Grass Lake Sunset – Iditarod Puppies! (PHOTOS) Haliburton Highlands 10-Day Weather, Canada #haliburtonhiglands

Ξ October 26th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Algonquin Township, Canada, cottage country, Dysart Dudley Harcourt and Others, fall colours, Haliburton, Haliburton Highlands, holiday(s), Maple Lake Ontario,, nature, Ontario, Photography, sunrise, weather |

 Mid Fall in the Haliburton Highlands: Bundle Up!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:01:41 EDT PM
Early Sunday am, Thanksgiving weekend, looking out over Grass Lake, Haliburton, you can just make out the second rainbow around the outside of the brighter one. SOURCE: By Neil Jones

SOURCE: By Neil Jones


Be sure to click the link (below) and see the awesome 2014 Calendar photos! Support a homegrown Haliburton business, too!

Be sure to click the link (below) and see the awesome 2014 Calendar photos! Support a homegrown Haliburton business, too!

Winterdance dog sled tours, Iditarod bound, race team‘s photo.

Winter is moving in down here in the States as well as in Southern Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands. Though so far, there has just been a dusting of snow in Haliburton with temperatures like the ones below it won’t be long now before you can head up north and do some dog-sledding!

Tonight looks like this:

Current Weather Maple Lake Ontario Canada

Current Weather Maple Lake Ontario Canada


And the Highlands weather radar looks like this:

Storm near Maple Lake Ontario 10.26.13

Storm near Maple Lake Ontario 10.26.13

This precipitation literally skipped right over Maple Lake! Does the same thing in late spring to late summer so I guess it shouldn’t surprise me when it happens early-mid- fall!

Haliburton Highlands/Algonquin Township 7-Day weather forecast October 26 - November 4.

Haliburton Highlands/Algonquin Township 10-Day weather forecast October 26 – November 4.

If I had to sum up the next week in weather for the Algonquin Highlands/Maple Lake/Haliburton Highlands, I’d use “chilly” or maybe, “drizzly” or perhaps I’d go all-out and say chilly drizzle. There is no snow in the forecast  for the Algonquin Highlands/Maple Lake/Haliburton Highlands from October 26 – November 4, but temperatures will certainly drop low enough that drizzle could and probably will, at least turn to flurries. Whether it sticks or not is a whole ‘nother conversation (though once we hit the sweet spot in November, one that will probably pick up in frequency). In five of the nine days that remain in this particular forecast, precipitation of one kind–rain, or another– drizzle, or yet another– snow shower–are all on tap.

Mid-fall in the Highlands. Gotta love it.


Maple Lake Ontario PHOTOS Early August Morning #halibutonhighlands #maplelake #ontario

Ξ August 16th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Algonquin Township, Canada, cottage country, Haliburton Highlands, home, home and garden, Maple Lake Ontario, nature, Ontario, Photography, summertime, sunrise |

Leaving Maple Lake is always a bitter-sweet endeavor (PHOTOS)

Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao

Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao


Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao


Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao


Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao


Early morning August 3 2013 Photo by Roger Corrao


The new garden on the lake-side of the cottage. Early morning August 3 2013. Photo by Roger Corrao

Having spent part of June, all of July and a wee bit of August living on Maple Lake, it really came to feel like ‘home.’ And it is home–our summer home–so we will keep on making the improvements that both need to be done (they come first) and that we wish to make (that may take some time). In my opinion, every little improvement is big in that it is yet another transformation–sometimes to a state of being that hadn’t been a reality for a decade or more.

The little garden at the bottom of the photo set was in place around fifty years ago. Those stones are the ones that my grandfather put in place. There’s nothing special about them other than that. But, to me, that is quite a bit and that my husband dug them out of the ground where they were nearly buried means even more. You can’t simply plant a garden at Maple Lake. You must treat the soil as the only flowers that will grow otherwise are wildflowers. Roger sort of did this on the fly. After the septic system setback we essentially lost four days of getting stuff done, so we were a bit rushed. Anyway, he mixed in soil enhancers and mulched and we shall see next year what becomes of it. While we have stewardship over it, it shall remain a garden, tho.

It has begun to inspire me to return as many of the aspects of being at the Lake, both physical and social to their former glory. The last time the Lake was the paradise of my childhood memory was when my grandmother was the matriarch of the McCrackan family. She loved having family around as much as possible. And I recall many gatherings of family and friends. It wasn’t fancy but it was friendly. Friendliness was something I encountered a lot when I was out and about this summer.

My mom became the McCrackan family matriarch after my grandmother passed but living in the States our family only made comparatively brief, though regular visits. I hated being referred to as the American because well, I’m not. I’m proud to be a Canadian and so I’m also proud to now be the McCrackan matriarch (I kept my maiden name).

