Monday, June 18, 2012

Ontario & Quebec, Canada

 Into the vast forests of Northern Ontario and Quebec - trees as far as the eye can see - dotted with rivers and lakes at every turn in the road.  We have only seen 1 young bull moose in velvet and 2 black bears.  We had hoped for much more.  We have seen 23 species of warblers on breeding grounds including the Connecticut and Black-throated Blue ( 1 each).  Our Canada bird list is just over 100 hoping for many more as we keep traveling east.  We have camped at Sleeping Giant, Fushimi Lake, and Rene' Brunelli Provincial Parks.  In Moonbeam (yes, it is a town with signs of "little green ETs" everywhere, even on the trails where we walked birdwatching for a few kilometers.
At Cochrane, ON,  we took the "Polar Bear Express" train 186 miles north to Moosonee, a Cree Indian village full of dusty, dirt roads that go nowhere but the natives were driving everywhere.  The only way to this town is by train, boat or air.  In winter, polar bears are sometimes seen here but the only one we saw was this one!!  Someday we will travel to where we can see them in their native habitat.  Canada sure has its share of Black Flies, Mosquitos and Gnats, and we have the itchy lumps to prove it.
Into French Quebec, where it seems no English language is allowed on signs or taught in the schools for hardly anyone can understand English and our French is nil.  So far we are winging it, at least the numbers read the same on the highway signs.  Things are different shopping too - the "Lait partiellement e'cre'me'" 1% Milk comes in bags ( 3 bags = 4 liters)  We are having fun opening and pouring it.

We reached day 400 of our journey and it still feels like a great adventure.  We have 585 species of birds so far plus a plethora of wildlife sightings - mostly Snowshoe Hares lately.  We love retirement and seeing God's creation - where each day brings something new and exciting.  We get email every week or so - please stay in touch.                 Ty & Ida Baumann

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