Today I headed out to Algonquin Provincial Park with a couple of photography friends. Our goal was to walk a few of the trails and see what we could find. As we walked along the first trail we spotted a hare in our path.
It didn’t seem as shy as the rabbits where I live but it wasn’t long until it hopped off the path and into the forest.
And then I spotted some mushrooms.
Followed by an orchid. I didn’t expect to see any orchids at all but was pleasantly surprised when we happened upon a bunch of Pink Lady’s Slipper.
Up until now, I had never come across these flowers. It was a treat to spot them and get some photographs. So that was day one. I wonder what we will discover on day two. Maybe a moose?
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.
My friend Kayla and I decided to go up to Tobermory during their Orchid festival this weekend but decided to hike to the locations on our own schedule. Having been to the festival last year I knew some of the places to find the orchids.
Yellow Lady’s Slipper
My goal this year was to get a good photo of a Ram Head Lady’s Slipper orchid so we went for a hike at Singing Sands. These flowers are very small and easy to walk past if you’re not looking hard enough. There is an area on the trail where a very good grouping of them grow.
Ram-Head Lady’s Slipper
The above shot was taken at that grove. I’d say I can check this flower off my list. At least until next year.
We got up extra early today (really it was still night in my mind) to get ourselves down to Dave’s Bay for sunrise. The colours of the sky were starting to turn as we found our spots to watch (and of course photograph) the sun come up over the horizon.
Blue Morning on Cove
This is what they call the blue hour and as you can see in the photo above its because it’s mostly blue out. It wasn’t too long before things started to change and everything became a brilliant orange.
Breaking Dawn at Little Cove
Quite a difference the sun makes in mere minutes (okay, it was more like 30 or 40 minutes but you get what I mean). Don’t you just love that rock to the left – appropriately shaped as a canoe and perfect for this shot. After a multitude of shots (trust me I have way too many) we headed back to the hotel to pack up and start our journey back home. Our plan was to meander our way down the west side of the peninsula to see what it had to offer but before we got too far it was back to Singing Sands to get some more photos of the Ram’s Head orchid and other plants that we saw yesterday on our tour.
Rams Head Orchid
I’m not overly thrilled with the photos I took here but I know I will be back next year to try again. This time with much more bug spray in hand. They were crazy – and some of my shots are blurry because I was swatting instead of steadying my hand for the photo. *sigh*
Back on the road our next goal was to go see the Sauble River Falls before grabbing some lunch and driving our final leg of the journey.
For the long exposure I used a 10x filter to get the softness just right. It’s a short waterfall but very powerful and surprisingly wider than I originally imagined. A great last stop after a wonderful weekend at the Orchid Festival.