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Algonquin and Moose and Aurora, oh my!

Updated: Jan 30

The Women's Weekend in Algonquin Photography Workshop was a blast! It is *so* exciting for me to be with someone when she sees her first moose or witnesses the lady Aurora dance before her eyes. The weekend was truly a success. We enjoyed great laughs, wonderful scenery, amazing food, animal sightings, new friendships and lots of fun along the way!

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) photographed in Algonquin Provincial Park
Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) panoramic photographed during our second night of the workshop

Yearling moose in Algonquin Provincial Park
Yearling moose showing fur loss from "tick rub". Photographed our second morning

I was treated to a delightful group of women who were eager to learn and explore, helpful and easy-going, and seemed to become instant friends from the workshop's start. You can't ask for more as a workshop leader!!

Cow moose in Algonquin Provincial Park
Cow moose taking a drink at the side of highway 60

Mother Nature happily cooperated by hailing during our classroom session the first evening (making it easier to concentrate on learning!), then providing beautifully warm (and bug-free) weather on Saturday & Sunday... albeit, Saturday was a touch too warm (21C) for the moose who were still sporting their winter coats!

Ice face on Lake Opeongo 2018
Face it, ice is cool!

Ontario Parks had not yet officially opened the park, as there was still ice on most of the lakes. This actually gave us wonderful opportunities to explore ice formations in the water, capture "Group of Seven"-esk scenes, and include beautiful foreground elements in our landscape images. And, in just one day, we witnessed dramatic change.

Ice melting on Lake Opeongo in Algonquin Park 2018
"Ice out" is declared when Lake Opeongo (pictured) is free from ice.

Mew Lake Algonquin Provincial Park
No ice left on Mew Lake by our second morning!

Since most access roads in Algonquin were closed, we explored the nooks and crannies of the park along Highway 60... of which there are plenty!

And the ice offered more than macro and landscape opportunities. As we rounded a corner during our adventures, we came upon a playful river otter, who seemed happy to have an audience! He caught a huge fish, brought it up on the ice and proceeded to chow it down, looking proud of his accomplishment.

River otter on ice in Algonquin Provincial Park
River otter posing for our workshop - looking directly at the women! - before catching his fish.

Sunset in Algonquin Provincial Park
Sunset on the second night of our workshop

We had mostly clear skies during sunrise and sunset, which meant we didn't have superb colour, but we still got out, enjoyed our time in nature and were thankful those clear skies offered us an amazing opportunity to photograph the northern lights.

And, more on that... this loon and his/her friends serenaded us while we photographed the northern lights! It was a truly magical experience.

The icing on the cake was this same loon gave us a send-off the next morning, as s/he came in to get a good, close look at us.

My sincere thanks to the participants for joining me for the first annual Women's Weekend in Algonquin! I'm thrilled to have been able to show you a slice of this incredible park that feels like my second home. And I look forward to our paths crossing again!

HUGE gratitude to The Mad Musher for being our home for the weekend - outstanding hospitality, meals and service, as always! (p.s. Happy 15th Anniversary!!)

And one final, but extremely important note of thanks. Everyone received a Welcome to Algonquin gift bag. A little back story... as a July baby, my birthday parties were very small, but my Mum made up for that by creating legendary "loot bags" for those who came. I wanted to continue the tradition, but I needed the help of some amazing partners... And I got it!

Thank you for providing incredible swag bags FULL of goodies & coupons!

Thank you for providing a generous coupon on a metal print sample to encourage participants to print their memories!

What better way to encourage someone to open their camera bag and take it on an adventure than an AWESOME customized hand-stamped zipper pull?! THANK YOU!!

And, of course, I included some goodies of my own. :)

Missed the adventure? Sign up for my next workshop - Fall in Love with Algonquin September 18-20, 2018. This workshop is open to men and women. All skill levels welcome! The classroom portion will cover photography basics, which will be a refresher for intermediates & up.

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