Western Willet on Liebeck Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario
During my last trip up to the Parry Sound Region I decided it was time to take my 5 year old daughter on an excursion to Liebeck Lake. This is a small, cottageless lake found deep in the forest near the family cottage on Horseshoe Lake. A trail extends through the woods for roughly 3 kilometres before arriving at the lake and then the trail continues for about another kilometre as it follows the shoreline of the lake before it comes to an end at the Seguin Trail. Despite what you will read below we did have a wonderful time and my daughter was given the piggy-back ride all the way back to the cottage, which I promised her if she would walk all the way out to the lake with me.
Liebeck Lake is a beautiful lake and the water level of the lake is somewhat controlled by beaver dams. Once, about 10-15 years ago one of the dams sprung a leak and the water level dropped quite a bit. History repeated itself this year. During my visit to the lake with my daughter we were able to explore the newly exposed shoreline which is essentially a large mudflat now. While there I noticed a lone western willet feeding on the mudflat and shallows and I was able to get a few decent photos despite the relatively harsh lighting. When the lake level drops like this it exposes part of the areas history with the logging days of the late 1800s and early 1900s evident in the many dead-heads that are usually submerged when the lake levels are normal. These dead-heads tend to make interesting photo subjects themselves.
Please do remember to click on each of the photos to see a much larger, sharper version.
Dead-head on newly exposed shoreline of Liebeck Lake
Dead-heads on newly exposed shoreline of Liebeck Lake
A lovely trail leading us through the woods to a beautiful, quiet lake; the newly exposed shoreline covered with a multitude of Moose and Black Bear tracks and sandpipers arriving at the newly exposed mudflats to feast before continuing their migration south. Not so my friends! When I swing my camera to the left all you can see is a mudflat chewed up by thoughtless folks who have taken their ATVs out for a joy ride in the mud. The lovely quiet trail now looks more like a hideous logging road. Don’t get me wrong now…I have nothing against ATVs, they do serve a purpose but when the folks that drive them off through the woodland trails and wreck havoc on them or destroy shoreline habitat like you see in the photos below I get pissed off. Their are designated trails for ATVs and there are folks who abide them and respect nature and then there are the others…..
ATV damage on Liebeck Lake
What was once the lovely woodland trail to Liebeck Lake