11 Oct
2016
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We’ve Got Beaver Problems

We arrived at the cottage and noticed that a 30ft tree was down and leaning against the roof. At first I thought there must have been a windstorm however upon further inspection I discovered a Beaver had taken it. I pulled the tree off the roof with plans to clean it up in the morning.

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The morning arrived and I went out to clean up the tree. Well, the tree is missing. Where did it go? It was a 30 ft high poplar tree and it disappeared overnight! Fast-forward to  the next morning and I noticed another tree is down. We are dealing with super power Beaver. At this point I decided I better wrap the trees or he is going to keep taking them. After wrapping the trees I set up my trail-cam on one of the wrapped trees thinking he will surely come back to this area. I really wanted to get some photos of this magnificent creature.

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So after setting up my trail-cam I come out the next morning to find the tree that had the camera mounted on it is now on the ground. This tree was wrapped with a hard plastic mesh however the Beaver dug down into the soil and took the tree down. He is a spiteful Beaver – LOL. This is tree #3 that he has taken within a few days. At this point I still have no photos of this creature. Fortunately he left this tree and I was able to recover my camera and some nice photos of the sky. The next day I found this 20 ft tree floating in the lake some 200 ft away.

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I attempted to photograph the Beaver 4 times and could not get a decent shot. I was using IR settings with video and JPG photo setup. He is a very stealthy Beaver. After I setup my tripod I later returned and mounted the camera to a piece of wood. I was worried he may take the entire tripod and camera home.

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Finally after 5 attempts I got many shots of this magnificent creature. He is a big boy and a very diligent worker. We have searched the area looking for some evidence of where he’s coming from but have found no clues thus far. After wrapping all of the poplar trees I have seen no further evidence of Mr. Beaver. I’m sure he is not far away and some neighbor is now enjoying their own adventure.

beaver1_600We learned a lot about Beavers. If they become a nuisance you can live trap them however they can only be moved 1km away. Apparently they don’t do well outside of their established domain and may end up fighting with other Beavers for the territory. The Ministry does allow Beavers to be harvested by a licensed trapper if they are causing destruction to your property. They are magnificent creatures and live throughout the Muskoka area. Controlling Beavers on Private Land.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

23 Sep
2016
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The New Builds in Muskoka

There is an architectural renaissance happening on the Muskoka lakes with plenty of new cottage and boathouse builds. As the new money flows in people are moving away from the traditional Muskoka look to a more contemporary design. I have noticed some of the new boathouse builds have boat-slips turned into entertainment areas with pool tables, gyms, bars and large screen TVs. Here is an example of one of the new boathouses located near the top of the Joe River.

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In: boathouses of muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

06 Sep
2016
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Muskoka Article from the Wall Street Journal

There is an interesting new article out by The Wall Street Journal on Muskoka and the growth of lavish homes being built especially on the Big 3 lakes. “A new cohort of younger and wealthier buyers has discovered Muskoka, a scenic vacation area north of Toronto, creating lavish homes, helipads and a bit of local pushback.” The article features a few well known business people such as Kevin O’Leary and lesser known Patrick Dovigi who have residences in Muskoka. The original on-line article is located here but please note you may need to subscribe to get it. PDF Full Article Here

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In: historic muskoka, in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

25 Aug
2016
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6 Comments

Frolicking Otters of Muskoka

I arrived to the cottage, switched the waterfall on in the pond and within a few minutes I heard splashing and high pitched squealing. I stood and watched these three Otters perform Oylimpic level somersaults and backflips. They were having a grand old time. After a short time they noticed me standing near by and fearlessly swam up to the edge staring at me in deep curiousity. Obviously I was no threat as they continued on with their antics for the next two hours. I’m not so sure there are any frogs or fish left in the pond though.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

11 Jul
2016
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Storms Never Last

Here is a short video I made after a storm blew through the Muskoka area Friday July 8th, 2016. I sat in my dining room and watched these trees come down in the high winds. It was very surreal. We were extremely fortunate that they missed the cottage. We now have a new unobstructed view of the lake with about 30 feet of shoreline being blown out. We heard the next day that there were tornado sightings in the area. Don’t mess with mother nature – 🙂



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

27 Jun
2016
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Chicks on the Dock

Sometimes there are no words 🙂
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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

12 May
2016
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I’m Ready

The water levels have dropped and it has started to warm up a bit. For many it will be a busy season dealing with contractors to repair and rebuild the damage the high water and ice has caused. I’ve been researching the real estate market on the Big 3 lakes and can’t believe how high the property values have climbed. If you invested on these lakes I’m sure you have seen your value increase substantially over the past 10 years. Taxes too. I’m ready to start enjoying the season – starting now.

