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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Meteor Showers Tonight!

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you about the meteor showers that we are expecting over the next two nights.

The Southern Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower takes place over the course of two days, July 28th, and 29th, and is best viewed from the east after midnight during the pre-dawn hours. The delta aquarids averages between 15 to 20 meteors per hour and at its peak produces 18 meteors per hour.



Other events to keep in mind is the Perseids Meteor shower which takes place over two days August 12,and 13, and is said to be one of the best for viewing meteors.

On August 13th comes the triple alignment of Venus, Mars, and Saturn. The three planets will align themselves with the crescent moon. Just after the sun sets look to the west to view this spectacular scene.

On August 20th Neptune will be visible by telescope and will appear as a tiny, blue dot in the sky. This is the closest that Neptune will get to planet earth and is the best time to view the planet.

That's it for me! I hope you are able to find the time to enjoy this wonderful phenomenon.

So go set your alarm, and dig out your sleeping bag. This is a show you don't want to miss :) Happy stargazing!



From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Monday, 26 July 2010

Small Forest Fire







We had an interesting day Wednesday after a thunderstorm went through. The lightning started a very small forest fire about half way up the East shore of Long-time-no-see-um Bay.

It stayed a small fire because of the rain and we were able to put it out ourselves instead of calling in the Water Bombers because our guests Steve and Wendy Leiter reported the fire to us early in it's development. We really appreciate that Wendy & Steve notified us so quickly.

Larry and I put it out with a little over an hour of very heavy watering and digging. The area burned ended up being only about 8 feet wide and 30 feet long.

This fire was started by a lightning strike. If you look closely at the tree pictures you can see the lightning scar meandering down the bark. It does not look like it was a particularly hard lightning strike but it was enough to ignite the very dry humus nestled under the roots and start the tree on fire.

Forest fires are not easy to put out because they go underground. That is why you not only have to put the above ground fire out, you also have to really saturate the soil and dig down to get the water to any "hot spots" under the soil.

We have not had a particularly dry year here but our soil is a humus of rotten wood and some of this humus can stay very dry even during rains if it is protected under roots, fallen trees or rocks. Once it ignites it burns slowly under the ground, sometimes for days and possibly even for weeks before it has the right conditions to come to the surface and take off. This is why discarded cigarettes or unattended camp fires can cause forest fires up here even after the people who unknowingly start them are gone.

We had to undermine the tree that the fire started under to get all of the coals under the ground.

We reported the fire and a fire crew was sent in to make sure it was out by helicopter. They complimented us on how thoroughly we put the fire out. We did dump probably over 10,000 gallons of water on the fire in the hour and a half or so we worked to put the fire out. If you are interested in more information about Forest Fires go to: http://forest.lrc.gov.on.ca/AFFM/fire/interactivemap/firemap_English.htm. We are Wawa 30 if you check the box "out fires".

Well that's enough excitement for the summer, especially Morgan and I guiding the Fire Fighters helicopter to the Burn Site. Now we can get back to just having fun fishing and photographing wildlife.


From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fish is the word

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! Wow, we're headed into the last week of July and I can't help but wonder where has the time gone? I am greeting August with open arms. Here's to August. I hope you are just as great as July was.

As you may have already guessed I am here today to tell you about the catches, and releases from the past two weeks here on Lake Wabatong.

Today I am going to start with our youngest angler. Tony Smetana is 8 years old and has been coming to Wilderness Islands since he was just a baby. He is quite the fisherman too. Tony caught, and released a 33.5 inch pike! What a great catch, Tony! Tony's mom, Terri, caught and released a 30 inch pike during here stay here at the resort. Great job, Terri! George, Tony's dad also caught and released a 31 in pike. Way to go Smetana family!

We have a new 2nd largest pike caught this year. I would like to send out a very special congratulations to Mrs. Renee Gall. On July 23rd Renee caught and released a 35 inch pike! Way to go, Renee!



Walleye seemed to slow down a bit last week and pike dominated the waters. This week walleye are picking up and pike are just as hungry. Heres to a whole new week of fishing. I cannot wait to see what this week brings.

Here's a great loon photo taken by Renee Gall that I would like to share with you all.



Happy fishing!


"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." ~Author Unknown



From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Osprey

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! I have another informative post for you today. I thought I would keep with my wildlife theme and talk to you about the Osprey.

The osprey is a large raptor that feeds mainly on fish. Because of it's diet you will find this bird close to rivers, lakes, and coastlines. The osprey can be found on all the continents except for Antarctica.



The osprey is the only raptor that plunges into the water. They can reach depths of 1 to 2 meters which is pretty impressive I must say. They will hover over the water scoping out their prey then plunge down feet first to grab the fish with their talons.

