Saturday, October 29, 2011

The verboten park!

So the other day, we decided to visit Voyageur Provincial Park, which is right near the Quebec/Ontario border. We were all mystified about why the gates were closed on the road in, and why no one was there, because gosh darn it, Gordon read on the internet that the place didn't close until 4:30 pm, and we were there well before that.

Being the naughty hooligans we are, we walked in anyway. It wasn't until we'd come home and I checked the internet again that I saw that the park is actually closed from mid-October to December, when it re-opens for cross-country skiing. Oops! So we were in the verboten park. Naughty, naughty us. On the upside, we had the place to ourselves. And in our defence, I must say it was damn hard to find the hours online! 

I took so many photos, I am going to split this into two posts.

The dying embers of the fall colours were quite beautiful. The trees would have been at their autumn best about two weeks earlier, but it was still very pretty.

There's my favourite criminal trespasser!

Beavers are very active in the park, which sits on the Ottawa River and has several lovely beaches. Here's a beaver lodge we found near the campground.

Guess who?

I do love autumn in Canada, especially around here where there are lots of maple trees.

You see splashes of colour everywhere you look.

Not to mention unusual forest creatures!

And because of the beavers, there are lots of beaver control devices!

That tree in the middle was cut down by a beaver. Click on the photo to enlarge and you can see the typical beaver-gnawing marks!

I am really bad at identifying berries and plants and trees. My friend Ronna would know what these are!

And I do know the name of these red berries, but I'm damned if I can remember it! People love to decorate with boughs of them at Christmas time.

We saw lots of interesting fungi at the park. Hey, did you hear about the mushroom salesman? He was a really fungi (fun guy!) Ar ar ar ar ar!

Mother Nature sure does some spectacular things!

More tomorrow...

PS Gordon just did a blog post on five things you need to know about income tax law in Canada (for the ordinary Canadian mortal.) Check it out!


  1. Those purple berries with the red stems are remnants of a Virginia creeper. DON'T eat them! They look like grapes but are poisonous.
    Richard and I did the same thing as you guys last spring. It was post snowshoeing season and pre-opening. Nice to have the park to oneself!
    Here 'tis:

  2. How did I miss that post!? I read your blog every day!!! Anyway, it's pretty funny that we both broke into the same park. :)

    THanks for the berry i.d. too. They are very striking on the red stems.

  3. This is a great time of year to look for fungi, provided one's area isn't too cold. I liked the mushroom.

  4. Darn - Ronna beat me to the punch! But I only knew it was Virginia creeper becuase I found some on my walk yesterday and had to look it up. My coworker wanted to eat the berries - but I suggested to look it up before she tried them. Of course I think she just wanted to go home for the day :)
    I wonder why the park is closed - I understand closing after dark - but for more than a month... intriguing!

  5. Anonymous8:44 pm

    I love fall. These photos are fabulous!!!

  6. Great photos from your *trespassing trek in the park*.

    I can't believe that you have your jacket open and hat no hat or gloves on! It's been so cool and breezy here that I've been wearing them all this past week.

  7. It looks like a great park, all the sweeter for being a trespasser!

    Well if you were arrested at least your lawyer would be in the next cell!

  8. Splendid photos! What a great country we live in.

    You were safe, Knat. That red coat, with you, was a Dudley-do-right without the hat.

  9. BTW, Richard informs me that the park, like most provincial parks, is closed from Thanksgiving to Victoria Day and that the snowshoers and x-country skiers do as you did and walk thru the gates.
    Apparently, it's what you do!

  10. Ahab, I think it's about to become too cold here! :)

    Wandering Cat, glad your co-worker didn't sample the berries. They do look delicious!

    CogDis, isn't it a beautiful time of year?

    Paula, those pics were from the week before last so it wasn't quite as nippy as it is now! Plus I get warm when I'm walking a lot like that. This weekend was frigid at night!!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!