20161229 Christmas lights and a trip to Port Loring

As usual, Diana and Irene have beautiful Christmas decorations to lighten up our lives on long winter nights:

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New addition this year:  Comfort station on the right for S.C.:

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Little creek from Grundy Lake to Portage Lake at Hwy 522:

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Road down to Portage Lake at the mail boxes …

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Hwy 522:

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Looking West from Young’s Road …

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Balsam Creek Road …

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Back on Hwy 522 …

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Hallie’s place … with …

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… two wild turkeys at the end of the snowmobile tracks (as seen through the hand-held Panasonic – Leica 100-400 mm telephoto lens at 800 mm equivalent focal length … and cropped):

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More snow forecast for the next few days, making the critters and the photog happy.

20161226 A foggy day and an ice storm

The Christmastime weather was very variable this year.  Some examples of what we saw:

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A couple of days later …. glistening snow …

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The results of an hour of freezing rain …

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Always something new to see, when we look.   Some of the above might be worth enlarging … by clicking on the image.

20161222 A wet snowfall at Britt

Quite a difference between this photo taken on December 21 …

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… and  these taken the following morning around Britt:

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One of three “Giant’s Kettles” across the road from the late Mr LaChance’s house on Riverside Drive.  This one, at ~40 cm diameter, the smallest, has a red maple growing out  of it.  It was formed when the glacial ice sheets retreated from the Great Lakes, around 10,000 years ago.

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On the way to “Reynolds Rock” …

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Oft photographed white pine on Hwy 529 …

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A warm front followed the wet clinging snow, returning the scenery to a more stark look.    Lots of variation in winter scenes.

20161218 More snow, a porcupine and some sunshine

Snowstorming on the way back from Parry Sound, Shebeshekong Rd and Skerryvore Community Rd:

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Snow-plastered spruce remnants:

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Tracks leading to a crevice in the rock cut …

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Porcupine curled(?) up against the rock face, possibly looking for a crevice for shelter…

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Snowstorming …

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Ah, the sun is out, giving us sparkles in the snow …

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Porcupines suffer from predation by the Fishers that were imported into the area by logging interests to protect the white pines from porky’s bark diet.

20161214 Lake Effect Snowstorm

Britt, on the windward side of Georgian Bay, often experiences heavy Lake Effect Snowstorms while the Bay water is still open.  When the wind is from the Southwest, the squall can start in Lake Huron and pass through the opening between Tobermory and South Bay Mouth to land a direct hit on Britt-Byng Inlet.  That is what happened earlier this week.

The images are in chronological order and show the clear air changing to blowing snow then to a whiteout, a combination of blowing and falling snow to produce a well developed snowsquall.

Before the storm the wind is starting to pile up both the water and broken ice at Dave and Maureen’s place near the mouth of Byng Inlet …

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Byng Inlet is clearly visible from the mouth of the Still River …

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And the line of dock poles clearly point to the houses a half km away.  The poles are about 11 metres apart, the first one on the left being about 6 metres from the camera.

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Snow-laden clouds are starting to move in as the wind blows the rushes and makes interesting patterns on the ice-scape.

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Heavier clouds and changing ice-scapes…

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Blowing and falling snow is starting to obscure the far side.  The airborne snow can easily be seen in the contrast with the near pole on the left.  You can get an idea of the density of the snow by enlarging the image.  Click on the image for full size and click the back button to return here.

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The tree limbs are bending and the ice/snow/slush is forming at the mouth of the Still River ….

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The building across the Inlet are partially obscured by blowing and falling snow.  The inlet is open at the horizontal dark between the near point of land and the buildings of Byng Inlet.

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The ceiling is lowering and the gusting winds are causing little whirlwinds along the Inlet.

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Occasionally there will be a break in the cloud cover, but the falling and blowing snow is dense enough to obscure this male Staghorn Sumac.

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The turbulence well indicated by the rough clouds and is caused by mechanical interaction of the airflow with the surface.  In this case the winds were gusting up to 50 knots (about 90 Km/hr).

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Full blown snow squall.  Visibility is down to about 45m (or about 150′).

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A little while later the wind veered towards the west and the big snow squall “streamer” moved a bit further south to dump some snow on the good people in Pointe au Baril.

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Hydro One added to the excitement by removing power from our homes for a few hours during the event.

I subscribed to this wonderful link a few days ago.  It helps us to remember the days of summers gone by and to anticipate next summer’s beauty.  Mark makes amazing photos and has a very deep appreciation for nature, as exemplified by this image in that article:

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He describes his approach in this well-illustrated article:  https://beingmark.com/macro-illustrated/

As Robert Browning said, in Andrea del Sarto,   “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”   A good motto for beginning photographers like myself.

20161211 Lots more snow

The temperature plummeted over the last few days and the westerly wind brought a lot of lake effect snow to our neck of the woods.  Here are some sights of our experiences.  ( I tried to preserve as much snow texture as possible, even in flat light.  That includes the snow flake falls, which are streaked when I shot a longish exposure and individual flecks when I used a short exposure.  You can see the texture by zooming in on the photos, by clicking on it or expanding it on your hand-held device.)

CPR crossing at Woods Road:

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Sun behind a gauze of cloud over the Byng Inlet.

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Clump of grass catching snow…

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Juniper holding some snow…

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This historical marker, north of the town of Magnetawan near Eagle Lake Road, tells the story of some Swiss settlers who formed a colony there during the mid 1870s.

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Snowing over the Byng Inlet …

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Steve and Barb’s driveway …

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Footsteps along Riverside Rd …

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Steps up to “Reynolds’ Rock”…

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Dave and Irene have expanded their Christmas display to provide a comfort station for S.C……

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Apparently S.C. was on a test-flight to check out the facilities.

 

All of the local beasties are relieved to get some snow cover for their nests, burrows etc.  I am not so sure about travellers along Hwy 69.

20161205 Some snow

After a very soft November, December came in gradually with a wet snowstorm on the 5th.   Here is some snow …

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Here is my only photo of some Snow Birds (aka Snow Buntings) who often flash their white wings when roused from their roadside pecking (salt?).   This was shot from a long ways away.  Beautiful birdies, worth looking at up close.  Amazing birds when you look at their migration patterns (high arctic in summer, around here in the winter).

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Local landmark, across the road from my place …

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Lonely conifer in a red pine plantation at Hwy 69 / Hwy 522:

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Pond between Grundy Lake PP and Pakesley Siding on Hwy 522:

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Road to Portage Lake off of Hwy 522:

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Murdock River at Hwy 607 …

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Road to Meshaw Falls …

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Upstream from Meshaw Falls of the North Channel of the French River …

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Meshaw Falls …

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Evening at St Amant’s dockage ….

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Sunset from “The Acid Dock” in Britt.

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I came across some more of Mark Berkery’s Macro Photography this morning.   This is a great illustrated article about how he does it.

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