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.
This last day of our trip we headed out early to check out the lighthouse at Lion’s Head and see if we could get a shot of the waves crashing. It was very windy but the waves were not as high as expected. I guess it was just wishful thinking on our part. I now have lots and lots of shots of waves crashing into the beach or the lighthouse. (Delete key is ready folks..lol)
We headed back for breakfast at the B&B before heading out for a hike along the bluff at Lion’s Head.
The first section of the trail was nice and wide with room for lots to hike but eventually that turned into more of the typical Bruce trail type hiking trail.
I’m not complaining – look at these fantastic views. From this vantage point we can see Lion’s Head way in the distance.
Sadly after our hike it was time to pack up and go home. We made one last stop. When we stopped at Jones Falls on the way up we had both taken some photos of a large tree. I call it the Grandmother tree or Big Mama. Both of us had decided that we hadn’t done it justice with our original photos so we headed back on the trail to photograph this beautiful tree.
I’m with my friend Nigel on this weekend trip to explore the Bruce and attend the Orchid Festival in Tobermory, Ontario. We’ve decided to go on a sunset cruise with Blue Heron Cruises. The only time I’ve taken one of the Blue Heron Cruises was to get to Flowerpot Island (which we’re doing tomorrow!) so this will be an interesting experience.
As we puttered down the coastline I wondered to myself where the Bruce Trail would be in all this beauty. I know that some of it was along the shoreline and occasionally I would get a glimpse of a possible trail. Hmm…one day soon I will be hiking there.
When you see a cave, do you wonder what’s inside? Do you want to get over to it and explore more? I wonder if anything lives there – maybe a bat colony? Maybe a bear?
I wanted to capture something a little different during the cruise. I was on a boat after all so why not do a shot through the boat of the other passengers enjoying the sunset. This couple was in the perfect position to allow that sunburst to come through.
Look at those lovely colours! We had a great time on the cruise and it was a different way to see things that we might not normally get a chance to see.
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 looking north
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?
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 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.
*Sigh* wishing I didn’t have to get home but the city calls and work must be done.
It is always sad when the weekend ends so quickly but, I guess it eventually has to end. Now that didn’t mean we couldn’t take our time leaving the area by taking the scenic way. Driving the backroads along the west side of the peninsula it wasn’t long before we found something to photograph.
Laying Some Eggs
This snapping turtle was hanging out, just laying some eggs by the side of the road. Of course we only discovered this once we got out of the car for a closer look. We didn’t stay too long so as not to stress her out. As we continued down the road we noticed large bunches of Yellow Lady’s Slipper orchids all along the edges of the road.
Bunch of Slippers
I don’t know why this area seems to have these large groupings but I was happy to have stumbled on them. I think we spent a good part of an hour (maybe even two) going from bunch to bunch, photographing to our heart’s content. We couldn’t get enough of them but we couldn’t stay much longer so off we headed to the main highway. We didn’t expect to see much along here but it wasn’t long before we noticed the roadside covered with Indian Paintbrush.
Field of Red
In all the years I have been coming up to the Orchid Festival (okay it hasn’t really been that many years – maybe five) I have never seen so many of these flaming red flowers. They were everywhere. It was a great way to end our time here in the Bruce Peninsula.