Salt Spring Island

Baynes Peak, Mount
Maxwell Provincial Park

A fear of heights, lost, after ascending one of the highest spots on Salt Lake Island. A view of the cliff peak, and drop, from the ferry.  A view from the top of Baynes Peak, in Mount Maxwell Provincial Park, on Salt Spring Island.

Old Growth Forests

Mount Maxwell Provincial Park, home to old growth Douglas Firs, and Garry Oak meadows, is one of the Gulf Islands largest, contiguous protected areas.

Overlooking Vancover Island.
Nature, and life, at it’s finest.
Enjoying nature, and altitude changes.
Salt Spring Wild Cider House

Enjoying Cheese, and Charcuterie, and a Full Tasting Flight of Special Blend Ciders, at a wonderful spot overlooking orchards of apples and pears. Enjoying the Ciders made from the fruits shaken from the boughs of the gnarly old fruit trees native to this area.

The town of Ganges

Feeling like we are in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s, as we explore this lovely little town’s afternoon market.

‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’

Waiting for the ferry, to take us back to Vancouver Island, and the beautiful city of Victoria.

The Beauty of The Butchart Gardens

‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.’ Greek Proverb

In 1904, Jennie Butchart had the idea to beautify the worked-out limestone quarry which had supplied her husband, Robert Pim Butchart’s, nearby cement plant.

As we walked through the gardens, we reminisced about our flower beds back home. Reflecting on the plants gifted and traded for, from friends, and from relatives. I thought about all of the Soul Sister creations, and other pieces of art that adorn the gardens,  pathways, and forest, of our little piece of Eden, a five hour flight away.

Each day
Requires us to receive
Linger long
Under waterfalls of grace
Get saturated,satiated. Author Unknown
Flowers are the music 
Of the ground
From earth's lips
Spoken without sound. Edwin Curran

Brown Bear,
Brown Bear,
What do you see?
Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle
Advice From a Tree.
Stand tall and proud
Sink your roots into the earth
Be content
With your natural beauty
Go out on a limb
Drink plenty of water
Remember your roots.
Enjoy the view.
Created by your true nature.com

Roses are red, my love
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet, my love
But not as sweet as you!
Bobby Vinton
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.
It just blooms.
Zen Shin

‘You must be absolutely honest and true in the depicting of a totem for meaning is attached to every line. You must be particular about detail and proportion. ‘ Emily Carr

Be silent my dear, and enjoy the scene
As we walk in this Japanese Garden serene.
The sun is shining in the afternoon sky,
And treeline bamboo catches the eye. Joyce Hensley
'I think that I shall never see, a poem, as lovely as a tree.' Kilmer 1913

A wonderful day on Vancover Island.

From Fort to Forest

From Fort to Forest.

This wonderfully, creative set of stairs takes us from the Historical Fort Willow site to the Ganaraska Trail.

Love the different staircases.

Historic Fort Willow, one of Springwater Township’s oldest historical sites, was a supply depot at the halfway point between Kempenfelt Bay and the Nottawasaga River.

Old footprints 👣

The location of the former buildings have been located, and their outlines restored.

Every September, before the arrival of Covid19, the Festival of Fort Willow was held. The Festival brings to life the daily activities of the Indigenous people living in Simcoe County in 1812, British soldiers, and camp followers.

Garden life!

A garden, at the centre of the fort, features the Three Sisters. Corn, beans and squash.

Where all trails seem to meet.

Great walking trails, the Ganaraska, the North Simcoe Rail trail, and the Trans Canada trail surround this historical site.

Cold water on a hot day!

Screaming Heads

Where you enter…..

Canadian artist, and sculptor, Peter Camani, created Screaming Heads on his property, Midlothian Castle, near Burk’s Falls, Ontario.

The beginning of the end.

The Screaming Heads, which remind me of a painting by Edvard Munch, with the feel of works by Salvador Dali, creat an outdoor masterpiece that needs to be explored more than once.

Castles, ponds, and memorials.

It’s a wonderous, 310 acres, that Camani has transformed into a land of forests, ponds, wild flowers, and gigantic works of art.

From the forest to the sky.

Every path has it’s own direction.

Beautiful hands.

Prehaps the hands mean for us to stop. To be mindful. To reflect. To ponder. To examine. To stop, and to smell the wild flowers.

A giant, spider less, spiderweb.

Oh what a web, a spider can weave.

Words

Some of the puzzle pieces that make you want to explore some more.

The home of a Canadian artist and sculptor.

Midlothian Castle, just outside of Burk’s Falls.

Standing guard.

Something around every corner.

Love these guys.

Found these guys atop the walls surrounding the castle.

Screaming Heads

The person who came up with the phrase, ‘Ontario, yours to discover!’ was right on the mark. We have so many great places, and great people, to discover. Right in our own backyard!

