First Two Canoe Trips of the Season

My First two trips of the season have completed successfully and it has been a beautiful time here in Algonquin Park. The Wanderings, Waterfalls and Watercolors trip was a 5 day canoe trip leaving from base camp and arriving at Kiosk on Kioshkokwi Lake. The Morning Tea with Moose was the second trip that I was out on and we spent 2 nights and three days in the park and camped on a scenic and very diverse little island on the east side of North Tea lake.

Although we did experience a little rain, both trips went very well and the sunshine that we did see, coupled with the amazing landscapes that surrounded us, made for two unique and very enjoyable trips. The lakes in the park have ‘warmed-up’ quite a bit and swimming in these waters is refreshing to both the body, mind and spirit.

Many of the parks animals are raising their young right now and everywhere you looked you could see signs of young being reared by watchful and protective parents. Young Red Squirrels played and chased each other all day long on our campsite on Manitou lake, while Ravens taught their young the secrets of flight off of the point and overhead. We spotted a few different species of ducks with their many young. One Merganser mother had at least 2 dozen small ones trailing behind her! Such responsibility to care for and teach these ducklings how to fend for themselves on their own one day. We also came upon a female Ruffed Grouse who tried to ‘scare’ us away from her nest located beside one of the portage trails in the thicket. These tired and hard-working mothers sure have my respect. It is no easy task to raise their young in the forest with so many hungry predators around. They have many lessons to teach us.

The varied and diverse plant life in Algonquin is also in a time of reproduction as they strive to produce seed so that their offspring may proliferate into the future. The wild roses lining the banks of the Amable du Fond river are both beautiful and edible (petals) at this time of year. The spring wildflowers are busy producing seed and making way for the mid-summer flowers who grace us with their color and intricacy. Some ‘drawing’ insects to help them cross-pollinate, while others depend on things such as wind, flower structure and other elements to help with the goal of pollination. The Fireweed plants are in full force on the edges of the lakes as well as the yellow and white pond lilies that grow alongside the Pickerelweed directly in the water. Not to mention the many shrubs who are flowering throughout the park at this time. We even noticed our first wild blueberry and strawberries of the year. Not too many blueberries yet, but they are on their way!

It is a beautiful time of year to explore Algonquin Park and take time to connect with the natural world. To paddle under the stars and moon or to listen to the Loons serenade you through the darkness and serenity of the night. There is something very special that reaches out and touches you and your spirit in a deep and profound way. It is hard to put into words the feelings that can never be described, but must be experienced. It is something that connects us all and lets us sense the balance and harmony that exists not only in the natural world, but within ourselves. I never fail to remain humble, inspired and so very thankful for the beauty of the the earth and the sacredness of all of Creation.

Safe Paddling

Alexis Burnett

P.S. This young bull Moose was spotted on our Morning Tea with Moose trip as he leisurely ate pond lily leaves in the shallows. It was quite an experience to see such a powerful animal so close in the wild.

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