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 Slippery Start

I met my friend Nigel today for a socially distanced walk down part of the Humber Recreational Trail. The first few minutes of our walk we ended up slipping and sliding along the path, so we decided to go back to our respective cars for our ice trackers. It ended up being a good decision since the path turned out to be quite icy for most of our walk.

The Old Tree

You’ll notice from the photo above that this spot might look a little familiar. The last time I was on this trail I did the same section stopping to get a photo of this exact tree. This time, however, the lake was frozen over and I was able to get a much better angle. I wanted the tree to stand out from the background, so when I post processed it I lightened up the tree and the reeds while darkening the tree trunks in the background. This makes the tree pop.

The rest of the walk was uneventful and I didn’t end up taking any more photos. I think I will have to find another place for inspiration because there are only so many photos I can take of this tree. 

The World of Lichens

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.

Decaying Post

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.

Rosette Lichens

Rosette Lichens

I went back to that fence where I found all those lichens growing on it. I wanted to spend more time getting photos of the different types of lichen growing on the old logs. I’m sure I got some strange looks from passersby. They were probably wondering what could be so interesting on a fence. Little do they know just how interesting that fence is.

Star Rosette Lichen

Star Rosette Lichen

I love the variety of lichens that are growing on this fence. I could spend hours photographing them. Unfortunately, temperatures were dropping quickly, so it was time to head home. 

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.