We’ve been very lucky most of this winter with above-normal temps and only three substantial snowfalls. Winter, however, is no longer messing around. Temperatures for the past week have been downright frigid. Today was the first day that temperatures warmed up enough for me to venture out of the house and take some neighbourhood photos.
I’m trying to think outside the box to get more creative shots, considering that I’ve been walking the same area for almost a year. This first shot (above) is of a post that has started to decay in an interesting pattern. It’s the only post that has done this along this fence.
It’s been over a week since I’ve felt motivated to go outside, but yesterday I forced myself to get out and do another neighbourhood walk. The snow has melted, and it rained a couple of days ago, so I expected things to be a bit on the soggy side, so I didn’t spend much time walking the creek trail. This time I walked down one of the catwalks and then veered left to head into the schoolyard.
The catwalk had some interesting things to photograph, like these buckthorn berries, that have dried up over the last couple of months.
And this shrivelled orange berry, which was sticking out from the fence. I liked how it seems to be reaching out to you.
Before heading into the schoolyard, I noticed there were ice patches along the trail. One ice patch had a familiar shape to it. Do you see it?
Plethora of Funghi
While I was out for my walk, I decided to buy myself a chocolate bar at the local variety store. On the way there, I passed a house that had an old log fence. The fence had a lot of Funghi growing on it in intricate patterns. I may have to revisit this old log fence. There are so many little worlds to photograph here.
The sun finally broke through the clouds for the first time in days, and I decided I needed to get out of the house for some fresh air. Walking a different route from the last time I was out, I headed to the schoolyard to find some inspiration.
In a marshy area at the bottom of the hill, there is a tall group of reeds. In the summer months, red-winged blackbirds love this area. They are a great subject to photograph when the sky is nicely lit like it was this afternoon.
Just up by the hill, I found a fuzzy green fern with some ice and water droplets on it. I focused on only one of the leaves so that the droplets were nice and sharp. When I was processing the photo I wanted to take out the colour so that focus remained only on that one leaf.
When I crossed over the road and onto my usual path by the creek, I spotted a pair of cardinals. They were playing hide and seek in the trees so getting a clear shot was tough. This is the best I could get before they flew away. Maybe next time they won’t be as shy.
The snow has come back, at least temporarily. Yesterday evening snow started to fall, and by this morning, we had a nice blanket of snow.
It’s slowly starting to melt as the temperatures begin to climb again. The meteorologists weren’t kidding when they said it would be a mild winter. So far, we’ve had three decent sized snowfalls, and usually, within a couple of days, the temps go up, and the snow disappears.
The fun thing about the snow melting is you get these little droplets hanging off of things like these berries.
Or these pine needles.
And then there are these fun shapes that icicles can become, like this little boot-shaped icicle. Okay, I’ve never really seen icicles shaped like little boots before, but how cool is that? And it’s just hanging on with this squiggly ice shape. Now, this was a great find on my walk. If I had waited another day, it would most likely be gone.
It’s officially 2021! I’m sure we are all glad to put 2020 behind us. I’ve started my first day of 2021 doing – you guessed it – a neighbourhood walk. Things aren’t going to change that quickly. lol
I’ve been noticing that although it’s the season of brown (the snow has melted away since Christmas), there is a little bit of red thrown in as well. The last of the rosehips are still hanging around, waiting to be eaten by a passing bird or some other little creature. This particular one grabbed my attention because of its star shape.
There is also an abundance of red sumac flowers. They are slowly turning to brown, but until then the majority are still red.
I’ve decided that I must take a longer lens with me next time. I have spotted this Cooper’s hawk at least 4 times this past year. I first saw him under a tree, and I stopped and got a quick shot, but when I tried to get a little closer, he flew to the other side of the creek. Luckily, that was where I was heading next. I startled him when found him on the other side, and he flew to this tree. I was able to get a clear shot, but I had to crop this photo so you could see him. You might not be able to see it, but in his right claw, he has his lunch with him.
It was a great way to start the new year. And it goes to show you that even though you’ve been to a place many times, you can still find something new to photograph.
Wishing you all the best for 2021! Stay safe and be happy.