Cohen: Celebrating the rhythms of a Canadian summer

By Andrew Cohen, Ottawa Citizen, July 24, 2018

LAKE TEMAGAMI, Ontario – For days, the fires of Temagami flared. On the evening we arrived, under a slanting, molten sun, the place was otherworldly.

It had not rained hard for weeks. The forest was a tinderbox. There was a smell of smoke in the air and a curtain of haze but no flames, which were far away.

That was Tuesday. On Sunday, just two days before, our neighbours on Outlet Bay reported that the smoke and ash was too hard on the eyes and lungs; at 8 p.m., they fled.

Another friend, Jack Goodman, said he could not recall five consecutive days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 Celsius). He has spent more than 70 summers here, and he feels the changes in the natural world. Now he had decamped, too. We would not meet him at the “cut,” where we tie up our boat, traverse a narrow isthmus through the trees, and motor down to his place on the lake’s southwest arm.

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