Fences on Manitoulin Island



I’m still fascinated by these split rail fence – this fence is on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada but I have also seen them along the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway in the Eastern U.S., also a rocky land with thin soil.

This is not a photo I used in a previous post on these fences, because of the chain-link fence in the background. But for the WoollyMuse’s challenge “fences” this seemed perfect because there are three different kinds of fences in this uncropped photo.

Fences of Manitoulin Island


We saw a lot of these split rail fences as we drove down lots of roads to get to destinations unknown. JB said he remembers seeing these fences as a child when he and his father visited his great uncle’s and great cousin’s farms in the Durham, Ontario area.

They were everywhere – on working farms, along the side of roads with no farms in sight, along the road with the woods creeping to overtake them. Some were fairly new and well maintained while others were in states of disrepair. And there was a variation of this split-rail fence.

I have a fascination with fences, I like their beauty but it isn’t a political issue where I believe land should be divided and fenced instead of allowing for free-range. I can’t come down on either side – but I appreciate good fences that are aesthetically pleasing and/or functional. These were functional.

As we drove and I observed the rocky fields I realized that a good portion of the island has very thin soil so it is impossible to dig post holes deep enough to keep a fence standing. Thus the people solved their problem by designing fencing that could support itself above ground. Another version of the second set of fencing is to build the triangle with two sides connected to the upright post and put large rocks on the side that lies on the ground. They used what they had – large numbers of cedar trees that are rot resistant and rocks and a little wire. I didn’t notice any duck tape or bubble gum.


Morning on the Bay



My goal was to be up for the sunrise at our campsite on Manitoulin Island, on the water of Manitowaning Bay, just south of Sheguiandah. I feel the tug of the yarn that wants to unravel my story of exploring this island with multiple First Nation tribes but my topic sentence has tethered me to the early morning.

Our site is on Sunrise Beach, as named on the camp map, and the windows around our dinette overlook a small corner of water of this large bay, filled with Great Lakes’ water. I left the blind up so the early morning light would find its way to my bed to gently stroke my eyelids open. I refuse to let an alarm clock jerk me out of an interesting dream, before I am ready, now that I am living on retirement schedule.

The sunrise did awaken me – as I raised my head I could see the peachy-pink skyline. I would like to say that I jumped out of bed, but no, I just eased out a little more quickly than usual. By the time I slipped my clothes on and secured my Velcro sandals, the fickle early morning light had lifted most of the pink but I walked into a calm and gentle light.


The air was still as I stood in dewy grass, with only gentle breaths to create a small, occasional ripple on the water – but not enough to sway the rushes. The only thing that seemed to be moving was the small motor boat anchored a few feet off shore. I would take a few photos of this boat, then focus my attention slightly to the left or right. When I looked back the boat was showing me a new face. The boat was always moving but never going anywhere. It moved round about, changing direction but never moving forward, anchored to that spot in the bay.


When I became satiated on photographs, I sat and enjoyed the cool air, the warming sun, and the morning sound of fresh-water birds, along with a few gulls. In the distance I heard a loon, a smile-maker because they aren’t common where I live in Michigan. I wonder what it is about the loons’ call that plucks at our human experience and emotions. Is it a call of yearning? Maybe a call for companionship.


Chutes Provincial Park

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I was surprised by the number of water falls we found as we traveled along the eastern side of Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. We had endured over a week of rainy weather that had a silver lining as the water falls were swollen.

Is I felt the mighty power of the water, all I could think of was canoeing to this “gentle” fall,

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only to see this just feet away.

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Of course it would have been expected because the roar of the water could be heard a great distance away. I was in awe of the mighty and powerful view in front of me as we stood on the observation deck, but what my eyes were drawn to was the beauty of the simple in nature.

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Is nature ever simple?