Let the Muskoka season begin

 

 



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

14 Feb
2016
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Aloha from Kauai

Aloha! It’s been an unusual season for me. Usually I’m visiting Muskoka during the winter however I must confess that I have not made it up for some time. I’m fortunate to have someone check in on the cottage for heat, water lines and mice. Im currently exploring the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Here is a photo from my helicopter ride through the rainforest in Kauai recently.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

12 Jan
2016
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5 Comments

Hello Winter

I’ve been beach bumming in the Caribbean and haven’t had the opportunity to visit Muskoka recently. Winter was slow to arrive however I think we are in it now. 🙂

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

30 Oct
2015
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Fall into Muskoka Video

This is a cool video with some drone shots around Bala, Torrance, Port Carling, and Gravenhurst areas of Muskoka. Thanks to Jon Corbin of Corbin Visual

Fall into Muskoka from Corbin Visual on Vimeo.



In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns, uncategorized

27 Oct
2015
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Unrelenting Blue Jays

Last week most Canadians were cheering for our beloved Toronto Blue Jays hoping they would make it to the World Series. Unfortunately it didn’t happen however the series was extremely exciting and it brought many people together. These past few weeks I’ve noticed other unrelenting Blue Jays frequenting the gardens to feast on the seeds from the dying sunflowers. I found it very difficult to get close for a clean shot. They seem so nervous and never stay in one place very long.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

30 Sep
2015
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2 Comments

The Lone Gull

It was a gloomy afternoon and the sun was dropping quickly with the feel of rain approaching. I teetered back and forth on whether I should go out or not. I ended up in one of my favorite areas to travel to on Lake Joseph where there is hardly any development. I noticed this rock island, shut off my engine and slowly drifted into it. There was a lone seagull who stayed with me while I shot a bunch of photos taking it all in.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

22 Sep
2015
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Florence Island on Lake Rosseau

Florence Island is located on Lake Rosseau closer to the Windermere side of the lake. My limited research tells me the island was likely named after William Jermyn Conlin (July 26, 1831-November 19, 1891) an actor who took the stage name Billy Florence after visiting Florence Italy. I was unable to find any information connecting him to the Muskoka area. He was also the co-founder of the Shriners.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

09 Sep
2015
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Ferndale Boathouses

Ferndale is one of the most visited destinations when showing people the architectural eye-candy by boat around Lake Rosseau. The property is owned by a self made Canadian Billionaire who has amassed great success in the home building business. At one time this magnificent property was called Ferndale House and later it was sold to the Canadian Keswick Conference Centre. The property now supports four boathouses along with a massive cottage mansion, guesthouse, sandy beach, sports courts and a helicopter pad. These two boathouses are relatively new additions.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

02 Sep
2015
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Android Sunflower

Happy September heatwave! – I took this shot with an Android smartphone. The lens quality in smartphones along with the many amazing photo apps have made it real easy to take decent photographs. It doesn’t take long to create a few thousand photos over time but having a way to archive them for future reference can be a challenge.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, uncategorized

26 Aug
2015
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Ouno Island Boathouse

I have been informed that there are four unique boathouses that are designed to store sailboats on the Big 3 Muskoka lakes. I often pass by this cool boathouse on Ouno Island near Clevelands House and Red Leaves Resort on Lake Rosseau. I never get tired of looking at Muskoka boathouses.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

18 Aug
2015
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Dragonflies, our Friends

Say hello to our little friend.  Dragonflies are fascinating insects. They are territorial (especially the males) and will defend against their own species and other insects. They can eat about a fifth of their body weight in prey per day, usually mosquitoes.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

08 Jul
2015
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Lake Rosseau from the Side of the Road

The sun was dropping below the horizon and I jumped out of the truck on my way back from Rosseau to grab one last shot. I like to take photos from the side of the road to give those that are passing through a perspective of Muskoka.

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In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

25 Jun
2015
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The BBQ Graveyard

I ventured out to buy a new BBQ recently. I recall the last time spending almost an entire day putting one together so I wanted to avoid that ordeal. I noticed some beauties at Muskoka BBQ located at the Glen Orchard General Store. While there I was asked if I had seen the BBQ graveyard. Thanks to Pete for the help and the walkabout in the graveyard.
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In: in and around muskoka ontario, tripin around towns, uncategorized

11 Apr
2015
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The Thaw

Thank you Savannah for allowing me to share your beautiful story. The original published in the Elephant Journal on April 7, 2015.

