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.

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Thomas Raddall Provincial Park, Nova Scotia

26 04 2010

We have been in Nova Scotia now for 2 1/2 years and have somehow missed out on a visit to the Thomas Raddall Provincial Park, until this past week-end. The park is closed until the May holiday, so we had the place totally to ourselves and nature.  We started out by walking the 3km entrance road that takes you to the main office building  and the start of the trails.

This is a wonderful place for campers and each camping spot is individual, with its picnic table and fire pit.

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Thomas Raddall Provincial Park is a wilderness park and is a sanctuary and breeding ground for animals including bear and moose. The trails pass through different habitats: from pine forest, to hardwood,  from sandy beach to pebble shore,  bogs, lakes and old farm fields.

From this beach below you look across to Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct, which I wrote about last July and November. You can see those articles by clicking on the  tag, ‘Kejimkujik’ in the right hnd column.

We came across an old farm house in the forest. I have  found out that it was built by John Edgar MacDonald  in 1918.  He and his wife Grace raised 12 children here! Like farmers on the West Coast of Scotland, the MacDonalds would have a subsistance farm, raising sheep on the sparse pasture among the rocks, hunting moose , trapping mink  and digging clams. But mostly, John MacDonald and his sons  would fish from small inshore boats, like their grandfathers before them.

Just beyond the house is the Clan Donald Cemetery, with the graves of the families who lived here.

The oldest marked grave we found was this one of Olivia McDonald, who died in 1867. Some graves have McDonald and some MacDonald.

We found the foundations of an old log cabin, probably one of the  original homesteads, down on the beach.

This would have been their view from the front door.

The park has its rules about pets.

But we wondered if someone’s dog had been unlucky. Or is this the skeleton of a deer or porcupine?

There are certainly plenty of porcupine in the area and this one seemed to enjoy having its photo taken.

Whereas this one scurried up a tree.

This little Palm Warbler came down to see us as we had our picnic. This is another first time sighting for us.

And this White-throated Sparrow.

The first of the Spring flowers, brighten up this rock.


I think this iridescent green beetle is fantastic.

To find directions to the park, and trail maps, visit

http://www.novascotiaparks.ca/parks/thraddall.asp

We enjoyed walking the trails, but equally it would be great to cycle around. This will be another of our favourite hiking places.





Another trip to Kejimkujik

11 11 2009

We thought we needed another trip to Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct before the winter and we couldn’t have chosen a better day.

We decided to walk out the stony beach way first and then have our picnic on the sandy beach. There was a barrier across the route we wanted to take and a notice saying the route was closed due to storm damage. But we have waded across mountain streams and even the head of Loch Avon, so we didn’t think there would be anything that would prevent us from getting round the coast. Obviously the damage was caused during Hurricane Bill, that I wrote about in August. You will remember my photos of the seas after that storm, so it is quite understandable that we found boardwalks ripped out and carried well up from the shore. Where the boardwalks had been was like crossing burns, but we managed. Trees had also been ripped up and huge boulders washed up from the shore.

Storm damage 1

We noticed this boat washed up on this island, the last time we were at the park, so it was not caused by Hurricane Bill. Nor was it washed off this time.

Boat on island

The sky was blue, the water green and just a light swell on the sea.

Waves 2

We thought this little piping plover would have gone, but he was obviously enjoying the sunshine too.

Plover 4

The storm had changed the  sandy beach and the first part has now become a stony beach.

Beach 3

But there there was still enough sand for us to sit and have our picnic.

Beach 1

We wonder if someone can tell us what these prints were made by. There was a large gap between each set of prints, looking as if the animal had bounded forwards.

Prints1

These look more like a dog, but there were no prints of people and no dogs around. We had this fantastic beach all to ourselves.

Prints 3I couldn’t leave Kejimkujik without yet another rock picture for my collection. I have photos of rocks from the tors in the Cairngorms to  rocky outcrops in the Dolomites; I just love rocks.

You might notice that wrecked boat again out on the island.

Rocks 3 (2)No doubt we will notice more changes on our next visit to thepark. That’s the great thing about the coast, it is always changing.





Kejimkujik – Part 2

10 07 2009

As well as the wild life, the wild flowers made this a wonderful walk.

Wild flowers 3

Irises bloom everywhere.

Irises

We’re just learning about wild flowers here, so if anyone knows what these are then please tell us.

Dogwood blossomAnd these?

IMG_0101

I have just found this online and think it is a calopogon – a member of the orchid family. It is very beautiful.

These  strange flowers are the insectivorous Pitcher Plants. The vase shaped flower is filled with a sweetened water to attract insects. The insects fly in but cannot get out again!

You can see here how prolific these flowers are in this protected area.

Pitchers field

This was a truly memorable walk and I have still loads of flower photos I haven’t put on here. Probably this is enough for now.





Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct- Part 1

9 07 2009

Kejimkujik National Park has two separate areas – the main one is inland, the other at the coast. It is the Seaside Adjuct that is our favourite, with trails that take you across board walks to the granite headlands or to a wonderful sandy beach. We went there last Saturday and walked the 9km walk around the rocky coastline. These cormorants were enjoying the warm weather despite the slight fog.Cormorants 1

We spotted a pair of  cedar waxwings up in this tree.

Waxwing 4

I didn’t realise how good a photo this was till I got home and put it on the computer. I am really pleased with the movement.

Waxwing flying

Further along the trail we were attracted by the noise of what we thought was a wren. On looking closer we spotted this Yellowthroat with its black mask.Yellowthroat 2

As is usual in the bird world the female is duller and not so flashy. She looks a bit like a yellow robin, don’t  you think?

Yellowthroat 4

We spotted a porcupine on our last visit  here, but had no time to get the camera. This time I had the camera in my hand, but still can only give you an idea of how he looks, as he was camera shy. At least you can see one ear clearly.

Porcu 1Here he is heading off into the thick scrub.

Porcu 4

I will put the rest of my photos on the next part of this post.