Saturday, March 27, 2010


For Earth Hour I visited the Torrance Barrens Conservation Reserve & Dark Sky Reserve, Ontario's first when it was designated 10 years ago, where I experienced the sights and sounds without any light or noise pollution. When the stars began to emerge one by one they reminded me that each one of us must act to make a difference.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Winter has officially surrendered to spring and released the Segwun, North America's oldest operating steamship, named for the Ojibwa word for springtime. Many of the lakes have moats of open water separating the shoreline from the receding and deteriorating ice, conditions now deemed unsafe to travel on except with an airboat.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Cross country skis and snowshoes stand at attention at Shamrock Lodge, the only other resort on Lake Rosseau open all winter. Like many Muskoka resorts, it began as a farmhouse when the original owner, Benjamin Hardcastle Johnston, emigrated from Ireland. He became the first postmaster and named the village of Port Carling.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Warm weather has melted more snow and the plans of those hoping to snowmobile, ski or dogsled at The Rosseau, prompting the resort to change gears and offer mountain biking instead. Enough snow still remains in the woods for snowshoeing, while plus temperatures have encouraged sap to start flowing and be tapped from the maple trees.
["March Break Melting" news coverage appears from 01:45-04:00 Saturday March 13, 2010 A News at 6 Webcast courtesy of A News.]

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Described as a form of graffiti that employs colourful displays of knitted cloth rather than paint or chalk, this movement has taken hold in urban landscapes around the world and has now appeared in Gravenhurst, where an anonymous knitter humourously tagged the town's bear and fish fountain, changing its salmon to rainbow trout.

Friday, March 12, 2010


My sympathies to the families of both Cst. Vu Pham, an OPP officer who fell in the line of duty and will always be remembered as a hero, and Fred Preston, a retired logger I met when I was at the Muskoka Carving Event, who had lead a respectable life but has since fallen in the eyes of society and will always be remembered for this tragedy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Resort staff were invited to join Meredith Wires, a naturalist for The Rosseau, on an interpretive evening hike with snowshoes, to explore the stars and woods. Following an introduction to astronomy, we visited a bear cave and beaver lodge, and throughout the hike impressed us with her wealth of knowledge of the flora and fauna.


An aluminum boat, turned turtle for the winter on a dock, reminds me of one itself with its bow poking out from under a shell of snow. Identified as a high mortality area, signs warn motorists to watch out for turtles from May to September, the road separating Bruce Lake from the marshlands on the other side a popular crossing spot.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The Port Sandfield Market during hibernation, the only ice out in the canal beside it. The market, with its ice cream cones and bakery is a favourite stop for cottagers and residents alike. Established in 1923, the store sits on the site of the old Prospect House, a popular resort over a century ago, and one of the many that met its demise by fire.

Friday, March 5, 2010


On special occasions guests at The Rosseau can experience the thrill and work involved with mushing a team of Siberian Huskies, along a trail that winds through The Rock golf course. I was given the chance to try it firsthand and found it was challenging at times, and jokingly christened the trail the Ididtherock, after the more famous Iditarod.
[Promotional consideration provided by Winterdance Dogsled Tours.]

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Those suffering withdrawal symptoms from the Olympics welcomed the start of the Ontario Winter Games. Held at different venues throughout Muskoka, The Rock golf course made a perfect setting for the biathlon while The Rosseau hosted boxing and kickboxing events, as well as was the Athlete's Village for all these participants.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I found it hard to believe the difference when I visited the site of the polar bear dip, less than one month ago. Where they had hauled out slabs of ice over a foot thick only a thin scab has formed since, with open water beyond where none existed before. I suspect that this is only a temporary thaw in the season, not the end of winter.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I broke my own trail through knee deep snow at Armstrong Point, the terrific view my reward at the top. The hands formation of the tree helped me frame the ice fishing shacks in the centre. The lake, its ice surface covered with snow and snowmobile tracks, looks like it's swathed in bandages, patiently awaiting spring for their removal.