Summers in Ontario are short so everyone tries to get the most out of them and one of the pleasures of summer is being outdoors. Many people own or rent cottages in the country and since Canada is estimated to have two million lakes, quite a number of them are on the water. Naturally, swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are the usual summer pastimes. Last week I was at my sister’s cottage in southwest Ontario. Though her cottage is not on the water, we spent every afternoon swimming in a creek nearby. I am a poor swimmer and always feel slightly anxious in deep water but even I enjoyed swimming in a calm, freshwater creek with trees all around.
One of our routines is going for long walks with the dog but its been a wetter summer than usual this year and there are lots of mosquitoes around, so hiking in the woods was not a pleasure. Lake Erie which is nearby has a long beach, perfect for walking so I was able to indulge in the illusion that I was walking off some of the calories I had consumed during the days I was there. My sister’s vegetable garden (Turtle Eggs, Edible Weeds and Ginseng in Southwest Ontario) is bountiful at this time of year and in her house, we pay a lot of attention to food and dining. Of course, when you eat good food, it has to be accompanied by wine or beer and rounded off with desserts like maple syrup mousse so all my good intentions of eating less and exercising more fell by the wayside!
Where southwest Ontario is rich in farmland, northern Ontario is a totally different landscape. It is more wild with lots of lakes, small islands, rocky outcrops and evergreen trees. I enjoy canoeing and camping in the wilderness in the Georgian Bay area but given this years wetter and cooler summer so far, I was delighted to have the opportunity this week of joining some friends who rented a cottage in the Muskokas. We were right on the water and could swim whenever we felt like. Being a wimp about swimming unless the sun is shining, I did not do as much as I could have. However my bedroom had a little balcony, sheltered from the rain, with a wonderful view and I enjoyed the peace and tranquility of being there.