I heard good things about the Lake of Bays Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Baysville, Ontario located on the south end of the Lake of Bays. We were privileged to take a little tour, sampled product and stocked up on some palatable liquid assets. (love the coffee & chocolate infused Mocha Porter) This microbrewery is owned by a very impressive 25 year old. I love to see thriving businesses like this in little communities and I always try to support them.
On the way back to the cottage we passed a sign with an arrow, “Fairy Falls” – that away. A quick jaunt down a side road and an easy walk through a trail that follows alongside the Muskoka River and your there. A few minutes in and I lost my navigator to the swarming black flies as he scurried back to the parking lot like a spooked Sasquatch. I wouldn’t really classify this as a significant water falls however maybe rapids would be a more suitable description. In spite of the killer fly attacks I held my ground and managed to get some photos. I have included a little experimental 53 second video that I made with my smart phone followed by the final photo below.
It was one of those murky days as I made my way through the town of Dorset and noticing the S.S. Bigwin steamship moored at the town docks with not a soul around.
A little history – In 1910 James Kuhn a Pittsburgh, PA industrialist launched a steamship on Lake Muskoka named after his wife Ella Marie. They spent their summers on Belle Isle (recently destroyed) just north of Beaumaris on Lake Muskoka. After experiencing financial difficulty the Ella Marie was sold some 15 years later and relocated to the Lake of Bays where she served as the ferry boat for Bigwin Island for the next 45 years.
At 66ft in length and a registered 25 tons the S.S. Bigwin would carry guests such as Clark Gable, Louis Armstrong, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo and many other famous people out to the world-class Bigwin Inn on Bigwin island. Around 1970 the Bigwin Inn went out of business and the steamship was left to rot in her slip. In 1991 the Dwight Fire Department floated her to a local dock and then hauled her onto a property in Port Cunnington where restoration started in 2002.
The S. S. Bigwin was relaunched again on July 10, 2010.
The Bigwin Floats Again
I recently discovered my photos showing up on a Facebook page promoting a local Muskoka magazine. How I ended up on that Facebook page is another story. They opted about 3500 people into their group without anyones knowledge or permission, very surreptitious. Anyhow, I am honored that people like my photos and share them with friends however in this case I noticed something rather peculiar. The watermarks I normally use to promote this blog were missing and replaced with someone else’s name. That’s odd I thought and started thinking maybe someone took a similar photo but as I continued to search I found additional photos of mine with someone else’s name.
As I dug into it I discovered many other peoples photos were being ripped off as well. What reputable magazine would operate like this I thought? Especially when the person posting and accepting comments as their own work claims they are a photographer and graphics artist. Well it continued and I ended up getting a lawyer to fire off a cease and desist order to stop this nonsense. They stopped, however the editor and owner of the Muskoka Mirror, Mr. Brian Seater didn’t have the gonads to step up and take action or apologize. We did hear reports he was “out of the country” however he continued to hit the like button, make comments and add people to his Muskoka Mirror Group on Facebook. His choice in managing this situation is to hide and hope it goes away, after all its only a bunch of photos, right? I wonder how Muskoka Mirror advertisers would feel about these deplorable tactics? Oh, I did receive several responses from the lady who’s name appears on the photos. She claims, “it was a innocent error with the photos being sent through our routine watermarking process”. Huh? I’m now responsible for ruining someones marriage, job and life turning me into the bad guy. I’m disheartened that no one took any action or responsibility in this matter.
** Innocent error = go to Blog, download photos, remove watermarks, add your name, re-post on-line, take compliments for your new work, bad mouth the original owner
I’m not particularly adept at identifying birds however I would hazard to guess that this little guy is some sort of
Sparrow? (Update it is a Pine Siskin – thanks Ellen) He ( I’m assuming it’s a he) spent the entire weekend pecking, drooling, fluttering and doing the mambo in our windows proudly admiring his pulchritudinous reflection. After a few hours this little routine became annoying so what to do but shoot him .. with a camera that is.
I went for a little adventure up to High Falls near Bracebridge hoping the water would be rushing over like a mini Niagara. High Falls is fed by the north branch of the Muskoka River and is one of the steepest falls in Ontario. The area is actually a park with washrooms, picnic tables and BBQ’s setup. The gates were closed when I arrived so I had to perform some rudimentary ninja navigation techniques to get in, Shush! Here is a Map