In the autumn months, it always amazes me how quickly things can change. Only 4 days ago, Nigel and I were here hiking the Splitrock Loop trail. You can read more on The Grandmother Tree here.
Since our last hike, the colours have deepened towards orange, and in some cases brown. This means that autumn is on its way out, to be replaced with a sea of brown until the first snowfall comes. Until then I’m going to squeeze in every possible bit of autumn I can until it is no more.
It was a gorgeous day to be out hiking. These beautiful paper birches were glowing in their small patch of sunlight. I think I spent way too much time here but I couldn’t get enough of how pretty they looked.
You can see that the grandmother tree still welcomes us to continue along the trail but has lost some of her leaves. It won’t be long now until she sheds them all and waits through the long winter to get her green leaves again.
I’m back in Tobermory for my annual fall solo trip. I’m here a little later than usual (Because of my trip to Lisbon) and it looks to be a really nice weekend for some hikes along the Bruce. I’m only here for two nights so I’m limited to only one major hike and that’s today. So off I go to cover a little bit more ground on the Bruce Trail.
Leaves and Trees
Hiking out to the Bruce Trail from the campsite I had a choice to make. Right or Left? I’ve hiked the trail to the left so I today I’m heading to the right to head south toward Stormhaven. Such an ominous name for a backcountry camping area. At least that’s all I think it is. 😉
The plan was to hike past Stormhaven and take a break at Halfway Dump Side trail before heading back to the campsite. That would put my hike at just over 11km.
View From the Bruce Trail Cliffs
The Bruce Peninsula always has epic views that go on for miles and this section has so many opportunities to appreciate those views, over and over again. Of course we can’t forget the little things that reside here in the forest – the mighty mushroom! 😀
After my hike and filled up on a hearty dinner I started thinking that I needed to get some night shots before I left for the weekend. With my campsite so close to the lake I got my photo gear together and hiked out to a spot that gave me the best view of the Milky Way.
Reflections of the Night Sky
It was a beautiful clear night and the Milky Way shone with all her glory. It’s so crazy that we have such amazing views from the earth out into the Universe and so many people don’t get a chance to experience it because they live in a light polluting city. I could stay here forever just looking up into the night sky.
I’ve been back home for over a week, my jet lag is gone and I’m ready to get my hike on. Today that hike is at Bognor Marsh.
It was a bright day and not really that great for photography but hey, there is always something you can find to photograph, just not this sign in the middle of the bright marsh. So deeper into the woods we go to find something a little less glaring.
This boardwalk had some beautiful light coming through the trees so I gave that a go. And you know what? It’s one of my favourites from the day.
And then there were the mushrooms. It was, after all, the season to find mushrooms. Although they appear all year autumn is when you find so many different kinds no matter where you look.
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.