend Nigel in Killbear Provincial Park. The weather this time around is not as friendly as last week. Temps are back to the regular cool temps of late September here in the middle of Ontario.

White Tailed Deer

White Tailed Deer

When we arrived it was raining so we timed getting our tent up in-between spurts of rain. Once the tent was up we decided to drive around the park and see which trails we would do the next day. On our way through the campground we found some deer grazing in the grasses.

Since the light rain wasn’t looking like it would let up we decided that instead of making dinner in the rain we would head to town and get warmed up at a local place.

It was a chilly night’s sleep and I was glad to be up and around the next day. The rain had cleared and we had beautiful blue skies great us for our morning hike and some infrared shooting.

Lone Pine Killbear PP

Lone Pine Killbear PP

And of course you can’t miss photographing the small things:

From Darkness

From Darkness

Our last evening was going to be another cold one but we had some plans to hang by the fire before heading out to the photograph the windswept tree at night. 

Killbear Tree at Night

Killbear Tree at Night

As we photographed different angles of the tree we started to notice something happening on the water. A beautiful mist started rising up and moving along the top of the water. Added to that the moon’s glow made it seem eerie as you watched this mist move this way and that. 

Enveloping Mist

Enveloping Mist

I could have watched it all night but we had to get some sleep as we were heading home the next day. How quickly the weekends end when there is so much to photograph.

 

On the Trail with…Bears?

After a good’s night sleep at Cape Croker I broke down the tent and headed to Sydney Bay Bluff, a trail not too far away from the campground. Actually, the hike would take me to to entrance to the campground – meeting up with the trail I did yesterday. And it has some epic views from the Sydney Bay Bluffs.

Sydney Bay Bluffs

Sydney Bay Bluffs looking north

View from Jones Bluff

View of Sydney Bay Bluffs looking east

Isn’t it just gorgeous? Well I can tell you it was well worth the hike but little did I expect what happened to me before I got to this lookout. I was humming away and hiking to my music (I had the speaker going to scare off any large animals) when I got to the top of a crest time immediately went into slow motion. In a valley below me was a mama bear and her two cubs. The cubs proceeded to climb quickly up the nearest trees while mama watched from below. She immediately took off (in the direction I was planning on going) once the cubs were high in the trees. I just stood there not really sure what to do at this point. Do I continue on going past the cubs and quite possibly putting myself in-between the cubs and the mama bear OR do I just back off slowly and call the hike? 

I decided to back off and go back along the trail. I was completely freaked out. Now, this is not my first bear encounter, nor will it be my last one, but a mama with cubs I was not going to mess around with. Luckily I came across a foursome of hikers and told them about the bears. They were willing to go past the bears (which were still in the trees) and continue on past. I decided to tag along – strength in numbers! Luckily the only bears we saw the rest of the hike was the little ones up in the trees.

Can you spot the bear?

Can you spot the bear?

At the end of the hike I said goodbye to my new hiking friends. Thank goodness I was able to come across them so I could finish the trail and have a little company on my usually solitary hike.

Schoolhouse Ruins

Schoolhouse ruins near the end of the hike

Getting back to the car was a little bit of a relief as I had to hike down a side trail to get back to it. I knew I wouldn’t see another bear but man it can wreak a little havoc on your nerves when you come across something like that. Some people might say – what’s the big deal? – but never ever underestimate a wild animal. You can never know what it is thinking or predict its behaviour and when you think you can that’s when trouble can happen. Always be aware.

Okay so that’s my little spiel on wild animals, now back to it. I made one last pit stop before heading home. Beautiful Wiarton – home of Wiarton Willy, the predictor of spring. I always like stopping in here. The town is situated on the water and in summer you can usually hear some tunes being played at a local restaurant by the waterfront. And there is always people out on the boardwalk or on the water in their kayaks.

Kayaks

Kayaks

*Sigh* wishing I didn’t have to get home but the city calls and work must be done.

Blue

I was back on the Bruce Trail today, doing my usual thing…you know…hiking and taking photos, when I came across one of those signs. Not the regular signs that say Hiking Only or the Bruce Trail that way sign but the one that tells you exactly how far you’ve walked. 

221 km to go

221 km to go

Wow! I have walked 664 kilometres. Well actually, I’ve almost walked double that much because there is this little thing about hiking the trail with only one car available to you…you have to walk back down the trail to pick up said car. So let’s just say I’ve walked somewhere around 900km of the trail (there are some areas where the trail loops and I can pick up a side trail so I don’t have to walk all the way back the way I came – kinda handy). That is essentially the length of the trail and yet I’m still 221 kilometres away from the end.

When I came across this sign I must admit I was pretty pumped…this sign was telling me that I had 25% more of the trail to hike. Now that said I have walked a few kilometres here and there along the north end so that 221 km is more in the neighbourhood of 190 km or so. Now that makes me pretty stoked to get more of the trail done. I am sooooooo close. 

On another note – check out this awesome blue shed. 

Blue

Blue

I swear I pass this shed every time I drive north on highway 10 and every time I say to myself, “Sue, you need to stop and get a photo of that shed”.  And what do I do? I drive right past because I am either heading to the trail and am eager to get there or I’ve just hiked the trail and I’m too lazy to stop the car and get the photo. But not today!! Today I made myself get my ass out of the car and take some photos. I’m glad I did ’cause I love this photo. What do you think?

Birds of a Feather?

After yesterday’s tragic circumstances (see yesterday’s blog) I decided to only photograph the birds that were visiting the yard. First up was the robin. She was easy to find and photograph since she was in the nest with her little ones.

Robin Nesting

Robin Nesting

After a few photos she flew out of the nest and hopped around the yard. I decided to sit in the shade and watch her for awhile to see what she was up to. Eventually she came closer and closer…and closer. I think three feet was as close as she wanted come and I was able to get some great shots of her because of her boldness.

Curious Robin

Curious Robin

I don’t think I have every been that close to a robin before. At the other side of the yard a couple mourning doves flew down onto the fence and hung out for awhile as I was shooting (more like trying to shoot) some sparrows – who would not sit still. One of the doves was much more accommodating as it sat and eyed me suspiciously for a few minutes before flying off.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

While she sussed out what I wanted I got a couple of good shots before she finally flew off with her mate. It turned out to be a very nice (and successful) break from my work.