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PostPosted: October 31st, 2010, 11:21 pm 
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Joined: October 11th, 2007, 9:39 pm
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Location: Red Lake
Sometimes it just all comes together. Sometimes great days in the bush just keep getting better. These are the days that come along every so often; one’s that I wish would never end. These are the days I stay out until the end, when the sun finally sinks and the air begins to chill. Yesterday was that day for me.

I had planned to head out early, shoot some video (and some grouse), and find some new trails for the upcoming winter season. Up at 5:30, i was greeted with a fresh dusting of snow! We’ve had a few flurries up here, but this was the first accumulation (if you could call it that). Nights have been down around -3 lately so it was just a matter of time.

Filled up the Thermos with some coffee, grabbed some bannock and hit the road. I was heading for a logging road system about 1 hour north of Red Lake. From there I would head west look for a spot to shoot a video review of the Littlbug Jr. Stove.

Feeling like a king, I had the road to myself. I truly am spoiled to have so much wilderness at my doorstep and the freedom to roam it at will. The Moose hunters had all packed up and left (a few weeks ago they were everywhere) so I explored with the confidence I wouldn’t run into a party in the bush.

I passed up 3 grouse on the way in, knowing there would be more to follow (that and i couldn’t be bothered to stop).

The road began to narrow as I headed further into the bush, and i began scouting for a filming location. This is where research with maps ahead of time really pays off! I had a spot in mind when i left, and sure enough, located it without much trouble! To my surprise, there was already a trail established, leading to a fair sized lake about 2km in.

Grabbed the pack, the shotgun and the dog and hit the trail. There is nothing like the bush during the transition of fall and winter. That cold, crisp air and the sound of the first snowfall under your boots....swoosh...swoosh....swoosh....awesome!

After approx. 1 km on the trail, the bush opened up, and open, rocky country began to take over. I love country like this. The area is dominated by Jack Pine, regenerating after a forest fire perhaps 30 years ago? As the years go by, anything left standing from the fire that wasn’t consumed has begun to fall down. The bush is literally filled with blowdown....looks like someone took 1000’s of matchsticks and dropped them into the forest!

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I found a great place to begin filming, and as I setup, an owl decided to investigate. This was really exciting for me as it’s my first owl sighting since moving up here 2 years ago. It carefully watched me for a few minutes, then carried on. I have no idea what type of owl it was, but here are some pics. Really frustrating as I just ordered a 70-200 zoom lens last week but it hasn’t arrived yet. This was the best I could do with my 15-85 Lens.

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Soon after, the owl left, a massive Bald Eagle flew no more than 30 feet overhead. Hearing those massive wings working hard to create lift was amazing. I considered this a good omen and began shooting the review. I will post the youtube links at the bottom of this post.

This was my pups first fall-winter transition. Seems to be right at home in the snow!

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Filming took a few hours, then i packed up, ate some lunch and headed further down the trail. The terrain was pretty rugged, lots of ups and downs. Really enojyed the rocky sections! Here are some pictures of the trail.

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Note the incredible amount of blowdown! Remnants of the last fire cycle finally coming down.

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The trail winds down off the rock ridge and into a boggy, Labrador Tea field. Finally, it terminates at an island studded walleye lake....I will be coming back as soon as we get a few inches of ice.

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As I turned around and headed back, it began to snow...and i mean really snow. Big, thick snowflakes! My pup was truly in heaven!

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Back to the truck, the snow pounding me in the face. Paddling season is definitely over in NW Ontario, it may be only a matter of a week or two until the smaller bodies begin to freeze solid.

A small creek.....a very thin skin of ice was beginning to form along the edges.

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A large beaver house....seriously, this was one of the biggest lodges i’ve ever seen.

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Looking out over a small creek. Note the snow covered ice! Bring on winter!

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One of the more productive walleye lakes in the area.....Snow off in the distance!