We thoroughly enjoyed our day here! Definitely on our list of places to explore again!

Wolves of the Haliburton Forest

A part of the wolf pack at Wolf Lodge, in the forests of beautiful Haliburton.

Housed in a 15 acre enclosure, these very photogenic wolves rested, and played, and lazily responded to the click of my camera.

Such a big mouth!

I remember when, as a young girl, my father calling us to gather at the kitchen window. Together we stood, and watched, as a pack of wolves bounded across a field of hay.

My father referred to them as Timber Wolves. We witnessed wild life at it’s finest on that day. I, sadly, haven’t seen a wolf in the wild since that time.

Still shedding winter coats.

Free to roam 15 acres of natural forest, we were very happy to find the wolves very close by.

So beautiful!

The wolf pack that ran through our fields so many years ago, were viewed through the glass of an old kitchen window.

The wolves of Wolf Lodge were viewed through thick panes of glass.

The Alpha wolf watchs over her pack.

We watched as this wonderful wolf gently encouraged the wolf cubs to move out of the sun, and into the shade of the enclosure’s beautiful trees.

Perfect picnics tables to close a back to nature kind of day!

Ending the day, with good food, and good company.

Spelunking – The Nottawasaga Bluffs

Exploring the geological features of the Nottawasaga Bluffs, reminded me of the adventures we would have when our relatives would visit from Holland.

It brought back memories of visiting the Scenic Caves, near Collingwood. Us all lining up, the Tanta’s in their dresses, and the Oma’s in their white shirts and dress pants, to squeeze through what was then called ‘Fat Man’s Misery. ‘ A narrow opening between two gigantic rocks, that were icy cold to touch even in the heat of summer.

Exploring new Caves. Making new family memories.

Like my chiropractor keeps telling me, ‘Motion is Lotion.’ I’m thinking that I might now be of similar age to what my Oma’s and Tanta’s were away back when.

Spelunking – the exploration of caves, especially as a hobby.

Canada Day 2021

Every Child Matters. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Today, reflecting on the meaning of Canada Day, I am thinking about my parent’s decision to emigrate to this wonderful country almost 70 years ago.

I remember, as a small child, my aunt saying to me ‘Speak English, we came to Canada to be Canadians.’

I have always been very proud to call myself a Canadian. First as a Dutch Canadian, then somewhere along the line the word Dutch was dropped and I simply became a proud Canadian.

I saddens me deeply, as I become more educated about the true losses suffered by our Indigenous peoples. The loss of their homes, their economies, and most of all, the loss of their children. Through the hands of our churches, and, of our governments.

I am hoping that this Canada Day will be marked as the beginning of truly righting the wrongs that were committed. Righted, so the true healing may begin, and that we, and the world, can learn from the wrongs commited in our past.

On our Canada Day hike. Overlooking the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe including the Ojibway, Potawatomi, and Odawa of the Three Fires Confederacy

Fairy Houses, on the Forest Floor

The Fairy House - by Rose Fylemam

As I was walking homeward
One early summer's day
I met a little fairy
Tripping on her way
Her bonnet was a bluebell
A daisy was her gown
Her wings were bits of sunshine
Trimmed with thistle-down
I think she had been to market
For as she hurried by
I peeped into her basket
To see what I could spy
A pair of tiny slippers 
A reel of golden thread
A tiny jar of honey
And a weeny loaf of bread
I hid amongst the tall grass 
As still as I could be
The Fairy gave a ratt tatt tatt
Upon a hollow tree
And then for just an instant
I peeped into her house
And do you know what?
The front door was opened
By a mouse!

Life of the Forest – part three of three – The Peaceful Forest.

A home for the birds….
'A hive for the buzzing bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder of the.. ' by the Cowsills
OF THE TREES!!!!
Old and new growth

Having read both Finding the Mother Tree, and The Hidden Life of Trees, I have decided to allow the centre of our forest, the little piece untouched by my saw and slippers, to remain as it is.

This small portion of the forest is home to three large oak trees, numerous pine and spruce trees, and a variety of coniferous and decidous saplings. Plus grasses, ferns, wild flowers, and a wide variety of fungi.

A forest where the trees connect with the soil, with the fungi and the mushrooms, communicating through a large underground network.

Red Squirrels have turned this old pile of brush into their home.
From someone else’s forest floor, to our forest floor.

While looking at this part of the forest, I am reminded of a story my father used to tell about his first impressions of this new country, Canada, he and his small family were about to call home.

When stepping off of the train, surrounded by forest, he surveyed the area and thought to himself, ‘it won’t be difficult to find employment in this country, they have yet to trim their trees.’

In the forest the Mother Trees recognizes, and talks to their kin, shaping future generations.

I have always been a tree hugger, but now I hug them for a different reason. Or maybe now I’m realizing the reason.