If I do nothing else, I’d like to take a page from my grandmother’s book in making people feel welcome when they are anywhere on the property that is shared by the descendants of  Frank and Alice. My spouse seems to have gotten a jump on the ‘building of good cheer’- thing. Because I work until the wee hours while at the Lake and thus sleep in, I’m not outside as much as he is, but give me some good swimming weather and just try to keep me out of the lake. 🙂


Maple Lake Ontario (PHOTOS) Haliburton Highlands Holiday Weekend Weather #algonquinhighlands

Ξ June 28th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Algonquin Township, beach, Canada, cottage country, family, Food and/or Drink, Haliburton Highlands, health/happiness, holiday(s), home and garden, Maple Lake Ontario, My dog, nature, Obi, Ontario, Photography, summertime, sunrise, Travel/Vacation, weather |

Maple Lake Ontario - Dawn Breaking June 24 2013

Maple Lake Ontario – Dawn Breaking June 24 2013

Hey there!

It’s been a busy few days getting the cottage set up for Summer 2013.

There’s been no one here but us for the past few days so it was very, very quiet–which I must admit was nice. One doesn’t notice how noisy the suburbs are until you are in such a remote area as we now are.  A random watercraft buzzes by every now and again and the ubiquitous sound of a small aircraft heading to Stanhope  Airport cruises by once or twice a day, but by-and-large we are much more likely to hear flocks of ducks swimming by or a lonely-sounding loon on the lake.


Maple Lake Ontario - Dawn Breaking June 24 2013

Maple Lake Ontario – Dawn Breaking June 24 2013

We arrived very early Monday morning and while coming round a huge bend on St. Peters Road, came face-to-face with a half-dozen deer. You can’t take that bend going more than 15-20 mph tops, so no one was in any danger and it was sort of cool to be ‘greeted’ that way.

Wednesday was the best weather day yet on Maple Lake. Perfectly warm, a few clouds–a sunburn day if you weren’t protected. We got the swim dock in the water and did a preliminary clean-up of the beach. It was no exaggeration that this past winter was a tough one. The repeated ups and downs, freezing, melting, refreezing took a toll on many people’s shorelines. We actually were pretty lucky that a few steps down to the water came loose and there was a leak in the bathroom ceiling but it was above the shower(!) Very lucky on that count because as soon as the rain came, it was like a faucet had been turned on inside the bathroom ceiling.

Maple Lake Ontario - June 26 2013

Maple Lake Ontario – June 26 2013

Roger went up on the roof and found that caulking was missing, allowing not only leakage but ants to stream in. It’s all fixed now. Did I mention that my husband is awesome? He mowed the grass and at my request, left as many wildflowers growing as possible. I  just can’t get into the ‘suburban perfect’ grass look in such a rural area. We are expected to keep the grass cut but I’m more inclined to prefer the ever-more-popular notion of letting, whenever possible, nature look like nature here in cottage country. We’ve planted a lilac bush to help keep the bank from eroding as well as other perennials, some of which did not survive the severe weather over the winter to reappear this spring/summer. Still, the plan is to preserve and protect as much and whenever possible.

Spouse had his birthday here for the first time and we made an excellent choice going to That Place in Carnarvon. We got there early and got a seat right in front of the window overlooking Mirror Lake. Food was good, service excellent and the price right for a birthday meal. Happy birthday, indeed.

Maple Lake Ontario - June 26 2013

Maple Lake Ontario – June 26 2013

We headed out to Haliburton today to pick up some supplies and take in more of the local atmosphere. As much as it is said that the US and Canada are alike, once you get out and about it becomes very apparent that these are two separate countries. Just a small example is that Canada no longer makes pennies, nor do merchants take them. Yup. The smallest denomination is a nickel. Transactions are rounded up or down. Also, buttertarts.

Found a (not) cheap little phone for the times I want/need to text the US or situations where I have no idea what I’m doing and will be phoning spouse to help guide the way. He, because he has a commute to work, has the car much of the time so by default stops and picks up this and that in our daily lives (I’m the Internet shopping queen– so that part evens out). Where I have fallen hopelessly out of practice is with cooking. Because I’m staying here for a total of 6 weeks I know I’m not going to live on salads and sandwiches so am going to have to phone home to get advice on a lot of grocery-related choices. Anyway, the new phone is charging and I’m going to set it up tomorrow and then be able to have my ‘security blanket’ wherever I may wander while I’m up here.

