Springing into Ak-O-Mak
Dianne and Catherine ventured north for the second time this month to see how Ak-O-Mak fared during the annual spring thaw, complicated this year by very high water levels.
As you may know, large parts of Ontario have been challenged by flooding. Ahmic Lake has also experienced record-high water levels. The good news: the water level dropped a good foot or so this week. The bad news: the Main Dock took a direct hit from the huge ice flows and north wind. It was Old Man Winter’s last vandalous kick on his way out! Our enormous dock was picked up and shoved three feet on land like it was made of cardboard! Jim and his crew have been busy all week with these costly repairs, a challenging task in the very icey waters.
Speaking of ice, we had dockside seats for the disappearance of the last chunks of ice from the lake during Saturday’s happy hour, a first for us. (the ice that is, not the happy hour!)
It was a fabulous weekend with all of the elements that make a perfect, spring retreat: beautiful weather, a bit of wildlife and NO BUGS!
Three pairs of Canada Geese availed themselves of camp’s bay as their honeymoon destination and they seemed delighted to show off their elaborate mating ritual. What a song and dance! Imagine three pairs of geese suddenly cranked up in unison, wing to wing with their partner, swimming figure eights, intertwining necks, honking up a storm…a veritable synchronized cacophony!
Dory, the maximally-courageous-miniature schnauzer, put the run on two deer caught grazing at the edge of the forest. The deer were gone in a nano-second whilst Dory, clad in her bright yellow raincoat, was left bouncing around aimlessly and excitedly trying to pick up a long gone scent. Dory remains a serious threat, however, to the many moles and one groundhog living on camp…especially if they ever decide to hold a ‘staring contest’. This great, rodent-killing-machine has a ‘system’, encoded in her DNA for millenia. With great stealth she slowly approached the gofer hole from down wind, head held low, hackles up, ears back. Then, without a thought for her safety, she fixed her death stare into the dirt abyss…and patiently waited for her unsuspecting victim to surface…which… he never did. In fact, we never saw the groundhog at all this weekend. We didn’t have the heart to tell Dory that her prey was AWAL and probably saw her from a mile away in that bright yellow jacket!
The wilderness is coming to life again. The greyish canvass of the dormant forest is showing its first hint of new life with a blush of emerald near Fun Cross. The seasonal waterfall beyond the path is the dominant sound heard throughout camp, its rushing waters echoing off the barren trees and rocks. A few birds have announced themselves, but the most entertaining is a certain woodpecker who delights in pecking on a metal sign or utility pole. It’s kind of funny to hear a sound like “hammering on a trash can lid” and imagine this quirky little woodpecker, perhaps with a bent bill?
In the wetlands beside the Rocky Reef Road, dozens of mallards and wood ducks created a curious din of lively quacking, at least until they sensed one’s approach. Then instantly, as if cued by a maestro, perfect silence.
A beautiful weekend with loads of sunshine made it easy to “linger a little longer” and we made the most of the lengthening spring days. Heading home along highway 124, we were treated to the sight of 2 young moose, apparently twins, grazing among the bullrushes!
You never know the wonders you’ll see at Camp Ak-O-Mak and we can’t wait til next weekend.
We’ll keep you posted.