Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rice Lake - autumn

This past week for the first time ever, I was given the opportunity and gift to be taken around a large part of Rice Lake to see the shoreline from the water but also in search of loons which my new friends and neithbours had spotted the day prior. Their boat was perfect for a day on the lake
 The lake is long and lean 23 miles long and only three miles wide at its widest - with several bays, inlets, shoreline swamps filled with cattails, and more than twenty islands. At some point in its history it was apparently more like a long wide river than shallow lake, great for fishing and hunting birds, and attracting many people to the small fishing camps and cabins that were erected in many places around its edges.

The colours were beautiful that day, it was very warm, and since the lake was still-calm, the reflections were beautiful even when disturbed by passing boats or the huge flock of probably 150 cormorants, marauding the minnows in a shallow bay. This invasive species threatens fish stock. It has no natural predators and appears to breed indiscriminately also devastating small islands where vegetation is quickly killed or removed by the perching birds dirty nesting and resting habits.

 In this photo you can see a few of the cormorants in the open water off the point and some blackspots in the lee of the point being harassed by a gull. One has risen into the air above the point and is heading for new feeding grounds.

Ahead of us we've spotted loons, unfortunately my camera has not got a long lens, and the tiny black spots and white bodies only can be seen in this photo with a magnifying glass. The reflection in the still water close to shore is far more brilliantly coloured than it seems in this photo - this area has not yet reached its peak.

Finally I was fast enough to be able to catch this lovely bird before it ducked again and taunted us swimming around in circles under the water, sometimes appearing closer and more often at some distance. All in all we saw a family of three, a pair and several single birds as we traveled around.

A lovely morning enjoying friendship and the beauty of this area as well as gaining a different perspective of the landscape. Such a treat. Autumn is lovely in Ontario,

Hope you get to enjoy being outdoors in what remains of fall before Old Man Winter and Jack Frost come storming across our landscapes.

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