Monday, September 20, 2010


This site recounts my, and my dog's efforts to build a photo journal of an area that is dear to our hearts. It also chronicles my efforts to move from the status of an amateur photographer to at least,a gifted amateur.

The Vermilion River starts its life some 600 miles north of our home in a place called Shining Tree, and meanders its way south to Capreol, the name of our town. It is this area that we're concerned with. The area is about 10 square miles and is honeycombed with trails,or abandoned railway right of ways,that we follow looking for good subjects to photograph. The river flows into the Sudbury basin acquiring different names,becomes a lake and ultimately becomes the Spanish River flowing into Lake Huron via the northshore and past Manitoulin Island,the largest fresh water island in the world.

The forest is a St. Lawrence-Great Lakes forest with boreal overtones in the Canadian Shield.The trees are primarily softwoods-evergreens, birch and aspen with limited maple and oak.The forest has been badly abused by mining and its attendant curse smelting ;as well as by clear cutting carried out by lumber companies.

Capreol was a rail head town. The railway, although still physically here, has economically deserted the area. In fact, Capreol like so many northern towns has no economic purpose. The real point I'm making is that the whole area is a labouring area precisely at a time that labouring is no longer necessary. This availability of well paying labouring jobs has denigrated the value of education, so when mining, forestry, and the railway downsize or close ,there are no alternatives,or the government steps in and creates meaningless civil service jobs which are clerical in nature. The alternative is working in retail, or call centres. The whole sorry mess is documented in a study completed by the local university called "Sudbury: A Mining Town In Crisis".

This situation breeds an attitude of  unhappiness,consumption,exploitation and waste, and it shows in the woods where ATV's or snowmobiles are the mode of transportation. Few people walk in an area which is noted for its chronically bad health,and the trails are littered with garbage.

Yet, the forest is making a comeback because of government legislation, and a few dedicated and gifted people, who labor for the environment.This does not include the local politicians. Even the wildlife is expanding to name a few Sandhill cranes, coyotes, numerous birds and even the Ontario cougar has been re-established. This site celebrates the comeback.

Below is my faithful companion, Boomer.