Thursday, June 25, 2009

Duct Tape, Beaver Ponds & Mosquitoes - Northern Ontario

Photo 1: The peace symbol failed to ward off an aggressive tree, which attacked the back of my van. A sheet of plastic and roll of duct tape salvaged the rest of the photo tour.

I just did a 10 day loop through northern Ontario, heading west along the north shore of Lake Superior and then cutting back east/south along Hwy 11 through myriad of small northern towns. This was not a great trip, for several reasons:

1) The weather was crappy for much of my time along the north shore of Superior, an area with some of the finest scenery in Canada.

2) Costly mishap with the van (see photo above).

3) The mosquitoes were unbelievably bad, perhaps the worst I've experienced in Ontario (due to the cool, wet spring). I considered drinking bug spray.

3) My Canon G9 point & shoot camera was sacrificed to appease the photo gods [it fell into beaver pond]. It is now a photo "prop".

Photo 2: Red-throated Loon in Cochrane, Ontario.
I was surprised to see and get my first photos of this species.
EOS 50D & 500/4IS

Photo 3: Early morning in the Temagami area (after a night with only 2 hours sleep, due to mosquitoes which found their way into my camper).
EOS 1DsIII, 17-40mm lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad

Photo 4: Beaver swimming in the same pond where my Canon G9 learned to swim.
EOS 1DsIII; 500/4 IS lens & 1.4x teleconvertor

Photo 5: Snapping Turtle laying eggs on roadside.
EOS 1DsIII, 17-40mm lens, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer


  1. That's it now I have to go north too. You are making me add too much to my list of to do's. :)
    That bad tree needs to be spanked LOL

  2. Ethan,
    I've been following your blog for a while. Just wanted to let you know that your photography is great, and that it's fun to keep up with your adventures; especially with your VW!
    All the best,
    Steve Hill

  3. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Very COOL Loon!!!! I didn't know that they even existed! I grew up camping and traveling along the north shore - it's a piece of my favourite ON geography.
    Too bad re the van but at least it's not a mechanical issue!

  4. Anonymous7:49 PM

    Ouch! Hate it when those trees jump out at you. Sure it wasn't a big mosquito? We were boating in the North Channel once when we heard a droning sound coming through the companionway. Thought it was a boat coming our way. When I went to check, it was actually hundreds of hungy mosquitos looking for a gap in the screen. Only takes one of those pesky beggars to keep you up al night. Great pictures, though.

  5. Been there, done that with a tree! And a boat!

  6. Carolyn1:07 AM

    Well, as bad as things got, they could've been much worse. At least you were able to drive away, and it wasn't your 500m lens that fell into the water. And now you have more adventure stories to add to your collection. ;)

    Looks like you were able to squeeze some lemonade out of the rest of the trip as well, if the images you've posted are any indication...nice!

  7. Hi Ethan,
    Nice work!
    A past photo student just emailed about your recent Tobermory photo workshop. He was VERY happy with your session. Good work.

    I have spent a lot of time in Northern Ontario and those bugs are horrendous whether it's a wet or dry summer. We used to call it Onterrible because of the bugs.

    To survive the bugs I used to eat copious amounts of garlic so it leaked out of my pores, reduced sugar and completely covered myself in clothing - including a t-shirt over my head with eyes peeking out the head hole turned into a slit with sleeves tied behind my head.

  8. Makes me miss my old photographic equipment.


    I will check back again!

  9. Thanks for the sharing of such information. we will pass it on to our readers. This is a great reading. Thanking you

    Plastic Ducting