Monday, September 1, 2014

Exploring Carroll's Bay

I spent time this weekend paddling through sleepy little coves. I saw dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs and watched countless fish jumping in the calm water.

Regal looking Osprey watched me from their lofty perches and on a couple of occasions, flew past me with fish wriggling in their razor sharp talons.

Great Blue Herons stood as silent sentries along the shoreline or flew lazily overhead while everywhere around me, ducks, geese and swans went about their business seemingly oblivious to my intrusion.

What may be surprising to some is that in spite of being surrounded by all of this natural wonder, I hadn't even left the city and in fact was only minutes away from downtown Hamilton.

Carroll's Bay is located on the northwest side of Hamilton Harbour at the mouth of Grindstone Creek. The protection and oversight of this area is provided by the Royal Botanical Gardens. Their restorative efforts have been ambitious and have had an immensely positive impact on the return of Bald Eagles to this area as well as on the protection and sustainment of many other endangered and at risk species.

There is something magical about silently paddling into a protected cove on a calm foggy morning and discovering a couple of sailboats anchored there. Somehow it evokes a simpler time, a time of slower travel and lazier summers.

Pushing through, a large group of cormorants glared disapprovingly at me, vulture-like from atop their treetop perch. I left the water, tired and happy from a great work out and with the feeling that I had discovered yet another great local destination in the Hamilton area.

A special thank you to photographer Bryon O'Neill, who I had the privilege of meeting at Carroll's Bay. Please see more of his work at
His photos shown above are used with permission.