Isaac Lake, Bruce Peninsula

By James MacDougall

Today I had the pleasure of discovering for myself yet another corner of the Bruce Peninsula. This time my travels took me North-West of Wiarton to Petrel Point. On the way I saw this magnificent marshland.

bog-001

bog-002

Watersnake at Isaac Lake
Watersnake at Isaac Lake

Edward Gardens

By James MacDougall

Each week I do at least one photo-travel-shoot with a friend, (Usually Ray) this one was with April AKA Sublime Polyester on Flickr. April is a talented jewellery designer, graphic artist and photographer to boot!

This time I went to Edward Gardens in Toronto, the home of a former estate and now a public garden and park with plenty of floral displays, rock gardens and trails including an old water wheel.If you are visiting you will find it at the corner of Lawrence and Leslie in North York (MAP). For hikers and bikers it is of note that trails from here extend through ravines as far as the lakeshore!

It was a hot day in May, one of the first we’ve had this year and nice to be outdoors after our too long winter. April is taking a photography class related to her work and got me up to speed on using my camera with manual settings much more efficiently. Since this trip I have been experimenting more with shutter-speed, f-stops and ISO settings in manual.

Bark
Bark
Tulip curves
Tulip curves
Fountain
Fountain
Lily, Edward Gardens
Lily, Edward Gardens

Abandoned

By James MacDougall

When I was a child there was an abandoned farm house across the road from my Uncle’s farm. The house looked angry in it’s dilapidated state. The overgrown weeds that throttled the yard, the weather-worn boards that clung to the deranged frame, the shards of glass from broken windows all said “Beware: Keep Out”, but they also said “I Dare You!” I was too young and too afraid to go inside, but I was curious. My older more daring cousins would go in and explore.  I waited anxiously outside, listening to the cracking boards and rustling pigeons as the older kids rooted and probed intruding through the innards of the corpse-like house. Ultimately the stillness would be interrupted by a yell or cry followed by hysterical laughter and a torrent of footsteps as kids made a mad dash out the doorway. Then the stories were told, of strange shadows and glimpses of faces in dark corners, of whispering voices and sounds from the basement. We would all run back across the road to my Uncle’s farm looking from safety at the dead house grey and wizened under the same sun that shone on us.

This is a series I did of three abandoned places inspired by my fascination with forlorn buildings.

Abandoned-01
Abandoned-01
Abandoned-02
Abandoned-02
Abandoned-03
Abandoned-03

Return to Spirit Rock

By James MacDougall

A few weeks ago Ray and I visited the Corran at Spirit Rock Conservation Area. We returned yesterday and went on the trail to the lookout.  Along the trail there is an area that opens up into a grassy “orchard”. It is a wild and abandoned but you can make out what might be cherry or apple trees as well as some of the lost children of the rose garden that once grew there.

Wild Rose Bush, Corran Grey-Bruce
Wild Rose Bush, Corran Grey-Bruce
Wild Rose Bush, Corran Grey-Bruce
Wild Rose Bush, Corran Grey-Bruce

There was a grove of birch trees that we passed. When I was very young my mother collected birch bark from the road side. later she would  cut patterns out of it and sew together tiny birch bark canoes and tee-pees. Spirit Rock is associated with a tragic “Indian Princess” legend. The story is that a young native woman fell in love with a member of a rival tribe and the following tribulations ended in her leaping off the cliff to her demise at Spirit Rock. On stormy nights when the lightning flashes ‘they’ say that her face can be seen profiled in the cliffs. Most of these Indian Princess stories seem to have been the creations of white settlers rather than actual native lore.

Birch at Spirit Rock
Birch at Spirit Rock

The lookout is fairly overgrown with cedar trees but a view of Colpoy’s Bay with it’s clear, almost tropical blue, water can be seen.

Spirit Rock Lookout over Colpoy's Bay
Spirit Rock Lookout over Colpoy’s Bay
Spirit Rock Lookout over Colpoy's Bay
Spirit Rock Lookout over Colpoy’s Bay

Abandoned fork-lift

By James MacDougall

The bitter irony of a fork-lift stuck in the mud. A fork-lift of course is a machine for lifting heavy objects, but is itself an object so heavy it cannot be easily lifted.

I wonder how long it has been stuck in this field gathering moss and shedding rust?

Abandoned Fork-lift Walter's Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift Walter’s Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift Walter's Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift, dials, Walter’s Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift Walter's Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift, detail, Walter’s Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift Walter's Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift, dial, Walter’s Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift Walter's Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift-detail, Walter’s Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift Walter's Falls
Abandoned Fork-lift, Walter’s Falls

Walter’s Falls: The Old Mill

Walter's Falls
Walter’s Falls

By James MacDougall

Yesterday my friend Ray and I went out to Walter’s Falls another place in the Grey Bruce area that I have never visited. It’s out past Bognor in an isolated part of the county about midway between Chatsworth and Meaford. What we found there was a 14 metre high waterfall (as was to be expected at a place named ‘falls’), the shell of an old woolen mill, the scattered, rusting parts of an old saw mill, a forklift that got mired in the muck one day and was left abandoned ever since, an inn & spa, the Bruce Trail and some very imaginative wood carvings.

The story of Walter’s Falls begins in 1852 when John Walter of Toronto claimed 300 acres of land on the south branch of the Bighead River.  A saw mill was built in 1853 and the town grew up around this. By 1865 the town had a grist mill, a woolen mill, a post office, a tavern, a blacksmith, a wagon maker, two carpenters, a millwright and a tinsmith. 1 The village had a population of about 200 people in 1887.The sawmill  remained until it burned down on October 15, 1984.

Old woolen mill, Walter's Falls
Old woolen mill, Walter’s Falls
Old woolen mill detail, Walter's Falls
Old woolen mill detail, Walter’s Falls
The dam, Walter's Falls
The dam, Walter’s Falls
The dam, Walter's Falls
The dam, Walter’s Falls

 

Notes:

  1. Hubbert, Mildred (1983). The Paths that Led to Holland, Vol 1. Canada: The Historical Society of Holland Township. p. 1

Moon Shot II

Another attempt at capturing the moon. The sky is very clear but it’s difficult to get sharp focus at that range without a telescopic lens.

the Moon
The Moon. By James MacDougall

Wookie

Skater Wookie
Skater Wookie. Copyright James MacDougall

The Dog Walker

dog-walker

I took this  January 2015 early in the morning. Copyright James MacDougall.

Highland Cow

Highland Cow, Graphite by JamesMacDougall
Highland Cow, Graphite by JamesMacDougall