The Ancient Mariners club was with us last week. We always enjoy their visits. They're a great bunch, and have (in the words of one of our neighbours who has just discovered cross country skiing) 'embraced winter.' Some skied, some snowshoed, some hiked, and some just hung out for the good company and the good food.
Ralph (that's him, bottom right!) was kind enough to send me these pictures.
The weather co-operated fully, providing sunny days and starry nights. We went out one evening to track down some of the winter constellations, slightly hampered by the brightness of the moon. Still, you really have to go some to wash out Orion, and from that dominant set of stars, it's easy to find Sirius, Aldebaran, the Pleiades, Gemini and more. Nothing can dim the light of Jupiter, hanging huge over the lake just now.
The Lodge works well for groups -- we have several who come year after year, and we usually have a few spaces for new comers. When the numbers get too big for that unit (which sleeps up to 18) we can add accommodation in adjacent cottages, while everyone can still gather together for their meals, card games, Scrabble and the like.
In addition to the deer hanging out on the lawn, there were a lot of tracks spotted on the trails, especially up through the Black Spruce Bog leading to Hawk and Hidden Lakes. When I asked what wildlife they'd spotted, though, it turns out that this great group was actually holding out on me, because when Ralph sent the pictures, he included one of the Bald Eagle.
He apologized for the exposure of the frame, because the bird was quite distant from them, and framed against snow and bright sky, but I'm including it anyway. Bald Eagles are still a rarity here. Algonquin Park reported two nest sites last season, but not many people are reporting seeing them.
So kudos to the Ancient Mariners, for finding, not an albatross, but a Bald Eagle! So much better, don't you think????
Thanks so much for the pictures Ralph!