Posts Tagged With: Camping

#happydays Killbear and Snakes!

Killbear and Snakes!

I was lucky enough to go camping this past weekend with hubby Photographer Phil. It was a perfect fall weekend, sunny and warm.

We journeyed up to Killbear Provincial Park. Usually we head over to Algonquin but I decided that we should try something different. I cheated a bit. I booked us in to a site that had electricity. After all it was the fall and I knew I would be cold so I lugged along my electric blanket and a small heater for the tent. We chuckled because we had the only tent in our campground. We were surrounded by beautiful motor homes and trailers.

Our site was really nice, considering I picked it from the web. It was surrounded by oak trees, and it was raining acorns! As soon as we got out of the car, we could hear them falling all around us. I’ve never seen so many!

The other thing I saw when I got out of the car and wandered over to the road to place our site pass on the post was what I thought at first was a large rubber snake. It was on the side of the road with part of its body in the grass. So I am walking along thinking “Gee, that was a huge snake…I wonder if it’s real…No it can’t be, it didn’t move when I almost stepped on it…hum… it must be a kid’s rubber snake…but when I turn around maybe I will find a stick to give it a poke just to be sure…”

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I turned around and it stuck its tongue out at me! “Quick Photographer Phil. Get over here!”

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Our “anaconda” size snake slithered around into our site, at a lazy pace and stretched right out as it slithered over towards the bush beside the site. (I checked at that point for a rattle on its tail but there wasn’t one.) At one point it picked up the pace and whipped along, disappearing into the weeds beside the creek at the back of our site. Too Cool! He had to be about 3 feet long with a small head and a rather plump body.

The next day we wandered over to the Visitor center with our cameras and showed the young gals working there our snake. They instantly recognized it as a Northern Water Snake. According to the web it is a pretty common snake to our area and completely harmless unless you are a frog.

OntarioNature. org:

“The northern watersnake can be found in and around almost any permanent body of fresh water within its range, including lakes, rivers and wetlands. Rarely far from shoreline habitats, these snakes can be found in shoreline vegetation, basking on rocks and logs, or in other open habitats along the edges of the water or under rocks along the shoreline. Northern watersnakes hibernate underground in dens or crevices, or in beaver lodges.”

The actually bear their young live and feed on fish and amphibians. They are even curious and will investigate swimmers. Wouldn’t that scare the whatever out of you!

Here are a few pictures from our trip. I wonder if I can get Glenis to go camping at Killbear?

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#100happydays Day 73 Bugs on the bathroom wall.

#100happydays Day 73 Bugs on the bathroom wall.

When I was camping earlier this month, a midnight trip to the loo found me face to face with this bug on the bathroom wall.

This little fellow was just hanging around. At 1 in the morning, he looked pretty darn big!

This little fellow was just hanging around. At 1 in the morning, he looked pretty darn big!

The bathroom was full of creepy crawlies, banging against the light and scurrying up the wall. This particular creature looks like a harvestman. Did you know that a harvestman or daddy long legs isn’t a spider even though it is from the arachnids family as are scorpions, mites and ticks? A spider has two body parts but this fellow only has one.

I found this on the Henderson State University website:

Harvestmen essentially have an oval body without the separation. They also do not produce silk or a web. They are not true spiders. Venom produced by spiders helps them in their role as predators, but harvestmen do not need venom because they are scavengers. They feed by searching over the ground or over plants for small insects, eggs, or dead material (either plant or animal). For protection, harvestmen can produce defensive chemicals that taste and smell bad. The Harvestman, or Grand-daddy Longlegs Is Not a Spider

You might be wondering why this is part of #100happydays, after all no one wants to run into a yucky bug unexpectedly. Well, with all the running in the woods, all the bushwhacking and swamp stomping Glenis and I have done, although we don’t like being surprised by them, we have pretty much given up on being squeamish about bugs. Isn’t that’s something to be happy about.

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#100happydays Day 64 The Moose

#100happydays Day 64 the Moose

Glenis and I haven’t run across any moose during any of our adventures. I think we are laughing too much and we scare they away. Once I though I was following the foot prints of another racer until I cam upon a pile of moose dung and I realized I wasn’t following a person! Another reason to laugh!

One of the cool things I saw on my recent camping trip to Algonquin was a moose swimming across Rock Lake. It was a pretty impressive thing to see.

moose crossing rock lake

The moose swimming Rock Lake. My little camera was pushed to the limit trying to get a close up. But you can tell it’s not a beaver. Very cool. I don’t think I will see this again.

I had decided to take a little run down a trail that started at the camp and ran along an old railroad bed between a beaver pond and Rock Lake. I was hoping to see a beaver but I did notice that I wasn’t the only one on the trail; either a large deer or a small moose had walked there before me. When I decided to turn about I heard a scuffle in the brush on the lake side of the trail but I didn’t think too much about it because chipmunks can sound huge when you are alone in the forest. As I turned onto the little beach and look back towards where I had ran I noticed what at first I though was a beaver swimming the lake. However then the ears flopped and they were huge compared to a beavers I realized I was watching a moose. I figured I must have spooked him into the water and away he/she went. I stood there for 15 minutes watching the effort and strength of this moose swim across Rock Lake.

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This is the view of Rock Lake from atop of the Booth’s Rock Trail. Algonquin has a wonderful history.

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#100happydays Day 60 Did I see a Bear?

#100happydays Day 60 Did I see a Bear?

My husband and I went on a great camping vacation last week, while Glenis manned the fort and the blog. We have an eventful trip, and a great time.

On Thursday we moved from Algonquin Park to Arrowhead Park. On the way into the park, Phil noticed a large cut out bear sign warning people in the park that there was a bear that was in the park snooping around the campsites. I didn’t even notice the sign.  When Phil mentioned it I sort of fluffed the warning off. I just thought it was used to try to convince people to keep their camp sites clean and to use the garbage containers supplied.

How could i have missed this bear sign!

How could i have missed this bear sign!

Nope, not so, I wasn’t there 45 minutes and I found the bear! I was so surprised I didn’t even get my camera out! I was driving to the park store to buy wood and ice and got all turned around on the twisty park roads. The little guy, (I think he was little, just about hip high) ran out in front of my car, from one campsite to another then up into the trees.

It was kind of cool seeing a bear from the safety of my car. In all the times Glenis and I have run in the woods or have been on an adventure race we have never come across a bear. I was even thinking about bear safety this past week and picked up a bear air horn at an outfitters store. I guess the trick will be to see if I can use it when surprised by a bear when I am outside my car.

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#100happydays Day 58 Home Again!

#100happydays Day 58 Home Again!

Wow the week went really fast. Glenis had quite the week with her migraine and dealing with work. I know she will feel better by tomorrow, and I’m back!

I had such a great time camping with my hubby. Algonquin Park has to be my favorite place to camp. Not that I have had much experience, we have only really been camping for a couple of years, and when you think about it, what works out to 5 or 6 times.

This was the longest we have lived out of a tent. Other than the rain that hung on for the first 2 and a half days, the weather was pretty good. The best part was our tent didn’t leak; we had experience with that last year.

#100happydays Day 58

Back home, our little car not quite as filled as when we set out. You can see out the windows!

I have a lot of great pictures and stories to share in the next week but now Glenis and I have to concentrate on running a half marathon up and down Blue Mountain’s ski hills tomorrow. Apparently it is calling for rain too, so it just might be nasty! It’s early to bed for the sisters!

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