Thunder Bay·Audio

Canada flag, moose and dock make 'a perfect picture'

Serendipity, a handy cellphone and some excellent advice from his wife helped a Thunder Bay, Ont., man captured a quintessential image of Canada.

Rodney Johnson captured the image while visiting a friend's cottage northwest of Dryden, Ont., in June

Rodney Johnson, of Thunder Bay, Ont., captured a Canadian moment when he snapped this picture of a moose wading through water just off the dock at a cottage, northwest of Dryden, Ontario. (Rodney Johnson)

Serendipity, a handy cellphone and some excellent advice from his wife helped a Thunder Bay, Ont., man captured a quintessential image of Canada.

In mid-June, Rodney Johnson of Thunder Bay, Ont., was visiting a friend's summer camp on Rugby Lake, northwest of Dryden. He was just packing up his gear for the trip home when he heard a noise.

"I heard a grunt and a splash and I looked out the front window of the cabin and there was a moose," Johnson said.

'Can I get him? And I did!'

He grabbed the cellphone from his pocket and immediately started clicking some pictures.

Then, he asked himself how his wife Gerianne, a professional photographer who does portraits and wildlife photography, might approach the situation.

"I always kept in mind what my wife, the photographer, says and that it's all about framing and so I saw the flags and the direction he was travelling and thought 'can I get him?' and I did!"

"So we have a Canadian moose in between two flags at the end of the dock."

'A perfect picture'

Rodney Johnson says he's glad he listened to his wife's advice about the importance of framing when taking photographs. He captured the image of a moose framed perfectly beside a Canadian flag at the end of a dock. (Cathy Alex/CBC )

One of the flags is Canadian, the other is the flag of Switzerland, a nod to the family ties of the daughter-in-law of the cottage owners.

"It was just a perfect picture," Johnson said.

Moose are not regular visitors to the lake, he said, noting that a friend, Jacqui Haukeness, who runs a fishing camp told him there have only been scattered sightings of the big animal over the past 20 years "so this was actually quite an event."

Haukeness was so impressed by the picture she posted the image on Facebook, where it's already received over 30,000 views.

'Simple cellphone snap'

As for Johnson, he is thinking of getting a small print made "just to remember it, because I'm laughing at this notoriety I've achieved because of a simple cellphone snap."

Johnson will be taking part in Canada Day festivities at the Thunder Bay waterfront, as well as helping Gerianne enjoy her moment of fame as well.

She and other local photographers will open a month-long exhibition of their work at the Baggage Arts Building in Marina Park on July 1.

There are always plenty of interesting things to see on social media - timely news stories, inspirational quotes and of course, cat videos. But this week, in the lead-up to Canada Day, a picture posted on Facebook is creating quite a stir. It shows a moose, wading in the water at the end of a dock, and perfectly framed by a Canadian flag. You can see the picture on Up North CBC's Facebook page @upnorthcbc We were curious how this quintessentially Canadian photo shoot had come about, so we tracked down the man who took the photo. It turns out Rodney Johnson lives in Thunder Bay, and snapped the shot on a lake in northwestern Ontario just a little earlier this month. The CBC's Cathy Alex caught up with Rodney and asked him what happened. 6:15