The main reason why we picked the long weekend was to be able to take part in the 9th annual Lantern Festival on July 31st at dusk around Fairy Lake. It was a very warm and sticky night and we were completely exhausted by our wanderings that day in the heat... believe it or not, we sat in the air conditioned car to refresh ourselves! How desperate is that!
Luckily by the time we reached Southampton (a 8-10 minute drive) we were revived enough to take part in the magical event.
Look at all the people who came out! In this photo children of all ages prepared their lanterns for the parade.
This "Wishing Wall" let you write a wish on an origami crane for the faeries to read, and perhaps grant!
Here's the path, lit with strings of lights, to guide the lantern bearers along...
It was truly wonderful, we were all very happy to take part, although poor Willow was dragging her feet as we paraded around the lake.
Here's a cool tidbit: Fairy Lake is a natural lake and one that has always been a source of danger. Parents keep their children away for although the water is only 1.5 m deep, the muck is 3.5 m deep! A natural location, obviously, for faeries and other water folk, like kelpies who'd love to drag you under...
While enjoying our deck and hiding from the sun, I worked on 5 mini hedgehogs, who will all find themselves beachy names, I think.
The only down-side, besides the heat, was that both Port Elgin and Southampton are very dog un-friendly: no dogs on the beach, or even on the boardwalk in Southampton! The trail to Gobles Grove at least let us discover a beach that we used discreetly in the early mornings so Willow could enjoy playing fetch in the water and rolling in the wet sand.
And on our last evening, this incredible sunset featuring a flying horse or dragon filled the sky!