You will recognize this bird of prey by it's brownish-black upper body and white head cap. While flying above, the osprey can be distinguished by it's black 'wrist patches' and white underbelly. The osprey is a large bird with a wingspan of 4 to 6 feet in width.



Males and females look a lot alike however males tend to appear slimmer than the females and have narrower wings.

Before the colder weather appears, the osprey migrates to South America where it spends the winter months.

What a very beautiful bird. Here at Lake Wabatong we are fortunate enough to have osprey living among us.

That's it for me. Have yourself a great day!

"I feel like I'm nothing without wildlife. They are the stars. I feel awkward without them."
Bindi Irwin

From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Disgusted Eagle & Happy Fisherwoman

This Bald Eagle is probably as disgusted as she looks, and yes, she is all wet. Bald Eagles are considered fish eagles but unlike Osprey they only go into the water by mistake when they miscalculate how deep or how big a fish is that they have targeted to pluck out of the water and end up swimming.
This Bald Eagle was seen just inside Dibben Bay by Bob and Rennee Gall. It had probably just gotten out of the water from a long swim to shore after missing a basking Northern Pike. Bald Eagles are not very good swimmers, no actually they are very bad swimmers. Although they float pretty well and are generally not in danger during their unplanned dips, their feathers can soak up a lot of water. This eagle stayed on the shore for a couple of hours drying out and resting.
Rennee Gall was much happier and successful than the Bald Eagle she photographed with this 32 inch Northern Pike she caught & released fishing in Dibben Bay.

From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Monday, 19 July 2010

The magnificant Moose

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! I am very thrilled to write this post for you all today. I will be sharing some very interesting information on one of my absolutely favourite wild animals, the moose.

Range

The moose, scientific name Alces alces, is the biggest member of the deer family. The mighty moose can be found in canadian forests from the boundaries of Alaska to the eastern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador.




Identification

Although feared because of their great size, moose are shy,timid animals. Their colouration varies from dark brown, to reddish brown or grayish brown with gray or white leg stockings. A male bull moose can weigh upwards to 600kg, while females weigh in at around 400kg. The Alaskan-Yukon sub species can weigh up to 800kg!

How can you tell a male moose from a female moose? Well, mature male moose carry a rack of antlers, and also have a large 'bell' that hangs from under their chin. Females also have a 'bell' but it is smaller than a males. Also females have a white vulva patch on their hind end.



Interesting information about antlers

Antlers will begin to grow during the months of July and August. During this time the antlers are soft, spongy, and covered in velvet. By early September their antlers are fully developed and are hard. The velvet begins to dry and the moose will begin to rub their antlers on the trunks of trees to remove the velvet. A bull calf will develop its first set of antlers within its first year of life. A mature moose will shed its antlers in November while younger bulls may carry their antlers through the winter months.




Breeding

A successful breeding season depends on whether there was a good food supply that year. Moose breeding season, also known as 'the rut' begins mid-September. This is a dangerous time because male moose will fight for the right to breed with a female. Sometimes a male moose can die from injuries sustained in a fight. The calf moose will stay with its mother until she calves again the following spring. The cow will then drive off the previous years calf.

Feeding

During the summer moose feed on leaves, water plants, and upland plants as well. During the summer season a moose will eat 25 to 30 kg of food. Once winter comes around their diet changes to twigs,and shrubs from Balsam fir, poplars, birch, willow, and maples. When food becomes scarace the moose will then strip the bark from trees.



Predators

The main predator for moose are bears and wolves.

Diseases

The meningial worm, a deadly parasite, attacks the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord of the moose.Areas where moose and white-tailed deer co-exists are the hardest hit by this parasite. Signs and symptoms include rear leg weakness, lameness, paralysis, circling, abnormal head tilting, blindness, and an inability to eat.

I hope this was an informative for you. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. Have a great day!




From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Friday, 16 July 2010

The benefits of Catch and Release

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi!

How has the fishing been for you this July? Any record catches? When is your favourite time to fish? Personally I enjoy fishing in the spring. I look forward to spending warm spring days walking a river searching out Steelhead. I only recently learned the art of Steelhead fishing but once I landed my first fish, I was hooked! Literally!

This year we have been seeing more and more larger fish caught,and released from Lake Wabatong. Pike and walleye are thriving in our lake and that is just absolutely awesome. The fish are getting bigger, and there are more of them. I believe this is due to our guests support of fisheries and catch and release practices, as well as the rules and regulations set in place by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Well it's that time again; time to share with you some of the lovely catches from the past week. Here we go!

Congratulations goes out to

Mr. Mike Kelley for his 32 inch northern pike, Mr. George Smetana for his 30 inch northern pike, Joe Curran for his 30 inch northern pike, Justin Curran for his 32 inch northern pike, and to Mr. Matthew Conrad for his 36 inch northern pike. Mr. Patrick Luea also caught, and released a beautiful 27.5 inch walleye during his stay. Wow! Way to go, guys!



