Haliburton Highlands, Big East Lake, Site 3

Our first canoe camping experience in Canisbay Lake made us hungry for more, so we started looking for other places to explore. At our local Outdoors Oriented we bought a Kevin Callan “Paddler’s Guide To Ontario Cottage Country”. From among the two dozen choices we settled on Big East Lake and soon found that this (once free to canoe) crown land was now managed by the Haliburton Highlands Water Trails Reservation Service. We agonized over the map choices for a while but settled on site 3, which was not far from the access point and looked good from the pictures.

The portage from the parking lot down to the lake was a bit of a chore for us, since we were by no means travelling light, but this was soon forgotten when, after a short paddle, we found ourselves on a spacious campsite perched atop a magnificent rock. The campsite sits all by itself in a large bay directly across the lake from the access point, so all week long we could watch canoes coming and going along the main route on the north shore, and never once did a canoe venture within hailing distance of our site.

Eye Witness

I do not have a camera glued to my eye. I am happy to witness much of what goes by without the aid of zooming and artificial auto-focus. But, with the advent of digital photography and its gratifying feedback loop, I have become a much more prolific photographer than I ever was since I joined the camera club in high school some forty years ago. The personal satisfaction of being able to re-view the people and places of my past is immense. Desktop screensavers randomly cycling through our memories of a camping trip are an effective antidote to being cooped up in our home office.

You would think that a camera cannot see more than the eye can see, yet it does. Being on a quest for the best photograph opens our vision to views that we might miss or not bother with (like a five-thirty sunrise). But the camera also bears witness to our value of the things we see and imprints that value on the photo. The photographer values by waiting, watching, exploring, returning and arranging, and then by editing and viewing. The result, at best, are pictures imbued with love and desire.

In this gallery, I hope to leave evidence of my love for creation and the Creator, my delight in solitude and serenity, and of my desire for light, warmth, water and the woman who shares my life. Consider these pictures, then, as a thanks-giving.

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