Saturday, October 19, 2013

Point Pelee

Awhile back I went to Point Pelee and apparently forgot to post pictures from the trip.

So here they are.

Point Pelee is the southernmost point in Canada with the exception Pelee Island and Middle Island which are in Lake Erie.  It is a spit of land that extends a little over 4 miles into Lake Erie. It is the smallest of Canada's National Parks encompassing 5.8 square miles.  Originally it was established to protect the timber as a supply for naval ships.

The Park is pretty varied.  The point itself is sand, but there is a large wetland area.  There is a boardwalk cutting through the area and the walk is very nice.  Because of the habitat and it's position extending into the lake, Point Pelee draws birdwatchers from all over.

In addition to birdwatchers, Point Pelee also serves as a place where Monarch butterflies stop on their migration route either before crossing the lake or after crossing it when moving north.  You can rent canoes and head out into the wetland.  The trees on the horizon represent a barrier to Lake Erie I believe. 

Standing at the point you can see shipping.  This is the Wagenborg heading west.  I believe that Pelee Island is in the background.

This is the actual point.  There were a couple of times where you could see land a bit further out, but it was covered by water almost all the time.  Even this was pretty much covered and it drained really quickly.  The point shifts over time and can change shape as a result of wind and wave action.

No, I didn't accidentally post a picture from my (nonexistent) trip to a tropical paradise.  This is looking north from roughly the same point the last picture was taken.  There is no swimming out on the point.  There can be really strong rip currents along the point.  There are warnings as well as a memorial to a boy who drowned after being pulled out into the lake..

Some more of the waves coming in from the west.

Looking north again.

One thing I didn't expect to see was this.  Prickly Pear cactus.  Although normally associated with the desert, hese are native to the area.  They like the sandy soil and the moderate temperatures. 

 With the lake on both sides of the land mass and distance south, the temperature is pretty well moderated. This made it ideal for people to farm and for quite some time there was a community here that did just that.

The land was eventually turned into a park and the people living there had to move.  This is one of the remaining homes.

Although efforts are underway to restore the area to it's natural state, canals like this that were dug for irrigation remain.

I want to go back again one of these days.  It was a great place to visit.

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