Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
GRAVENHURST — With Bala’s Cranberry Festival — which would have been this weekend — cancelled and Muskoka’s Festival of Colour falling by the wayside faster than the leaves, tourism is on the wane.
The flood of Thanksgiving day-trekkers is trickling to a halt across Central Ontario — no thanks to COVID.
With a great year for maples, oaks and more, photographers had a field day north of the Severn River deep into Algonquin Park and west to Georgian Bay.
Bethune House in Gravenhurst brought hundreds — if not thousands of Chinese descent — as usual.
And the eagle-eyed could spot a moose on the loose across the street.
Artist Ann Shantz set up a small souvenir tent in her driveway on John Street selling Bethune gift bags, t-shirts and other gifts like post cards, pins and fridge magnets.
You really couldn’t miss her — not with a 10-foot-tall towering bull moose in front of her house.
And one with a pair of bright orange pumpkins perched in its outstretched antlers.
This complementary attraction is no Bullwinkle.
“Maple the Moose” is the metal sculpture of gifted Gravenhurst welder Hillary Clark-Cole, who is married to Shantz’s cousin Alex Tilley.
It’s been grazing in Gravenhurst for a year or two on Shantz’s front lawn at the back of most picture-taking tourists.
But turn around and admire the majestic beauty of nature welded to same ground that across the street is worshipped in a neighbouring front yard and next door National Historic welcome centre.
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