Monday, August 13, 2012

Greetings from Normalcy

Extremely cute black bear poaching blackberries in the Henvie Inlet area near Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Lordy, lordy it's a beautiful morning out there. First time I've seen sunshine in a week and it's pouring through the skies over the river, shedding glorious golden light through the branches of the trees in our front yard. Backlit by the sun, the newly rain-infused leaves glow and my shell pink cabbage roses are fragrant with dew. There's a tiny sparrow in the feeder, a blue jay in the pussywillow and a few weeks worth of stinky garbage at the curb.

Home again, home again, jiggitty-jig.

It was a quiet camping trip, that's for sure. With a week of crappy, cloudy, rainy weather and no kids to yell at, Dave and I fast-tracked into a routine of selfishness, eating what we wanted when we wanted, taking afternoon naps that lasted into the dinner hour and reading, reading, reading. Dave read the Hunger Games while I zipped through the entire trilogy. He clocked me when I wasn't paying attention and apparently I was reading three pages to his one. Yeah, I said, but you can change the brakes on a car in the time it takes me to pee. We're all good at some things... at least his talent puts bread on the table.

I thought I'd share a few pictures with you, give you a little taste of the extreme laziness that was our latest adventure. Don't you love the bear? We were out for a drive when we spotted him mooching blackberries in the ditch beside the road. He was shy but the berries were bountiful so he didn't take off when we stopped in front of him for a photo. It's been a bad year for berries because of the drought. With the bears having such a poor food supply we'll have to be extra careful around our house, taking the birdfeeders in at night and cleaning the barbecue – bears are nice to see when they're in the wild but not so nice when they're at your front door.

Just a few hundred feet from where we spotted this bear there was a townhouse with a fenced backyard. Not just a regular fence, this one was probably 10 feet high and made of chain link. There were a few kids playing on monkeybars inside the fence. I guess if I lived in bear country I'd want a fence for my kids, too. Yes, we have bears in this area but not to the degree they have them further north.

The chipmunks were crazy tame - but only if you had peanuts to share.

Dave's new buddy.

My lap buddy, Misty.

Did you know a chipmunk could ride a bicycle?

View from where we launched our canoe on Pakeshkag Lake.

Weird, huge caterpillar at the French River Provincial Park visitor's centre.
I did some Googling and the best guess I have is the Imperial Moth Caterpillar. A big fellah, about five inches long. Any ideas?

The French River area snowmobile club (I think they call themselves the Voyageurs)
 erected the biggest snowmobile bridge in the world! There are three bridges crossing
the French River in this area: one's a bridge for cars and trucks, one is for trains and one is for ski-doos.

The Highway 69 bridge crossing the French River.

The French River is absolutely stunning. So beautiful.
Carved by the glaciers, it runs from Lake Nipissing into
Georgian Bay and it was the route the Voyageurs took
during the fur trade, Canada's formative years. 

Another view of the French River. 

Snowmobile mileage sign at the French River – if you were on a sled here
in  the middle of winter, you'd have a long, cold trip to the next town!


  1. Those pictures of the scenery are stunning!

    ...not so sure about the caterpillar.... :-o

  2. Beautiful country. I'd be careful about leaving out anything bears might want to eat as well.
    Glad you're back!

  3. I agree about the French river. It is beautiful.

  4. well that little chipmunk is tame!

  5. Your little foot in the shot with Misty. LOL. One of these days I WILL get a chipmunk eating out of my hand! Just not while I have a Jack Russell. Seeing a bear that close... Wow!

  6. Just wonderful photographs! That French River looks extraordinary. We had a black bear once here, just feet away from the back door! That's how we learned they like bird seed . . . so now we follow the maxim set down by Maxine Kumin (in a poem, wish I could remember which one), feeder is taken down in April, not to reappear until winter. As for the chipmunk, we have so many here we have a sign that says "chipmunk crossing," but never have I seen one that tame! Welcome back!

  7. Wonderful photos of some beautiful country. We have a chipmunk who spends afternoons on our deck, right outside the door, tormenting the cat lying on the inside. Toby and his visiting chipmunk. Never been able to get the picture.

  8. Beautiful photos ... we loved when we were up in Karney (spelled wrong? maybe) camping, then Sunridge couple years later. At least you were able to get caught up on some R&R and book reading. Last time we were camping it poured the whole week!

  9. I have so much envy, right now! I want to hold a chipmunk!

  10. Oh man! That's outstandingly beautiful! Lucky you guys!

  11. Loooooove these photos!! And the wildlife!!

  12. Looks beautiful. And calm. And I would so want to visit if I didn't have my children in tow.

    Because then it would not be beautiful or peaceful...

  13. Welcome to normalcy, Cathy. How is Misty behaving?

  14. Oh. Wow. I loved the bear shot, and the chipmunk shots, and the scenery, and and and... Thank you.

  15. Those are some fantastic pics, Cathy!

    Sounds like you guys had a great time. The wildlife seems to flock to you!

  16. Loved the chipmunk - so cute ^__^ Lovely photos!

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