I spent some time wondering what to use to illustrate J but couldn’t think of anything that really fitted what this blog is about. Oh yes, there was Jay, as in Blue Jay, a ubiquitous bird in cottage country to the north of us. I’ve many shots of jays sitting on the hard drive, but quite honestly, it didn’t seem to have any ‘wow’ about it. Then this week I spent a couple of days in Algonquin Park. I was there two years ago for the fall colours and missed them by about a week. I still managed to get some reasonable shots but the landscape only hinted at what I could have seen a week before.
This year I was determined to get up there at the peak time and took a couple of days off work. But, once again it seemed that nature was conspiring against me and the weather report was just lousy. I drove up on Thursday, the 400 and Highway 11 were clear, quick and the sun was out. Oh good, I thought, maybe the forecast is wrong again – wouldn’t be the first time. But as I turned off the 11 on 60, the clouds came in, the light disappeared and drops of rain started to hit the windshield. On Friday morning the weather was worse. Clouds and mist obscured the scenery and dampened the vivid colours so that the whole place looked like a misty, damp English morning.
Then, at 10 o’clock, just as forecast by the Weather network (and how often can you say that?), out came the sun, the wind blew away the clouds and the sun struggled through. The rest of the day was glorious, cool, sunny and perfect for walking some of the many trails Algonquin has to offer.
Towards the end of the day I’d walked a couple of trails and almost packed up to go home but on the way back down the 60 towards Huntsville I decided to stop at the Whiskey Rapids trail. It was a short one, a couple of km, so I could do it before heading back. And how glad I am that I did. It didn’t have the spectacular views of some of the other trails, just meandering past a quiet river (no rapids here, although I think it would be different during the spring melt) and through the most glorious, golden woods where the sun came through the trees, the leaves carpeted the ground and there was hardly a sound to be heard except for the tapping of woodpeckers and the calling of small birds. Absolutely peaceful. If I had only walked that trail that day I would have been happy. This is why I find nature photography so rewarding. It’s more than a technical challenge, it’s a sheer pleasure to create even mediocre images in this environment.