Loons at Night

Mum looking out over the bay.

I took the train this weekend to Belleville where I was met at the station by my mother. It was lovely to see her, and after a warm embrace we drove off to Sharbot Lake, a provincial park we’d never been to before.

Our campsite was right on the lake and was shaded by leafy green trees. There was birch, maple, and pine trees all around, with lily pads abloom with flowers along the bank. It was all so beautiful! We agreed it was one of the prettiest campsites that we’d been.

It was a brumous evening that first night. A light mist descended over the placid waters of the lake, with the occasional cry of a loon added to the ambience. Mum and I went for a walk along the bay, stopping to sit on a crag of walk to watch day turn to night. It was very special.

Saturday started off with fluffy pancakes and a hike through the woods. After an afternoon nap and swim, we hiked along the ridge and through a variety of ecological systems. We worked up an appetite by dinner which we satisfied with husks of fresh corn and lamb sausages cooked over an open fire!

We had roasted marshmallows for dessert. However, the marshmallows weren’t the only treat we had that evening, for a loon decided to come fishing outside our campsite! Unfortunately our fingers were too sticky to take a photograph, but it remains one of the most thrilling moments of our trip!

It was a clear night that evening. We could see the comforting sight of campfires of neighbours across the bay. However, when we rose the following morning, we were greeted by most ominous skies!

Despite the grey cloud, wind, and chill in the air, we were determined to go canoeing! I was excited at the prospect, but once I found myself in a canoe, I realized how unstable they were, how deep and black the water was, and how I had no idea how to paddle!

Mum taught me the canoe basics, but it was tiring work. So, I let her do most of the work while I focused on documenting the trip and photographing lilies.

We went into the town of Perth that afternoon. Our primary goal was to find a Starbucks, but ended up settling for a Tim Hortons. Somehow, this added to the Canadainna of our trip.

We wandered around Perth under matching red umbrellas, eventually taking refuge from the rain in the local museum. The staff seemed particularly thrilled to have guests and gave us an in-depth guided tour on the history of Perth. It was most fascinating.

That night, I sat on a jut of rock by the lake writing postcards. The rain had chased away many of our neighbours making the park blissfully quiet. There was only the sound of crickers and the rustle of wind in the trees. All was perfect.

The bliss must have been the calm before the storm, for we were rudely awoken at 3am by the most horrific thunderstorm! Mum and I both feared for our lives. Our little tent did not feel safe against the wrath of nature. We had camped through many a storm before, but never one to the extent of that night!

Fortunately, we lived to tell the tale and awoke the following morning to bright sunshine, fluffy white clouds, and a chicory blue sky. Now I sit on the train ride home to Montreal listening to Mariam Reed on my iPhone. It has been a simple splendid weekend!


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