When the weather is warm enough – between May and October – whales will swim from the North Atlantic into the Gulf of St Lawrence, and upstream into the St Lawrence river. They get about as far as Tadoussac. At this point, the river is still very wide. Wide enough even for blue whales.
When it gets colder, the whales return to the ocean, but from May until October, Tadoussac is host to whales – and several companies stationed there organise whale watching trips.
I’ve taken you to a lot of indoor locations on my previous Science Tourist trips. Granted, one of them had a rain forest, but it was still indoors. Time to put on your hiking boots, because we’re going outside today, to Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada!
Algonquin Park is huge. Their FAQ says it’s 7,630 km² (2,946 square miles). A highway cuts through the southern part of the park, and that’s the only car route through the park. If you want to go further into the interior, you need a canoe to navigate the 1500 lakes. I’ve never gone that far. Both of my trips to the park have hovered close to the highway, but there’s still a lot to see there, and if you pick a quiet weekend to visit, you might not see anyone else on the hiking trails or on the lakes.
Toronto and Ottawa are each several hours away, so most people spend the night in the park. The first time I went camping in Algonquin Park, we had just started unloading the car at the campsite when the people from the neighbouring campsite told us to stop doing what we were doing and come over immediately with our cameras. There was a moose calf!
Marie-Claire is very busy educating the youth of Canada. Too busy to even listen to music, which is about her favorite thing to do, after educating the youth of Canada. She was not too busy to make it to ScienceOnline 2013. Because the Song of the Weekconcept traces its roots back to ScienceOnline 2012, we thought it would be fitting to take you back to that very first post – doodly-doo, doodly-doo, doodly-doo…
Emerging out the door of the pub on winter night, you bow your head and tighten your shoulders to keep the chill at bay. A few lilting steps might catch a dusting of snow. It takes a minute or so before the stars on the horizon catch your eye. It’s a crisp clear night. Swinging your head quickly upwards the stars take your breath away. The Milky Way is massive and scrawled across the sky.
No song captures that feeling as well as Built to Spill’s Randy Described Eternity from their 1997 classic Perfect from Now On. A minute of slow, slightly off kilter guitar opens suddenly into full, expansive sheets of sound. The song kind of hits you in the chest. The lyrics themselves attempt to describe the longest time imaginable, but the feeling is actually one of infinite space. The guitar melodies are complex, layered and looped, creating an impression of boundlessness. In the repeated line “stop making that sound,” the sparse story even includes the requisite “shut up” for your friend who has failed to notice the sky and is chattering on about something irrelevant. After a night at the pub when the stars catch your eye and you look breathlessly up in wonder, this is the song that should be playing.