Six years ago on March 14th, 2015, my mother and sister traveled through the ice to their frozen death on Lake Rosseau.

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Six years ago you may have read about this tragedy on the front page of The Globe and Mail. Six years ago I was in Myrtle Beach on my friend’s family vacation thousands of kilometers away from home. Six years ago at home it was a perfect blue bird winter day—the frozen snow-packed lake calling all ice fishers, snowmobilers and March Break families out to play.

For six years I have been frozen with my mom and my sister at the bottom of the Lake, unable to let them go and unable to take them with me.

For six years I’ve been sitting at the bottom of the lake submerged by the weight of the water and all its sadness. Today marks the end of the six-year-long deep freeze: the thaw has begun.

I will begin my swim to the horizon where the water meets the air and I will take a deep breath.

When I try and picture that day out on the ice I can feel the natural beauty resonating in the refracting snowy lake light. There is purity in that frozen air that shimmers in such a magical way that you can literally feel your soul swell in your body. If you’ve experienced this, you know there’s a universal truth in this feeling.

When you’ve experienced still beauty like this it becomes engraved in your memory and when you access it, it fills you with blissful clarity. My mother once said that the best gifts in life are free. She was right; the best gifts in this life are from Mother Nature—they’re honest and unconditional.

There is truth in both light and dark places.

The truth in the light place that I just described is in the crisp, still air and the glistening snow crust and the peace that exists where they meet at the horizon.

The truth in the dark place is under 18 inches of ice and several feet of cold black water. In this truth their bodies were perfectly preserved while Mother Nature absorbed their souls into the Earth’s crust.

This is also an honest and unconditional act of Mother Nature; She took them and She’s not giving them back.

It has taken me until now to be able to hold this dark truth; they were taken and I was not.

They are dead and I am alive.

They are not supposed to be here and I am.

I was left here for a reason.

We cannot do it alone, and yet, we are all we have. How can we both be alone and together simultaneously in a truthful way? I am just beginning to understand the depths of this question.

And I know that the fact that there is truth in both light and dark places is a critical part of this balancing act. We must grow comfortable in our own skin to express ourselves and experience beauty authentically. Often that beauty is reflected in sharing experiences with others, but for it to be real, for it to resonate, we must feel the light in our own bodies alone in the dark.

We must know our contribution and our worth in just being.

Each person’s presence is undoubtedly part of the molecular makeup of this life—we are all connected in one way or another. We are all organic organisms of this earth and therefore, all part of the honest and unconditional gifts of Mother Nature.

So it is hard for me to admit, but the truth is this: my mother and sister’s death was a gift.

Losing them has given me the gift of courage, the gift of independence, the gift of empathy, the gift of true peripheral vision and the greatest gift of all—the gift of self love. I cry for them often and their tragic death has left scar tissue in my heart, but I hold these gifts in my heart too, and I am only 23.

Many people would say that what I’ve experienced is too much for a young woman. I have felt this “ too much” for six years. But, as Mother Nature’s gifts to me have become visible and tangible I am aware of a kind of spiritual wealth that I never would have imagined.

This spiritual wealth translates into person power—big energy. In this energy my frequency pulls me out of that water and I get to swim in my soul at that peaceful horizon where the water meets the air.

It is time to celebrate. I am not frozen any more. I had to pull myself out of school to begin this thaw and I don’t think I will finish any degree in the immediate future. I will continue to grow in different, maybe unconventional, learning environments.

I will continue to study yoga and deepen my own delicious practice.

I will travel and sit with Mother Nature in other parts of the world.

And, when I get out of the water completely, I will climb to my favourite horizon where the crisp, still air caresses the glistening snow crust on the peak of a mountain. When I close my eyes this is where I want to be—on the peak of a mountain with my feet grounded in Mother Nature and Heaven all around me.

Author: Savannah Robinson

 

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About Savannah Robinson
Savannah Robinson is a survivor. But, she is not particularly fond of that word. To her, the word survivor is finite – it comes with a period at the end. She has survived the tragic loss of her mother and sister. She has survived a brutal eating disorder.She has survived emptiness and self-

loathing. Savannah is done surviving. She ismoving towards thriving. Today Savannah Robinson is a 23-year-old, vibrant young woman. She’s on a mission to find happiness and abundance in everything she does. She loves to do a lot—cook, travel, eat, play guitar, sing, talk politics, art and social justice, back country, deep-powder skiing, yoga, serving tables, bartending—you name it! Of all the things she loves to do though, writing is at the top of the list. Writing is Savannah’s vehicle to share her story with you—the story of her journey out of survival mode.

 



In: in and around muskoka ontario, on the water, uncategorized

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