Friday, May 30

Curious Hummingbird

Sometimes -- rare times -- I happen to be in the right place at the right time with a camera in my hand. Earlier this week was one of those times. I was out on the porch taking pictures of Jim on the roof when a hummingbird decided to check out the bright red lantern hanging just a few feet from my head.

Hummingbirds are said to be attracted to the colour red as they seek nectar from bright flowers. I don't know if this hummingbird thought our lantern was some new-fangled flower but it was determined to find out. It circled around the lantern, stopping to take a good look from different angles, before flying back to the feeder.

These little birds are incredibly fast and not easy to photograph even when I set out to shoot them, so the photos I snapped on the fly (so to speak) aren't particularly clear and sharp, but not bad for serendipity and an iPad camera.

This is a great time of year to photograph hummingbirds. They're active and hungry, spending a lot of time at the feeder while waiting for the summer flowers to bloom. So on your next visit to Fern Glen Inn, bring your camera, a tripod, and some patience!

Sunday, May 25

New Hot Tub

 Whether you're escaping the city for a relaxing getaway or some active adventure, your getaway to Fern Glen Inn just got better... Introducing out new hot tub!

There has always been a hot tub here, but the old one was starting to show its age so we decided it was time for a new one. Instead of getting the same vinyl-covered foam model as before, we did some research and opted for a rigid, roto-moulded style. The hot tub is round and seats six people, like our old tub, but this one is a bit deeper, with more jets, and it's much quieter in idle mode. I also love the fact that not only is it made in Canada, it's made right here in Ontario, just a few hours away! The manufacturer is RotoSpa if you want to check them out for yourself.

Jim gave it a test run as soon as it was up to temperature -- somebody has to do quality control! -- and guests have been enjoying it all weekend.

It's a great place to relax on a quiet getaway or to soak your muscles after a day on the trails. In the morning or afternoon, the hot tub provides a front row seat to watch the hummingbird action at the feeder. After the sun sets, it's the perfect venue for stargazing.

The hot tub is for all guests to use (adults only, no children) and there are some limitations on time-of-day and length of use. Other than that, we hope you enjoy some extra relaxation and rejuvenation on your next getaway to Fern Glen Inn!

P.S. Did I mention it comes with cup holders? That's a locally-made Muskoka Cream Ale in Jim's hand!

Monday, May 12

Huntsville Half - Band on the Run

Q: What do you get when you blend a great multi-distance running race with a live concert featuring a lineup of Juno award-winning musicians?

A: The Huntsville Half - Band on the Run! It's the third year for this great event and it just gets bigger and better. 

Jim starting off on the 10k run in 2012

The day starts with the running portion, offering a choice of distances: half-marathon, 10k, 5k, relay and kids run. The run is chip-timed and fully-supported, with water stations along the way to keep you hydrated and music stations to keep you moving and motivated!

The Sheepdogs rockin' the stage in 2013

In the afternoon, River Mill Park in downtown Huntsville is where the action is. The musical line up this year is impressive! Headlining the show is Matt Mays, whose album, Coyote, just won the Juno for Rock Album of the Year. Special guests are Juno-winning folk/rock band Whitehorse (one of my faves), and yet another Juno-winner and musical dynamo, Danny Michel (from my hometown!). The bandshell by the river is at the heart of the music festival. Bring a blanket or beach mat for seating (no lawn chairs) and don't forget a sunhat, sunscreen and rain jacket depending on the weather. The event is all-ages and there's a beer tent and food vendors. 

Admission to the music festival is free with your race registration, but don't worry, you don't have to run to get in. Tickets are available at the gate or save some money and buy in advance.

Jim and I are both signed up for the race again this year -- Jim for the 10k and me for the 5k. We also have guests signed up to run as well. We'll offer a "racer's breakfast" early on the morning of the event so everyone can get fueled up for the run. We're picking up our guests' race kits in advance so they'll be here for them at check in. And -- thanks to the generous organizers of the Huntsville Half -- our guests get a free upgrade to VIP status!

If you want to have a great run in Muskoka followed by some of the best and brightest talent in the Canadian music scene, then come on out for the Huntsville Half - Band on the Run. 

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