I was 8 years old in 1953 when our family moved its summer vacations from a rental cottage on the shore of Lake Ontario near our home in Oswego to an island cottage on Loughborough Lake north of Kingston, Ontario. And so, that year, my love affair with the wild landscape of the Frontenac Arch began.
I didn’t learn the name for this remarkable rock-bound and lake-strewn region until nearly 50 years later when I became involved with the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in Redwood, just down the road from our home in Rossie. It was there that I first heard of the Frontenac Arch, the remarkable geologic backbone of gneiss, granite, and marble that carries the Canadian Shield from the shores of Georgian Bay and the Algonquin Park highlands, through the Thousand Islands and the Indian River Lakes, and on to the Adirondack Mountains. More than a billion years old, this expansive region is home to a vibrant landscape of biological diversity as beautiful and environmentally important as any in North America.
At age twelve I took my first canoe trip in Canadian cottage country with my brother John through the Rideau Lakes. Six years later we discovered Algonquin Park on an epic 16-day, 350 mile adventure that took us up and down five different rivers along the way. I first took up photography in the era of Kodachrome, Velvia, and Seattle Film Works to try to capture some the beautiful and remote places Louise and I continued to travel as we explored this extraordinary region, and to share those images with others we might entice to join us. The technology has moved on, and our favorite canoeing and hiking destinations have reached beyond Algonquin Park and Georgian Bay, but the spirit of these northern places remains as enchanting and enthralling as the first time I saw them.
With thanks for all the joy they have brought me and with appreciation to Evelyn Saphier and the Iva Smith Gallery, I am grateful for the opportunity to share some of them with you.