Time to start wandering….

Quetico 02_miniTime to take that canoe off the rack, bike off the carrier, boots out of the pack, and get out there and wander through the summer…. you won’t be hearing from me until the snow flies! Or at least the frost appears! Have a great summer all!


Dragonfly Dreams

Quetico 25_miniA month after warning you about the mosquito, they are here! Did you know that besides being an annoying pest at the campground, the mosquito is also a lunchtime treat for one of my favorite insects, the dragonfly!

If you embark on a canoe trip in Quetico, you are likely to meet a dragonfly! They are usually found around marshes, lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands… all of which you can find in Quetico.


Get ready for the skeets!

Quetico 23_mini It’s time to “welcome” that ubiquitous sign of summer… the mosquito! The  screens go up, the bug dope gets purchased, and the bug shirt becomes a daily piece of apparel. What’s so great about the mosquito? Those pesky critters appear to have little value for humans… they are one of the deadliest insects on earth, responsible for the spread of malaria. A quick search finds that they do have some value as food for fish and birds. Valuable? Nope, still not convinced!

Is it Spring yet?

Quetico 03_miniSpring 2014 is taking its sweet time… the days are getting longer, but those snowflakes continue to tease us.

With those first signs of Spring, comes daydreams of a canoe trip in Quetico. Despite ice on the lakes, and occasional snowfall warnings, glimpses of new growth provide enough  incentive to plan for a canoe trip!

Now is the time to take stock, repair your gear and plan your menus. Before you know it, it will be time to put in your canoe.

Or a Tent?

Quetico 22_miniUnder the watchful eyes of the forest, and the “fun guys” who make the woods their home, it’s so nice to have a cozy tent waiting for you at the end of your wanderings in the Park.

When I canoe, I like to have a tent that accommodates twice the recommended capacity. When there are two of us, I always lobby for a four-man tent! There’s nothing like having the space to sit up, hang the lantern, and play a game of cards when the rain is falling outside.

How about a yurt?

Quetico 28_miniLily pads are wonderful neighbours along the shore. Look carefully and you will find the fish you were trying to catch, cleverly hiding in the jungle of flora that will undoubtedly leave your line in a tangled mess!

At the end of the day, consider a luxurious night in a yurt! They are available year-round and come equipped with heat and electricity.. a great alternative when it’s time to hang up the canoe and bring out the cross-country skis.

And a cabin… and a playground…

Quetico 07_miniThe Artist’s Studio at French Lake is amazing, and time spent there makes one long for their own little cabin on the lake. Add a playground to the mix, and you have a pretty awesome getaway!

Tiny homes like this are increasingly popular. Once considered a small and simple vacation spot, you can find examples of year-round homes with less than 500 square feet of living space. If your New Year’s Resolution involves leading a simple life, take a look at these little jewel boxes.

All I want for Christmas is a Canoe!

Quetico 14_miniThere’s a very cool cedar canoe right off the shores of French Lake. Imagine a canoe like this under your tree tomorrow morning!

Now that the days will begin to lengthen, we can all start dreaming about our next epic canoe trip in 2014. If you can’t make up your mind where to paddle, make Quetico your next destination!


And Berries!

Quetico 38_miniNorthern Ontario is a wonderful paradise of blueberries. Every time I visit, I seek out a patch. Locals have their secret blueberry patches, and will not reveal the location under any circumstance. I have visited the Shield Country enough times that I now have a secret patch too! Wild blueberries are quite small, but really tasty.

According to my search, bunch berries are also edible, but not as sweet. Rather than snacking on them, I just love how the red berries brighten up the forest floor.

Flower Power

Quetico 37_miniThere’s an abundance of wildflowers in Quetico. One of the wildflowers I spotted – and sketched – is Pearly Everlasting.

Pearly Everlasting gets its name from two sources. Everlasting refers to the fact that the flowers are easily preserved when cut, hung upside down, and left to dry. Pearly is derived from the plant’s species name, margaritacea, which means ‘pearl-like’.

Caterpillars use Pearly Everlasting as a host plant, and Butterflies use it as a source of nectar. What a great plant for our Parks!