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Feb 8, 2011

48 hours in Parry Sound ~ part 1

I just spent the last 48 hours visiting my brother Bob and his wife Nancy in Parry Sound, Ontario.   The actual drive up and back, along Hwy. 400, was highlighted by the frozen waterfalls in the rock cuts on each side of the road.  Mile after mile, I saw cascades of pale blue and green, yellow and orange, white and gray, and even pink.   Thank goodness there was little traffic on the road, because I was continuously distracted by these beautiful, frozen stalactites.   I know that the bright orange colour comes from iron oxide in the rocks but I have no idea about the origins of the other tantalizing tints.   My visit included a jaunt with Bob to a huge landfill site outside Parry Sound where I was told to expect to see a lot of Ravens, possibly three Bald Eagles and a couple of Golden Eagles.   The landfill provides a huge buffet for these birds throughout the winter.   I got to see two of the Bald Eagles - not as close as I would have liked, but still a treat to see.   The real surprise were the Ravens.   At the spot where the latest garbage had been dumped, there were 250 Ravens!   The Ravens certainly rule the roost here, vastly outnumbering the crows and eagles and starlings.   However, despite their unofficial ownership of this place, all these birds are very wary and hard to approach.

Unfortunately, this was the best shot of the Bald Eagles that I could get.   We could have spent more time here but the weather was very cold and the birds kept moving about.   Below is a shot of about 80 of the Ravens surrounding one of the non-occupied dump vehicles.
Elsewhere on this day of discovery, my brother and I stopped at the Smelter Wharf on Salt Dock Road, adjacent to the Parry Sound harbour.   The picture below gives some idea of what 100,000 metric tons of dry, unprocessed, road salt looks like, as it sits waiting to be used as de-icer on area highways, throughout Central Ontario.   
Part two to follow.   Please comment if you wish.

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