I am packing up to head to Georgian Bay for about a week. I will be back at my desk and back on the blog in early August.
The photo above is of a bear that has been sighted close to the island where our cottage is located. There have been quite a few bear sightings in the area this summer. Apparently we have a bear horn. I am pretty sure my best chance of staying safe is to keep my head up and make lots of noise when I walk. But I will be happy to have the horn if a bear shows any signs of getting near the dogs or the kids.
On a not totally related but relevant topic, the Star's Tanya Talaga is reporting on massive fires in Northern Ontario forcing the evacuation of more than 3,300 people from their homes, including in Kitchener and Ottawa. UPDATE: By Thursday afternoon more than 3,000 people were being airlifted from their homes as firefighters battled more than 100 fires.
Not all forest fires are caused by people smoking or leaving smouldering embers in the woods, but I still wanted to link to some information from the Ontario Ministry of Natural resources on camping and fire safety.
I went to the site expecting simple instructions on building fires in clear areas and properly dousing your coals, but there is a ton of interesting information. My favourite part is the link to the science of fire.
On Monday the Star will publish my account of learning to make fire with a bow drill with Andrew McMartin from the P.I.N.E Project, a Toronto group that runs camps for kids and adult workshops with the goal of reconnecting people with the natural world and building healthy communities.
I do not actually make fire, just detail the humbling and therefore amazing process of learning all about the components of a bow drill kit. For anyone who wants to learn something and is willing to step out of their comfort zone - at least that was the case with me - I would highly recommend heading to their website and checking out the adult courses and workshops.
Have a good week. Whatever you do, don’t feed the bears and hope everyone you know and love is staying cool and comfortable.