The weather forecast said we would get snow on Christmas Day but that there wouldn’t be much. When I woke up this morning and saw the amount of snow, I was surprised. We got about 10 cm of snow for Christmas morning. That hasn’t happened for a long time.
A White Christmas
I had to walk over to the pharmacy, so I didn’t take my camera along with me, but once I saw how picturesque everything looked, I knew I had to make time to go out for another walk today. Around 2:30 pm, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door.
The great thing is the sun goes down early this time of year, and you get beautiful light that happens mid-afternoon. I was out for about an hour, and you can see this golden light was starting to deepen by the time I took the second photo. It was a beautiful day to celebrate Christmas.
This is my last post for 2020, and I wish you all the very best for 2021!
Today I, with my friend Nigel, head out to Humber Bay park in search of…you guessed it…ducks. Beause what else are you going to find in the middle of February when there is no snow?
Going later in the day (which isn’t that late this time of year) gave us this beautiful golden light that reflected off our subjects. There were lots of mallards, but then again, when aren’t there lots of mallards? As we explored the park we came across something unusual none of the mallard groups – a white mallard.
It’s not an albino. Its eyes, beak and feet are the same as the other mallards. Plus those other mallards seemed to have no issue with this weirdly coloured duck in their midst. So what’s up with its white feathers? Is it a spirit mallard, like the spirit bears from BC? I’m so curious to find out more.
I found out that it isn’t that uncommon for a mallard to be white due to Leucism. Leucism is the partial loss of pigmentation that can result in white, patchy or pale pigments. We see this in nature more than we realize – a white tiger, a white snake and, of course, the well known spirit bears from the west coast.
So, essentially our white duck is a mallard in all respects except its white colouring.
There was one other common bird hanging around – the swan. You have to watch out for swans. They can be one mean bird if they don’t like you and yet there they are paddling away, looking all graceful and stuff. I see you swan, being all handsome and unassuming, trying to pretend you’re not coming up with some evil plan to take over the world. lol
As always it was a great evening out exploring the park and getting some unexpected photos and some fun close-ups.
Today I spent some time with my friends and got a little shopping done (way too much actually but hey, I’m on vacation). It wasn’t until early evening that I decided to hike back up the mountain to Castelo Sao Jorge to catch the sunset and take some night shots of the city. I got a little lost on the way – I didn’t know exactly where the entrance was and ended up on the opposite side of where I should have gone. Luckily for me I arrived just in time for the sunset.
The photo above was taken from the viewing area just inside the castle grounds. While there was still light in the sky I decided to explore more of the castle itself. Inside the castle the glow from the sunset reflected off the walls and made everything pink.
A Small Doorway
Climbing up to walk on the castle walls I found some beautiful archways to photograph.
Arch with a View
As night fully descended and the castle grounds were about to close I was able to get one last shot of Lisbon.
Beyond the Castle Wall
A short adventure today but tomorrow I’ll be getting on a train and heading outside of Lisbon to explore Sintra, the summer playground for the previous kings of Portugal.
Another glorious late day walk around the neighbourhood with my macro lens. First up is this beautiful Red Clover which you will notice is purple. I’m not sure why its considered a Red Clover. If anyone knows, please feel free to comment below because I have no idea.
I absolutely loved how the light played off these Foxtails. Normally you wouldn’t notice that there is a little pink in its tail but with the slight breeze and the angle of the light it caught it perfectly.
Near the end of my walk I came across Smooth Bromegrass. (Yeah, I had to look that one up. And it took awhile to figure it out. It might not even be right.) The light was dancing amongst the grass as the breeze blew in.
Absolutely beautiful! That late day light makes the same boring walk extra special.
All that beautiful snow is gone again as temps go up. This means that well-travelled paths are now more on the icy side with muddy patches. It doesn’t make for the best hiking conditions.
But that didn’t stop me from heading over to Claireville for a quick hike and for some reason I decided to take the forest trail. This trail was a path of ice with a layer of water on top. Now, I do own a pair of Yaktrax which give some grip on the ice, which although helpful at times, didn’t always give me the traction I hoped for. I tended to choose the muddy terrain over the ice if it was possible. Otherwise it was a slow slip and slide type of situation down the path.
I arrived at the park later in the day and the light was amazing. The glow coming through the trees was a beautiful golden colour. I think I stopped way too many times and photographed similar shots as the one above. This always makes for problems in post processing as I can’t always decided which one to edit.
Some areas didn’t have much ice at all. Which was surprising as usually on forest trails the snow and ice are the last to melt.