Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Yuletide Tidings
It’s time to turn it down a few notches and enjoy some time off. We are pointed due south and with some luck and a good breeze we should have the quintessential rum concoctions figured out and dancing in the green hues of the Grand Cayman sunset before the turkeys ready.
Wishing you all peace, love, health, happiness and success in 2010 – Ed
Most of the small lakes are frozen over now and the shorelines of the large lakes have started to show coverage as well. Of course its way to early to walk or take the sled on them however you know someone will try. The amount of snow around the Muskoka area in unbelievable. The old timers say there has not been that much snow in December since the 1930’s
Well I must confess I missed the big blast of weather in Muskoka this past week. And you knew we were eventually going to pay for the fair weather autumn we enjoyed. Not one to normally shy away, I started on my way up north and then heard the road closure reports. Muskoka and area received a 100cm or a 3 foot plus dumping within a couple of days. Many roads were closed down so I decided to stay back. I guess I was snowed out. I monitored a few blogger friends like Jenn Jilks and her very informative MyMuskoka . Jenn was right on top of things providing pics, video footage and great commentary.
Someone flipped the switch and we turned into Baffin Island.
Most cottagers have vanished now with only the retiree troopers and the local yokels left to hold down the fort.
The deer will soon be trotting across the lake looking for dessert. Yup cover up those cedar trees Mable.
The bubblers are in – let the season begin (and end soon)
For those of you that enjoy High Dynamic Range Photography there is a new website that features HDR Photographers from all over the world. HDR Spotting was started by Trey Ratcliff one of my favorite HDR photographers. I have been fortunate to have a few of my photos featured on this cool site.
This is a typical scene that you would see while driving around the Muskoka area.
Campbell’s Landing just off Hwy #169
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I decided I would take the long way home and drove through Bala early this morning. It was dead quiet and I noticed an empty Bala Bay Inn parking lot so I did a little u-turn and headed back for a few quick snaps.
The Bala Bay Inn was built in 1910 by Ephraim Browning Sutton from Leads in Yorkshire, England. Initially it was named The Swastika Hotel and due to the unpolitical correctness of the times it was renamed to the Sutton Manor in the early ’30s. In 1945 the name was changed to The Bala Bay Lodge, and in 1998 to The Bala Bay Inn.
E.B. Sutton died in room #319 of the hotel in 1917 and many of the staff and patrons say the Inn is haunted by him. There are Muskoka ghost tours and even seances that have been held here for you paranormal types.
Please click on the image for a 1280 pixel sized photo
The last photo featured an abandoned old farmhouse and a cool looking tree alongside highway 400. This is a wide angled shot that shows a barn on the property. I am uncertain if the barn is still in operation however it appears to be in decent condition. If you were looking out the window of the farmhouse you would have a direct view of the ski hill and lifts.
Please click on the image for a small mountain sized photo
I have been driving by this abandoned old farm house on highway #400 for years now. The traffic was light Sunday morning so I pulled over and took a few quick snaps, sans tripod. I don’t recall when it was last occupied. Most cottagers that travel on Hwy #400 which was once referred to as “the extension” would see this place neatly tucked in the field near Mt. St. Louis.
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Down by the side of the road near Gravenhurst, Ontario
Cloudy skies and dead fruit flies
Waving goodbye with tears in my eyes …
~ John Prine
This photo was taken about the peak of this years Muskoka autumn colours.
I am still holding onto the fall season however we all know whats coming soon.
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Many cottagers that take highway #400 will be familiar with a place just south of Port Severn called Waubaushene Ontario. You cannot see the town or village from the road as its nicely isolated from the highway. I did the obligatory main street drive and at the very end of the street found this walkway that reached out onto Georgian Bay.
Up on the north end of Lake Rosseau there is a cool looking boathouse and old house or cottage up on the rock.
It appears they have been rebuilding the house/cottage for the past few years. Not sure of the history.
Just a quick snap while passing by.
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Ever since I was a young boy
I’ve played the silver ball
From Huntsville down to Barrie
I must have played them all …
Just a few doors down from The Kee I could not resist a little peek inside the Balacade. It was like a journey back in time (gee now I’m dating myself) with vintage pinball machines and games crammed into the small room. Balacade is an arcade shop that was started in Bala Ontario over 50 years ago and is still run by the original owner Paul Arney and his wife Patricia. Please click on the pic or HERE for a biggie 1280 pixel photo
It was early morning and the sun was just starting to creep up when I walked onto the Joesph River Bridge looking due west.
It was cool and crisp with a nice fog coming off the water. The lake has given up her warmth.
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Driving around the back roads of Muskoka I recently found this old stone crypt near Torrance, Ontario.
I discovered this is the final resting place for William Odell Darling Pine Whiting and family. (Boy, they had long names back then) W.O. Whiting was from England and fell in love with Muskoka in 1885 when he was returning to Toronto while serving with the Northwest Grenadiers after the Riel rebellion.
He later returned in 1892 and bought a large piece of beachfront stretching from Sandy Point to Coulter’s Narrows on Lake Muskoka. William built a 210 room, 4-story hotel called the Brighton Beach Hotel which was a replica of a hotel back in Brighton Beach England. Unfortunately the hotel burned down before it ever opened. Later, William and his wife Clara Cronkhite built a second smaller hotel named the Brighton Beach II which operated for a short while until it burned down in 1917.
Here is a good article about the Whiting family called; Ninety-Three Muskoka Summers
Its quite common to see rock cuts through the granite outcroppings around Muskoka or Northern Ontario. In order to make roads you have to blast them out. This is Peninsula Road near Minett, Ontario. Most of the trees have started to shed however there are still some vibrant colors hanging on.
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Going Green – another photo from the Cranberry Fest.
I noticed this dude in his electric tricycle thingy cruising down the road in the CranFest traffic.
The Organ Grinder Klaus seen at the Bala Cranberry Festival this past weekend
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The 25th annual Cranberry festival was on in Bala, Ontario this past weekend. I don’t recall seeing crowds like this at the Cranfest before. Usually its cold and rainy so I think the sunshine brought many people out to Muskoka this year.
More photos to follow soon.
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