The best part of camping trips is the gatherings around the campfires. With the entire gang here today we pulled out all the stops. The park finally had a fire ban in effect which still allowed us a campfire but only through the hours of 7pm-10pm.
We made the most of it and Rob had some extra fun up his sleeve for the girls. As the sun set and the fire was really glowing he pulled out some glow sticks. All the girls had fun waving them in front of my camera to create different effects. We all had a blast watching what the girls would come up with next. Here is some samples of what silliness transpired that evening.
Unfortunately the fun was over to soon and the fire had to go out which usually means lights out for all of us. We did have the wonderful music of barred owls singing to us for most of the night which kept a lot of us up but then when do you ever get to experience something like that?
I decided to head out to Pretty River Vally Provincial Park for my morning hike before heading home. I got a little turned around on Grey Road 19 but I was soon able to find the parking lot I was looking for. The hike started out going through a field before heading up over a hill and then back down into the valley.
Many new types of wildflowers are out this time of year. During my hikes throughout the year its amazing to see all the different wildflowers that show up in spring that are soon gone and replaced by new ones by the time summer is in full swing. The hike continues upriver along a stream and then crosses over to the other bank before crossing over it once more. Small cascades flow down the stream here, meaning some good photographic opportunities.
From this point the trail continues uphill for quite a while and eventually hits the highest point along the Bruce Trail just off the main trail. It was a difficult hike uphill and I was so happy to see the side trail marker which was my turning point. There are many dragonflies in the park and I was able to pin one down on a branch.
Common Whitetail Dragonfly
Dragonflies are very skittish and never really stay still long enough to get close to. Thank goodness for long lenses and loads of patience. This whitetail only let me get of a few shots before it flew away into the bush. After that it was on to the car and back home with my comfy bed waiting for me.
My night on the campsite was, well, let’s just say uncomfortable. The highway is very close and traffic was fairly consistent along it. That along with a fairly strong wind that moved my tent around I was up quite a bit throughout the night. I had set my alarm for 5am and it turned out I really didn’t need it. Gathering all my gear together I trekked over to the beach just before 5:30am giving me time to enjoy and photograph the predawn light.
I waited patiently for the sun to make an appearance, which was set to arrive about 5:50am. It seemed to take forever, and when it did finally appear it as a great large red globe rising from the bay. When the sun is that close to the horizon it moves speedily along its upward trek making HDR imaging a little more difficult. The shot below was just after the sun peeked out from behind some clouds.
Sunrise on Craigleith
Just after this shot I headed back to the campsite for come breakfast and to take down the tent before heading out for another adventure.
I had some business to get done in Flesherton and figured instead of driving the two-hour long drive home I would spend the night camping at Craigleith Provincial Park. It was my first visit to the park and I only had a few minutes to set up before my meeting. I did a quick check to see the paths to the beach before heading out just in case it was already dark out when I got back. After my meeting I did make it back in good time to get some good shots of the sunset.
Swimming in Georgian Bay at Sunset
A few people were still out cooling off in the bay and they made some great silhouette shots. The sun was quick to hide behind the horizon but the colours it left behind were spectacular. Pinks and blues made up the sky opposite where the sun had set.
Path to the Campsite
A beautiful end to the day. I had planned to eat and then go back to do some star shooting but I ended up getting a little too cozy in my sleeping bag and decided to get some sleep since I would be up for the sunrise.
With 11 kilometres left in the Niagara section of the Bruce Trail I had originally attempted to get it all done today. Unfortunately I had very little success on finishing but I did make it through 5 kilometres before turning back to head back to the car. The heat wave has made hiking much more difficult than usual. Starting out at Mountainview Conservation Area I parked and headed into the overgrown entrance to the trail.
Mountainview Conservation Area
It was a steep uphill climb but once at the top it was smooth hiking. The trail continues along the escarpment before exiting out onto Ridge Road. Walking along the road the trail then turns onto Thirty road before heading back into the forest. Along the roadside I spotted some goldfinches playing among the Queen Anne’s Lace.
Goldfinch by the Roadside
The forest soon opens up onto Park Road where the trail heads back uphill to Ridge Road E. I hiked to the entrance that lead back into the forest before deciding to call it quits for the day. I decided to take the quicker route back to car which meant hiking down Ridge Road until I reached the entrance back onto the trail by Elmtree Road. Along the way I found many areas of the roadside crawling with Bindweed.
Originally I thought they were morning glories, which would not make sense since it was midday and they were still open. I did find out they are a part of the morning-glory family which explains why they are so similar. Thus ended another hike along the trail.