WOLFE ISLAND, ONTARIO

wolfe-island-003-copy

Wolfe Island is an island at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River in Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario. It is the largest of the Thousand Islands.

wolfe-island-000-copy

wolfe-island-000a-copy

Wolfe Island can be accessed by ferry from both Canada and the United States. The ferry from Kingston (Wolfe Islander III) is operated by the Ministry of Transportation and is free of charge. Just walk or drive right on, and away she goes!

wolfe-island-004-copy

The island was part of the traditional hunting lands of the Tyendinaga Mohawk people and the original name of the island is Ganounkouesnot (“Long Island Standing up”). It was called “Grand Ile “by the French, but was later named after British General James Wolfe by British settlers.

wolfe-island-022-copy

A feature of Wolfe Island is the Wolfe Island Wind Project, a wind farm developed by Canadian Hydro Developers and now owned and operated by TransAlta. The 197.8 MW wind plant consists of 86 wind turbines, which have been in commercial operation since June 26, 2009.This is currently the second largest turbine project in Canada.

wolfe-island-023-copy

The power produced from Wolfe Island is sold under a 20-year Renewable Energy Supply II Contract with the Ontario Power Authority. TransAlta owns and operates the Wolfe Island facility through its wholly owned subsidiary Canadian Hydro Developers.

wolfe-island-024-copy

Wolfe Island is designated an Important Bird Area and is an important stopover location for migrating waterfowl including swans. The island has a large population of wild turkeys, deer, and other wildlife. The Big Sandy Bay Management Area is classified as a provincially significant life science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest which includes sand dunes, wetlands, rare plants, trees, and birds.

merlin-falcon_marty-burke

Credit: M. Sarko

wolfe-island-017-copywolfe-island-018-copy

wolfe-island-025-copy

wolfe-island-026-copywolfe-island-027-copy

The billion-year old rocks of Ontario’s Precambrian Shield form the nucleus of Wolfe Island under its limestone cover.

wolfe-island-015-copy

Glacial striations are etched in the flat rock which line the shores of Wolfe Island.

wolfe-island-009-copywolfe-island-010-copywolfe-island-011-copywolfe-island-014-copy

Wolfe Island’s limestone dates back over 450 million years into the Palaeozoic Era.

wolfe-island-012-copywolfe-island-013-copy

wolfe-island-9999-copy

Make Wolfe Island one of the many stops on your next Ontario road trip!

A River Runs Through It – Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, Canada

5-home-pool-01

I tell you this with hesitation. And I tell it happily, too. It is about a place I know well; one that is full of curious equivocations; somewhere half serene, half rugged, on the lip of a body of water that is half river, half sea. I think everyone should know about it for it holds so much beauty, so much Canadian history, but then again, another part of me wishes people might stay away, so it will remain a secret.

And yet it’s a secret only to the modern world, because in an older one, it was well known; famous, even. It was where many in the 19th and early 20th centuries went to find their recreation and traditions of summer, partly because the river – in this case, the St. Lawrence River – was nature’s easy, wide-open highway that took passengers to hundreds of special places along its shores. I often think of the St. Lawrence as a deep incision into the body of the land, exposing its innards, all its idiosyncrasies and unexpected treasures. But that description is only half-right – true geographically, but not in its suggestion of violence. In this part of the province of Quebec, bounded by the St. Lawrence, where it is wide like the sea, there is only tranquility.

– Sarah Hampson in The Globe and Mail

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Gaspe Peninsula has an extraordinary mountain environment. The Chic-Chocs and McGerrigle Mountains cross the region. Among them, Mont Jacques Cartier is the second highest peak in Québec. The altitude of these mountains deeply influences the climate that moulds the landscape and creates a diversity of species unique to Québec, and even the world. Arctic-alpine plants and tundra landscapes form a habitat for a herd of woodland caribou, the last representatives of this species south of the St. Lawrence.

6-home-pool-02

“Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration.”

– Isaac Walton

7-home-pool-038-home-pool-04

“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”

– Hal Boyle

9-home-pool-05

“I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land. Even the greatest rivers- the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers.”

– Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

10-home-pool-06

“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world´s great floods and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It 1976

11-home-pool-07

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”

― Laura Gilpin

13-home-pool-09

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

– Henry David Thoreau

16-big-indian-03

“Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up.”

– Arnold Gingrich, 1969

17-big-indian-04

“For the supreme test of a fisherman is not how many fish he caught, nor even how he has caught them, but what he has caught when he has caught no fish!”

