We felt we could not stay on Lake Charleston for a week without actually exploring Lake Charleston beyond our own little sliver of shoreline. We, therefore, entered the provincial park, plumped for the shoreline trail, and set off on a trek. An information at the trailhead provided us with some information on what we might encounter on our trek. Consequently, the younger boys had high expectations of seeing wildlife. This was despite the fact that we were encountering significantly fewer critters in our borrowed woodland house than we encounter on a daily basis in our suburban home. We saw some squirrels, a punk caterpillar, and a solitary deer, and that – apart from the fish – was the sum total of our wildlife encounters during our week at the lake house. This was not what we anticipated. My youngest son has a trail camera set up in our backyard so he can capture images of deer and foxes and the chupacabra (a mangy fox that malingers in our neighbourhood) and he brought his camera with him to the lake house. It captured nothing. Nothing. A whole week living in the woods and it captured not one single image of a beast of any kind. But I digress.
The shoreline trail was an easy going loop. It was a baking hot day so the shade of the trees provided welcome respite from the heat and also created lovely dappled light on the woodland floor. Shoreline was a bit of a misnomer as the path barely took us near the coast of the lake. There was one point where we popped out of the trees at the water’s edge but a couple of kayakers were trying to have what looked to be a romantic picnic right at that spot so we did the diplomatic thing and kept moving. The only other body of water we passed was some kind of pond – probably a tributary of the actual lake. It was so still, however, that it was practically stagnant and, of course, that meant biting insects galore were having some kind of convention there. We were instantly being devoured. The mosquitos were so big that when we swatted them, they left crime scene style spatters of blood on our arms and legs. So gross. Even my husband, who is normally immune from being bitten, was getting eaten alive by these vicious insects. That was the day when I was bitten so many times that I had a particularly nasty reaction in the evening.
Mercifully, to make the trek worthwhile, we did encounter one (non-biting) animal – a gorgeous little frog. Or maybe a toad. I have not identified what specific species of amphibian it was. The kids were thrilled to have an actual animal encounter.