Saturday, November 22, 2008

THE OLYMPIC TORCH IS COMING TO THE POINT


In the little town where I live, as with small towns everywhere, things unfold at the slower, more measured pace. The town newspaper is published only once a week, so I get most of my daily news from one of two sources. For the up-to-the minute weather and storm reports, I watch the Detroit station on my dish, and for all the local civic news, there’s the website for the town’s radio station. But nothing much ever happens; there’s meetings about this project or that proposal, the latest teenage stunts, the regional team scores... So imagine my surprise when I read yesterday that when Vancouver, B.C. hosts the 2010 winter Olympic Games, and the torch crosses Canada, one of the stops it will make along the way will be at Point Pelee National Park. How cool is that! The road in front of my house leads directly to the park gate, only a couple of kms away. There’s no way you can drive into the park without going right by my place. I immediately envisioned how it might be, with everyone out of their houses and lining the road (no sidewalks here), media trucks back and forth, people from surrounding farms and the marina coming here to be part of the historic event. At least I hope that’s how it will be. The torch will make the rounds to a number of small towns and cities here in southwestern Ontario, but what makes Point Pelee special is its ecology and geography.

Point Pelee (French for “bare point” because of the sand spit at the tip that extends into Lake Erie) is the southern most part of mainland Canada. At approximately the 42 parallel, it has much more moderate temperatures in winter, and is an important remnant of the once-vast Carolinian forest, with many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Point Pelee is world famous as a destination spot for birdwatching because it’s location makes it the first landfall for huge numbers of northerly migrating birds crossing the Lake each spring. Over 360 species have been found there so far. And in the fall, it’s a congregation point for Monarch butterflies heading south to Mexico. I’m not at all surprised that it’s been included on the torch journey. I hope they go right to the end of the tip and dip a toe in Lake Erie. I’ll get back to you on this in a couple of years.



Top photo at www.cbc.ca
Bottom photo at virtualtourist.com

12 comments:

bobbie said...

How cool is that. You'll have a front row seat.

I really love your photos today. Especially the bare branch on the sand.

Sylvia K said...

How cool indeed! And your photos are beautiful as always. Looks like such a lovely place!

mom/caryn said...

Wow. That's some kind of excitement for the locals, eh?

It would be so much more fun to enjoy the torch run in a small community like yours rather than trying to jump high enough to see over the six thousand people standing in front of you in a major city.

Your photos are lovely. Calming.

Naturegirl said...

Deborah I am familiar with your little town! I have always wanted to visit when I lived in St. Clair Beach...no I never got to your little gem of a town!
I am now a lot older and wiser and surely shall make it a point to come your way and watch that migration of the butterflys!
I'll be in the Detroit area this week! I know how much milder your ~banana belt is!~ A pleasure to meet you!

magiceye said...

good for you!! love those pics!

Lin said...

happy that fame comes to your small town. looks like a nice place to live.

SandyCarlson said...

That will be a happy time! Wow. It would be great to be on your rooftop with the camera when the time comes!

me ann my camera said...

What a wonderful spot you live near. I had Point Pele chosen as a destination several years ago when we attended a wedding in that area, but had a detour in social activities and never did get there. What a fabulous 'birding ' location you have.

Marking special events, like the torch coming to town, takes me back to Terry Fox's run in the early 80's. While going through the Maratimes we saw him going by our home one day, as we lived along the trans-Canada then, but we were not really very aware at the time of his grand undertaking. Later that year we lived in Toronto and recall him visiting Nathan Square (I think) in the downtown area of the city, and I recall my children being so proud of their personal memory that he had gone by 'our' house. It was so crushing when he died.

Kelly said...

Oh my Goodness! That is so cool!!!! Talk about a good view of it all! Maybe you'll get to be the one to run with the torch on that stretch! Wonder how they pick the runners?

Oh well, Very Cool!!!

Quiet Paths said...

What a fun thing. I would just love to live two miles from a nature reserve. And it's so cool they are visiting the Point. Get out the lawn chair and camera that year and sit by your gate. I have written this before here; I'm anxiously awaiting the butterfly migration.

hitch writer said...

coool.... no wonder your thrilled.... and hey lovely pics .... did you take both????

Squirrel said...

I have heard of point Pelee and always wanted to go.
I like bare places, windswept beaches in the dead of winter...