Blue Ice

I received a text from a photographer friend of mine who had recently done a photo shoot up in Meaford. He told me that a rare phenomenon was happening in the harbour – Blue Ice. So you know I had to get my butt up there stat.

Grounded

I found this shipwreck in the parking lot of the lunch place. Okay, it’s not really a shipwreck – just a boat someone put there cause it looked cool. Anyhoo, after some grub,¬†I headed to the waterfront.

Blue Ice Phenomenon

So here is what happens according to science: Blue ice is formed when there is a lack of bubbles inside the ice and the ice is dense and thick. It also absorbs blue wavelengths which means when the light is reflected from the ice it appears to be blue. Regular white ice has bubbles inside and absorbs all the colour wavelengths which give it an appearance of white or clear. Intersting, no?

Okay here’s an interesting side note: When scuba diving the last colour wavelength to disappear before total darkness descends upon you is blue. Red is the first to go.

Moving on:

The light was a little harsh for photos and every time the sun hid behind some clouds all the blue went away and things looked dreary. I did meet some nice people out on the beach photographing the ice but eventually the cold and lack of ideas on how to shoot this called me back to the car. I mean really? All this great ice and nothing was inspiring for me? I really wanted this to work but I got nada.

Ye Ole Door

So instead I give you Ye Ole Door instead. Talk about inspiration dying a slow death. Argh – some days just suck.

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.

Family Camping Weekend – Awenda PP

It’s that time of year again – Family & Friends Camping Weekend. Our annual trek to a nearby provincial park to catch up with family and friends as we get silly, take photos, hit the beach, play games and pig out by the nightly fire. This year we are back at Awenda Provincial Park, a scant 1.5 hours from the city. We’ve been here quite a few times and always seem to get at least one of our regular campsites. 

Path to the Swimming Hole

Path to the Swimming Hole

The only quibble we have about this park is how far the beaches are from the campsites in general. Although its not that uncommon to have them away from the campsites this one is quite the trek. Only a couple of us actually hike the path down to the beach but most drive so they can bring food and drinks (and also drive those of us back who walked). The hike to the beach is about 2 kilometres plus a staircase down from the escarpment that the campsites are on.

Water Lily

Water Lily

This year I think I walked that trail three times not too mention walking back one time up the long staircase and back to the campsite. My good friend Deanna  and I got away for a couple of hours to do some night photography on the main beach (we drove this time, you know, because of the gear). 

Stars over Georgian Bay

Stars over Georgian Bay

It was beautiful night and the moon was out lighting most of our way.  

On the Sunday night I suggested that we do a group photo before people started disbanding for another year. 

Family & Friends

Family & Friends

A couple individuals are missing from the shot but I hope we can get a shot of everyone the next time we meet up. 

Journey to Tobermory

Today starts the annual Orchid Festival in Tobermory, Ontario. A few friends and I love coming up for the weekend and to me it signifies the start of the summer season up north. As per the norm for us we take the weavy, wobbly way up to see what the backroads have to offer us. One of the first places we stopped at was Jones Falls. A side trail of the Bruce Trail that runs along the river upstream from Jones Falls. One can get some great views from above but its just not the same as getting down to the base to shoot from below.

Jones From Above

Jones From Above

We scouted around and eventually found a safe way to get down. Once down we picked our way upriver to the base of the falls. It is pretty spectacular once we got up to it. Below is my favourite view of the falls.

Jones Falls From Below

Jones Falls From Below

There were a few more stops along the way before we settled in at the hotel and after grabbing some dinner we raced down to the shore to catch the last light of the day. We were a little late to the party so we decided with the mostly clear skies we would head over to Dave’s Bay to catch some stars.

Starry Night on Dave's Bay

Starry Night on Dave’s Bay

It was a great evening on the beach and surprisingly not as cold as I thought it would be. Nights can be chilly here in the spring so we were happy be able to stick around as the last light of the day vanished.