My First Trip to Algonquin Park

Basil and and purple flowers on the windowsill

I just came back from backcountry camping on Canisbay Lake in Algonquin Park. It was my first time visiting the park and my first camping trip with Yehuda. I was amazed at how large it was in compared to the many other parks I’ve been to! We only canoed 45 minutes in from the Canisbay access point, but already found ourselves alone with just the song of the birds to listen to. It was wonderful!

Storm clouds on the horizen of Canisbay Lake

My favourite moment from the trip was making tea by candlelight. We took our little camp stove and tea lights down to the big boulder at the edge of our site on the water and made tea. It was lovely sitting there, our feet dangling over the edge with hot mugs of tea in our hands as we listened to the songbirds in the dying light of the day. It was beautiful for every one of the senses.

Blue tin bowl and cup by a smokey campfire at Canisbay Lake, Agonquin Park.

I usually eat quite simply when I go camping, but Yehuda was determined that we ate well. We had hamburgers stuffed with cheese, grilled peppers, sliced yam, marinated steak, sausages, and of course bacon – all cooked on the campfire! It was quite the camping cuisine! What is even more impressive, that Yehuda was even able to get a fire lit with all the rain we hand. He was a very determined camper.

Tiny pink and white flowers among ferns on the forest floor of Algonquin Park

I was intrigued by the unique flowers and birds we heard and saw during our trip. There were many I wasn’t familiar with. Algonquin has many interesting hiking trails too. We plan to go back later in the summer. When we return, I will pack my plant identification book and hope to be more up to snuff with my identification of bird calls. The park has lots to offer the budding naturalist!

Landcsape with tree covered hills and green bog on a rainy summer day..


Beautiful Skies

A patch of sun during an afternoon's walk with dramatically changeable weather.

I made up for my lack of social life this week. I got out from behind the computer monitor and went on a class trip to O. Noir on Tuesday. It’s a restaurant where the dining area is in complete darkness and the serving staff are blind. We thought it would be the perfect class social event as it would give us an idea of what it would be to be blind!

We ordered our meals in the lit lobby (I ordered the ‘surprise’) before being let into a pitch dark room and sat down at a table together. We couldn’t see a thing! It was most interesting. I had a salad followed by a soft red meat with potatoes and green beans. It was an interesting experience, although one I wouldn’t rush to repeat as the service was most unfriendly.

My cousin Kate and her husband Duane were in Toronto on Thursday. I met them for a drink on a patio near their hotel on Queens Quay.  It was nice to see them and we shared funny stories. After a pint, I met up with Daddy and Judy who took me out for fish and chips. After telling them all about school, we went out for ice cream at Ed’s Real Scoop where I had a delicious cone of honey ginger ice cream!

On Friday we had an end-of-course party at OCADU. There was wine and a variety of lasagna served. I was a little shy and shocked that class was actually over, but eventually I warmed up to conversation.  It was a pleasant evening.

When I got home, Kai was playing music and drinking champagne. We ended up going through his whole music collection and I transferred a couple CDs of his onto my computer. We had a fun farewell evening together!

The following morning Daddy came to pick me up and we drove to the Toronto Island with Judy for a picnic. Judy had packed the most amazing spread. There were black olives, stuffed green olives, goat camembert cheese, ripened cheese, brie, dill havarti, 3 kinds of Ace bread, spinach puff pastries, cherries, strawberries, melon, and so much more! It was enough food to feed an army!

We spread a blanket out under a big old tree by the beach. It was so nice to stretch out on the grass. We munched happily away, enjoying watching the dogs go by. It was most pleasant!

Dad and I drove home to Niagara that evening. The following afternoon Mum and I went for a nature walk in a revitalized quarry. There was a storm on the horizon which made it most exciting. A high wind tossed the high grasses around as dark clouds collected in the blue sky. It was most dramatic.

We sat in the back porch for dinner that evening, listening to the rain pound down and thunder grumble in the distance. The washing on the line enjoyed an extra rinse and the garden gleamed green. It was a beautiful end to the week.