Saturday, October 12, 2013

Views of Rice Lake

This bend in the highway occurs just before you reach our driveway, on the left hand side of the road. This graveled area is a turn off spot so that local residents can get to their mail boxes. Along the lane going straight ahead on the left hand side are several cottages bordering the lake like a little string of pearls. The blue at the end of the lane is the lake with a right curve to follow the edge of the lake. 

I truly do live across the highway from the lake.

The weather lately has been beautiful - warm and sunny - Indian Summer we used to call it when I was a kid. It's brought out the explorer in me. Though I've lived outside of Port Hope, a town on Lake Ontario about 30 minutes south-west of here, and wandered all around the lake 15 or so years ago, I've forgotten much of what has obviously been here for years.

The lake is ringed with cottages. Cheek by jowl. Some of the tinier cabins are obvious holdovers from the 30s and 40s and were at one time fishing and hunting camps. There are many small cottage businesses - several lakeside or near the lake, clustered around a main building or "office" with cottages of one room or three rooms - two of them being bedrooms. And now the "McMansions" as a fellow blogger calls the larger homes, or weekend retreats, (certainly not cottages), are creeping in.

The above photo shows one of a group of small cottages along the water's edge in Harwood. You can see a smaller RV park across the inlet.

This little lane projects out into the water and appears to be a bridge to a small island... there is an ice warning sign just beyond the edge of my photo. This lane is posted as Private Property and No trespassing! A family enclave perhaps?

Over the roof of a cottage right at the edge of the water in the village of Harwood, you can see here, the remains of the historic Cobourg to Peterborough rail road that once skipped and jumped from island to island across the lake obviously on pilons and a rickety (to me it would have been) wooden rail road bridge. Two anglers cross the water in a small motorboat just beyond. Apparently people unfamiliar with the lake still get caught on the remains of the bridge.

Originally considered in 1831, due to the Upper Canada  Rebellion in 1837, it wasn't completed till 1859, but was one of the first railway lines in Central Ontario and at the time the longest trestle bridge in the world. (information courtesy Wikipedia).That must have been something to see.

This is a view of the lake, which in many places seems like a long narrow river running from northeast to southwest, taken from the top of Lilac Valley Road, which is a minute or two from my home, and one of the routes I take to move south through the network of sideroads, lanes and county roads to Lake Ontario and the towns of Cobourg, Colborne and Port Hope. 

Taken from the same spot - but with a closer look, this farm is perched high enough to see the lake and the communities beyond. Peterborough's lights can be seen at night in the north west, and even in this photograph you can see villages nestled in the rolling hills of Northumberland county.

Rice Lake is similar to a bright ribbon in the centre of the county. It is connected to Lake Ontario by the Trent Waterway which runs from Trenton a city and military base spreading along Ontario's banks and into the country as a way to reach Georgian Bay. The Trent uses canals and locks and natural water ways - rivers and lakes - to eventually move boats (and historically, goods) into Georgian Bay and the upper Great Lakes - Huron and Superior. One of the items on my bucket list is to take a houseboat onto parts of the Trent waterway - what a holiday and adventure that would be.

And so to all who read this - I hope you have enjoyed the glimpse of my new neighbourhood, and also that you have a very happy Thanksgiving! To others not celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend - may you be blessed with good fortune and happiness as well.


  1. It looks beautiful, Barbara! I hope you & your pets settle in well. I'm surprised the leaves aren't further along. But it has been a warm fall so far.

  2. Thank you for stopping by Melissa - the hills in this pat of Ontario are simply beautiful - and yes the colour is slow to arrive this year. but a couple of frosty nights and sunny days and we'll see some spectacular colour - hopefully anyway. Was so delighted with your story on Long Island recently, and look forward to your New York stories about urban wildlife. Since were enjoying Thanksgiving here this weekend- I'm with my boys at one of my son's partner's cottage - it is a great time to say thank you to you for your blog and observations.