Friday, April 8, 2011

Winter's retreat

 The sun has been shining and as I traveled across the countryside my heart was singing on Wednesday. I so love the sun and the signs of spring.

When I arrived at the top of the "mountain" as we call the big hill that is the centre of Ontario's largest skill resorts, I was dazzled by the signs of ice leaving the Bay.

Much to my dogs dismay because I wouldn't let them out of the car to wander at will, I was compelled to find a spot to park and take some pictures.  Here is part of Collingwood - the old grain elevators no longer used, clearly visible. At one time they marked a harbour terminal that was filled with ship-building. It was also the headquarters for Canada Steamship Lines and huge "lakers" those amazing long ships (you might recall the song the Wreck of the Edmund Fitgerald by Gordon Lghtfoot about a lake boat) moving in and out with shipments of grain, coal and oil headed east and to the world from our western provinces. In a previous post I showed ice fishing - which was also current in those early 1800s and 1900s.

Wasaga Beach lies in the distance lined with snow instead of the 14 miles of sand that one sees in all seasons except winter. It is as beautiful if colder in winter as in other seasons.

A huge pan of ice floats in the Bay and moves in and out with the wind. Unfortunately my camera couldn't catch the intensity of the blue with the white icepan sparkling against it. It was clearly a most remarkable sight - one I see often as winter leaves this region giving way to an incredible growing season. I am always thrilled by this remarkable demonstration of nature at work.

This is truly one of the most beautiful parts of Ontario(in my opinion anyway). Half wild and full of forests, wetlands, streams and abandoned fields. The other half is dotted with golf courses, resorts, cottages and ski chalets, villages and towns, well-groomed apple and cattle farms.

The Bay influences it all - weather, industry (mostly tourism now split with apples and cattle)and the local economy. Over it all is the magnificence of long views, or micro images of an apple tree leaf with its "mouse ear" beginnings. It also is home to many bird nesting areas, the Bruce Trail's ecosystems, wonderful boating such as sailing and kayaking, as well as fishing - both commercial and recreational - so very much there really is too much to list.

It is enough to say it's beautiful - whatever the season or the weather - as you can see in these photos of the Bay during changing seasons.

May beauty fill your day.

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