Kejimkujik National Park of Canada

14 01 2011

In the fall we visited Kejimkujik National Park. This is a natural wilderness of 381 square kilometres, with lakes, rivers and old hemlocks and maples. It’s a great place to hike, cycle or canoe.

We took the trail along the Mersey River, towards Jake’s Landing.

Passing yet another woodpecker holed tree.

When we reached the end of the trail opposite Jake’s Landing we found that the bridge, shown on our map, had been removed for the winter – so no way to cross.

We could only look at the launch for canoes and lots of canoes to rent.

Kejimkujik Lake is the largest in the park at about 26  square kilometres. There are various camp grounds and picnic areas along the shore.

Most of the camp areas are accessible only by canoe or kayak. There are 46 back country campsites, each with 2 tent pads, a fire box, picnic table, firewood,  and toilet pit.

We watched as these 2 canoes crossed the lake, struggling against the wind. They had been away for 2 nights, having camped on one of the many little islands. This seemed to be an annual event for these 4 men.

Last Sunday, we drove back to Kejimkujik, in the snow. The lake was a very different place,

with the snow lying on the ice.

We wondered if this was the work of a beaver, or just someone with an axe.

This was obviously an area to demonstrate the art of building the wigwam, covered in birch bark.

We spotted this little woodpecker, but I don’t think he would be responsible for all the holes in the dead trunk.

We will return in the summer to the park with our bikes or kayaks.

Curling in Canada and the Olympics

26 02 2010

It’s a bit odd that we come from Scotland, but never tried curling until we came to Canada.  Although Scotland is the ‘home ‘ of curling, there are not the massive number of curling rinks available, as there are here in Canada. Every small town has its curling club and here in Lunenburg, a town of  2,500 people, we have a very nice 4 sheet shed.

I stole this photo from Louise’s Blog.

When we lived in Glenshee, there was a tiny outdoor curling pond that had been used when winters were cold enough, but we never saw anyone playing there. I think it must be great fun to play outside, like this group in Toronto in 1914.

I found this interesting Blog from Skip Cottage Curling club in Scotland.

We have been watching the curling at the Olympics and were really looking forward to a Canada/ Scotland final. But David Murdoch’s team were beaten  by Sweden  in a tie breaker.

Canada went on to beat Sweden last night and so now face Norway in the final tomorrow.

I’m sorry, I’ve totally been talking about mens curling when the Canadian women play in the final this afternoon, against Sweden!

Like Kevin Martin’s team, Cheryl Bernard’s is amazing.

Good Luck to both teams, it would be a great double.

Ice Hockey, Canada’s National Sport

14 02 2010

Ice Hockey is Canada’s National Sport.

It probably originated in the stick and ball games of bandy, shinty and hurley,  which were brought to the colonies in one form or another. Of these, it is likely bandy, which is played on ice with goalkeepers, stick and ball,  is the truest forerunner of hockey.

Early hockey was played  outdoors on patches of natural ice, with snowbanks for boards and wooden posts for goals. I couldn’t resist this old photo of hockey at Dawson City. I wonder if the klondikers spent their time playing hockey?

Today, outdoor hockey or pond hockey is played wherever there is a frozen lake, pond or bay.

The Canadian Pond Hockey Championships are held at Huntsville, Ontario. As you can see this is a very big event, with multiple  rinks.

But today, most hockey for public entertainment  is played inside. Last year, Jeff and I went along to watch our first ever match at Halifax.

The game is very fast and I found it difficult to spot the puck. Players flew from one end of the rink to the other.

I hadn’t realised how long ice hockey sticks were, having only played grass hockey at school.

What we don’t care for in ice hockey, is the continual violence. Players helmets would be knocked off and often the referee made no attempt to stop the fight.

The crowds love the fighting and some seemed to enjoy that more than the game.

At the break, the little ones came out to play for us. I expect this little lad will grow into his shirt.

They all took the game seriously and there was no fighting, thankfully. I wonder how many of these will become Hockey Champions.

These You Tube videos are quite interesting. The first shows a friendly, not too serious group, playing on their local pond. The second shows successful hockey players and how they rose to fame through playing pond hockey.