Tuesday, September 27

And the winner is...

Fern Glen Inn • www.ferngleninn.blogspot.com

Our Summer Holiday Photo Contest has come to a close and the results are in! We had many entries that beautifully depicted the activities and sights our guests can enjoy during a summer holiday based at Fern Glen Inn.

For this contest, we had three prizes to be won—each a free night at the inn. Two prize winners were by random draw and one prize winner chosen by a panel of judges.

All photos were entered in a random draw to win one of the prizes. Every "Like" a photo received gave it an extra chance to win. Laura Jimenez's photo "Guardian Kitten" was the lucky winner for this draw. The picture shows a decorative "kitty" watching over the red and yellow inn against a backdrop of blue sky and green treetops. Congratulations Laura!

Everyone who "Liked" any of the photos was entered in another random draw to win one of the prizes. Erin D'Arcy was the lucky winner of this draw. She liked Stella Barnett-Walsh's picture of "Hartly enjoying the canoe ride with Dave". We look forward to meeting Erin when she claims her free night at the inn!

The Best Photo prize was determined by a panel of three judges: one from the Explorers' Edge regional tourism organization, one a photographer and cottage-county enthusiast, and another a visual artist with a love for the region.

All three panelists shared one common short-listed photo, and that was Diane Brough's "Pete, the friendly seagull". Diane and her family spent three nights here at Fern Glen Inn this summer. On a day trip over to Parry Sound, they took an afternoon cruise on the Island Queen, touring through the 30,000 islands on Georgian Bay. How considerate of "Pete" to pose so nicely for Diane!

Collectively, the panelists shortlisted 11 photos from the entries, and even that was very tough to do. Many of the entries beautifully captured the essence of a summer holiday within the broad area we love to play and relax in. Just two of the entries which deserve honourary mention are Pedro Goldman's lovely water lily "Summer Offering" and Mark Grieve's stunning sky over "Oxtongue Lake". 

We'd like to thank all the photographers who entered the contest -- and we're doing just that by offering each of them a $20 discount off their next two-night stay* at Fern Glen Inn!

Visit the contest photo album to see all the entries. And save your photos for our next contest!

* Valid on stays of two nights or more before March 31, 2012. One discount per photographer. One discount per reservation, not to be combined with other discounts, specials, or offers.

Wednesday, September 14

Wild About Mushrooms

Fern Glen Inn • www.ferngleninn.blogspot.com

Do you know your wild mushrooms? If you do, then this is the month for you. Our woods are liberally dotted with a wide array of mushrooms and, if you know what you're looking for, you can pick basketfuls to take home to eat or preserve. 

Over the years we've had mushroom-savvy guests come to forage for fungi. They show us their haul, explaining which varieties can be eaten raw, which must be cooked, which ones need to have their caps peeled, which ones have the best flavour (the "king of mushrooms"!).

Two of our regular guests, Pavel and Elena, are experienced and knowledgeable about wild mushrooms in Ontario. They've been coming to the inn for six years, often timing their visits for late summer or early fall when mushrooms are plentiful. Every year they return—alive and well—we are more and more convinced they know what they're talking about!

Elena says about 50% of the mushrooms in our woods are edible. That means 50% are not. I don't like those odds, so I don't even attempt to pick mushrooms. Plus there's the fact that I don't actually like eating mushrooms so I'm not willing to risk my health for them. Now if we were foraging for wild chocolate, I might take my chances...

Some wild mushrooms are edible, some are toxic. Mistaking the two can cause serious illness (such as permanent kidney damage) or even death. So if you don't absolutely know your mushrooms, don't even attempt to pick for consumption. 

Instead, you can simply admire their whimsical shapes and colours and their incredible tenacity to live and thrive in the dark damp corners of the forest.

Wednesday, September 7

Autumn Events in Muskoka and Almaguin

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year in Muskoka and the Almaguin Highlands that you could fill your days by simply gawking at the blaze of fall colours. But when you want something a little more structured to do, you'll find plenty of options...

