Island Lake

With the long cold month of February behind us, I finally came out of hibernation to go for a hike. March started as a cold and crazy windy day but it was a little calmer and slightly warmer for a walk with my friend Linda today.

A curvy line

We met at Island Lake Conservation Area and decided to start our hike along the boardwalk portion. As we passed the first boardwalk section and entered the second one I noticed these small open areas in the ice.

Holes in the Ice

We were stumped as to why these holes might be here. We also noticed by one of the holes that there were some tracks. It’s possible that some small critters were using these to get in and out of the frozen lake. 

Ice Hole

It was a beautiful sunny day out but the winds were still pretty strong. There were a few spots that were quite open and we were glad to make it back into the shelter of the trees. Winter is a beautiful time of year but it’s the cold winds that get me running back indoors as quickly as possible.

A Walk Along the Humber River

In the summer, when I get out on my bike, I usually head for the Humber Recreational Trail. I’ve biked many hours here, and today I decided to head over to one of the sections to get my butt out of my regular neighbourhood. 

Interlude

I headed to a section of the trail where there is a large pond. In the summer, you can usually find great blue herons and white egrets here, but with the cold weather, these birds head south. I did not find any other birds here, which in a way was lucky since I had only brought my macro lens with me. From one of the viewpoints on the pond, I saw a person by the water’s edge under a beautiful tree. I can’t say I was disappointed with this nice surprise as I quickly snapped a few photos.

The Trail

For the middle of winter, there is a lot of brown around us. We haven’t had snow since Christmas Day. This image above was quite bland when I started editing it. I wanted to give it a little spice, so I added some fog to the background and darkened up the foreground, giving it a little more atmosphere.

Incoming

As I crossed over the river on my way back to my car, a couple of ducks picked that same moment to came in for a landing. I was able to get a few shots as they came toward me. Only one photo was sharp, but that was all I needed. A very different walk than usual, but it was worth the short drive to see something different from my own backyard.

Winter’s Mid-day Light

I had several errands to run today, and one of them took me up to the town of Mono. I decided to go for a short hike at Splitrock Loop Trail since it was just up the road from one of my stops. If you’ve read my other post, How Things Can Change in 4 Days, you know all about my fascination with the birch trees on this trail.

Birches

I love this grove of trees, but I can’t seem to get the photo I picture in my head. One day I will find the shot, until then, expect to see more attempts.

Grandmother Tree in Winter

And then, there is the grandmother tree. She’s even beautiful in winter. It’s fun to be able to revisit the same places in different seasons. 

Whites of Winter

On the way home, I spotted this barn that stood out with this amazing blue sky behind it. The white barn would have blended in with the snow on a more typical overcast winter day. Today, however, it screamed at me to take its photo. And with that cloud, how could I not take the photo?

Barn

A little further down I spotted this barn. Both barn photos were taken at the same time, and the skies are very different. The only thing I changed was the direction I took the photo. By turning 180º the bright blue sky has disappeared, and instead, I got this golden cloudy sky.

Amazing how just turning around can give you a completely different look and feel in your photos. Don’t forget to turn around to look behind you next time you’re out photographing.

A Walk in the Park

I met my friend Nigel for a walk at Claireville Conservation Area this afternoon. Mostly we were out for a walk, but I did capture a couple of photos that I liked.

The Path

When I processed this image above, I first worked on a colour version, but there was too much brown for my liking. I decided black and white was the way to go for the photos.

White Branches

The image above was one of the last photos I took from my walk today. There was beautiful light hitting these trees, and I couldn’t resist taking a couple of shots. I punched up the “glow” on the branches to make it more dramatic.

Overall, it was a lovely day for a walk, and I’m happy to come away with a couple, not so bad, photos.

It Happened Again

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.

Creek Path

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.

Berries

The fun thing about the snow melting is you get these little droplets hanging off of things like these berries.

Pine Needles

Or these pine needles.

Shoe Ice

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.