Patrick Luea and his 27.5 inch Walleye

From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The health benefits of Nature

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! I hope that you are having great fishing this summer. Here at Errington's Wilderness Islands we have been blessed with such beautiful weather so far this summer. Quite a change from last summer that's for sure. When you have a beautiful day presented to you you must seize the day! Get yourself out there and take advantage of the beauty and wonder that mother nature has provided us.

There have been studies performed on the benefits of wilderness and nature. These studies show the physiological benefits that nature has on our well being. It has been proven that nature provides an individual with decreased mental fatigue, restores mental clarity, and can increase an individuals sense of well being. For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, nature and the wilderness has proven beneficial to them as well. It has helped them with clarity, as well as their attention span. What a great thing nature is for the individual!

If you would like to read more on the health benefits of Nature, you can most certainly research this topic. There's some great articles, and information out there giving more detail on this topic.

That's it for me. Have a wonderful day today.

"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."
~Standing Bear



From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Mr. Conrad Obregon Birding Photography

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! Today I would like to tell you a bit about our friend Mr. Conrad Obregon. Mr. Obregon is a resident of New York and is bird crazy. An avid birder, and photographer of 58 years, Mr. Obregon is teeming with knowledge. I had the opportunity to go out birding with Mr. Obregon yesterday. Although we didn't see as many birds as we hoped, it was still a pleasure to spend time with him. I am happy to take the opportunity to share some of Conrad's photographs that he has taken while at the resort. If you would like to view more of Mr. Obregon's photos I have enclosed a link to his website. Please click on the blog heading " Mr. Conrad Obregon Birding Photography"



Yellow Warbler courtesy of Mr. Conrad Obregon



Great Blue Heron courtesy of Mr. Conrad Obregon



Bald Eagle courtesy of Mr. Conrad Obregon



Common Loon eating a minnow courtesy of Mr. Conrad Obregon



Conrad in action

What a pleasure it was to have Mr. Obregon at our resort. Thank you for your lovely pictures and your bird knowledge.

Happy birding!



From Errington's Wilderness Island www.WildernessIsland.com

Friday, 9 July 2010

Revenge Is So Sweet

Mike Holden, a veteran of Errington’s for more than 15 years (shown in the picture next to Al Errington on the right) is a great fisherman and it seems an excellent liar as well. On a “slow fishing day” Mike and his brother Dan (not pictured) fooled his brother Tom, cousin Bob and son Peter (L to R) into believing he had found a “Hot Spot” by pulling the SAME Walleye into the boat every time he drifted past a particular tree.

Mike had his fun for two days until he arrived at Black Rock just in time to see his son Peter hook the biggest “Pike” in the lake. Peter and Bob struggled to land the 55” monster as Tom, Dan and Mike motored over to see the fish. As they drove over, Pete screamed to Bob, the net man, that the “Pike” was going under the boat, Mike put his boat in high gear and raced to help.

As they approached, Mike and Dan witnessed the netting of the monster pike from some distance and saw the tail flap in the air as Bob and Peter tried their best to avoid the thrashing monster’s teeth. Mike later said that his biggest concern that the “Pike” would take a finger from son Peter and ruin his career as a dentist.

After a few minutes of frantic struggle, Mike and Dan arrived to get a glimpse of the giant. They threw a tape into the boat to measure it as Peter straddled the beast and Bob tried to remove the hook. Mike pleaded to see the fish shouting instructions as to how it should be held and that’s when Tom, Pete and Bob knew…

They had caught two bigger fish… Mike and Dan went for it “hook line and sinker.”

Peter pulled the “fish” you see in the picture from the bottom of the boat while Tom snapped pictures of Dan and Mike. The “Pike” was made from an old BBQ grill cover provided by Al who, it should be noted, provides ALL your fishing needs, including the makings for a giant, monster FAKE pike! This was so well played that Mike saw the tarp and though "That was smart, they wrapped the Pike in a tarp so it could not bite them. Where did they get the tarp?"

This round goes to Tom, Pete and Bob, but Danny and Mike will certainly not let this be the last word on lies told at Wabatongushi!


Bob Grimm

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort www.WildernessIsland.com

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The mighty beaver

Greetings from Lake Wabatong! Today, I am going to dedicate this entire blog entry to the beaver. Why the beaver, you may ask? Well let me tell you.

When the Europeans colonized North America, wood, fish, and the beaver were among the major draw to the continent. At that time, the beaver population was upward to 6 million but after a great demand for their pelt, the beaver was on the verge of extinction. When a change in fashion swept through Europe because now silk top-hats were the style, beaver pelts were no longer desirable. I guess we could probably say that fashion saved the all mighty beaver from extinction.

Here are some interesting facts that about the beaver that I would like to share with you

Did you know?

