20161123-27 Late fall with a bit of snow

We have had some enjoyable late fall weather, including some snow, rain, wind and calm.  Here are examples of what we saw over the last few days:

The last of the Mallards are passing through…


I found it surprising that the spore capsules of this moss are emerging at this time of the year.   Moss reproduction seems to be quite complex, a topic that I need to learn more about.  Interspersed are Pixie Cup lichens a relative (Cladonia) of British Soldiers.



Tag (AKA Speckled, Hoary, Gray) Alder ( Alnus incana ) catkin:

Alders have two catkins (male and female) that form in the autumn, are dormant over winter and the  female is wind pollinated with pollen from the male catkin in spring.    Here two male catkin are hanging down on long stems.  The others may be female catkins.  I will have to observe further…..



The butterflies whose caterpillars supped on the leaves of this plant are now in Mexico.   A big bunch of them arrived at El Rosario Sanctuary on Nov 2, 2016:


Perhaps one of the woodferns that dried out and died.  Most woodferns that I know are evergreens.


Another milkweed caught in the act of dispersing its seeds during a snow flurry….


One of the fall asters against the textured snow ….


This has been happening with increasing regularity, apparently due to aging equipment that is failing.


Big Lake is getting its first covering of ice, indicating that the water temperature underneath the ice ranges from +4ºC to 0ºC.  The surface water temperature at the edge of the ice is 0ºC.  I don’t have long enough arms to measure the temperature of the water out in the middle of the lake.


(Tall) Meadow Rue is so very delicate after it drops its seeds.


And so is Dogbane ….


Twin River from the bridge, with the long lens …


Typical Hwy 529  scene with the long lens:p1810497-1

Meshaw Falls on the North Channel of the French River.   I know that it is fashionable nowadays to try to emulate some of Ansel Adam’s work by converting moving water to milky water.   I am not a fan of that cliché, preferring to use enough motion blur to indicate movement, while preserving the structure of the water flow.  This was shot at 1/100 second…..just a long enough shutter interval to let some motion blur animate the photograph.


I made this photo because these strange objects are common on ponds when they freeze.  Too small for otter or beaver breathing holes.  They remind me of dendrites of the human brain.   [If you can understand that link you are a better person than I am, Charlie Brown!] (Maybe Oldtimers Disease is settling in on me!) …


I drove almost to the end of Bekanon Road of the Henvey Inlet Reserve on November 26 to see one of Herbert Fisheries tugs tied up at a dock on the southern point (as I looked west).

This is from the sand beach about 1 nautical mile west of where Henvey Inlet narrows.


Homemade bench at the above beach:


The last of the blackberry leaves on the Beckanon Road….

Just after I made this photo  I met a nephew of the late  Art Solomon, an Ojibway elder who did important work in the Canadian Justice System, who wrote Songs for the People, and who was a big help in the writing of the Science North production of Shooting Star ,  a 3-D, 70mm, laser enhanced story of a young girl’s spirit-quest in the Sudbury Impact Crater.  Not surprisingly the man was quietly parked in his car, observing nature and listening for the bugle call of one of the elk that he had heard there earlier.  We had a very enjoyable chat.


A classic shot of the Mackerel sky and its reflection from in front of St Amants Restaurant and Waterfront Inn.  Those post anchor the dockage in the summer, where Floatboat II spends it time ashore.


This is the good ship, Adeline, named after the mother of the man who made it and who still lives aboard from time to time.


The Still River as it empties into Byng Inlet from Old Legion Road.p1810619-1

Just upstream, left of the above, a family of beaver are laying in a huge stock of feed, stripping the far shore of birch and poplar.   It is right next to their lodge.

These are Mary Holland’s explanations of what is happening:



In some of the above images you might enjoy clicking on the photo to see some of the fine detail.

20161120-22 Oh, Wild West Wind, …

thou breath of Autumn’s being
  Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing….


It is that time of year again, winter cometh but as P.B. Shelley said, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Here are some late fall pix taken over the last few days:


Phragmites waving in breeze …


Shebeshekong Road:


Familiar sights along the Skerryvore  Community Road:




Tamaracks have lost their needles now …


Gereaux Lake looks cold..


Virgin’s Bower leaves little puffs after throwing their seeds …


Virgin’s Bower inflorescence up close …


These are attracted to my doggie, Brandy, the German Shepherd …



Phragmites in the sunshine …


WHA???  This time of year??


