20171226-31 End of year sights

In addition to enjoying the textures of falling and fallen snow, we saw some interesting ice features, animal tracks and even some wildlife.  And, of course, we stopped to appreciate the creative efforts that Brittonians made to light up the festive season.

Here a some samples:

Twin Rivers freezing up for the winter on Boxing Day …

Snow accumulating on New Year’s Day …

Ice building up on Harris Creek at Hwy 529 …

Delicate filigree in the ditch along Hwy 529A to Bayfield Inlet …

A deer left its tracks as it crossed Niffen’s fence line on Old Still River Road.

Pair of River Otters left their tracks and slide marks on Harris Creek along Hwy 529 …

Festive lights in Britt:

Dave and Irene’s…

Doug and Doreen’s …

Diana’s …

MJ’s …

Notice the shadow of the condensation trail on the closer cirrus clouds:

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight … clear, calm and cold the next day …

This ruffed grouse isn’t as fluffed up as the two in the following pictures…

These Ruffed Grouse have been feasting on the buds of Aspens, all species of cherries, and White and Yellow Birch…

And they appear all puffed up to insulate themselves from the cold…

Chain and its shadow across sparkling snow early afternoon… (click on the photo to see the detail.)

Snowball leaving tracks much later in the afternoon —– giving long purplish shadows and pink highlights.

We are getting our deep cold a month or two earlier than normal this year.  Perhaps we will enjoy an early spring.   While that would be very nice for us humans it might lead to further de-synchronization of floral and faunal associations.

It is not the fact that the climate is changing, it is the speed of change that ecosystems cannot keep up with.  Last year’s spring, with its huge damage to deciduous leaf buds by the early hatching of larvae — before the arrival of their migrant predators (insectivore birdies), might be becoming more common.

Meanwhile we will enjoy it while we can.

 

20171226-31 End of year snow textures

Some of my friends know that I am challenged to capture the delicacy of the texture of snow, especially when sparkles demonstrate specular reflections of sunlight from crystal faces.   Here are several examples of what I’ve been trying to get pictures of over the last week or so:

I am including this first one because the sources of light passing through the lens are very different and of some importance to a careful picture-maker.

  1. The light from the sky is scattered light from Sun.
  2. The light from the snow is mainly diffused reflected light.   Some white dots, which appear as small “sparkles” are the result of specular reflection of Sun’s light by the planes of individual snow crystals.
  3. The light from the rock is diffuse reflected sunlight.  There is very little light reflected from dark spots, where there is low reflection (and large absorption) of sunlight.

Although the following is not a picture of snow, it illustrates the very different texture of frost crystals compared to snow.

New-fallen snow has very soft contrasts (except for the specular reflections).  [Aged snow, which as melted and refrozen a few times, turns to sugar snow then to corn snow, with high contrast between the “grains”.  I haven’t included any here since we’ve had no mild spells!]

Attempted compromise between capturing the sparkles without making the snow look like white beach sand:

Edge of an ice floe with some crystals freezing before the camera:

I had to include this because it is nice!  …

One of these days I’ll learn why this frost flower has formed at this branch.

Very fresh windblown snow still with snow crystals.

Ragged shadow of the spruce tip shows the irregularity of the snow surface.

Delicate:

Also delicate …

SHARP! ….

One of my favorites ….

Two different cameras: This a FZ1000 at 432 mm:

GH4 with 100-400 Leica lens at 500mm EFL, which cost 4X as much:

Getting a good orientation of the snow surface is important…

Notice the windblown snow against the dark portions of the image.

Delicate …

Good exposure challenge …

What is the above collection to you?

  • An amateur picture maker’s attempt at technical self-development?
  • A little bit of art?
  • A little bit of both technique and art?

Always a bit of fun, eh?

 

 

20171216-24 Christmas Time is Here

It’s that time of year, the week before Christmas … a white Christmas:

(Click (sometimes twice) on any image to expand it full size.  Use your browser “back” button to return to this blog.)

 

 

(click on the expand symbol in bottom right to see the video full screen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, during a warmish spell a few days ago, we saw the famous “Partridge in the Birch Tree”.

and another Ruffed Grouse posing in all of its winter fluffiness.

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy  New Year!

Tom & Tinsley

 

20171215-16 After more snow a sunny trip to Meshaw Falls

After a day of snow …

… which grounded all flying from our community heliport and provided a soft backdrop to winter goldenrods …

… we enjoyed a couple days of sharp cold clear arctic air.

The bright sunshine transformed our previously “snowy” images into postcards.

Old Still River Road:

 

Highway 607 to Meshaw Falls …

Along Dry Pine Bay towards Meshaw Falls …

Looking upstream from the Falls ..

Downstream, westerly …

 

Nice little Christmas decoration on the nameplate…

Mailbox wearing its snowy hat …

We made other pictures but we’ll save them for the next posting!

In preparation for that event, check out the Sundogs at this very useful site.

 

20171212-13 Some winter elegance in sunshine

We enjoyed a few days of clear cold weather, bringing out the brighter side of December.

Oft-photographed Twin Rivers in the late afternoon …

Frost flowers along Hwy 529 …

Little stream … a good spot for some video …. forthcoming at a later date!

Early morning frost flowers before the crystals sublime, losing their sharpness…

Little stream on Hwy 522 near Grundy Lake PP… another good spot for some video ….

Snowmobile bridge over stream exiting Grundy Lake PP on Hwy 522.

Looking upstream at Meshaw Falls with a light mist of ice crystals rising off of the French River…

Looking downstream, with a much heavier mist ….

 

It is always very  pleasant to see the sun on a cold winter’s day!

Something different:  Spinning Ice Disks

 

20171209-12 More videos, winter conditions

We  made more videos of nature’s fury and her elegance.   Here is an example of her fury:

 

And the still:

Here is a still where you might imagine the video …

This one illustrates the perils of making videos with a cell phone in the car:

Although I will continue to “film” more videos I won’t be posting them here until I get some software to process them.   You might imagine what some of the following stills would look like in motion.

Here are some slide marks and footprints left by a river otter as seen from Hwy 529:

Reed waving in the breeze in light snow …

Delicate filigree of ice on Wright’s rock …

Jack Frost sculpturing the shoreline of Byng Inlet …

Ditch flowing near Bayfield Inlet …

Same ditch as above.   It is always interesting to photograph as the water level changes a lot from week to week.

Classic fallen fence post and page wire on Old Still River Road…

Further along Still River Road…

Rock accumulating snow on Community Road, Britt…

Ah!  Some sun poking through the drab snowclouds…

Back to snowy weather on Hwy 529 ..

This is the same Purple Pitcher Plant seed pod that I have been photographing since last summer.   Soon it will  disappear under the snow…

Isn’t it amazing to enjoy all of the above on our Pale Blue Dot!

 

20171207 Experiments with video

I am starting to play with the video buttons on my camera to try to capture the other dimensions of winter weather.   I shot these on the FZ1000, edited them (minimally) in Lightroom 5.6,and trimmed them in QuickTime Player 10.3.  One of these days, if I continue to enjoy the challenge of shooting some video I’ll invest in some better editing software —- and the computer to go with it!!

Here are a couple of scenes from the snowstorm we had yesterday:

First a still image …

And now a video clip:

and

Now the video clip

What do you think?