Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
At the moment, I'm in the completion phase of my second novel, Muskoka Maharani, and one of the characters in the novel makes a startling revelation while standing in precisely the spot that I was standing when I took this photograph two years ago.
The character in my novel is a painter in her eighties who decides to finally tell an Australian newspaper reporter the greatest secret of her life. What she tells the reporter has wide-ranging consequences, but you'll have to read all about it in the novel. All I can tell you is that when she makes the decision to break her vow of secrecy, she is using oil and canvas to paint exactly the scene you see in this photograph.
In the meantime, here is my story behind this picture ....
If you believe in ferry tales, then Port Carling in Muskoka, Canada is the place for you. I'm standing on the boat dock of the Delta Sherwood in complete solitude.
There is nary a sound across the surface of Lake Joseph as I rise before dawn. It is half an hour to sunrise as I stand alone on the main dock. As the soft light appears in the sky, the still waters around me reflect the stunning array of early autumn colours of the spruce, maple, yellow birch, silver birch and dark green pine that form an arresting natural palette.
There is not a cloud in the sky as the sun shrugs the horizon's shackles and casts a shimmering shadow of slender liquid gold upon the ebony surface of the water. A few minutes later, that slim shadow has widened into a brilliant avenue of soft orange across the lake, probing both further and wider as the sun climbs.
If you could ever have a sound and light show without any sound at all, then I have been blessed with front-row tickets to this one. Suddenly, the sound of silence is eroded by the roar of a speedboat that heads unerringly eastwards, as if its helmsman is navigating down the centre of the avenue of light, controlling the motor's bass timbre.
A pity there are no steamboats on the lake today. That would have given me a real ferry-tale ending.