Some of us like to explore new geographies when we go on vacation. The wonderful thing about a cold winter on Lake Ontario is that the shoreline takes a new shape every day, and each day’s excursion becomes an exploration.
Just three days ago a fierce wind was pushing huge waves our way.
Winter Waves – January 2, 2018, 3:30 pm (click images for larger views)
But after a day of new snow and gentle breezes, slush and ice chunks drifted into the bay and then froze into place.
Icefield – January 4, 8:45 am
These expanses of ice may look dense but that is often deceptive. Imagine quicksand, with some hard chunks of ice thrown into the mix. A good way to learn about this is to step through the snow and ice in a spot where the water below is waist-deep or so – deep enough to fill your boots with icy water – and do it in a place where you can walk home before your feet freeze. (A bad way to learn is … well, let’s not go there.)
Bridge – January 4, 9 am
Gravity – January 4, 9 am
By Friday morning, after a night with windchill of –35°C, the new coastline was deeply carved with new fjords.
Blue Light of Dawn – January 5, 8 am
Shelter – January 5, 8 am
Flow – January 5, 8:30 am
I love these mini-vacations just a short walk from home, but for our newest neighbour this truly is foreign territory. Will our Snowy Owl find enough to eat to stay warm in these new environs?
Profile – January 5, noon
Lemmings are scarce in these parts but there are lots of rabbits and smaller birds. During Wednesday afternoon’s snowfall I was pleased to see the owl sitting in the middle of the frozen marsh, working on a meal. When she had moved on I found a few bits of red meat left on the snow, along with what appeared to be a duck’s foot. The next morning three crows were polishing off the remains.
Marsh Diner – January 3, 2 pm
For all my efforts so far I have failed to snap a clear picture of the Snowy Owl in flight. Yesterday just before sunset, however, as the owl waited far out on the breakwater, a beautiful treasure came drifting by along the snow, pausing here and there before a gentle puff of wind carried it away.
Soft Landing – January 4, 4:30 pm
Top photo: Points of Light (click here for larger view)