Each year our family gathers at a campsite to celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend. A celebration started by my brother-in-law who “hosts” the event, the twenty-odd family and close friends all gather at Rondeau Park on Lake Erie to enjoy the outdoors.
In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving over a month earlier than our neighbours to the south, so mid-October can be iffy when it comes to the weather. The last couple of years we have had warmth and sunshine. Unfortunately, this year we had rain on the Friday, followed by cold days (and even colder nights). While we managed sleeping in the tent with a space heater (got to love those electrical camp sites), we generally had a fire started early afternoon to warm up.
We cheated a little on the way up. After a gruelling 5 1/2 hour drive (normally 3 hours) in the rain and traffic, we decided to borrow a spare room at my in-laws cabin just outside the park (not everyone likes sleeping in a tent) and avoid the all too predictable fight that would come from putting up a tent in the dark and the rain.
Rondeau Park is essentially a peninsula extending into Lake Erie, but mostly parallel to the shore. It is a haven for birds and the inevitable duck hunters who’s guns you can hear go off very early in the morning. There are a number of trails in the 8km park including one along the marsh (shore) side. The lake side is primarily beaches with a number of private residences that pre-date the park. Many of the older houses have the dates they were built. The oldest I saw was 1907, not too far from the garage photo below.
Despite the cold, I did my usual wandering with Molly the Doodle and took in some pretty descent sunsets. Nope, never made it up for the sunrises across the Lake this year, but the bed was just too warm and the air just too cold.
Another tradition at the campsite is an early Hallowe’en. All the kids at the camp site get dressed up on the Saturday and go from campsite to campsite collecting goodies. The campsites are often decorated more than many houses are back home. One camper created a haunted maze for the kids to go through. I guess it keeps everyone warm. It’s a lot of fun as the adults join in the casual walk around the colourfully-lit sites with the kids.
Most of the shots I took this year were with the 24-120mm f4.0 lens. I brought my 50mm f1.4 for some night shots but only took a couple with it. Last year I experimented with daylight flash as there was a strong, direct sun blasting everything and felt it worked pretty well. I didn’t bring it this year and with mostly overcast days, the lighting was pretty good and even. I mostly used ISO 400 to give a little boost on those kids that just won’t stop moving.