Kingdom of Osgoode 2012

Kingdom of Osgoode 2012

Well, it’s July of another year and once again Graeme and I were able to travel to a mystical place (location) to enjoy the dancing, the sword fighting, the jousting and the many other things that were happening this weekend (July 6-8, 2012) at the Kingdom of Osgoode.

The King was there and was kind enough to inform me that some of his normal entourage were unfortunately detained and not yet present. Some mention was made of a dungeon but I cannot divulge more. Continue reading

Water Battle Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 24th, 2011

Water Battle Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 24th, 2011

This is the third year that Graeme and I have traveled to Ogdensburg, NY to photograph the various re-enactments. Our Previous postings of these events can be found at:
July 2009 – Plains of Abraham re-enactment
July 2010 – 250th anniversary of the French and Indian Wars. (WATER BATTLE)
July 2010 – 250th anniversary of the French and Indian Wars. (LAND BATTLE)

On previous occasions we had traveled to Ogdensburg for the Saturday events. For 2011, we decided to do the Sunday event. As in the previous year’s blog, the photos of the 2011 event will be uploaded as two blog entries, one focused on the water battle and the other focused on the land battle. This blog entry covers the water battle re-enactment. You will find the land battle photos, etc. here: Land Battle Re-Enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY – July 24th, 2011

Many of the participants in these re-enactments sleep out overnight in their basic white tents and cook their meals over open wood fires. It’s part of the true-to-history aspect and part of the fun and adventure although not far from the amenities of civilization.

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Group Campground – Sandbanks

P1050401-webA bunch of us headed to Sandbanks Provincial Park for the August Long Weekend. This Park is made up of two sections, a large campground with sandy beaches and the ‘banks’ which is Sandy Dunes for which you can walk for hours on. P1050402-web

Located Near Kingston Ontario and along Lake Ontario you have to act fast to get spots when the Camping Season Starts (and the Ontario Parks Reservation System Goes Online) to reserve a spot; that said we were in the group campground which you have to call directly. I can’t remember who in our group was fast enough to score of the of the two group campgrounds, but I thank them. P1050404 The Group Campground has enough room to hold numerous tents and has a large central firepit, we are also across a street and some forest from the main campsite so your very secluded. The seclusion is a plus/minus sort of deal, although your group won’t be having other campers walking through your patch of green, your also on the far side of the campground with your own ‘beach’ which pales in comparison to the main beach so to really get that “Sandbanks” feel you will need to walk across the main campground to the main beach.


Breeding Bird Survey – The Shoals Route # 175

For our second route, we would be traveling south to north along Loop Lake Road and Much Lake Road. This route lies west of The Shoals Provincial Park and is identified as The Shoals route 175. To do this route, we would ideally have the option of setting up camp in the provincial park but, for some reason, it is the last provincial park in the area to be opened in the Spring and its opening occurs a week or so later than our scheduled dates for the breeding bird survey.

Last year, a forest fire to the west of the survey route was chasing bears, wolves and other creatures into the area in large numbers, so we decided not to tent. We had looked at potential camping spots along the route and identified a couple of potentially good ones for this year.

As we traveled along the gravel road, we encountered many locations where Swallowtail butterflies were congregating at damp, sandy spots right in the middle of the road.

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Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park

20110609-033948.jpgIvanhoe Lake Provincial Park

The first day out for our Breeding Bird Survey is a long one. We begin the day at about 4 AM and drive about 1000 km. Factoring in a few stops along the way for meal, gas refills, a leg stretch or two and, of course a photographic moment or two, we aim to arrive at our destination, Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park at about 6 PM. Continue reading

Major Hill’s Park – Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa, Ontario – Day 7, May 12th, 2011

After watching the 110 foot Fair Jeanne brigantine ship going through the locks of the Rideau Canal for a bit, I headed off to Major’s Hill Park.

I had been told that there was far too much ‘infrastructure’ and not enough tulips at Major’s Hill Park so I was looking forward to seeing for myself. The first tent that I encountered, as I entered from the Rideau Canal side of the park, was a teepee of the Aboriginal Experiences folks. Hard to say that this was tulip related, but since I enjoy seeing the aboriginal demonstrations, I was happy to stop and watch. Today, the individual was demonstrating some wood carving techniques and providing demonstrations of how the interesting-looking work horse could be foot-operated to hold the materials thus leaving both hands free for the carving work.
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Blue Springs State Park – Manatee Come Back

A severe winter storm had moved though the northern US into Ontario and the Maritime Regions shutting down or disrupting air and road traffic from Chicago to New York City and points in between so we were happy to have decided to spend an extra night in Florida but had to head north today. The Manatee, which were hard to find the night before, were back in the warm spring waters in numbers when we went for another look in the morning and, with lighting coming from a different direction, they were a lot easier to see.   (Location)

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Cape Canaveral, Florida

We stayed overnight at the Jetty Park Campgrounds. Nice locations for tents but their policy of charging $10 for each additional tent made the location rather pricey considering that we were traveling with one small tent each. One of the washroom/shower buildings was closed for repair which meant that the second building was more crowded than normal. The beach and jetty though were wonderful to visit and the birds were out in number as were the fishermen on the jetty.

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Ecological Tour of Cayo Coco

Ecological Tour of Cayo Coco

Among all the flashy excursions on catamarans, swimming with dolphins, and paragliding is this little trip. For only 10 Cuban Convertible Pesos you can get on a small “Train” and get driven to various locations near the resort. One of the big benefits of this tour is that there are no windows to block your view and your travelling at a speed that is slow enough that you can get pictures of the island foliage without it streaking by.

First stop was right around the corner at a upscale Spa.

On the inside it was very impressive, with much detail put into every room to make it a nice and relaxing as possible. Apparently fountains are very calming…

Now once we got out too the back of the spa, it was a sight too see, an outdoor heated salt-water pool, hammocks, message tents and a bar serving upgraded rum.

we were only there for about 20 minutes but like me, everyone put the hammocks to good use and enjoyed the view! Did I mention I really like hammocks?

After a short rest we all got back on the train and headed to our next destination!

Oh what could it be?

Camping in Florida- St. Lucie Lock and Dam, Stuart, Florida

We were happy that we decided to go to a hotel last night. Lots of thunder, lightning and high winds overnight and a tornado was sighted west of where we would have been camping. Today, we would be setting up tent at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam campsite operated by the U.S.Corps of Engineers on the banks of the canal running eastward from Lake Okeechobee. The campground accommodates 12 units with three of the sites specifically for tents only. We happened upon the site by accident as we were intending to go to the slightly less expensive Phipps campground which is close by and much larger in area and number of sites. No complaints though. A nice location with hot showers. We got Tent site #1.   While John set up his tent and did some minor repair work, I scouted out the area and looked for possible cycling trails.

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