Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ice out

Well, this weekend was a bit of a washout (literally) for anything outdoor-related in the Toronto area, and the kayaks remain solidly tethered to their cradles in the garage. But things just feel like they're about to perk up.

About a week or so ago, the ice finally released its grip on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. And last weekend saw the first real sunny days of spring, prompting us to take the short trip up the shore to my in-laws' place in Brighton, Ontario, near the gates of Presqu'ile Provincial Park.

As we wandered the beach, I couldn't help but notice that, aside from the lack of any real greenery and, of course, the nip in the air, the place looked almost like it was high summer. Of course there were no campers, which makes spring a pleasant time to visit Presqu'ile, which is one of the busiest parks in Ontario's system, and a big draw for birders.

Presqu'ile Point also marks the entrance to Presqu'ile Bay and, according to Ontario Parks, its lighthouse is the second oldest operating light in Ontario, having been put into operation in 1840. Remarkably, the original keeper's cottage still stands intact beside the light, even though its original oil lantern has long since been removed.

Now the Presqu'ile Point lighthouse looks somewhat incomplete, with only a small electric beacon gracing the wide, flat top of the light's tower.

Soon, it'll be guiding vessels of all shapes and sizes into the safety of the Bay -- just as it has for the last 167 summers.

For more on Presqu'ile Provincial Park, click here.

For more on the Presqu'ile Point lighthouse, click here.

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