Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ice at the Falls

There were a few really interesting ice formations at Inglis Falls yesterday which I tried to photograph.  They were a fair distance away across the falls, but here they are.

I find ice around waterfalls another of those ephemeral bits of beauty that nature provides, whether we notice or not.

 They're right in the centre of this picture, across the valley.

One part consisted of these straight icicles - look how the ones on the left curve at the bottom.

The other part was more mounds of ice cascading over the edge.

Up at the top, viewed from the other side, part of the falls was totally frozen.

And down near the bottom where the water plunges between the boulders there were more interesting shapes of ice.  I think Country Gal's comment yesterday about the lens being fogged may explain my frustration with the focus.  I must keep a closer eye on that.


I cannot write tonight without acknowledging the tragic deaths of worshippers in Quebec City.  Somehow this has affected me more than other recent massacres of innocents.  Perhaps it was the cowardly act of shooting those who were praying in the back.  Perhaps it is the very stressful awareness of rapidly changing political norms in the world today, of which this act seems to be a symptom.

Ironically, I was giving a lecture today on how the Enlightenment developed in the mid-1700's, that period when society rebelled against the absolute power of monarchs and the wealth of the upper class, and promoted the modern values of freedom, equality and tolerance.  And of course both the American Revolution and the French Revolution emerged directly out of that period.  Here in Canada, our country was built on tolerance between the English and the French communities that made up the nation 150 years ago, and that tolerance has for the most part continued.

I cannot fathom politicians or citizens who want to go backwards, to be less tolerant, and create societies where we are less equal.  At the moment those worshippers in Quebec City paid the price.  But I now worry deeply about where our society is headed.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Frozen Inglis Falls

We stopped at Inglis Falls today on the way into Owen Sound, and got some pictures of the falls tumbling down between the ice.  It was a beautiful winter scene and a really interesting view of the falls, but I'm actually disappointed in the pictures.

The trail to the popular viewpoints lower down was closed, as it usually is in the winter, so I took shots from the viewing platform where you see the falls through the trees.

Inglis Falls starts in the peaceful mill pond on the Sydenham River upstream.

It flows over a small old mill dam that used to power a gristmill.

And abruptly thunders off the cliff toward downtown Owen Sound.

The trees in the valley below were covered in frosty ice from the spray.

This is the best view I could get that shows the whole falls.  Lower viewpoints show you a more open view, but today we stuck to this.

This picture shows the poor focus I'm concerned about.  With my poor vision these days I'm totally dependent on the Auto-focus, but it's been acting up recently.  Sometimes it doesn't focus at all and just locks up, but here I could hear the beep that suggested it was focussing properly.

This distant view over the valley does look in focus, and was very pretty today with the snow-covered trees.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

More Winter Barns

I've pulled together a few barns for today's post.  Some quite interesting structures here, each with their own story.  Hope you all had a good weekend.

A large busy active farm, and obviously the home of a quilter.  I don't think I've shared this quilt barn before.

Another big active farm, probably a dairy farm by the look of those silos.

This on the other hand is a sad case.  Every time I go by I wonder how long it will stand.

These two are taken while it was snowing, a fair ways northwest of here, down a rural road I rarely drive.  A big barn!

This one was really interesting, with that clerestory roofline.  Quite tricky to get a picture of too, with all the trees along the road.

A good example of forgetting my camera settings.  Still had it set at a high ISO for indoor pictures.   I adjusted it in Lightroom, but you still end up with that ridiculous turquoise sky.

I shared this barn in the fall.  I saw them starting to work on it, and feared they were going to demolish it.  So I drove in and asked the farmer if I could take a few photos.

Turned out the farmer has just bought this farm after it had sat vacant awhile, and they were starting work on it to house his cattle.  Those cement pillars look a lot more secure than the flimsy cedar posts in the first photo!

Linking to;

The Barn Collective

Saturday, January 28, 2017


I promised a post in memory of Roxie when we lost her two weeks ago.  She was a cute pup, a mutt, an alert interested explorer, and a very friendly dog.  With her heavy coat of fur, she especially loved winter.  Sometimes I thought she was part Husky sled dog!

Loving the snow! 

The first time we saw her. 

With mom and her brothers and sisters - some strange colour combinations!
Dad was a big dark coloured mutt too. 

Coming home with us.

The first few months. 
Her colour changed from gray to brown to gray again over 7 years.

Age 1, more fun in the snow.  

Earlier this winter.

Our last picture of Roxie.  Many happy memories! 

P.S.  The big dark critter yesterday was just a black boulder.

Linking to:

Friday, January 27, 2017

Walk in a Snowy Woods

Later on in the day yesterday I dug out the snowshoes and went for a walk in the woods next door.  It was truly a winter wonderland, snow sticking to every twig in the entire woods!

Into the woods past the two big old Sugar Maples that represent the 'gate' to the woods.
Snow was sticking to the twigs right up into the sky in the canopy.

You could look 360° around you, and see nothing but snow-covered shrubs, mostly Dogwoods.

It was simply a beautiful and peaceful walk through the woods.

Eventually I climbed over the old stone fencerow, and spotted this dark creature that surprised me in the totally white woods.  I wondered if it would come to get me, but it never moved.  I thought I had it, rather than the Dogwood twigs, in focus for you.

Out into the edge of the big field to loop back on the trail, here looking across to the long edge of another patch of woods.

The snow was still a foot to 18" deep, as I discovered when one foot slipped out of the binding.  My smaller snowshoes would have sunk in, but the largest weren't really needed, so I used the mid-size Bear Paws today.  Worked perfectly. I just walked across the surface.

I expected I might see some open water where the low pond is back in the woods, after all the mild temperatures we've had, but I only spotted one small patch, glistening black in the snow.

Rejoined my trail and headed back to the car through this winter wonderland.  Deer tracks were everywhere, but I never saw one.

And back out the tractor trail that links the woods to our rural subdivision.  All the snow is off the twigs today; you only get a short chance to enjoy this kind of ephemeral beauty.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ephemeral Beauty

I'm always amazed at how ephemeral the beauty nature creates really is.  Flowers in bloom, a sunrise or sunset, and a fresh snowfall like we got today, will all be gone in a matter of minutes, hours, or at the most a few days.  Today we had a fresh snow of an inch or two, with the temperature hovering around freezing, so it stuck to every twig.

We never lost our snow over the past two weeks of milder temperatures, because we had so much to start with, and temperatures didn't get much above freezing.  There's still a foot to 18" on the ground.

It made for a very beautiful backyard, and it stayed like that all day.

Everywhere you looked the twigs were white.  The rooster was looking over a white world in the garden!

The different branch patterns of Sumach (top), Hawthorn and Wild Apple (respectively) were holding the snow on every single twig.

The bits of forest in the subdivision were as pretty as they ever get.

A somewhat distorted iphone panorama on my morning walk.  The lots here are fairly big, so there are bits of forest in between some of the houses.

But the dark clouds suggest that others to the east were getting a lot more snow than we did!