Native American birch bark canoe (1/2)

This is a first hand account of the building of a Native American birch bark canoe, as seen through the eyes of a European traveller in 1827.

Indian, handcrafted, traditional, canoe

I have attended the progress of the work in building this canoe. It is curious enough. Stakes are driven – into the ground at certain distances, along each side of where the canoe is to be built, and for the entire length of it. Pieces of bark are sewn together with wattap, and placed between, from one end to the other, and made fast to them.  Once the bark is thus in, it hangs loose, and in folds, and looks, without its regularity, like the covers of a book with its back downwards, its edges up, and the leaves out.

Next, the cross pieces are put in, pressing out the rim, and giving to the upper edges the form which the canoe is to bear—then the ribs are pressed in, the thin sheathing, in strips, being laid between them and the bark, and these (the ribs,) press out the bark, and give form and figure to the bottom, and sides of the canoe.

Weights (large stones.) are put on the bottom of these ribs, which had been previously soaked, and kept there till they dry. The next process is to remove the stakes, gum the seams, and the fabric is complete. There remains no more to do but to put it in the water, where it floats like a feather. This canoe is thirty-six feet long, and five wide across the middle.

Sketches of a tour to the Lakes, of the character and customs of the Chippeway Indians, and of incidents connected with the treaty of Fond du Lac. by Thomas Lorraine M’Kenney (1827)

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Related Ports:

Native American Birch Bark Canoe (2/2) | Poem by H.R. Schoolcraft

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Urban birds of a feather flocking together! | Chateauguay

Quebec birds

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Indian Pipe | Ghost Plant | Quebec Canoe Trip

Quebec Flora | nature  | Evelyn Yvonne Theriault

  • Angiosperms – eudicots – asteroids  – ericales  – ericaceae  – Monotropa –   M. uniflora
  • Quebec fungus, mushrooms | Evelyn Yvonne Theriaulta very strange plant that – from a distance – actually looks a bit like a fungus
  • its white, translucent colouring looks ghostly in the dark, hence its alternate moniker – Ghost Plant.
  • its colour is due to the fact that it produces no chlorophyl of its own
  • it has white scales which  are only vestigal leaves (real leaves would photosynthesize)
  • the word Monotropa is Latin for once-turned and refers to the fact that young plants start out facing downward and turn upwards only once in their life (when they produce seeds), however in the case of N.uniflora its head continues to nod even when it is seeding
  • How it survives without photosynthesis – It survives in conjunction with a type of fungus which is part of a  mycorrhizal (mutually beneficial) relationship with conifers. The fungus supplies a tree with water and nutrients which it has absorbed from the forest soils and a tree, which provides the fungus with some of the carbohydrates it has synthesized in its leaves. In conclusion, the Indian Plant ultimately lives off the ability of the conifer to produce chlorophyl.

Orange mushrooms, Indian Plant | fungus | Evelyn Yvonne Theriault

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Quebec Common Snapping Turtle | Chelydra Serpentina

On a recent trip to Lac Vieille I was lucky to get a look at this Common Snapping Turtle  (Tortue Happante) laying her eggs on the beach.

Quebec, Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra Serpentina | Evelyn Yvonne Theriault

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Les Plateaux Boise de L’Ontario, 1930


vintage ad canoeing, Canoeing in Canada

This 1930 magazine advertisement from Canadian National Railways touts the forests of Ontario as a vacation destination. Here’s an excerpt from the ad:

“Barely a night away from the big city centers there’s a superb paradise with … fresh forests, silver lakes, shady paths, scented air and activities without end.There are hundreds of hidden away places … on Muskoka, Kawartha and Baies Lakes, in the 30,000 islands of Georgian bay, on the shores of Lake Huron’s blue waters, offering nature lovers an infinite variety of summer amusements …

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No Fish In Lac de la Vieille? Says Who?

Quebec fishing, small mouthed bass, Evelyn Yvonne Theriault

Bill got in a little fishing from our old Canadian Tire canoe

and came up with this small-mouthed bass.

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Canadian Tiger Swallowtail | Grand Remous, Quebec

In a former post I shared photographs of dozens of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails mud-puddling on a beach. A few days later I spotted this Swallowtail near the historic Savoyard covered-bridge in Grand-Remous, Quebec.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Papilio Canadensis, 2010

Related Posts:

Canadian Tiger Swallowtails Mud-puddling On The Beach

From The Bow

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