My friend Galina suggested a trip to the Carden Alvar located in the Kawartha Lakes region. It was a great opportunity to photograph one of Ontario’s newest provincial parks. So with my friend Nigel joining us, we all headed up to the Alvar for a day of shooting.
Since this new park is quite large we had to choose a specific area to explore so we started our day at Cameron Ranch. With an overcast sky above us to somewhat mute the harsh sunlight we set out on a hike in this beautiful park.
There was so much to see. The Alvar is full of all sorts of wildlife and flowers. I couldn’t get over how much was flourishing here. This bee was busy working away getting the pollen for his hive from some crown vetch.
The most interesting flowers that I came across here was the Prairie Smoke flower aka Old Man’s Whiskers. What fun names for such an interesting looking flower. I have never seen anything like it. It was also on of the hardest flowers to photograph because of its wispiness.
Hiking further down the trail I came across this Tawny Crescent butterfly sunbathing on some flowers. I’m surprised I didn’t startle it into flying away but it was nice enough to stay around while I shot some photos.
After spending most of the day at Cameron Ranch we decided to get in one more hike before heading home. Out next stop was place called Prairie Smoke. As we started heading over the clouds broke open and the rain came down. By the time we got over to Prairie Smoke the rain had petered off and we were able to get in our short hike without getting wet.
It was a quick hike here but I came away with some great photos. My favourite was of the raindrops that had accumulated on this Yellow Goatsbeard. It was a great day here at the Carden Alvar and I look forward to more trips here in the future.
You can find out more about the Carden Alvar here and here.
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?
Today the three of us headed out to Mizzy Lake trail to do some snowshoeing. Unfortunatley one of party had come down with a cold so we didn’t get too far down the trail before we headed back. In lieu of the trek through the forest we opted to see if we could find and photograph the elusive Pine Marten. When we got to its favourite spot all we found were Blue Jays flicking peanuts and snow into the air.
After spending some time here we decided to warm up at the Visitors Centre and see what the views were like from there.
Let’s just say they were pretty darn good.
There was a light snow falling by this time so we decided to head back to Bongos and see what we could find for dinner. We decided for tomorrow we would check out the Visitors Centre for some bird photography and get in another trail before heading home.
It’s finally here!! The colours of autumn are at their prime in the Muskoka area so you know I had to drive back to Algonquin Provincial Park to capture the moment. And boy did the colours look amazing. So much had changed since we were last here – only 5 days ago.
Upriver from the bridge that we shot at a few days ago I took the photograph above and the one below. As beautiful as the river and the changing colours look the small world of mushrooms is beginning to really get going. Although you can find them all spring and summer, its the fall when you really see them flourish.
Ring Around the Mushroom
Below is a similar view of the bridge that I took five days ago except for a couple of things. Today we have bright blue skies making it a little more challenging for taking photographs during the day. Five days ago we had overcast skies so the contrast was more muted and we also had a drizzling rain which makes colours pop. This is why as a photographer you want to get out when it’s raining.
On the other side of bridge there are two shore paths on either side of river. We decided to stay on this side of the river but explore further downstream. Entering from the road we were greeted with a sea of red leaves. Looks like here a good portion of the leaves have made their way onto the ground. This can make tricky walking because you don’t always know what you are stepping on.
Carpet of Red
Of course it wasn’t long before I found some mushrooms along the path and this is where Nigel lost me. He continued down as I laid down into position to get the best possible view of these tiny fungi.
Too soon it was time to pack up the car and get back on the road but I was happy to have had two great trips out here this week. Sometimes I wish that Autumn lasted longer.
I woke up this morning and decided that since the icy world had yet to melt away for good I had to do some exploring a little further north. My initial thought was to head up to Coldwater but I noticed that as I got past Barrie things didn’t look so ice covered anymore so I back south I had to go. This is how I ended up in Earl Rowe Provincial Park.
The park is closed in the winter so you have to walk in from the road. It’s short hike in to the lake area but, wow, what a view once you got there.
The ice was slowly melting as the sun’s rays warmed them and trees just sparkled in the light. I wanted to stay for awhile but some of the areas I was shooting in were more on the dangerous side as branches pulled down by the weight of the ice were on the verge of snapping and tumbling down onto my head. I had to be quick get my shots.