Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trip photos: New Brunswick - The Camp

We stayed at the cottage for a few days, which was a nice escape. In New Brunswick, as in Northern Ontario, they call it the camp, not the cottage. We couldn't even get cell service there (which was, frankly, a treat grumble, grumble, newspapers which call or email journalists at all hours grumble), though we did have a weird assortment of satellite TV, when it was too cold in the evenings, even by a campfire. There was a channel which appeared to play strictly reruns of The Littlest Hobo, complete with vintage ads, for instance.* We went canoeing and took photos on the lake. Let me tell you that trying to position a canoe for a photographer who insists on sitting in the stern and stalking loons is no mean feat. RJH sorted through his old things (photographic equipment, archery supplies and old photos) while I followed a frog around taking his photo.

duck lily pads dragon fly lily pads lily pads cottage frog frog with canoe

We went out of a hike in the woods to a place where RJH had found a waterfall. We pulled down an abandoned logging road and - in a very successful instance of animal spotting and identifying - I said, "Bear!" A full grown black bear was in the middle of the road, less than 10 m ahead. RJH stopped the car and said, "Don't get out." It was my turn to think he was crazy. "Of course not. Do you think I'm crazy?" I said, as he got out the drivers' side so he could grab the appropriate camera and lens from the back seat. The bear did not like the looks of this and reluctantly sauntered off before RJH could get a photo. We waited a bit and pulled forward. RJH found the vole that the bear had been eating (and the apparent reason for his reluctance to leave). He asked (RJH, not the bear or dead vole) whether it was such a good idea to go for a hike, since we saw the bear. I said I thought it was fine. Bears don't like people and he knew we were there. Plus he went right and we were headed to the left. So we entered the woods, making sure we weren't too quiet. I shot more photos of frogs, while RJH took long exposures of the small waterfall.

 frog frog woods near Woodstock

When we repeated the story about the bear, everyone seemed surprised I agreed to go in the woods. I think they suspected a city girl would be afraid of a bear. But, it was a black bear, which are pretty common in Ontario - it's not like it was a brown bear (Ursus arctos horribilis, the Grizzly bear) or a polar bear, neither of which I would like to meet in the wild**. I mean, I wouldn't like to get within a couple of metres of a black bear, or find one in my home, but when I was a kid, we used to go to the dump, in cottage country, simply to go watch the bears. It's not like it was a moose, I joked to RJH. We had dinner at his sister's place, which is basically in the woods. On our way home, in the dark, we saw five deer, a fox and of course, a moose. I was pretty good with the animal spotting. I said, "Deer!" and "Fox!" on cue (and, for that matter, "Cat!"), but mostly I said, "There!" and pointed. We we ended up on a narrow gravel road and came across the moose, what I actually said was "Whoa, whoa!" which was pretty inarticulate, but RJH saw it as soon as I did and we weren't driving very fast. The moose was pretty surprised to see us, in the middle of nowhere, after dark. She looked over her shoulder incredulously and took off. We told his family how we had seen the bear, the moose, five deer, the fox and four frogs, all in one day. RJH seemed to think it was hilarious I included the frogs on this list. I don't know why. Small amphibians are animals too. Though, I suppose I didn't list all the birds. Like ducks and woodpeckers are a given.

 *For non-Canadian readers, this was a show of my youth, about a stray German Shepherd who wandered around saving lives and solving problems (low-risk 80's TV show type problems). I'm not even kidding. "Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down... until tomorrow, I'll just keep going on..."

 **Yes, I do know that the chances of meeting either in New Brunswick are essentially nil.

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