Hunting for Smoky Gold (and a Hike in Algonquin Park)

It was the opening day of the big gun hunt and I was shooting my 55mm…

You see, the only gun I shoot is my DSLR.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been going crazy over the tamaracks! They’re so golden and vibrant right now. Today I went on a hunt to shoot as many as I could find. I was also inspired by Sigurd F. Olson’s essay called Smoky Gold in his book Singing Wilderness.

Here’s a quote from the first paragraph:

“The leaves are gone from the hillsides and the glory of the red maple and of the yellow aspen and birch is strewn upon the ground. Only in the protected swamps is there any color, the smoky gold of the tamaracks.”

Sigurd called tamaracks 'Smoky Gold'
Sigurd called tamaracks ‘Smoky Gold’

There’s an amazing stand of tamaracks as I drive out of town each morning and I was a little too early to catch the morning sun on them, but I had a lot of fun shooting the trees covered in frost.







I decided last night that I was going to Algonquin Park today to work on a photography project for school and go for a much needed hike. I have been very stressed out lately and had to clear my head and breathe in that fresh autumn Algonquin air.

On my way, the sun finally came up and I found some Smoky Gold illuminated by the golden sun.






I love being an hour drive from the west gate of Algonquin. It’s such a special place for me and for so many others. How lucky are we to have this park?


A few minutes after I drove through the west gate a wolf ran across the road in front of me. The experience brought tears to my eyes. I pulled off and watched it disappear into the forest.  I wasn’t expecting to see it, an Algonquin Wolf. I knew I wore my wolf necklace for a reason!

I decided to hike the Hemlock Bluff Trail. I started this trail in the spring but didn’t get very far. The trail is only 3.5kms and should only  take an hour or so to complete, but it took me 3 hours. I was working on my photography project!



I stopped at the lookout over Jack Lake to make a cup of tea, have a snack and work on my project.

Kelly Kettle boilin’ up some water for my tea
Just like a hunter, I dressed in camo too (like a tamarack!). Here I am with a tea cup that I’m supposed to make 36 photographs of! _dsc8531-2
I’m getting used to carrying my camera bag that probably weighs 20lbs, a tripod and other pieces of gear!


I’m so glad I decided to adventure today. It was a stunning day and I definitely needed the break!


Thanks for reading! I hope you take some time over the next couple of weeks to enjoy the Smoky Gold tamaracks too, or just take a break and get outside!

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  1. Good for you for getting outside on such a beautiful, sunny, warm Nov. day. It got up to 17 degrees C here. I love the Smoky Gold Tamarack in my backyard too, but I’m envious that you live so close to Algonquin and can admire so many of these trees! Gorgeous reflections in your water photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was a perfect day to be outside! We absolutely love being up here, so it’s hard to leave! We miss you and Dave and will try to catch up over the holidays or let you know next time we’re in the area.


  2. outstanding little day adventure, Cobi. Love that you set your timer up for a couple of shots of yourself, out there. I didn’t see Banjo there? I’m glad you got out there to clear your head and enjoy the beauty that has been bestowed on us. Some really nice shots in this package, as well………… xo

    Liked by 1 person

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