I just had to make a record of these little puddles surrounding the floating lily pads.


This is what they looked like in the landscape, during a light snowflurry…


You can see the snow flurries a bit more clearly when you click on this photo …


These lily pads are in a different pond a day later …


See this beaver’s eye and paw?


I made these two just to examine what our eyes see:

Focused on the piece of ice:


Focused on the tree trunks in the reflection, the rest “disappears”.


Aha!  The beaver is back!


Snow is expected in the next few days.   Nice!

Mary Holland explains the reproductive strategy of Ladyslippers.

20161113-14 “Supermoon” rising …

Before the rising of the much promoted supermoon I made a few nice pictures that might be of some interest …

Late afternoon light on the last of the Tamaracks still with needles …


These goldenrods might be Canada Goldenrod….


Evening sky with low clouds over Big (Gereaux) Lake …


I did a little research to photograph the rising of the (almost) full moon on February 14 at Straight Lake from Hwy 69 between the Bekanon Rd and Key River.  I looked at the azimuth angle (the angle measured clockwise along the horizon from true north) and plotted it on a Google Earth image of the location.  It looked like it would rise above the far shore, to above the three spruce trees in the right foreground of this photo:


But I used the wrong day and the moon rose where it should have  —– right next to the rightmost small spruce.  It then promptly disappeared in the foliage…


Here it is again, with my long 800 mm equivalent telephoto lens, poking up over that distant treeline.


Here it is again, 4 1/2 minutes later, disappearing into the spruce branches:


On the next day, November 14th, I went to the public dock in Byng Inlet to make another try.

This is the setting sun, behind the hamlet of Byng Inlet …


The wind calmed giving this nice view of the Eastside part of Britt.  I expected the moon to rise just to the right of the rightmost white house.


This is what the moon looked like as it rose above the clouds on the horizon:


A little earlier as the moon emerged from the lowest cloud deck.


Here is a time lapse video of the moon rising out of the low clouds.  It works in my Safari browser but not in my Firefox browser.


20161107 Fall changes, foggy morning

Autumn changes are proceeding apace.

Winterberries (aka Black Alder Winterberry, Brook Alder, Canada holly, Coralberry, Deciduous Holly, Deciduous Winterberry, False alder, Fever bush, Inkberry, Michigan Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly, Virginian Winterberry, or Winterberry Holly) have lost their leaves.


This poplar leaf is showing the removal of green chlorophyll as abscission is well along its process:


The tamarack (aka hackmatack, eastern larch, black larch, red larch, or American larch) is changing from green to gold to orange.  Here is a close-up of tamarack needles on a foggy morning (click on the picture for a better close-up of the droplets):


And here are photos of tamaracks along Hwy 529:






Here the leatherleaf plants are showing their characteristic fall maroon as the final leaves on the birch and aspens are falling:


Some scenes of a foggy morning, first along Old Legion Lane:

Beside Glenny’s house:


Looking across  the Still River towards the Byng Inlet at 8:31 AM EDT.


The Still River in front of Annie’s house…



8:43 AM ….


8:53 AM ….


Yes, the droplets (and the single web) are there …


This one reminds me of my sister who celebrated another birthday on November 6th.  Gentle, with a hint of restraint:


The docks are now on shore leaving these posts at St Amants:

8:57 AM ….


Nice view from ET’s, looking west along Riverside Drive:


And the last photo of the morning before heading up for tea at St Amants…

10:57 AM …


Beautiful fall weather!!

20161102 Calm start to November

It has been damp and calm for the last few days.  Not at all like the typical November storms that stir up Georgian Bay this time of the year.  The calm wet air, sometimes combined with water surfaces, give some opportunities to capture some interesting scenes.  Some examples:

The “back road”  across from the farm…


The pond between Grundy Lake PP and the Pakesley CPR Crossing…


Cattails at the pond …


Hwy 522 looking East towards Pakesley Crossing …


Pond from Hwy 69 north of Key River…

p1800903-1 p1800909-1 p1800912-1

Byng Inlet from Britt, with , Sedges, Cattails and Canada Rushes in the foreground…


Adeline at berth…


Some textures …


Pixie Cups seem to using chlorophyll this time of the year …


Acid Dock in Britt as the mist rises to form some cloud puffs.


Perhaps we are seeing the calm before the November storms?