Having Fun or Living Dangerously?

For this post, we are going to visit Bruce Peninsula National Park which is at the top of the Bruce Peninsula here in Ontario.  We have been visiting this area for the last couple of years and thoroughly enjoy its spectacular scenery, wildlife and the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.  We camp at Cyprus Lake Campground which gives us easy access to the popular hiking trails in the park, beaches and the community of Tobermory.  Tobermory is at the top of the Bruce Peninsula that has many unique shops and services for local population and the summer tourists including the passengers of Chi-Cheemaun ferry and visitors to Flower Pot Island.

Flowerpot Island at Fathom Five National Marine Park

Flowerpot Island at Fathom Five National Marine Park

The idea of this post came to me back in July when we were visiting two of the most popular places in the park on the shores of Georgian Bay, Indian Head Cove and the Grotto.  The Georgian Bay side of the park has massive, rugged cliffs which end at the waters edge.  There is limited parking at the trail head which leads to the coast and quite often during the summer, visitors are turned away because the parking lot is full.  Indian Head Cover is very popular for swimming including those with scuba gear.  Thanks to Dianne who took the following images.

 

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The title of this post comes from the actions of some of the more adventurous park visitors.  As we enjoyed the ambiance and surroundings of the Cove, I couldn’t help but notice the individuals who were pacing back and forth cautiously peering down weighing their options and finally jumping off the 50′ (15 meter) cliffs and with camera in hand, I recorded several of the thrill-seekers.  I was desperately hoping that I wouldn’t be recording anyone miscalculating and hitting the rocks on the way down or at the bottom.

Jumper 1Jumper 2Jumper 3

There is plenty to see and photograph in the area and one morning we joined a Parks Canada guided snake-seeking hike at the Singing Sands day use area at Dorcas Bay.  The tour started in the late morning so the light was rather harsh but I was able to capture some interesting images of the local flora of the alvar habitat.

Pitcher PlantSlender-leaved SundewSlender-leaved Sundew 2Rose PogoniaSmaller Purple Fringed OrchisUnidentified PlantUnidentified PlantWood LilyWood LilyWood Lily

At one point as we walked through the area, one of the naturalists called out for everyone to stop moving!  A large Massasauga Rattlesnake was hidden close by a large rock next to a depression in the soil and we were all walking close by and even over top of it as it lay out of sight.  Our movements had caused it to retreat and we all got a look at it as it slithered away.  The Massasauga Rattlesnake is listed as threatened under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 and is currently the subject of a number of different studies on its health and welfare.

Massassauga RattlesnakeMassassauga Rattlesnake 2Massassauga Rattlesnake 3

And finally, we learned that the weather folklore saying ‘red sky at night, sailors delight’ isn’t always true since we got drenched the next morning as we packed up!

Tobermory Sunset

Tobermory Sunset

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6 Comments

  1. Rob Smith October 15, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Fantastic Arni! What a place to visit! Stunning scenery and looks like a great place to relax. Got some great shots with that last sunset capping off a beautiful series

    • Arni October 15, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Much appreciated Rob. It truly is a great place and not at all crowded like other tourist destinations in Ontario and I plan to go back at different times of the year. The last photo was an experiment using the Nik HDR plugin in Lightroom and I was pleased with the result, lens flare and all.

  2. Gayle Carlyle October 15, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Thanks Arni for the great shots. That area happens to be my favourite place in Ontario. We did get some nice “snapshots” of our trips last year and this summer but not as good as yours!

    • Arni October 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      It is one of our favourite places too with no shortage of photographic subjects. Thanks Gayle!

  3. Scott Martin October 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    These are excellent Arni and compliments to Dianne as well. It’s an area Deb & I have not visited and if she sees the pics of the rattler, we probably never will 🙂

    • Arni October 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks Scott, it is well worth the trip (3hrs for us, 4 hrs for you) despite the presence of Massassauga Rattlesnakes, which aren’t all that common and even rare.