1 This is the place we came to on Monday, July 6 - a place that we had never been to, but that was still very familiar to us. From our campsite (upper left) we had a clear view down Bell Lake to the access point where we arrived at 11:30. From this site you can make out the white door of the Killarney Kanoes shed, 2.4 km. and an average half hour paddle away. In all we would make that trek eight times. The first three times, to move all our stuff, got us settled into our campsite by 3:30, a bit later than usual. But then Killarney is a bit further away than usual too - a six hour car trip from St.Catharines, the last 10 km. on a bumpy, slow-going gravel road.
2 We were pleased to find some construction on this site to help with the logistics of keeping our stuff off the ground and our kitchen at a working level. We have been fortunate so far to have always had picnic tables or structures. By six we were set up and ready to cook supper. The stove was level, and the log counter too, but not much else, so we spent the rest of the week always slightly askew.
3 That evening we could sit comfortably on a good sized (almost level) patio by water's edge. Until the mosquitos came out.
4 This is the best we got for sunsets that week. Good weather is not a harbinger of glorious light. This light perhaps touched on the rain that was to come.
5 It started to rain during the night and, after a brief lull Tuesday morning, we realized that it would be rather inconvenient not to have some kind of cover. So out came the ropes, and up went the fly to cover our bacon and eggs breakfast at 10:00.
6 The fly sloped to the ground at the back, so we had very limited room for seating. As the rain got heavier, my lawn chair became a bridge over a river of water.
7 I've always loved the effect of rain on the landscape, but still struggle to find ways of getting photos without getting my camera wet. This was the best I could do from under our shelter.
8 The rain stopped by mid afternoon, but the clouds still hung heavy for a while.
9 Finally, by evening, a break and a promise of better weather to come.
10 We could sit out and enjoy the view (and book). Until the mosquitos came.
11 At 5:40 am, Wednesday morning, everything was still drenched, and the landscape had a brooding beauty about it that only early risers can know.
12 The axis of the lake is all wrong, from this site, for the full enjoyment of sunrises and sunsets, but the light coming in from stage right has it's own beauty.
13 The merganser came to visit three times that week in the mornings. This is the only time that I had my camera at the ready.
14 By 6:30 the sun had risen high enough to light the shore opposite us.
15 The bay, now bathed in light, beckoned through the misty gaps on either side on the island sentinel.
16 Distant shores were mostly in sun, while our campsite remained shrouded.
17 The light grew stronger still.
18 At 7:30 our campsite is still hunkered down and drawn up. Time to put the camera down and get moving for our day trip into Killarney.
19 On our way out down Bell Lake, we come into view of the Silver Peak, the mountain that we didn't climb.
20 After a half hour paddle, ten km. gravel road and 30 km. of highway, we arrived in the town of Killarney by 10:30. We cruising up and down the main drag a couple of times, looking vainly for a Tim Hortons, before we settled for coffees and more toilet paper from the general store. Then we wandered around, coffees in hand, near the docks to enjoy the sunny weather. These natural gardens caught our fancy.
21 I was just as interested in the post and beam construction right beside the garden. An honest to goodness coffee shop coming soon, they told us.
22 Docks are always nice. Some of these were brand new. A bit cliched as well, with their brightly painted Muskoka chairs. Really! And in Killarney.
23 We drove from the general store some ways away to get to Killarney's well known light house. The reputation is deserved, and though not as grand as the Peggy's Cove light house we saw last summer, this one is every bit as lovely. Wendy took some time to rest and sunbathe atop the rocks, while I wandered about taking photos.
24 Wildflowers growing from the cracks were profuse, and their colours combined most artfully with the rock lichens.
25 We were pleased to see a good stand of the Harebells that we remembered from Charleston Lake.
26 Wendy kept at it, working on her tan for the upcoming strapless dress event in August.
27 A beautiful perch for the lady in red.
28 Feeling a bit guilty about being the only object of camera attention, Wendy took it in hand and prevailed upon me to sit.
29 Back to town we went to the equally renowned fish and chips restaurant, where we stuffed ourselves while sharing a table with a family from Manitoba.
30 Next stop, back up the road a ways, was the George Lake campground in Killarney where we settled down on the main beach. We enjoy going to a busy beach as much as we do our solitary camping. Kind of like grandchildren that you can enjoy for a while but also leave behind.
31 What we liked most about this beach was the view. This is much grander than Bell Lake. When we come back to Killarney we'll come here for car camping and canoe through these rock portals by day to see the famous cliffs of O.S.A. and Killarney lakes.
32 Henry swam every day, Wendy almost.
33 We were back at our campsite in time for supper. During the supper prep a family of loons swam by in the distance and I managed to get a shot of one loon with her two loonies (?).
