Autumn in the Parks

Hemlock Bluffs Lookout in Algonquin Park, Ontario, September 29, 2012

Hemlock Bluffs Lookout in Algonquin Park, Ontario, September 29, 2012

Before writing about the time we spent in the Rockies, here’s a side trip to Algonquin and Arrowhead Provincial Parks in Ontario.  I travelled north this past weekend to see the fall colours.  The oranges, reds and yellows were at their peak contrasting with pale greens and the deeper green of conifers.  We hiked in Algonquin Park, coming upon other nature lovers, among them families with young children.  As before, we were gladdened to see parents introducing their children to nature.

Bat Lake Trail in Algonquin Park, September 2012

On Bat Lake Trail in Algonquin Park, Sept. 30/12

Saturday and Sunday were cloudy and cool, but the rain held off until late afternoon each day when we had just finished our hikes on the Hemlock Bluffs and Bat Lake trails.  I felt blessed to be among the trees and rocks, by lakes and streams.

Hairy Woodpecker in Algonquin Park, September 2012

Hairy Woodpecker seen on Hemlock Bluffs trail in Algonquin Park, Sept. 29/12

We saw chipmunks, many chickadees, blue jays, hairy woodpeckers and a great grey owl on Sunday.  This we found in the comical way we often do in parks.  We came upon a large crowd of people pulled over by the roadway, with their telescopic lenses and smaller cameras all looking intently off to the side.  We thought we’d see a moose when we joined them, but no, this was a much rarer sighting we were told.  I had never seen an owl in the wild and was happy to see this bird who rewarded us at one point by spreading his or her huge wings and floating out of the tree toward the ground, perhaps in search of prey.

Stubb's Falls in Arrowhead Provincial Park, Ontario, 2012

At Stubb’s Falls in Arrowhead Provincial Park, Ontario, Oct. 1, 2012

Our last day, Monday, we spent at quiet Arrowhead Park, taking a gentle walk to and from Stubb’s Falls.  Monday was sunny and warmer than the weekend.  We walked among the bright trees and onto boulders at the side of the falls.  The deep colours, loud rushing water and the reflections in the river were a tonic and a joy to see before returning to the highways and the different rushing of Toronto.

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