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CHRIS's

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Wading in the Shallows

For many years the Medwell family took our turn as the Volunteer Lighthouse Keepers at the Flowerpot Island light station in Georgian Bay, located within the Fathom Five National Marine Park just off Tobermory at the north end of the Bruce Peninsula. The tourist boats would come twice a day and we would keep the composting toilet clean and the store stocked with snacks, water and soft drinks. But the real joy was being alone on the island after the boats were gone: hiking the trails, exploring the limestone caverns and those fascinating 'flowerpot' rock formations, swimming or wading in the cold, clear water, and enjoying all the island's wildlife: snakes, hummingbirds, the occasional fox or deer that somehow swam over, and birds of prey. We painted and cleaned the buildings, watched the big ships pass by in the shipping channel, weeded the gardens, and chatted with tourists from all over Canada and the rest of the world. It was a great way to be in the Canadian wilderness and instill in our children that marvelous sense of awe and wonder at the beauty of nature. The photo shows me and my kids in 1999, when they were 7 and 9 years old, wading in the water below the light. The clear blue water of Georgian Bay and a glimpse of Bears Rump Island in the background complete the picture.

- CHRIS

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