Algonquin: Pale Corydalis, Rangers, smoked salmon, Jubilee, ‘Chilli Drop’,a toast to Will & his Century Anniversary

2022 Thursday May 19: Misty to Jubilee Lake

Passed a clump of pale pink and yellow flowers while paddling along the north shore of Muslim Lake, and thought Corydalis — but surely couldn’t be this early in Spring, so Ron and I swing the canoe around. Sure enough, there was Corydalis sempervirens, Pale Corydalis (or the fine name Harlequin Corydalis), growing in a small clearing along the south-facing shoreline!

The gorgeous Corydalis sempervirens, Pale Corydalis. I’ve always presumed ‘sempervirens’ meant a long-lived perennial, but this is an annual or biennial … So maybe the ‘always flourishing’ epithet indicates that its flowering season is unusually long — which it is, going from May into September and possibly beyond.

I was puzzled by the name ‘Muslim Lake’. Surely it doesn’t refer to someone of the Islamic faith. Could it be a corruption of a term from the indigenous peoples? Turns out ‘muslim’ in the Park vernacular of the 1960s for someone who was a member of the interpretive staff of the Park Museum!

We saw a couple of Park Rangers at the end of that portage out of Muslim — the first I’ve ever seen in any provincial park interior! They were toting a small chain saw, a shovel, a rake, plus several other tools, going around the trails in the Misty Lake area, clearing fallen trees & cleaning campsites. They later passed us again and I asked them if it was ok for us to move a couple of lakes ahead of our schedule for tonight. The answer was as I thought: you’re supposed to stay where you’ve booked. So I asked if one of our members had a medical condition such that he should have musical attention quickly? Yes that would be considered an emergency, but if someone officially booked for the lake should come, we must move back to where we were supposed to be. So knowing that we’ve not seen a single party coming to the park in the last five days, we’re headed to Jubilee Lake.

For a quick shore lunch on a tiny islet, we had Ron’s smoked salmon, good Gruyère, capers, and various other treats that he’d not used for last night’s supper. Refreshing, and filling — and wonderful canoeing food!

For a tiny islet, there were a lot of interesting macro-photography opportunities!

A tiny Lowbush Blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium, in flower! More please!
Bristly Haircap Moss, Polytrichum piliferum, with those gorgeous flower-like antheridia, where the sperm are spread by the splashing of raindrops! The female plants are separate. This moss grows on all continents, including Antarctica!
Bristly Haircap Moss, Polytrichum piliferum
Bristly Haircap Moss, Polytrichum piliferum. At least that’s what I’m calling this. It could be a related species, Polytrichum juniperinum, but the white tips on the leaves may be more like P. piliferum.
Bristly Haircap Moss, Polytrichum piliferum. A 20 times macro, using an iPhone, a 10x macro lens over the built-in 2x short telephoto lens. I love the beautiful detailing of the skein of webbing!

We’re all acknowledging minor various aches and pains and weaknesses we’re not used to, but none so severe as to more than be something to accept and be careful about. We are watching each other, and stepping in to carry a pack for someone else, or to move people around in the canoes to better suit someone. I carry my old and originally considered lightweight Mad River kevlar canoe most of the time, going back for my big red Ostrum Duluth pack. That light canoe is now decidedly on the heavy side of modern canoes. I’m realizing that for future canoe trips I’ll be renting much lighter canoes! On long portages others often will take the heavy Duluth for me and leave me a lighter load. Josh is the best of the portagers, often carrying the biggest loads — much appreciated by the rest of us!

On the Jubilee campsite (across from the campsite we used on the first night), it was my time to do supper, a prepared chilli that I had dehydrated. Things were coming nicely, nearly ready to serve having been heated up on my wood-burning stove. But I put too much wood in it, and as that burned down, it unbalanced the wide pot and the chilli instantly fell over the campfire area! I shall henceforth be known as something like ‘Chilli Drop’ Whitcombe …. (Fortunately, I still had enough chilli, and I carefully watched the pot as it simmered.)

Chilli Drop Whitcombe!

More chatter about music, about ensuring the best leadership for trip leaders, and many other topics.

I pulled out my fifth of whisky and shared it around as a toast and tribute to my father, Will, for the hundredth anniversary of his first paddling here in Algonquin. I will admit that I drank my teetotaling father’s share. I spoke some approximate quotes from biblical sources, but they could too easily be interpreted as putting my father down. I certainly did not intend that. (Guesses as to what those passages might have been?)

My father, Will, with an amazing Lake Trout caught on monel trolling line somewhere in Algonquin, about a century ago. I love his quite formal hat!

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