Manitoulin Island In Spring

Burnett’s Sideroad near Sheguiandah

The “Island” is one of my favourite places for day trips and overnight photo trips. Situated in Georgian Bay Manitoulin is Canada’s largest freshwater island. The topography is largely rural and agricultural with many lakes, pastures small towns and woodlands. The Island is an extension of the Niagara Escarpment and Bruce Peninsula, its geologic base being largely limestone. Even though it is barely 100 km from where I live in the Canadian Shield, Manitoulin’s ecology is very much different from that of Northern Ontario’s ‘spruce/moose biome’.

A spring pasture with cattle near Green Bay

Spring is a favourite photographic season for me no matter where I am. Manitoulin offers possibilities to photograph rural landscapes, hardwood forests with flowers on the forest floor, waterfalls and the Georgian Bay shorelines, with their alvar ecosystems. The rare lakeside daisy blooms in these alvars in late May. In early May however I expected to see marsh marigolds and the blush of fresh spring colour in the aspens and perhaps the hardwoods.

As we so often seem to remark these days, Spring was early this year. Even so, I was very surprised to see trilliums in full bloom in early May. This is something I would expect to see much later in May. It was a bonus, albeit slightly disquieting.

High Falls near Manitowaning

Maple woodland with trilliums near Kagawong

Canada plum flowers along a rural road

Bridal Veil Falls near Kagawong