Archive for the ‘Flora and Fauna’ Category

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.

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 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!

Forest Friends

Quetico 39_miniThe forest floor is full of interesting fungi. Don’t randomly pick mushrooms for your meal. Always use a field guide, or even better, take a course. Add a dash of levity…

“Why do the Mushrooms get invited to all the parties?’

Cause they are fungi’s!

“Why did the fungi leave the party?

‘Cause there wasn’t mushroom!

You’re welcome!

Along the shore

Quetico 27_miniI always enjoy paddling my canoe as close to the shore as I can. It has little to do with the fear of a big lake… unless the wind is howling and the whitecaps are kicking up!

Rather, it’s all about the interesting things that also like to be close to shore. Tree stumps on their way to becoming driftwood…  gulls taking a rest from the wind and sun… ancient rocks with a century of wear on them… a great way to spend a lazy day on the water!

Take a hike

Quetico 20_mini A canoe trip can be made memorable by the portage. Long and arduous or short and muddy, these breaks between the lakes will make you think about the folly or the foresight of your trip. Quetico has some corduroy roads that keep you from slipping and sliding while carrying your canoe and pack. When you portage between the lakes, take some time to enjoy the nature around you.