A week ago now, on a bright sunny Saturday, we headed out for a long drive to look for Snowy Owls as we have for several years now. The snow was so bright it washed out my photos, but I came home with far too many shots of barns and rural countryside, so you can dash through these and move on, but for me it's good memories, even if we failed to see a single owl!
The shadows of the tall spruce at the end of our street were dark across the road as we headed out.
But the sun was glaring in our windshield as we drove up the big hill going south out of Meaford. This is the ancient Algonquin glacial shoreline, not the Niagara Escarpment.
Soon we dipped down into Frog's Hollow Road, no idea how it got the name.
And then up again past the rocks of the escarpment. This is the Niagara Escarpment (you can see the rocks at the top of the slope), and the Bruce Trail crosses up there where the road vanishes.
We passed a well designed windbreak, back far enough from the road to work properly. I remember when this windbreak was being planted 20 years ago or more.
We passed a number of nice farms after that, and I had to stop myself just clicking away. But the bottom of these two is interesting. It stands on a large farm property acquired years ago as community pasture. Farmers can apply to graze their cattle there in a dry year. No house left, just the barn.
Further on, as we headed for Chatsworth, the road takes a large dip down into the valley of the Bighead River, at this point just a tiny stream.
A small former church, now made over into a residence.
And a fair bit of the landscape after that, as we headed all the way west toward Paisley, looked like this - individual trees, sometimes with a bit of fencing, a woodlot in the distance, all that's left of a former farmstead.
And arriving in downtown Paisley we came to the former church that sits on the corner between the road and the river, now I believe the local Canadian Legion.
We headed north and then turned back east, passing a wide variety of barns, from the large modern operations to the sad falling down older ones. There's so much farm consolidation going on here, it's almost more common to see a barn with no house than a conventional farmstead.
And frequently those trees or clusters of trees that mark an old farm home, here used as a spot to store hay bales.
At one point we passed a single large American elm. Elms that are isolated seem to have been able to withstand the Dutch elm disease. You can tell in this picture and those above how badly the lighting is off, giving a blue tinge to the photos.
We passed several Wild turkey flocks, here with their feathers showing a lot of actual blue.
And ended up back over in Tara before heading home - no snowy Owls to our credit. But it was a pleasant drive on a bright sunny day.
Looking back on these now, I can see that these pictures are terrible!. It's the lighting, that bright white snow that just throws everything all off in your camera exposure. Sorry about that, but this is what you get! And sorry about so many of them too.
But I was pleased that I managed to hold and use my big Nikon for the whole drive though, and didn't notice my hands getting tired. It seems that you just keep on recovering little bits of your functions as the years roll on. I think my daily exercise helps!
Beautiful snowy roads and farm land. I enjoyed your trip.ReplyDelete
Those big dips on the road, do they grit or slat the roads? And do you have to have winter snow tyres? Mrs F>G>, you are a real trooper to be driving there, I would be truly scared I would skid badly. Love the bare tree against the snow, never mind the blues, it all adds, as a quilter would say, " texture". Stay safe and warm.Our rain has stopped, that is my exciting news for today.ReplyDelete
All the roads are sanded here as needed, and often it's a mixture of sand and salt that's used, or 'pickled sand'. Everyone gets snow tires and we have never beenm worried about skidding.Delete
We have been out on the snowy prowl a couple of times without much luck. Last weekend we spotted a nice barred owl on the guywires at the side of the road though. He was beautiful. I have owls nesting very close to my house, but seeing them is a different story. They are quite vocal though. We have coyotes that get out on the road to holler away this time of year. I swear the owls tell them to shut the hell up because they seem to respond! I think the owls are roosting soon if I'm not mistaken.ReplyDelete
The Mennonites are coming into our area and buy and consolidating a lot of farms. They keep their farms and buildings in beautiful condition. One day last fall the assorted Mennonite markets all had CLOSED signs at their gates. They were all up the road having a magnificent barn raising! They are very well liked and respected in our county.
