We take the ferry out to the island at a leisurely pace, seeing shipwrecks as we travel in Lake Huron, on a bright and sunny July day.
Things are different up here. There’s no sandy beaches, and the water is a degree or two above freezing. It’s just rock and water and wood. A peninsula jutting into the Georgian Bay, surrounding by little uninhabited rocky islands.
We get to Flowerpot Island, and there are tourists everywhere on the initial beach. Well-dressed Asian ladies and children scrambling over the limestone shore, into the freezing water.
But as you go deeper along the trails, away from the “flowerpots” that named the island, things are quieter. No screaming kids, no well-dressed Asian ladies. It’s just moss and rock and cedar trees.
And little trails of mottled light that reach the forest floor.
It reminded me of one of Tolkien’s forests, full of story. The trees here aren’t nearly as old as Fangorn because their roots can’t get a good grip on the limestone rock, and so they fall. No tree here is ancient.
They are hardy, though, and they grip to life through terrible winters and stiff winds from the lake.
The sunlight reaches the forest floor in patches, highlighting a felled tree here, or a moss-grown rock there. It’s dramatic, and on parts of the island no one ever sees it.
I had a lot of fun stopping at the more lovely light patches to grab a few photos. Shadow and light – the mix was addictive after hiking along the trails, and I had to stay in the back of our group so I didn’t hold anyone up.
It was worth it. The photos have a mystique to them. Places without people often do, and that’s why we go there.