Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wisconsin ... it's nice

I've been in rural Wisconsin a few times recently.

Wisconsin is more than the World Capital of Water Parks.

(I believe the Interstates were only built to connect the water parks.)

It's more than beautifully-groomed cows, and Amish buggies double-parked at the local Wal-Mart.

It's humble, sweet and loveable.

And of course, there are the cranberries.
Warrens is the site of the annual Cranberry Festival (aka Cranfest) ...

The grandest collection of vendors, craftsies and crazies you ever did see.
The caramel-dipped, chocolate-covered cranberries are delicious.
Know your cranberry bog ....

And never stand on the tracks where trains take them away.
There are puppies in the parks ... and sunsets.

Very nice.

The penny drops....

So when you were a kid, didn't you always wonder why a Crayola crayons box had so many shades of brown in it?

In a box of 48 crayons, there were burnt umber, sienna, crimson.

In a box of 100 crayons--and yes, I knew a kid who had such a treasure--there were two shades of cinnamon, amber, tan, beige, scarlet.

Only as an adult do you realize why you would need such an infinite variety of colors that seem to be drawn from just one corner of the palette.

It's called ... Fall.


The island...

No summer is long enough.

The sweetest joy as each Ontario summer piles upon summer, is taking friends secret places they've never been.

A secret place shared is never erased.

No imaging scheme, no gigabyte stick has yet been invented that can lock the bubbling curve of one August afternoon's light, time, water and rock quite so well as the human heart.

We ... were ... there.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Harris Bay...

If you recognize the landmark rock in this photo, you are among the very lucky humans who have found ... Harris Bay.

How many kayaks, canoes, bass boats long for this perfect place?

For some of us it is a cove, an amazing landscape, that begins adventures.

It is the backdrop to laughter, friends, lovers, wading sheepdogs. It is Ontario summer. Maps, backpacks and beer. It arcs over decades.

When I remember a writer's line about "that high late summer sunshine, the lap of cool water on a hot rock and a perfect curve of time" ... this is the rock that always materializes in my imagination.

The rock rules over a lake at which there is always a wildly beautiful, rocky campsite ... waiting.

Nothing I have seen or photographed in the last five days prepared me for my visit to Harris Bay today.

I went there to photograph the landmark rock for a friend I hoped to take there. He likes rocks. It is ... or was ... a perfect place.

It was eaten by a tornado five days ago.

Can nature devour your past in a snap second?

A tree fell in this forest.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Tornado in Combermere

Opeongo Trail Resort, Combermere ON

Tornado upgraded to Level 2

Environment Canada resassesses twister in Combermere based on photographs ... winds 181 to 240 kph

Tornado upgraded to Level 2
Environment Canada reassesses twister in Combermere based on photographs

The town was savaged by a Level 2 or "strong tornado" with winds from 181 to 240 km/h, Geoff Coulson, an Environment Canada meteorologist, said yesterday.

Based on the amount of damage -- healthy white pines were snapped off and de-barked -- winds probably topped out at about 200 km/h.

The upgrade is based on the photographs taken Thursday and discussions between a tornado researcher in Toronto and an investigator on location.

The worst of the damage was through the resort area and into the town, a swath 300 to 400 metres wide and two to four kilometres long.
--Ottawa Citizen

Combermere bay near docks and marina

Combermere, intersection of Hwy 62 and Old Barrys Bay Rd

Kamaniskeg Lake

Looking north from Hwy 62

South Kamaniskeg Lk Rd

Combermere, Opeongo Trail Resort area from Hwy 62

Brook and waterfall area, South Kamaniskeg Ld Rd

Houses, S. Kamaniskeg Lk Rd near Sand Bay camp

View from scenic overlook on Hwy 62 is stripped of most large trees

Uprooted trees collapsed on cottage and car, S. Kamananiskeg Ld Rd

Hydro crews work behind Sand Bay Camp on South Kamaniskeg Lake Rd

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Combermere tornado

Combermere is about 30 miles southeast of Algonquin Park on highway 62 ... additional storm damage views of Combermere and Kamaniskeg Lake area in next 25 photos.




Combermere bridge area

A summer storm....

A summer storm can be beautiful... frightening ... awesome ... powerful ... amazing ... destructive....
The road in to the cottage can be even more exciting than usual.
.. But bad things happen.

These photos were taken in Combermere, Ont, around the bridge over the Madawaska River this morning.