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Parry Sound Airport Drive-in and Fly-in Day
Come on out to the Parry Sound Municipal airport for a day of aircraft and antique cars. There will be two Triplane Fokkers from the Great War Flying Museum, a Tiger Moth, helicopter rides, scenic air tours, antique and classic cars, barbeque, art show and sale, and entertainment by the Northern Lights steel orchestra. Visit Parry Sound Airport for details.
Parry Sound
Sept 10, 10am - 4pm 

Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Athletes descend on Huntsville to swim, cycle and run their way through a beautiful, grueling course. Don't feel up to the challenge yourself? Come out and cheer them on! Visit Ironman 70.3 Muskoka for details.
Sept 11 

Shades of Autumn Car Show
The 9th annual car show features antique, classic and custom cars, with over 300 auto exhibits all along the main drag in Huntsville's downtown.
Sept 17 

Ancient Wilderness Survival Skills Workshop
Part of the Experience Algonquin workshop series, this full-day course will teach you the fundamentals of forest survival, including sourcing the necessities of shelter, water, food and fire. Visit Algonquin Park for details.
Algonquin Park
Sept 18, 10am - 5pm 

Photography Workshop: Discover Your Creativity
Part of the Experience Algonquin workshop series. In this full-day course, you will learn to capture the beauty of Algonquin Park using the artistic techniques and creative modes of your camera. Includes indoor instructional session as well as outdoor field experience. Visit Algonquin Park for details.
Algonquin Park
Sept 19, 9am - 3:30pm 

Film North
The second annual Huntsville International Film Festival showcases emerging Canadian and international filmmakers and focuses on the environmental theme of One Word, One World. Screenings at the Algonquin Theatre, dinners and receptions in Huntsville and the area. Visit Film North for program details.
Sept 22 - 24 

Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour
In it's 33rd year, the tour showcases diversely talented local artists and artisans. Visitors are invited to witness the creative process through displays and demonstrations. Visit Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour for a map and brochure of this year's participating studios.
Sept 24 - 25 

Photography Workshop: In Vivid Colour
In this module of the Experience Algonquin workshop series, a Park Naturalist will lead the group on a guided walk to a scenic lookout, stopping along the way to explain the science behind the beautiful fall colours and to take photos with an emphasis on wide angle lens shots. Visit Algonquin Park for details.
Algonquin Park
Sept 29, 9am - 3:30pm 

Photography Workshop: Autumn Landscape
The Experience Algonquin workshop series continues with a close look on applying your camera features and settings to make creative scenery pictures. Discover tips on composition, focus modes, light metering and more. Be prepared to make the most of any chance wildlife encounters. Visit Algonquin Park for details.
Algonquin Park
Sept 30, 9am - 3:30pm 

North Words Literary Festival
A great weekend for readers, writers and lovers of the printed word. A stellar list of Canadian authors—Margaret Atwood, Terry Fallis, Vincent Lam, Tish Cohen and more—come to Huntsville to discuss and share their craft. Visit North Words for details on authors, events and writers workshops.
Sept 30 - Oct 2 

Carve your own Canoe Paddle Workshop
Part of the Experience Algonquin workshop series, in this half-day course you will craft your own wooden canoe paddle using a variety of simple hand tools and a kiln-dried tulipwood blank. No previous woodworking experience required. Visit Algonquin Park for details.
Algonquin Park
Oct 2, 10am - 3pm 

Radical Reels Film Festival
Algonquin Outfitters brings us another high-adrenalin screening of short, action-packed films about climbing, paddling, mountain biking, BASE jumping, skiing and more. Tickets available online from the Algonquin Theatre.
Oct 7, 7pm

Thanksgiving Long Weekend
Take in the fall colours, hike the hardwood trails and enjoy a leisurely long weekend filled with fresh air and good food.
Oct 7 - 9 

Art of Fire Making Workshop: Adventures in Friction Fire
In this module of the Experience Algonquin workshop series, you'll learn about all-weather fire-making with all-natural tinders, plus several friction fire making techniques including the bow drill and hand drill. A must for anyone who's ever watched shows like "Survivor Man" with awe and envy. Visit Algonquin Park for details.
Algonquin Park
Oct 8, 10am - 5pm 

Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe Live
One of Canada's best-loved storytellers returns to the Algonquin Theatre for two nights for a live show of The Vinyl Cafe. Tickets available online from the Algonquin Theatre.
Oct 25 & 26