Saturday, March 28, 2009

Maple Syrup Festivals

Well isn't it nice to see the sunshine and watch the snow melt away! The crocus's are blooming in my garden and the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth are about 6 inches high! I hope by the time Easter arrives my garden will be full of colour and giving off a wonderful fragrance! I am sitting at a friend’s house, watching the Sydenham River flow by, the swans, assorted ducks and Canadian geese are all a flurry, and there are so many types of birds at the feeders I am having to look them up in the bird book!! The land critters are a happy to be digging and munching away..

Spring is defiantly in the air and that means warm sunny days and cool night, which you know makes the sap run!! That’s right it is Maple Syrup time and all that that in tales...
So over the next few weekends if you are looking for something to do outdoors in our region, you won’t be disappointed! By mid April if you have not had your fill of pancakes, maple syrup and spending time with family and friends in the country, you'll be sorry you missed out.

Here is a list of some Maple Syrup Festivals happening in the Bruce and beyond:
March 28-29th
Old Tyme Maple Syrup Festival at Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Area
8 km North of Paisley off Bruce Rd 3)
April 4th
Grey Roots Museum & Archives annual Maple Syrup Festival
(Grey Rd 18, S of Owen Sound)
April 9th and 11th
42nd Annual Belmore Maple Syrup Festival at the Community Centre
April 11th
Purple Valley Maple Syrup Festival – Community Centre

Hope to see you at one of them!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lighthouse Tours on the Bruce Peninsula

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a great love of Ontario lighthouses. This love developed at a very, very young age. Our family would spend each summer at our cottage on the shores of Lake Huron on the Bruce Peninsula. Every summer our neighbour - "Uncle Art" would take my sister and I for a hike to the "lighthouse". This was quite a hike for a pre-schooler, but we would pack a picnic, and off we would go. Uncle Art is long gone, and those treks to the lighthouse stopped with his passing, but it has always remained as a special place in my heart.

My own father passed away this winter, and somethings can never be recaptured. But it has made me realize that some things will remain just memories, and some memories can be relived, or re-visited.

As many people groan and complain about a long winter, my friends and I were thrilled that we could get another Sunday afternoon Ontario Snowshoe Adventure in. Chris and Beth had only heard about this lighthouse from stories that I have told them over the years, but as it is only accessible by boat, or a hike through the bush, it was a great opportunity to introduce them to this special place.

It was a walk through time as I retraced those same steps taken decades ago. I was amazed to find the same trails as I forged ahead leading the group. Small things along the way would spark a memory as I reminisced in my own thoughts amongst the solitude of the woods.

As we rounded the point and I got my first glimpse at this icon in my life, I stopped and took it all in as I waited for my friends to catch up. I was finally back at this familiar place, a place that holds a special part of my history.

The lighthouse looks exactly as I remembered it, except now is operated by solar panels. I could not resist climbing the tower as if I were five years old again.

I can't tell you how many times people have called our office at Bruce County Tourism and tell me that they vacationed in our area with their families growing up years ago and want to return to rekindle those memories, or visit those special places that held such fond memories for them.

It was great to be able to share this special place with my friends, and as we sat on the deck at my Sauble Beach Cottage afterwards soaking up the sunshine, we starting planning our next adventure. Stay tuned....

P.S. For anyone who would like to know where this "secret" lighthouse is, call us at 1-800-268-3838.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snowshoeing on the Bruce Peninsula

It was another absolutely beautiful day on the Bruce Peninsula. Each Sunday afternoon I get together with a couple of good friends to go Ontario snowshoeing. Each week we discover different places. Places that have a totally different look and feel then in the warmer temperatures, and the wildlife awakes, or life gets so busy trying to fit everything in that you don't get to stop and smell the roses. We here in Bruce County embrace winter.

Since I have moved here 15 years ago from the big city, I have come to make the most of each season, and jump in with both feet. Today I hosted my friends on my 200 acres on the Bruce Peninsula. It is fun identifying the different trees and animal tracks that we see throughout the bush. Last Sunday we tried Bruce Trail snowshoeing at Lion's Head where we discovered the 10,000 year old potholes carved in the limestone. We stood on the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Isthmus Bay located along the shores of Georgian Bay, and all of it's glory in a snow squall. Next week we hope to trek the shores of Lake Huron Cottages while it is still frozen to a place.......well you will just have to wait and see. Stay tuned.

Check out some of the great places to go Snowshoeing or Cross Country Skiing across the Bruce!