Sat. Feb 24th, 2024
I spy with my little eye...

Today’s post comes to us from Heather Stern, naturalist at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Some of the oldest rocks in the world.

Something that is carved.

Something made of wood.

These are just a few examples of the many things you can see from the Bon Echo Provincial Park Visitor Center, thanks to Rod MacKenzie with Hi-Spy viewing machines.

Mr. MacKenzie generously donated a beautiful non-coin-operated (that means free!) headset to Bon Echo Provincial Park this summer. The viewer is located just outside the Visitor Center with a clear view of Mazinaw Rock, a 100m high cliff that is part of the Canadian Shield and is over a billion years old.

Mazinaw Rock in the fallSome of the oldest rocks in the world…

The commemorative carving

The viewfinder replaces an old telescope that visitors previously used to view the Old Walt inscription that was carved into the cliff face in 1920 to commemorate the centenary of Walt Whitman’s birth in 1819.

Walt Whitman was an American poet who achieved his greatest popularity in the early 20th century. At one time the letters of the inscription were painted with white paint, which made it easy to read from across the lake. However, over the years this painting has worn away, making it challenging to view.

But not anymore!

Words carved in rockSomething that is carved…

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With the help of the viewer, old Walt’s words can be read once again just in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Walt’s birth next year.

The ancient trees silently witness history.

The clever design of the viewer’s rotating head also allows visitors to observe other aspects of the cliff, such as the ancient white cedars growing on the side. These trees can live over 1000 years and are only the size of a small bush!

Dead tree growing on rock: small and twistedSomething made of wood…

One of the cedars on the cliff was discovered to be 941 years old when it died and was given the nickname “Silent Witness” because it would have lived through much of the area’s human history.

Our most sincere thanks!

Viewfinder facing out

This isn’t the first time MacKenzie has donated a scope to a provincial park.

In 2014, Presqu’ile Provincial Park received a 20x optical viewfinder that can be found in front of its picturesque lighthouse on Lake Ontario.

Next time you visit Bon Echo, we challenge you to see how many different things you can now spy on Mazinaw Rock.