The most wonderful time of the year
By Chad Ingram
Published July 6, 2017
I have a confession to make.
Sometimes, during the winter, I wonder why it is that I continue to live in Haliburton County.
Often, these ponderances come when I’m snow-blowing my relatively long driveway on a dark, February evening, Arctic-calibre winds lashing at my face.
While it can be pretty when blanketed in fresh white, since I don’t snowboard or snowmobile or ice fish or ice climb, frankly, I have little use for the terrain of the county during the wintertime.
So the dawn of spring is always a welcome transition. Trees begin to bud and bulbs begin to blossom. If we’re lucky, we see more sunshine, although during some springs, like the one just past, Mother Nature likes to ensure that all the plants are well-watered.
Springtime brings a warming in temperature, which in turn spurs the arrival of bloodsucking armies of tiny winged creatures. There is nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide when the insects emerge in Haliburton County. Once dusk comes, even wide open spaces are filled with scores of black flies and mosquitoes, to say nothing of the more forested areas, where the swarms could conceivably carry away a small pet. The infestation is in full swing when many seasonal residents make their first trips of the year to the lake, for rituals such as taking out lawn furniture and putting in water lines.
Then come the merciful dragon flies and by this time of year, by July, the winged hoards are usually reduced to a tolerable level.
There is nothing quite like summertime in the Haliburton Highlands, as it unfurls into its full majesty. Its quiet villages becoming bustling hubs. Its plentiful lakes, which will fall suddenly, almost eerily quiet when September strikes, are streaked with the activity of canoeists and kayakers, fishermen and waterskiers. At nighttime, bonfires glow through the trees along shorelines.
Haliburton County in summertime is the way I was introduced to it so many summers ago, and perhaps that nostalgia is part of what makes it my favourite season. This summer, my baby daughter will become the first of the fifth generation of my family to cottage on Halls Lake, in a cabin that was built by my great-grandfather more than 80 years ago. And perhaps that is part of what makes it my favourite place.
Here’s to another glorious summer in the Haliburton Highlands.