34 I had just taken the fly down, since the weather looked promising for the rest of the week. Being out in the open when the weather is good is the best.
35 We took our meals down to the shore, and ate them off of a 35 year old TV table (sans TV).
36 The french fries from the lunch that we couldn't finish tasted wonderful refried. The wine was feeling a bit tipsy.
37 Thursday morning dawned with little fanfare and a light cloud cover to catch the light.
38 The water was still again, and with the touch of mist and the sky's reflections, I enjoyed a subtlety different picture from the previous morning.
39 Looking south-east towards the access point.
40 Looking north-west towards the Bell Lake narrows and bay.
41 Our gear is still covered to keep off the dew. The fire pit remains (and remained) unused.
42 As usual, our food is hung up for the night from a rope strung twenty feet up between two trees. The orange pack goes up with a nifty block and tackle set that came with our house. There's always too much food. I'm sure we could go lighter, but for the kind of canoe camping that we do it wouldn't make much difference.
43 On the other side of our peninsula the sun is just creaping in to touch the shoreline.
44 This same shoreline, later in the day, viewed through an infrared filter.
45 An infrared view of the other side.
46 Waiting patiently for the lake water to filter through for our dish water supply.
47 After supper, a recreational canoe trip up into the Bell Lake narrows. Beaver lodges are everywhere but we never saw any beavers. This lodge looks like it's own by a Fortune 500 beaver dynasty. I'm sure it has seven baths and a grand foyer.
48 At quarter to eight it's still plenty light, but the sunshine is intermittent.
49 By eight-thirty the sun is just a glowing ball ready to give up the ghost.
50 We come back to our campsite for another hour of leasure before the mosquitos come out and we hit the sack.
51 But before my feet are allowed to touch the sack they need to be washed. Wearing sandles and crocs in this dusty environment has made them quite dirty. We speculate that this is the first time in 35 years that Wendy has washed Henry's feet.
52 The last glow.
53 On Friday, morning dawns much like the others and I'm already bored of taking its picture.
54 This perks me up a bit, when Wendy decides, finally, on our last full day, to do the half hour yoga routine that she had planned. A tree pose amongst trees.
55 Wendy can hardly believe the view whenever she looks around, and wishes she had done more of this.
56 Opening up to the glory of creation.
57 The half hour video is done and Wendy sends a look of contentment to the husband who supplied the Note 2 and video copies.
58 At the beginning of our late morning canoe trip into the bay we spy a heron and I manage to take advantage of his circling overhead to capture this view.
59 If beavers eat lilies, then it's no wonder there are so many of them.
60 There were wonderful clumps of pinkish lilies that we can't recall seeing elsewhere. This one was a prime specimen.
61 Not as abundant, and not nearly as open were the yellow lilies.
62 One grand lily pad shimmering in the sun.
63 In this one bay on Bell Lake we probably laid eyes on more lilies than we had seen in our whole lifetime of lily watching.
64 Into the woods, we find a dragonfly perched on a log long enough for me to get several shots.
65 On our way back from a freight expeditiion to bring half of our stuff to our vehicle (in anticipation of our final departure the next day), we do a little sight seeing.
66 Near the access point we find some lovely rock faces, this one smooth and rounded.
67 Close by is another cliff that is much more angular.
68 Heading back, in the last light of the sun, looking at the access point beach.
69 Supper is almost ready, and while Wendy waits she takes a picture of Henry taking a picture of the camera on the tripod by the water. Cameras are as abundant as the food.
70 Back home again, Henry contemplates life while eating Pringles.
71 Henry then sits back and chugs a cooler.
72 Saturday morning, before our last breakfast of what vaguely tastes like scrambled eggs (not all freeze dried is equal), Henry is all smiles.
73 Wendy is wondering what the stuff is supposed to be that she's stirring in the frying pan.
74 Wendy's late conversion to the joy of yoga in nature brings her up the hill from our tent for another half hour routine.
75 She likes the half hour routines by Mr. Fitness LLC.
76 After our last swim, we pack up the remainders and load up for the return trip.
77 Our campsite, denuded of all human trappings.
78 We believe firmly that canoes are designed to carry freight, not to dilly-dally around for the fun of it, so we like to push the limits.
79 On our last view of Silver Peak, Wendy snaps another photo.
Newmaker is the spirit that drives a lifetime of creativity, and is a reflection of the Creator who continues to make all things new.
H.James Company is the business name for the renovation services of Henry de Jong since 1991. Services have been offered as sub-contractor and as contractor, but primarily as a professional craftsman working alone. Working on small to medium size jobs allows a personal committment to executing every detail with the same care, and to working one job at a time, on a steady and predictable schedule.