“I think we can get a bit closer,” Jamie says, and we paddle as silently as we can towards a huge American pelican. Soon, we are just metres away from the giant bird, and he looks at us curiously wondering what we’re up to.
The pike’s tail thrashes, splashing the sides of the boat. It’s a strong 10-pounder and it’s putting up a fight. This is the eighth fish on our lines in less than an hour but it’s my first. Not just my first today; it’s my first ever.
As we cross the causeway to Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park’s Big Island, we stop to admire the view. Sunshine glints off the water and fishing boats, while cyclists cross the causeway. On the island road, the truck in front of us pulls over and waves us on.
There is something about paddling any distance in a canoe or a kayak. The sound of the water kissing the sides of the boat, the call of the birds that ripple with the waves and the scenery that changes with every paddle stroke. Its therapeutic, calming and some things challenging.
Sitting on a beach, it’s hard to resist dragging your fingers in swirling patterns to create your own mini Zen garden. The feel of the grains on your fingertips and the heat of the sand is very soothing.
Growing up on the St. Lawrence River, gave Liz Fleming the opportunity to dip the paddle into the river on many occasions. “My dad and I would silently slip the kayaks into the marshes and weeds to sneak up on the wildlife.
Can there be harmony between a writer and a photographer while out on an assignment? What if the writer wants a photo of one scene but the photographer is adamant that the photo should be of something else?
I ride a road bike. But what I’m not good at is mountain biking. I need to see an obstacle way in advance so I can calculate my options. Left or right of a pebble on the shoulder of a road is about all I can handle.
The absurdly gifted environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy thinks often about ‘sense of place,” that feeling we have when we know we belong within a specific habitat, that priceless experience of being settled.
Mesmerized by the powerful and hypnotic beat of the ancient drums, we pull ourselves away from the fire-warmed trapper's cabin (after a delicious bannock and beef stew feast, a Métis favourite!) and hop on the wagon for the short ride to the main stage.
When I get too wrapped up in my daily responsibilities, I close my eyes and picture myself outside surrounded by fresh air and immersed in a natural world. Spending even the smallest amount of time in nature centres me.