It’s been a very mild winter in Southern Manitoba, very little to complain about. So when winter arrived this week and temperatures dropped I started getting a bit of spring fever, for days like the one pictured above. This was an image from a few years back of a Lake Winnipeg sunset from Hecla Island Provincial Park. This also happens to be a dog friendly beach, so we usually go a couple times a year, and will look forward to bringing Angus and Fergus for a swim this summer.
Summer weekends at Manitoba’s well known beaches can get very busy, and if you have Labrador Retrievers who love getting wet you’re out of luck, with the restrictions at most public beaches. However on Hecla Island’s northwest shoreline is Sunset Beach which is secluded and dog friendly and therefore a favorite of Wallace and Angus.
Wallace at almost 12 years and he still has it. A little stiff after wards, but fine the next day.
Angus, crashing through the Lake Winnipeg waves.
After the dogs had there fun, I managed a few test shots with canon’s new 100L IS macro, and will say it is a terrific lens, extremely sharp and virtually no fringing or CA and the image stabilization is very effective. I’ve owned the Sigma 150 macro in the past, which was a stellar lens, but the Canon is superior in many respects. In real world sharpness it is likely very close, but in all other respects I believe the Canon to be superior. Many may prefer the Sigma’s focal length, and included tripod collar. But I prefer the 100mm length myself on FF. I rarely shoot skittish creatures, anyway. Sigma’s inclusion of the tripod collar and reasonable price make for a terrific value in quality glass.
Leaf on Sunset Beach
Peeling paint on an old wooden boat
Rusted old boiler, which powered a sawmill in Hecla Village, from a time long past.
Hecla Village Church, thanks to my wife’s nephew for inspiring this image. He was along for the day trip and was documenting his journey with his own point and shoot camera.
If interested in seeing more of Hecla Island, visit my earlier post at Hecla Island
Hecla Island Provincial Park on the shores of Lake Winnipeg is an incredibly diverse area of Manitoba. Offering outdoor enthusiasts a variety of ecosystems more akin to coastal and maritime locales. At the heart of the scenic island is Hecla Village, an Icelandic settlement, which keeps much of it’s historic charm. Aside from being a tourist destination, the village maintains a working fish station.
Lake Winnipeg shoreline and Hecla Village Fish Station
Rocky Lake Winnipeg shoreline
The island was originally accessible only by ferry, but modern times required the building of a causeway. The causeway bisects Grassy Narrows Marsh. A terrific area for hiking and wildlife viewing, particularly bird watching, but moose, deer, beavers and other mammals are common.
American White Pelicans in flight, my personal favorite. Since you don’t require a massive 600 mm birding lens to get a decent shot.
Approaching the wildlife viewing blind that overlooks Lake Winnipeg and an airborne Canada goose.
Hiking the marsh boardwalk in early spring
Gull Harbour on the east side of the island, a quite little marina and a nice spot to grab lunch. For an upscale stay, Hecla Oasis Resort is a truly world class spa resort and conference center, with a golf course to match.
The original Gull Harbour Lighthouse still stands, replaced with a modern steel structure. A short hike from the resort or marina.
Boat wreck on Lake Winnipeg
Hecla Island is still largely untouched and has not been overly commercialized, aside from he resort only a few places exist to get food, gas or groceries, so plan accordingly. But it’s only a 2 hour drive north of Winnipeg, Canada and offers a great deal of diversity in a fairly small island.
Icelandic signpost, after all ‘Hecla’ refers to ‘Hekla’ the name of an Icelandic volcano.