I enjoyed the trip even if there were no owls. It was cool to see the turkeys!ReplyDelete
oooooh i just love the snow, what a wonderful drive, even if you did not see the snowy. i like the church that was converted to a home!!ReplyDelete
I think the pictures are good! And I really enjoyed seeing the wild turkeys looking, well, wild! Thanks for sharing them all, I spent a good bit of time looking at them.ReplyDelete
Back in the olden days (late 1960s) I drove on snow-packed roads all winter, nowadays too many people don't know how to drive on snow so the roads have to be salted at the first sign of snow. Here they even begin to treat the roads with brine before snow falls at all.ReplyDelete
You can eliminate the blue cast in your winter photos by adjusting the white balance in any photo editing program, some can be downloaded for free.
You may not have gotten any owl pictures but you sure did capture the beauty of a winter day!ReplyDelete
They were good shots showing us a great adventure in your warm car. The snow messes with the camera but your very first shot was outstanding, showing shadows.ReplyDelete
What a lovely winter drive. I enjoyed all the pictures. Too bad you didn't see any owls though.ReplyDelete
What an interesting drive! The landscape is fascinating, that rolling countryside, the straight road drawing you on for kilometres. The old homesteads abandoned mean the old churches are converted for other uses when the people aren’t there. Wild turkeys! Great captures! Maybe the next excursion will yield some snowy owls.ReplyDelete
My friend Desmond and I used to pick places on a map that we liked the sound of and then visit them. We once went to a tiny village called Froggy Bottom. I wonder if it was originally called Foggy Bottom. It felt as though any fog would hang around for a long time. Place names are fascinating aren’t they? Very glad your hands are feeling stronger xReplyDelete
Plenty to see, even if the owls were not joining in with your fun.ReplyDelete
We just returned from a visit to my daughter and family in Ottawa, where we had a successful owl quest - Northern Saw-whet Owl, Snowy Owl and Northern Hawk Owl. A Northern Shrike wasn't too shabby either!ReplyDelete
What a pleasant rural drive. The shoreline and escarpment add excepted interest. Your photos are fine btw.ReplyDelete
I'm sure the exercise you're doing is helping. I don't mind the pictures as they are - they remind me somewhat of the photos in my mom and grandmother's albums with a slightly different hue.ReplyDelete
When you mentioned the windbreak it brought back a lot of memories. When I was a child, my Dad got trees over the course of several springs from PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. He'd take the three of us out with him to the fields and we would plant the trees along the edge of the field. That wasn't the end of it, though, as he would take us out to weed these trees too, until they reached a decent height. I was out to the farm in the fall of 2019 for the first time in years, and we passed one of the fields - most of the trees are still there after nearly 45 years!
Thanks for sharingReplyDelete
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Maybe it's because a hollow frog once lived in that dip. Yes, handling a heavy camera certainly does build hand, wrist, and arm muscles. Continue those outings and keep on shooting.ReplyDelete
I know what it's like to take photos when out in the sunny weather. It looked good though. I am glad you enjoyed your drive. I try to correct my photos on my laptop. I saw a falcon sitting on top of a tree with no limbs. It was by the interstate when I was returning home from shopping in another city on Monday. I enjoyed seeing it! Nice turkeys you saw! Have a good week and keep on getting stronger and happy! God bless!ReplyDelete
A Snowy Owl sighting would have been the icing on the cake of a fine excursion. Glad to hear you can manage the big camera again, that's measurable progress.ReplyDelete
Please read my postReplyDelete
I see nothing wrong with your pictures, but I'm only an amateur photographer.ReplyDelete
Thank you for adding Paisley to your tour. I walked by that church/Legion almost daily last winter.
Lots of turkeys here, but no owls were seen. Heard a few Great Horned ones though.ReplyDelete
What a lovely trip! Good work holding the camera. I love that photo with the hydro poles and road off in the distance.ReplyDelete