One thing I was looking forward to was the drive up to Sudbury! I think long car rides are akin to taking babies for walks in strollers, only on an adult level.

It’s always nice to see new scenery, and I haven’t seen  Northern Ontario for quite some time.

Just past Barrie you start seeing glimpses of the Canadian shield.

The Canadian shield consists of some of the oldest rocks on the earth, estimated at about 4.5 billion years old. The earth itself is about five bilion years old

If you’ve ever seen group of Seven paintings, they often feature aspects of the Canadian shield. Pink granite and metamorphic rocks with twisted veins of quartz and other minerals.

As you get farther north, past Parry Sound the shield is more pronounced and you can see where they blasted through it to make the highway.

The rocks get deeper and deeper with grooves in them showing where they placed the dynamite, and on top of many of the crests people have placed inukshuks. I stopped counting them when I got to about 59.

Inukshuks are ‘rock people’, little statues loosely constructed out fo rocks that Inuit used to use as markers in the Arctic Tundra.

They’ve kind of been adopted as symbols of Canada ever since the Olympics in Whistler.

But even the indomitable rock of the Canadian shield is not impervious to everything. On top of it you can see the lichen that is inexorably eating it away.

Oh it’s a sight to see!

And the lakes and rivers are still mostly frozen but you can tell by the edges where the ice is wafer thin that they’ll be thawing soon.

And with the thaw will come the spring turnover.

I  kept thinking about that, being the spring equinox today.

Spring is a time for turnovers isn’t it?

I was explaining this to my son the other. To me it’s one of the beautiful things in nature, the absolutely marvellous interactions that proves to me that all this could not be created solely by the accidents of evolution.

For those who might not be aware of the spring tur nover of lakes, it comes about because of the unique properties of water.

Water is absolutely essential to life on earth or anywhere in the universe.

The first thing space probes search for when traveling is the presence of water, because water means life.

And water is unique in that it’s one of the only subtances that increases in volume when it freezes. Almost everything else decreases in volume.

In fact water has a maximum density at 4 degrees Celsius. Warmer than that and colder than that, it expands.

Water in lakes turns over twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall.

In the fall, as the surface water gets colder first, it will reach maximum density at 4 degrees and sink to the bottom of the lake. And having been at the surface, it is full of oxygen and nutrients, thereby feeding the bottom of the lake. Then the bottom water rises and eventually freezes (after fluctuating in a sort of convection current.)

And because ice is less dense, it floats on top and insulates the fish and other denizens of the deep lake water during the harsh winter.

Then in spring as the surface water starts to melt and its temperature begins to rise to 4 degrees, the whole lake flips again. And again the surface water will be oxygenated and filled with nutrients from sunshine, to replenish the supplies below.


Beautifully designed!


Tomorrow I begin my hectic schedule.

I’ll take it one day at a time, but I’ll make sure, even in the rush to get to the places I need to be, to take a good look at the beauty of the scenery.

Please excuse any typos in this post. I’m working on my mini-laptop and I can’t always see the end of the screen because of the size of the window.