We woke up extra early this morning to drive over to the Tobermory lighthouse and get us some sunrise photos. We were eager to see what mother nature was going to show us.
And I had a front seat to the spectacular event.
You couldn’t ask for a better morning. Temperatures were mild, the colours were on point and we had some cloud for the colours to reflect off of. Thank you Mother Nature!
After a hearty breakfast we hopped on a boat and headed over to Flowerpot Island. After such great sunrise, the clouds came in and the drizzle started, eventually turning into a more substantial rain later in the day.
We walked along the shoreline path and stopped to photograph the flowerpots before heading to the lightstation museum on the north side of the island. That’s when the rain settled in so we got into our rain gear before heading back to the trails.
Instead of hiking the shoreline around the island we decided to cut through the middle and take the trail over some more rugged terrain in the hopes of spotting the elusive Striped Coral Root orchid. It wasn’t until we reached the main trail again that we spotted the orchid. I was thankful that I had the rain gear as I was down on the ground a number of times to get photos of almost every flower we spotted.
By the time we got back to our Airbnb we were both wiped and very damp. Not to mention excited to see what we had captured. We have one more day here in Tobermory and it looked like we may have some better weather.
I got up extra early this morning in the hopes of seeing an epic sunrise. Unfortunately that did not happen as I envisioned it. The clouds had gathered and it was looking pretty sketchy on whether it would rain on not.
Blue hour on Hope Bay
As the sun got higher in the sky it started to light up all the clouds with these beautiful colours which reflected off the bay. I thought to myself there was hope that the rain would not fall.
More of Hope Bay Sunrise
And so I was wrong. After the shoot I walked back to the campsite and packed up the car. I thought I would walk over to the camp office for a tea and snack. As I got over to their little patio the heavens parted and the deluge began. Luckily it didn’t last more than an hour but it was going to be a damp hike today at Sydney Bay Bluff.
Things were definitely wet in the forest and although I had a rain jacket on, the rest of me was very wet by the time I was midway through the hike. I was a little nervous on this hike. For some reason I had the idea that I would run into a bear. Well, of course, I didn’t but it was a little nerve-racking. Now don’t get all advice-y on me. I wore my bear bell and let me tell you, that thing was probably why I was so nervous.
Even though I seemed to jump at every sound I still had a great time. The bluffs offer some amazing views of the bays below and when the weather is not the greatest there is the possibility of some epic cloud cover.
Foggy Morning Hike
Needless to say I made it through my hike with no bear in site but my nerves a little raw from the sound of the clanging bear bell. How do people deal with this? Until next time…and hopefully another Bear-less hike.
A few weeks ago when my friend Nigel Banks asked me if I wanted to do a quick trip to Saskatchewan for a couple of days I jumped at the chance. So late yesterday evening we took off from Toronto Pearson Airport and headed to Regina for three days of photo fun. Needless to say when we originally booked our trip we hadn’t expected an arctic air mass to move in. When we landed in the wee hours of the morning temps were at -20ºC. A pretty chilly welcome to Saskatchewan.
We were up early in the morning and with no respite in the weather in the cards we headed straight for Swift Current, our home base for the next couple of nights. On the way towards Moose Jaw I had Nigel pull over at this modern grain elevator to get a few photos.
Modern Grain Elevator
Before heading to our hotel we decided that with most of the day still ahead of us we would head directly to the Great Sandhill Dunes. Did you know that Saskatchewan has large sand dunes? You thought Saskatchewan was flat right? Yeah so did I. It was only recently when Nigel told me about it and showed me some photographs from his previous visits that I learned about them (and actually believed him-lol).
Along the main road to the dunes we passed some old grain elevators. You know, the kind you see in photos from the prairies? I will save those for a later post. 😉
An old shack by the side of the road caught our eye so we stopped here for a bit to explore.
Abandoned Shack at Sunrise
There is one thing to notice here and its the sun. By this time it was afternoon, we had stopped for lunch and we expected to hit the dunes about an hour or so before sunset. The sun pretty much stayed at this height all day. I had to remind myself that we were at a higher latitude than where we live. The sun rose here at about 9am and set by 5pm. Okay it wasn’t a huge difference in the amount of light but the quality of light was great.
When we finally reached the dunes the clouds were getting thicker which meant sunset was going to be harder to see. Course it didn’t stop us from hiking up the dunes to check out the view and get some photos of the texture of the sand and snow. Trudging along the sand kept reminding me that I was actually on a sand dune…in Saskatchewan!
Cold Afternoon on the Sandhill Dunes
Okay, now I know you must be wondering…why on earth would anyone want to go to the prairies in the winter? Well, why the heck not, I say. It allows you to get photographs of places that first, most people won’t have at that time of year and second, are not packed with tourists or locals. And one thing of note, although the temperature hovered at the -20ºC mark it didn’t actually feel that cold. The prairies are very dry and the cold doesn’t seep in like it does in Ontario. So overall day one was pretty outstanding and I am looking forward to day two.
We were up early this morning to make sure we made it over to Dungeon Provincial Park to catch the sunrise. Settling down as the colours started to appear I took some long exposures to capture the beauty before the sun rose.
Once the sun made its appearance we started to explore the area a little more. From what I could tell it seems that Dungeon Provincial Park was named because of a sea cave. This cave has since lost its top and its two entrances look like eyes.
Very eerie looking with the sun lighting up these eyes.
We headed back to the hotel to grab some breakfast before packing up the car to head back to the west side of the island. Deciding to take the costal road we came across three foxes by the side of the road. As soon as I slowed the car down a fox approached the car in the hopes of a handout.
We were responsible travellers and didn’t give out any food as this can be a dangerous situation for the foxes when they associate cars with food. We did however get out of the car to catch some photographs of these beautiful creatures. It wasn’t too long before the foxes went from curious to bored. We didn’t take it personally and got back into the car to head to our next hotel for the night.