* The beaver is the largest rodent in North America

* The beaver can see as well on land as it can under water

* The beaver can weight between 16kg to 32 kg

* Although slow on land, the beaver is a graceful swimmer. It uses its tail as a rudder in the water helping it to steer.

* The beaver uses its paws to carry sticks, mud, and stones as well as to perform other tasks.

* The lifespan of a beaver is about 12 years of age

* The beavers teeth grow continuously. Chewing and gnawing on trees helps to wear down its teeth.

* Beavers are most active at dusk, and dawn.

* The beavers favourite trees are poplar, aspen, and birch.

* On March 24th, 1975 Canada named the beaver the national animal

Here are some lodges situated around Lake Wabatongushi



Our 'new condo' over by cabins 1 and 2



A smaller lodge that has gone up in the bay behind our fish cleaning shack.

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort www.WildernessIsland.com

That's it from me. I hope that you enjoyed our beaver post and hopefully learned something new about this mighty little rodent.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A knack for fishing

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi!

Do you remember your first fishing adventure? Who got you interested? What was the first fish you ever caught? For me I was about 4 years old and my dad took my brother and I to a friends pond that was stocked with rainbow trout. For bait we used marshmallows and hot dogs. I vaguely remember catching my first fish but from what I do remember I was more interested in feeding the fish in the pond marshmallows than trying to catch them. It was many years later that I decided to pick up a rod again, but I sure am glad that I did.

Some people are just born to fish. I like to say that they were born with a fish radar implanted in their brain. They seem to have a feeling for fishing. They know where the fish are and how to catch them. I believe that Katie Vagiloff has just that. Katie is just ten years old and she has that certain flare for fishing. It doesn't matter where Katie goes, she can catch fish.



During her stay here at the resort Katie caught, and released some beautiful walleye. Katie's biggest catches were a lovely 26" walleye, and a 24" walleye. Way to go, Katie! You have quite the knack for fishing. Don't ever lose that flare!



Some other great catch and releases from this past week come from Mr. Craig Conrad for his 24" walleye and his 22" walleye. Also from Mr. Kevin Norman for his 30" pike. Great job, guys!


Happy fishing!

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." ~John Buchan


From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort www.WildernessIsland.com

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Awesome catches!

Greetings from Lake Wabatongushi! Summer is in full swing here at the resort. The atmosphere here has been absolutely delightful. We have had many guests come and go each one of them bringing their own flavor here to the resort. It's been a pleasure getting to know each and every one of our guests.

We have been experiencing a trend here at the resort and that trend has been big fish. Boy, do I have some great catch and releases to talk about today. Hmmm... Where to begin? I think I will start off with the biggest catch and release of northern pike thus far. A big shout out to Mr. Kenneth Champagne for his 38.5" pike. Way to go, Kenneth! So far you hold the title for largest pike caught this season.



I would also like to mention Mr. Chris Champagne, Ken Champagne's son, caught and released his first ever walleye here at Wilderness Island Resort. Chris caught a 26" beauty. Check it out!



Honorable mentions go to Brian Mack for his 34" and 32" pike, Grant Sommers for his 30" pike, Kyle Richardson for his 32" pike, Ronda Huston for her 30" pike, Ben Hoesl for his 31.5" pike, and Erik King for his 25" pike.

We have had some beautiful sized walleye caught over the past week as well. Mr. Doug Hoppa caught, and released a 24" and a 28" walleye during his stay here at Errington's. I would also like to mention what a terrific singer and guitar player Doug is. Last week Doug held a coffee house for the staff here at the lodge. He played a wide variety of music anything from John Lennon, to Credence Clearwater Revival, to John Denver, to Van Morrison. Thank you Doug for a great night full of music and laughs.

Have you ever caught two fish on the same lure? Well, Jean Claude Morisset did just that. Jean was using a Hot'n'Tot that his friends grandmother, Mrs. Jaunita King, had given him and when he pulled up his line he found two perch hanging on to his Hot'n'Tot. Lucky catch, Jean Claude!



Well that is it from Lake Wabatong. I wish you well in all your fishing endeavors.

"I once gave up fishing. It was the most terrifying weekend of my life."
Anon.


Happy Fishing!



From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort www.WildernessIsland.com

Great Walleyes by Rick & Erik Born Again

Father & Son Walleye Team Rick & Erik Born had another great fishing vacation again this year. Not quite as good as Erik's twin 28 inch Walleyes of last year but lots of good size Walleyes caught & Released, a few to eat, and a couple of Catch & Release Trophies again. Rick is at left with the 26 inch Walleye he caught and released fishing on June 28. Erik almost caught up with his Dad fishing this morning with this 24 1/2 inch Walleye. A great end to their vacation before flying out late this morning and a Great Canada Day Celebration.

From Errington's Wilderness Island Resort www.WildernessIsland.com