Friday, October 08, 2010

Sanctuary Lost, Blogger Found

Thanksgiving weekend is here, but for various reasons we have decided to stay close to home, perhaps venturing on a number of little day trips. Yesterday, in particular, we needed to stay fairly close to home, so I checked out Google Maps, looking for some place that we had previously overlooked. Lo and behold, didn't I see the Wildlife Conservation and Bird Sanctuary on the shores of Mississippi Lake. Why hadn't I noticed this before?

So, off we headed, turning down the correct road as instructed by Google Maps. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. It's not there, or if it is, it's nothing but woodland with no public access. If there is in fact anything there, it would only be accessible by ATV or more likely helicopter.

So, off we went driving around this lake and that. There are a lot of lakes nearby, but they are all pretty well inaccessible: that is to say, all of the surrounding land is privately owned. One can drive along a road close to and paralleling the lake and not even know that it's there unless one is looking on a map. It's a little disappointing to say the least.

We did take one side road in hopes of finding a scenic spot and were able to catch a glimpse of the lake, but the man whose property we stopped adjacent to was soon out there protecting his feudal rights. Oh, he was pleasant enough, but he was surely keeping an eye on interlopers. Here is what we were able to glimpse before he trained his rifle on us (kidding).

That was it for the lake, so we turned Harriet the Chariot around with bullets whizzing past our ears (still kidding) and drove off. We were searching for autumn colour, but it's not the great year for colourful foliage in these parts. At one point we crossed a short, wooden railway bridge and hopped out to take a few pictures. Sadly, we were not as fortunate as Lorna last weekend, so a train didn't choose that moment to thunder by.

We stopped again at the edge of another lake — rather a glorified beaver pond — for a few more pictures. Once again, there's some colour, but the landscape isn't exactly resplendent.

Finally, we ended up at the cheese shop in Balderson where there's more than just cheese let me tell ya: much more, including a large adjacent Amish furniture store.

At one point, as I meandered about, I saw a woman staring at me. Actually, she was staring as if in in horror, crossing herself and mumbling prayers about dreadful apparitions. (Once again, I jest although the staring part is correct.)

I moved on, but Cuppa and I headed back in that direction a few moments later and didn't the lady approach and call my name. I puzzled for a moment because she did look somewhat similar to Sheila who lives hundreds of miles away. But she didn't look that much like Sheila. As this lady called my name again, her identity began to dawn on me at the same time as she introduced herself. Yes, it was fellow blogger, Mary G of Them's My Sentiments. Mary and we live in the same county, but we had never met. Fortunately, I post so many pictures that she had no difficulty at all recognizing me. We chatted for a few moments and posed for pictures before moving on. We had both stopped at the same cheese shop at the same time from our divergent parts of this large county.

So, it was an odd day that went from not finding a place that was on the map to a serendipitous meeting with a fellow blogger. I do regret, however, that as far as I can tell there is no suitable antonym for that great word: serendipity. It would make it much easier to coin a clever title for this post.


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

You make me glad I live in a place surrounded by crown land. The Queen, bless her heart, says it belongs to all of us and we can use it but cannot own it and keep other out.

How nice to bump into a bogger admirer. You may have to go out in disguise it such encounter recur.

There used to be a Balderson Cheese shop south of Gravenhurst where I used to stop. It is closed now sadly.

Ginnie said...

It sounds like an amazingly wonderful day...and to be recognized from your blog is exciting...luckily it was a happy blogger !!
I wish I lived closer or how about you and Cuppa coming to North Carolina???

Mary G said...

Lovely photos, mostly. Indeed, the colour is not good and that is so annoying in a year when I am committed to posting a photo a day.

Indeed I was staring - takes a while for the aged brain to process stuff. As to mumbling charms agains apparitions - no way. I was just trying to remember your real name. But it was a lovely meeting and Cuppa is even prettier in real life than she is in your photos.

Do mention it the next time you are planning to be out this way buying cheese.

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

That was indeed serendipitous (is that a word?) Love stories like that. A cheese shop is a great place to meet a fellow blogger. In fact any place is great to meet a fellow blogger. So sorry about the googled map. Never seem to work out for me either.

Anvilcloud said...

Come on, Mary. I saw you trying to stuff the cross and stake back into your purse. :)

Anonymous said...

It is these serendipitous (it's a word now!) moments that bring smiles.

Mary said...

AC, Beautiful photos of your area and that cheese house looks wonderful. Maybe one day we can get up your way for a visit.

Glad you found a fellow blogger. A great coincidence. Looks like you enjoyed your visit.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.


Diana said...

So you almost took a bullet for Mary G.? Wow you were really looking for excitement!
Beautiful photos AC. Enjoy your Holiday! Love Di ♥

Ruth said...

Yes, I think I would recognize you and your family anywhere too. Our fall colours have been dull, but then the recent winds and rain have made many drop prematurely. We had to drive a distance today to find some Thanksgiving colour.

Pearl said...

What serendipity.

Balderson, eh? That's a flash from the past. Haven't been there in probably 25 years.