Maple Lake Ontario - June 26 2013

Maple Lake Ontario – June 26 2013

It stormed today most of the day with quite a bit of thunder–enough to scare our Corgi-Pug mix, ‘Obi’, tho he usually is not at all bothered by thunderstorms but the cottage has a metal roof and it is LOUD. I’d had a rough night sleeping the night before so had the luxury of a 2-hour nap. Roger–not so much in that when he tried to nap, whenever a loud thunder clap struck, Obi would leap upon him in fear. Poor guy(s).

Speaking of weather, there is not too much to get excited about as we begin this holiday weekend, unfortunately. There will be more of what we had today–but with lower temperatures and it will continue they say through both Friday and Saturday with Sunday looking like a nice shift with no rain and temperatures more conducive to outdoor celebrations. Check out the  latest forecast for Canada Day and the Fourth of July below.

Haliburton Highlands Holiday Weekend Weather - Extended Canada Day - Fourth of July week

Haliburton Highlands Holiday Weekend Weather – Extended Canada Day – Fourth of July week


Heading to Maple Lake Ontario Soon! (PHOTO) #maplelake #ontario #algonquinhiglands

Ξ June 18th, 2013 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Algonquin Township, beach, Canada, cottage country, family, Maple Lake Ontario, My dog, Obi, Ontario, Photography, summertime, sunrise, Travel/Vacation |


Maple Lake Morning (Cr: C. McCrackan)

Maple Lake Morning (Cr: C. McCrackan)


In a matter of days, ‘we’ (spouse and me and our younger dog Obi, a male Corgi-Pug mix) will set out on a 700-mile journey to Maple Lake, Ontario, Canada.

As I’ve recounted before, I’ve been going to ‘the lake’ since I was about 7 months old. That is over a half-century. Much has changed. Though not crowded, there are many more cottages and homes on the lake. The road ‘in’ is no longer gravel, but asphalt. Most noticeable though is the loss of beloved friends and family members who were once fixtures, part of the the landscape of Maple Lake.

Back in the old days, when we’d needed to make a phone call (as in REALLY needed) we’d hike up  the gravel road which then bore no name, to the home of Ted and Gerri Carr, wonderful neighbours, who lived at Maple Lake year-round. I remember Gerri offering us kids cookies when we visited and Ted showing off his small collection of farm animals. They are all gone now, though there is a surplus of telephones.

There is missing of course, my grandmother Alice, who I’ve mentioned many times and later, at age 101, the architect of our cottage compound, my grandfather, Frank. My dad’s best friend, who was my uncle as well, passed on far too early as did our long-time neighbour.

It’s true that there has been a great deal of loss, the most recent, the death of my mother who loved the lake as much as anyone could.

Still, there is a serenity, a peacefulness that  you can only truly appreciate after your arrival. Generally, because I’m a night worker when not on vacation, we leave ‘late’ and arrive early. Dawn is usually just breaking by the time we get to Maple Lake and oh! what a beautiful sight it is! My tradition upon arrival is to first make a quick trip down the dozen or so rock steps that my grandfather put in with his own hands, to the lake to ‘say hello.’

The break of day is among the most satisfying times to experience Maple Lake. Usually, the water is a still as glass with everything above and around it reflected, amplifying their beauty as well as the beauty of the lake itself. It’s also very quiet, a perfect time to sit down for a few minutes and unwind from the trip. Each time I do this, I feel my heart expand with joy and I feel the contentment of being one with my surroundings.



Neil Young – Heart Of Gold (VIDEO) Haliburton & Minden Ontario Sunrise (PHOTO) Waging Heavy Peace Book #ontario #neilyoung

Ξ November 7th, 2012 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Canada, cottage country, entertainment, Haliburton, Haliburton Highlands, Minden Hills Township, nature, Ontario, Photography, sunrise |

First Morning Sunrise
Posted by: Johnny // November 5, 2012
Haliburton, Ontario // Shot: October 17, 2012


Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Such a great performance by Neil Young of “Heart Of Gold’.
This is a clip from when my first favourite Neil Young song ‘Heart of Gold’ when it was ‘brand new.’  Young mentions that he knows how listening to an artist’s new material in concert can be ‘kinda weird.’ But it’s not in this video, it’s awesome!

Also really enjoyable in the most unexpected way, is the new Neil Young autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace. I’m reading a library copy, but will probably buy a copy to keep and re-read.

It’s as good, but quite different than Keith Richards recent tome. I was surprised at the insight Richards’ has into the business, but especially his deep understanding of his craft. Young is similar that way– but the personalities are so different. Both likable, I must say.

‘Sunrise at Moore Lake’

Sunrise at Moore Lake
Posted by: Richard Bradley // November 3, 2012
Minden, Ontario // Shot: September 18, 2012


Source: The Weather Network


Waging Heavy Peace

Waging Heavy Peace


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