Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weaver Falls

On one of my Owen Sound errand days this winter I stopped in to walk up the short trail to Weaver Falls, a beautiful short walk, but a difficult falls to get good photos of.

Weaver Creek emerges from a spring at the base of the Niagara EScarpment cliffs at the southern end of Owen Sound, and flows east then north until it drains down into Harrison Park.  There it forms the water supply for the public swimming pool I swam in once as a young child!  But I never knew the falls was here until about 5 years ago.

This is the beautiful narrow steep-sided ravine that the creek flows through.  The creek occupies the entire floor of the valley in most places, so they've had to build a boardwalk for much of the trail.  It's a typical ravine cut in the Queenston Shale, below the Manitoulin Dolostone, the layer the waterfalls falls over.

Below here, the tiny stream flows through the campground at Harrison Park, and then provides water supply for the ducks and geese that are kept there.  Unfortunately the waterfalls faces north, and it was a bright sunny day, making it a challenge to get photos.  These are all tripod and neutral density filter pictures to tone down the brightness.

Finally you come around the bend, and see the small waterfalls in the distance.  You can't approach the falls closely, both because the ravine slopes are simply too narrow and steep, and because the falls itself is on private property.

But with a bit of a zoom, you can get a picture from the end of the public trail.  I was surprised to find all these trees fallen across the stream, making photography a bit limiting.  Several of these have fallen over the past year.  And the waterfall is in shade against the bright sun.

I ducked under the last log for a picture, but as you go that far around the bend, you're actually seeing less of the waterfall.  And you can see the narrow steep slopes; if this wasn't private land, the safest way to approach the falls would be to walk right up the creek!

So I backed up and got a closer view before that last log, about the best view I got that day.  But every time I'm out in different light conditions I'm learning more and more about waterfall photography.  Still, I didn't entirely avoid the sun's glare.

My goal is to end up with photos of these local waterfalls in all seasons, so here's a comparison shot from fall a couple of years ago - obviously before all those trees fell across the stream.

This is about the best photo I got on that occasion, a photo I'm quite pleased with - every now and then you get a good waterfall photo just through dumb luck!

I've been thinking that I needed to learn how to take 'slow' pictures of waterfalls like this to get the photos I wanted.  Then I thought I could go out in all seasons and get comparable shots.  But no, it's still not that simple.  The flow of water over the seasons, the time of day, and the weather all make a big difference.  Sometimes an overcast day gives you a better chance for good lighting, especially for those north facing waterfalls.  But then I don't get the chance to always control all those variables, so what's a would-be photographer to do but keep trying.


After getting a nice snowfall on Wed. last, while much of southern Ontario got freezing rain, it was looking wintry again, but today the temperature soaring above freezing, and the snow on the driveway melted.  Now it's raining.  I fear that any chance for xc skiing is over for this year, but after this rain, and a freezing night or to as we're supposed to get this week, you'll be able to walk right across the surface of the snow in boots!


  1. This is a really beautiful place!

  2. I love your photos. The snow shots were great! I will be back.

  3. they are's very cool to see the same scene in different seasons!!!

    and the slide, it was me, of course. i went twice...very cold, very wet, very fun!!!!!

  4. You tried hard both fall and winter and got great shots. It's sad that very few people are able to see these falls.

  5. I love me a good waterfall to photograph! Beautiful creek and waterfall in the snow, but the fall pics are gorgeous too.

  6. Nice captures of a wintery waterfall.

  7. That looks a very tricky one to photograph. A friend of mine set himself the task of photographing all the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons mountains in South Wales in different seasons. I told him that he'd never complete the task and he replied "Oh, I know that. But it'll keep me healthy and occupied for the rest of my life!"

  8. Some great shots here ... and yes always nice to have a selection of photo's showing the same area in different seasons ...

    Have a good week ahead, whatever the weather brings!

    All the best Jan

  9. Hello, looks like a pretty walk to the waterfalls. I love the Autumn shot of the waterfalls too. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  10. Wonderful photos ! We had rain over night last night , chilly this morning and still snowless here . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  11. Great job getting some difficult shots. I have to say I LOVE the color in the fall shots, and that last picture is simply stunning. :-)

  12. Beautiful pictures of the water and falls. The only thing missing is a video with the sound of the rushing water. Guess I'll just use my imagination. ;-)

  13. "... what's a would-be photographer to do but keep trying"
    Exactly, that's what it's all about.
    Lovely blog entry and photos FG.

  14. Oh how I'd love to see these falls ---in ALL seasons, but knowing me, you know how much I'd love to see them in Winter... GORGEOUS.... We try on occasion to get waterfall pictures during different seasons ---and to tell you the truth, the BEST time here in the south to get good waterfall pictures is in winter (when the leaves are off of the trees) and when there is more water. So many waterfalls dry up in summer.... Spring is a great time to get good waterfall pictures also ---and of course I love Autumn ones with the colored leaves....

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. What a gorgeous waterfall! I love the fall colours.