The following: excerpts from my journal of last weekends camping trip in Killarney Provincial Park and a few photos too (black flies not included).
My scalp is itchy, my ears itch, my hands and face are covered in little bulls eye welts. It's black fly season, and what a season. A million zillion biting flies. I am tired of being somebody’s lunch.
One could try to look at things differently, a burgeoning abundant and bounty of life. But I am not a dragonfly and I don't eat bugs for breakfast. Okay, that may not be entirely accurate. I just had breakfast--pancakes and the quintessentially Canadian maple syrup on top. Of course, it would be entirely naive to imagine that within the course of cooking a meal, not a single mosquito, black fly, or no-see-um would have landed in, and met its demise in the delicious heat of the frying pan. The conclusion being; I probably do eat bugs for breakfast.
The whine in incessant, but briefly, for a glorious afternoon, we headed into the town of the Killarney, a glorious and nearly bug free zone where we ate the best fish and chips in the entire known universe at Herberts Fisheries. From a renovated school bus they serve fresh caught lake fish, lightly battered and deeply fried. Sitting on the wharf, dining (unhassled) with our dog at our side was a delightful novelty.
Bonus for the weekend (almost makes up for the involuntary blood donations):
Great wildlife spotting
1. A black bear gallumphing across Hwy 69.
2. Deer at the park entrance.
3. (all too common and less than welcome) racoon doing reconnaissance in our campsite.
4. Red fox (numerous sightings) that claims the park as home and trots about the campground and beach often, but not always, unseen.
5. Large snapping turtle, and small.
6. Tern, diving sea bird, pointed out by my friend Rike as NOT a common seagull.
7. Ravens, showing off their rather large vocabulary.
8. Otters, swimming.
If I could come up with four more, I would have a Christmas carol.
Delicious Entertainments Part II.
We saw a fox, a lovely fox, cat like in grace, long legged, wary, alert, dressed in a voluminous quantity of luminous red fur. We were enthralled, stopped in our tracks to to watch and stare. Dynamo, having no such sense of wonder, bounced in excitement, huffed, wheezed and hyperventilated in pure canine excitement. No appreciation of nature, I thought, as the dogs antics hurried the fox along. On second thought, considering her exuberant reaction, I'll have to admit that her appreciation surpasses mine (I don’t hyperventilate), though her thoughts about it are much different in nature.
Delicious Entertainments Part III
Swam George Lake to escape the biting flies. Cool water, green and glossy, I glide between water and sky, submerge and pull, emerge and breath. This is freedom, and carefree, and nothing can touch me. Then I see the bear. It is ambling across the diving rock. Humans, just the other side, are oblivious to its presence; the bear unconcerned by the noise, dogs, and everything else a campground contains whuffled along. So I swam in towards the rock, the better to see him.
He sees me, a large slow pale bellied fish, surfacing. It dawns on me then, that to the bear, in this state I just might look yummy. I'm tired of being yummy this weekend.
I angle away, and keep an eye on the bear as he scours the shore line.
all written on a Palm M500 and small folding logitech keyboard—the only tech I’ll take on a camping trip. The ancient palm (it’s monochrome) is tough (it once fell off my car onto pavement) and portable. I carry this all in a plastic container, and use it in any weather but a downpour. I once read Crime and Punishment on my Palm and used a Ziplock baggie to water-proof it for bathtime. I am so happy it still synchs with my new laptop and OpenOffice software.