It seems hard to believe that 2015 is already behind us, not least because winter has only recently made its first tentative appearance on the River. Nothing remotely like last month’s scene has shown up thus far, with the exception of this painting that December's wallpaper inspired, just completed by Brockville’s Brenda Clarke.
Painting by Brenda Clarke!
Congratulations to Dave Fownes and David Tolton who both successfully identified the location of last month's scene - taken about a mile from the eastern end of the Thousand Islands Parkway.
There’s a more significant story here. A dozen years ago, I was on my way to Brockville to meet with Henderson Printing Inc.’s owner, Lyne Roberge, to discuss details of my second book, Water, Wind and Sky. W,W&S was the biggest project either of us had attempted to that point, particularly intimidating to me after the major challenges I encountered while doing my first book with a less supportive printer. Read Chapter 19 in the iPad eBook One in a Thousand for all the agonizing details.
The day was sunny and bright on the drive up from my former home in Hudson, Quebec, but the bright day was deceiving. It was frigid, the first deep freeze of the season, 30 below, despite still being late fall. Fortunately, Highway 401 comes close to the River near Cornwall where I spotted an amazing scene - massive amounts of sea smoke rising from the water. Never one to intentionally miss meetings, particularly when a very busy person has put valuable time aside for me, I skipped Brockville and continued on to the River in hopes that I might find a vantage point to capture this unusual circumstance. Glimpsing the River through the trees as I hit the Parkway, I knew I'd hit the jackpot!
Pulling into the first driveway I came across, I leapt out of the car, scrambled around some stranger's house to their backyard and switched on my camera. Unfortunately, I had left it overnight on the cold back seat floor of the car and its battery was dead! I noticed curtains rustling as I ran back to the car to hold the battery in the heater vent with it blasting on high. As any photographer could explain, there was no way I was going to stop what I was doing to apologize or explain the intrusion. Only the picture mattered, and then the appointment. Much later, I met the people behind the curtains, Tub and Ruth Anne Tolton, David Tolton's parents.
After a few minutes, I ran back to grab two shots before the battery gave out for good. December's scene was one of them. The other became the cover of Donna Walsh Inglehart’s acclaimed Civil War era novel, Grindstone. Through her request to use that image, I discovered an amazingly talented author. Donna and I eventually collaborated to bring to life our interactive eBook One in a Thousand, the most ambitious project I have ever undertaken.
The further good news is that Lyne not only forgave me for being VERY late for our meeting, she selected that image from all the images in the book to purchase and hang prominently behind her desk at Henderson Printing. Twelve years later, we find ourselves together in life with that very picture now hanging on our wall! Who could have ever guessed how so many random dots would eventually connect in such momentous ways, simply because of a couple of pictures?
As we usher in the New Year, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of the River as it looks right now, or at least a very close approximation, as this was taken just a few hours before 2016 arrived. As always, I encourage you to try to identify where it was taken and to share any comments it might inspire.
Download wide-angle version
posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
Ian, I am in tears.........thank you for including my painting.....what an incredible surprise! I am so grateful to you and Lyne for your support! Your work inspires me even more to paint....you are such an amazing artist! the January Wallpaper looks very familiar.....I think I have stood on that dock😉 Happy New Year to both of you!
Brenda Clarke posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
Hello... The answer to your photo quiz is.........that shot was taken in front of your original cottage, which you rent. I know this because my daughter and her family rented from you one summer. I took the same pic ......only in the summer of course! Thanks...Nancy Stewart
Nancy Stewart posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
It would simply not be fair for me to participate in this month's quiz. Unless the contest includes a $5,000. a week for life prize, then screw the ethics of it all!!! I still think you know where all the money is at the bottom of that tree.....:)
Michael Laprade posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
Thank you for the photo, it is indeed beautiful. Happy New Year. Catharine Van Sickle
Catharine Van Sickle posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
Jones Creek? Only I don't ever remember the small trees? Thank you for your continuous beauty of a place that is always in my heart! See you paddling by in only a few "more" months! A Happy and Healthy New Year to you and to all!
William Stromeyer posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
Thank you so much for providing these photos for everyone's use. I've collected them in a folder so I can have the wallpaper cycle through them all during the day. Your work continues to excite and fascinate all my friends and relatives I share your books with.
Robert A. Millar posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
OK -- too easy. Jones Creek. Off the end of your dock. Princess Island in the background. The best place in the world. Thanks again for the lovely shot.
Pamela Lyon posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
The scene is looking South from Thousand Islands Parkway (formerly known as Highway
Tub Tolton posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
Based upon previous replies / comments, I will agree that it is (probably from your cottage), near the mouth of Jones Creek, providing you the opportunity to look out onto Raleigh Island, but from a different angle than a number of your other photos I have seen including December 2013 wallpaper, and others when I look back into the archive. Thank you Ian for providing these shots of Our River.
Peter Rutherford posted on: Friday, January 01, 2016
I remember leaving this little bay on the way to Raleigh Island in early Spring many years back in an inflatable rubber raft (laden with chainsaws and ropes) with my good friend Ian. I believe, this was Ian's first journey to his newly-acquired island. It was early spring and the journey was perilous but Ian just had to get there to see his new dream: broken ice, waves, wind, current and a very overloaded raft powered by an electric motor containing sharp chainsaws made this journey very memorable (all sensible Red Cross boating safety standards having been temporarily suspended). But we made it! The mission: cut the first trees to liberate a future harbour and float-plane tie-down. We accomplished the mission. Thankfully, we even made it back to shore in the falling dusk.Now, looking back, I understand that so began the beginning of a wonderful life-adventure which Ian continues to this day...
Karl Wockner posted on: Sunday, January 03, 2016
Karl old friend, how good to hear from you! I remember this oh so well. You braving hypothermia and drowning in a Costco swimming pool toy in order to get to the island to solve one of those problems I didn't have a clue how to solve. Successfully bring down a huge, rotting willow without destroying the cabin, in order to make a parking place for the plane. After one of the hardest days of labor I can remember, with Karl doing double the work that I did, I asked him how much I should write the check for to pay him for his tree cutting expertise. His answer? "It's my house warming gift to you." Then he braved, yet again the (literally) gale winds in the swimming pool toy, laden with sharp chain saws and spiked climbing boots to get back to shore, safety, warmth and home in Montreal. Friends don't come any better than this! Karl, you may not know it, but this story is told in all its hair raising detail in Chapter 6 of my iPad eBook "One in a Thousand." I truly THANK YOU for all you did that day, including risking your life, what is now 21 years ago.
Ian Coristine posted on: Sunday, January 03, 2016
Yes a wonderful photo of Jones Creek along the south side of the 1000 Islands Parkway just past Brown's Bay. The shot is looking across the dock from the cottage I will always know as the Lloyd's, a family from Rochester NY who owned the property for decades and who eventually sold it. For many of you now it is a wonderful spot to rent if you are lucky. From the 50's up to the early 90's my family owned the lot next to this one with a tiny 2 bedroom home made cottage. After it was sold it was torn down and replaced with a monster size home. The island with the two trees we named snake island. The bay and area are well know for water snakes who on a hot sunny day sun tan on the rocks... great shot of the bay... fond memories of days past.
Ted posted on: Saturday, March 12, 2016