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And another look of the lake

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It was time to get some birds...not really difficult when you live up here. It wasn’t long before i had my meal for the night

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I spent most of the afternoon looking for new trails, and was rewarded with several new areas to explore. I can’t wait to begin exploring them.

A few more km’s down the road, i came across this famous river (can anyone guess the name)? Note the Bald Eagle standing guard over this historic waterway.

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Actually there were 2 Eagles, but one took off when it spotted me. I was lucky enough to grab some shots of it, but really need that zoom lens for great pics. Here is the eagle in flight

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A picture of the Eagle that stuck around, perched high in a Poplar.

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The water on this river is way down. I ran this section in early September....not now.

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A view of the outflow. I tried to capture it as best I could but feel I didn’t do it justice. In my eye’s the lighting was amazing, the sun, the clouds...it was all perfect. Unfortunately, i really need to learn how to take better photo’s.

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And my reward. Beautiful fresh meat from the Boreal Forest! Mmmmm....Mmmmmm....Mmmmmm So good!

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Truly and incredible day, one that i won’t soon forget. I am fortunate to get out as often as I do, but days like this are few and far between. ..now bring on winter!

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3


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Last edited by Harlan on November 1st, 2010, 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2010, 12:30 am 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 2:20 pm
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Location: Oshawa
Thanks Harlan!

Those pics are great, your pup looks so happy out there!

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2010, 12:47 am 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2006, 3:42 pm
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Location: Southern Ont.
Hey Harlan,

The owl looks like a Great Grey. Big suckers!

There's a nesting pair in the natural area across the road from my house. I heard one this morning while walking the dog. They've been sighted there before and I found out a few years ago it's pretty rare for them to winter this far south.

Probably not so rare for Red Lake! The grouse look delicious.

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2010, 1:14 am 
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Joined: September 4th, 2001, 12:00 am
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Location: Picton, Ontario Canada
What a great description of a great day! I almost felt like I was there.....

Thanks!


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PostPosted: November 1st, 2010, 1:42 am 
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Joined: January 11th, 2009, 11:49 am
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Wow thats quite the beaver lodge!

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2010, 2:07 am 
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Joined: May 17th, 2003, 2:06 pm
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario
And to think I gave up a chance to go there for two years :oops: Awesome area, thanks for allowing us to tag along with you. As was mentioned, felt like I was there.

As far as picture taking, I have learned to take multiple images of the same subject. One take will be properly exposed, one under and one over. I then merge all three together to get the most out of my shots. It took me awhile to get my head around digital imaging as I am a dinosaur and was used to old print film and you got what got.

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2010, 11:31 am 
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Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
Worth moving away from the Big TO - wasn't it, Harlan?! :thumbup:

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 1:30 am 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 1:29 pm
Posts: 318
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Hello Harlan: Nice pics and nice video!

Take care,
Cousin Pete

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 1:49 pm 
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Joined: August 30th, 2006, 12:57 am
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Location: Toronto
It is a beautiful sunny day in good ol' T.O. My Icelandic Sheepdog Viggo and I just got back from a great bike ride on the trail up the Don River valley. The fresh muffins and coffee were ready when we got home. I usually surf the news sites while I sip my coffee but the thought of reading about the political debacle in the USA was too depressing so I turned to myccr and found your posting. Thanks for your vivid acccount of your day in the bush- it was a perfect way to spend twenty minutes. Thanks for taking the time to put it all down.
Some great pix, BTW!

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PostPosted: November 5th, 2010, 12:15 am 
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Joined: April 1st, 2006, 2:34 pm
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Very nice report and pics. Enjoy reading everyones reports on here. I think the owl you saw was a Northern Hawk Owl. Long pointed tail and almost falcon- like wings (seen in flight) are characteristic.

Thanks for posting.


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PostPosted: November 5th, 2010, 4:21 pm 
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Great pix... and those little birds look mighty tasty!

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PostPosted: November 5th, 2010, 4:26 pm 
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Joined: October 23rd, 2010, 3:39 pm
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Give me palm trees anyday.

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