– John H. Bradley, “Farewell Thou Busy World”, 1935

20-big-indian-07

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”

– Steven Wright

26-mink-pool-05

“Some act and talk as though casting were the entire art of fly fishing, and grade an angler solely by the distance he can cover with his flies. This is a great mistake and pernicious in it´s influence. Casting is but a method of placing a fly before the trout without alarming it and within it´s reach. It is merely placing food before a guest. The selection of such food as will suit, and so serving it as to pleasure a fastidious and fickle taste, still remain indispensably necessary to induce it´s acceptance.”

– Henry P Wells “Fly-Rods and Fly Tackle” 1885

45-day-2-09

“A bad day’s fishing is better than a good day at work.”

48-day-3-01

“Fly-fishers are usually brain-workers in society. Along the banks of purling streams, beneath the shadows of umbrageous trees, or in the secluded nooks of charming lakes, they have ever been found, drinking deep of the invigorating forces of nature – giving rest and tone to over-taxed brains and wearied nerves – while gracefully wielding the supple rod, the invisible leader, and the fairy-like fly.”

– James A. Hensall, MD, 1855

53-day-3-06

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.“

– Marcus Aurelius

54-day-3-05

“There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process.”

– Paul O’Neil, 1965

57-day-3-08

Sit by a river. Find peace and meaning in the rhythm of the lifeblood of the Earth.

59-day-3-09

“There is certainly something in fishing that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit, a pure serenity of mind.”

– Washington Irvin

Last DAZE of Summer

Here in Toronto, the summer was hot and humid. But as always, it came to an abrupt end.

This past Labour Day weekend I just hung around, and decided to take a few photographs in my own backyard as the sun began to set on the last day of the long weekend.

Honey Bee 1

Honey Bee 2 copy

Honey Bee 3A

Honey Bee 4AHoney Bee 5A

IMG_1816

Another LAZY day!

Yoho National Park, BC – Takakkaw Falls & Emerald Lake

Takakkawa Falls 5

Yoho, named for a Cree word expressing awe, is a park of rock walls, waterfalls and glacial lakes. It’s a park with snow-topped mountain peaks, roaring rivers and silent forests.

Yoho Mtn

Yoho River 2

Yoho’s craggy peaks and steep rock faces posed an enormous challenge for Canada’s early explorers. The mountains that were the curse of railway builders are responsible for the park’s many waterfalls including Laughing Falls, Twin Falls, Wapta Falls and one of Canada’s highest at 254 m (833 ft.), Takakkaw Falls. Silt carried by streams from melting glaciers high on the mountains is responsible for the deep, rich turquoise colour of Emerald Lake and Lake O’Hara.

Takakkaw Falls 6Takakkaw Falls 3

Many of British Columbia’s plants and animals reach their eastern extension in Yoho. The high peaks of the Continental Divide wring out the precipitation remaining in clouds moving eastward from the Pacific Ocean. This creates pockets of wet belt forest where coastal species such as devil’s club, western red cedar and western hemlock thrive.

WildflowerSquirrel

Takakkaw Falls can be seen from kilometres away, but its loud roar is the first thing you notice as you approach. It is 384 metres from its base, making it the second highest officially measured waterfall in Western Canada after Della Falls on Vancouver Island. However, its true “free fall” is only 254 metres.

“Takakkaw” translates from Cree as “it is magnificent.”

The falls are fed by the Daly Glacier, which is part of the Waputik Icefield. The meltwater keeps the volume of the falls up during the warm summer months, particularly in late spring after the heavy snow melts, when the falls are at peak condition.

Takakkaw Falls 4
Takakkaw Falls 2
Yoho River
Takakkaw Falls 1
Here in the shadow of the Great Divide are the secrets of ancient ocean life, the power of ice and water, and the stories of plants and animals that continue to evolve today.
Emerald Lake 1

Emerald Lake is the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds. The lake is enclosed by mountains of the President Range, as well as Mount Burgess and Wapta Mountain. This basin traps storms, causing frequent rain in summer and heavy snowfalls in winter. 

Emerald Lake 2

Emerald Lake CanoeingSilt carried by streams from melting glaciers is responsible for the deep and rich turquoise colour of Emerald Lake.
Emerald Lake Tourist

Due to its high altitude, the lake is frozen from November until June. The vivid turquoise color of the water, caused by the powdered limestone silt, is most spectacular in July as the snow melts from the surrounding mountains.

Emerald Lake Tourist 2

Emerald Lake 3

There was no better way than to end the day at the exquisite Tschurtschenthaler Lodge! What a great B&B to relax and unwind at. (Located near Golden, BC). We lucked out and got a mountainside view room for our brief stay.

Moosehead

Concierge

Bear Carving

Doorman

View from B&B 1 View from B&B 2

Great view from our room!

Heritage Softailcanon-eos-6d-dslr

Road Trip Photographs