As you know, our backyard sits on the Grand River and everyday we do feel blessed to have this artists palette at our back door.   The river can be a place of vitality with people waterskiing, tubing, seadooing and just generally having great days  cruising around in their boats kicking up wakes.  Or, it can be a place of solitude with sleek canoes softly paddling through the still waters, herons & geese slowly gliding down to gracefully land, fish jumping carefree and sunsets so awe inspiring that every time you see one, you think this must be the best one yet.

            Last evening, I took these two photos of the cruise boat coming up the river.   It's hilarious when we are sitting down by our fire, near the bank, and the Grand River Cruise boat paddles by full of people waving at us.  We feel sometimes as if we were in a zoo, but maybe they feel that way as well!  There are three of these boats - The Grand River Princess, The Grand River Belle and The Grand River Queen.  They float by a couple times a day on the weekends and once a day during the week from May 24 weekend until the first weekend in October.  Dan & I took the cruise when we first moved into our home and thoroughly enjoyed the 3-hr tour!  (Unlike Gilligan, we made it back home!  Hahahaha!)   During that little outing on the boat cruise, we were passing our house on the way back from the tour and we were sitting out on the deck chairs waiting to take some photos of our home from the river....we didn't have a dock or a boat yet.  As it turned out, the Captain of the tour started narrating about our house! 

        He was telling everyone "If you look to your left folks, you'll see that big house on the hill there....it's for sale right now for a half million dollars and has an indoor pool....also, those french doors on the back are the original doors".  Dan & I were like "WHAT?!".  I actually went in and set him straight and told him the house was NOT for sale and the price was NOT that high by any means and those were NOT the original doors.  So, then, embarassment....he went on his loudspeaker and told everyone that the people who owned that house were on board and had corrected him.....well....really.....would you want him telling every cruise afterward that story?  Eek!  It is a lovely little trip with dinner served and all kinds of trivia pointed out along the way!  We'll even wave at you if you take the cruise!  Hahahaha!

            Here we see a very large turtle basking in the sunshine on some driftwood....a popular spot we soon found out, because we've seen three to four of them in this very spot.   Reason number one why I won't swim in the Grand...snapping turtles!  Although, my neighbour has always gone into the river swimming and has actually swam alongside a beaver!  Crazy!  A few times!  There is a huge variety of fish in the Grand and someone fishing off our dock almost always catches one, whether it be large or small. Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Pickerel, Rainbow Trout, Pike, Channel Catfish and Carp are most prevalent in our area.  Our daughter actually caught a clam one day!  A clam!  In the Grand!  We're not sure if they were clams (but they were large like a clam) or mussels.  I read something about freshwater mussels being an endangered species in the Grand River and there are many varieties of them, but I thought mussels were smaller.

            These herons are actually walking on the sandbank near the Onandaga section of the Grand.  We were out on a boat last year and caught them diving for fish in the middle of the river.  The river actually is impassable at this point due to the sandbank which spans across it, except to canoes.  

            What really seems strange is being here in this natural environment and knowing we are only minutes away from a large metropolis.  The best of both worlds....convenience and beauty!

Excerpt from Grand River Conservation Authority:

  • The Grand River is approximately 300 Kilometres long.
  • It flows from the headwaters near Dundalk Ontario to Port Maitland where it empties into Lake Erie.
  • The Grand River watershed is about 6,800 square kilometres; larger than the province of Prince Edward Island.
  • There are over 82 species of fish in the watershed.
  • The Grand River contains more than 50% of all the fish species found in Canada.
  • The Grand River is the largest inland river system in southern Ontario and the largest tributary flowing into Lake Erie on the Canadian side.
  • Historically the Grand River was known as OSEGOWA or OSWEGO, which means the one that washes timber down and carries away the grass and weeds.
  • However, in the late 1600s it became known as the Grand River.
  • Today the Region of Waterloo, Brantford and Six Nations all depend on the Grand River for their water supply.
  • There are approximately 6 million people living within a 1 hour drive of the watershed and 750,000 people living in the watershed.
  • There are 3 major tributaries to the Grand River - Speed/Eramosa, Conestogo and Nith Rivers.

9/10/2011 02:02:35 am

How can you ever tire of seeing that! The best is yet to come will the fall.
ps - the beaver is really very friendly if you let him go about his business!


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