Tag Archives: Lake Simcoe

Serenaded by a Northern Cardinal

Yesterday the sun was shining. I visited a friend, then, as I pulled out of her driveway to go home, I was drawn to the lake instead. I drove along Lake Drive heading north along Lake Simcoe. I love looking out at the lake. The flash of red caught my eye and I had to pull over. I got out of the car, camera in hand and walked back, hoping I could find him.

Enjoying the spring sunshine

Sure enough, his song led me right to his perch in the still leafless trees on the edge of the lake. The Northern Cardinal is one of the most distinct birds in our area. The male is a beautiful red and his song is equally distinctive.
Both male and female have the same beautiful sound.
Sometimes it sounds like purdy purdy purdy… whoit, whoit, whoit, whoit.
Another call resembles what-cheer, what-cheer … wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet.

looking out to sea


Sydney the Jumping Shepherd

It is Daylight Saving Time, the geese are returning home from their vacation and Sydney has a new spring in her step.

We put the leash on Sydney and walked to the lake to enjoy the sun.

The ice is melting in the creek.

The ice on Lake Simcoe is starting to melt.  All the fish huts have to be removed from the lake by March 15th, but I worry that it is already unsafe. There have already been a few ice rescues and sadly some tragedies.

help...the ice is sinking.

Luckily, it is not deep at this spot. Sydney was able to scramble out and shake off the icy water.

I found a stick.. please play with me.

Sydney loves to jump to grab the stick.

Sydney can jump high

She loves the game and will keep it up for a long time.

Winter is for Ice Fishing

It has been a strangely warm winter here in southern Canada, many doubted if the lake would freeze enough for fishing, but the bay is finally frozen indeed. It was time for us to take another walk on the ice. Today we wanted to check out the fish huts.

The access to the lake is easy, just walk down the boat launch.

There was a lot of action on the lake, it was as if we all had to make up for lost time. Everyone was enjoying the day in their own way.

Trucks and snowmobiles flew across the ice.

Some were cross-country skiing with their very large dogs

I live on Lake Simcoe, which claims the title of “Ice-fishing Capital of Canada” some say “of the world”. I approached a hut.

Is anyone home?... I knocked on the door... no answer. I tried the door... it opened.

I opened the trap door to look into the fishing hole. There is a small stove for warmth, Sitting in the small hut patiently fishing can get pretty cold.

"what are you doing trespassing?" my husband asks.

I knocked on another door and these fisherpeople (politically correct) invited me in to watch as they fished. I waited a while but, no fish were biting. There are smart fish in Lake Simcoe.

Some people were enjoying the day by Ice-sailing. They have a parachute that takes them zooming on skis across the ice

It looks like so much fun... I think I want to try this out one day.

We walked back to shore. You can see how far out the huts are..

additional info added Feb 28:

The thickness of ice is always a concern. Every year, we lose vehicles and sadly some lives are lost as well because the ice is not always safe. The  DNR (Department of Natural Resources) measures the depth of the ice on a regular basis. There are regulations for the fish huts too. Each hut on the ice is numbered and must be removed by a certain date each year.

There is a thickness recommended for various activities:

*Less than 4 inches* � STAY OFF! There is no reason to test the newly formed ice at this time.

*4-6 Inches* � Ice fishing, foot travel in single-file lines, and small spaced seating on the ice should be safe, presuming the ice is clear and clean.

*6-10 Inches* � Snowmobiles and ATV�s can travel safely on good ice that is over inches thick.

*10-16 Inches* � Small cars and pick-ups can begin to venture on to the ice. However, the DNR states that it is best to avoid driving on the ice whenever possible.

*16+ Inches* � A medium-sized car or mid-size pickup can drive on good clear solid ice.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of Lake Simcoe in winter.

Natures Ice Carving

I took this photo of a piece of ice. There are  a few flowers delicately carved by the hand of God into the ice. The colour is the sunset shining gloriously in the background. I cropped one of the photos of ice I posted yesterday. It is actually, the piece I am using for the header image. There is beauty is all around us, even in a cold piece of ice. Look closely or you may miss it.

Ice Mountain on the Lake

On a normal Day in Late January, Late Simcoe will have trucks and snowmobiles travelling across it. There are usually countless fish huts dotting the lake. Not this year. It has been a mild winter. The water near the shore froze, but the high winds broke the ice and pushed the pieces toward the shore. Now there are chunks of ice sticking up all over making it hard to walk. In the sheltered parts of the Lake, the water has frozen once again. The patterns in the ice that are sticking up are beautiful.


We walked on the lake just before sunset, the colours adding to the drama.


Natures Lace


mountain majesty


Some ice mountains are rounded.


Ice like a thousand stars


The setting sun added colour to the snow and ice.




Sunset over Lake Simcoe

weekly photo challenge: sunset 2

I have tried to organize my photos and came across these that I took at the end of March this year. The ice was still on Lake Simcoe.

A few days later the ice had receded from the shoreline giving us more reflections.

close up of the clouds hiding the sun.

The water giving a reflection with the ice looking very dark.

Swimming is for the dogs

These warm sunny days should not be wasted. We said the “w” word sending Sidney into a flurry of excitement. After lots of dashing up and down the hallway, we grabbed her leash and set off for a walk in Sibbald’s Point Provincial Park. Sidney knows the way. She sits quietly in the back of the van, watching every turn, until we get to Black River Road. We can hear her soft whimper escalate into pure yowls of anticipation. She knows we are almost at her favorite place. She loves to run and this park has plenty of grassy fields. She bounds from the car and dashes off as if being chased by a bear. After a few minutes of running in circles, she invites us to play with her. Not content with just a ball, or even a small stick, Sidney found a very large branch.

Sidney wants to play with a large stick

She runs around with it hanging from her mouth and we have to play “dodge the branch” with her, if we take our eyes off her for a moment, she runs beside us and whacks us with her stick.

She runs around and if we are not watching, we will get whacked behind the knee.

She likes us to throw the stick. When we are at home in the yard, she will drop a ball or a frisbee at our feet but will not give it to us when we are at the park. We have to wrestle her for it.

The park is on Lake Simcoe. The wind whipped up the lake and it was very rough.

The lake is very rough today.

Sidney also loves to swim. She does not appreciate the waves however. In fact, I think she was a bit afraid at first but playing took her mind off the waves and the freezing cold water.

The waves crashed over Sidney's head.

Chasing a stick into the water.

Did anybody bring a towel?

The sun warmed us again once we were off the beach. I could not resist taking a few pictures before we headed home.

Great day for wind surfing.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Old

On the shores of Lake Simcoe, near Sibbald Point Provincial Park is an old stone church with a graveyard. Buried in this graveyard is Stephen Leacock.

Stephen Butler Leacock born in 1869 and died in 1944. He is a famous Canadian Writer and Humorist. In 1910 Stephen published the first of his humorous books, Literary Lapses and thus began a humour-writing career that gained him fame throughout the world.

Hanging ice over the frozen lake

I found this willow tree on the edge of the lake. The icicles were dangling from the branches.


Sydney checked out the ice that was hanging from the willow tree on Lake Simcoe