Long Time, Cold Time

I've been off my game for the past month, maybe two.  I've had a nasty cold that just doesn't seem to leave completely.  Fortunately (or not), my area was faced with a pretty good "ice storm".  For anyone not from around southern Ontario, this is basically a dramatic way of saying freezing rain.  The catch is, when it lands, it freezes up pretty much instantly.  It isn't incredibly common and the result is a pretty beautiful sight.  The down side though is it usually leaves people without power and trees take a lot of damage when they either a) fall over, b) lose branches and even c) split completely in half.  

This post will show the preferred result.  It takes us once again to Rattray Marsh in Mississauga, Ontario.  I come here often because there is potential for deer.  But the day after an ice storm, trees are covered in ice and it's quite beautiful.  

Critiquing my own shots, there is one thing missing.  Sun.  When it lights up the ice, it could be diamonds in the trees and unless you see it, you just can't imagine.  


 This shot itself was a hint of the beauty that lay ahead.  I gave this shot the "oil paint" effect because simply wasn't outstanding.  I only add an effect if it will improve the shot that would have otherwise been deleted.  The bridge ahead is a good viewing area for deer which may be in the brush.


 I should probably stop watermarking a link to my personal page now since this is my new home.  I believe this shot was probably my favorite of this hike.  Not only had ice formed on everything around, but a light layer of snow as well.  I only wish it had been sunny.  It may have turned it into a million dollar shot (figuratively).


 Another boardwalk with some overhanging branches straining heavily from the weight of the ice.  Many downed branches and trees littered the ground, in some cases blocking the paths, making them difficult to travel over.  The remaining leaves on these trees still show some sign of life from before the first cold snap of the winter season.


 I can admit with some degree of embarrassment that I didn't know that some ducks and geese do in fact remain in our area throughout the winter.  With all the honking overhead of Canada Geese in October, I assumed they pretty much all headed for warmer climates.  It turns out there are plenty of hearty beasts that can somehow stay comfortable in the frigid waters of Lake Ontario.  You may find it interesting to know that what appears to be a boulder in the center/top of this image is actually a massive chunk of ice.  This area of the beach is actually sand/stone covered as it gently rises from the water forming the shoreline.


 I have a love/hate relationship with this shot.  I love the colour in what would have otherwise been a desolate mishmash of fallen trees and branches.  These berries remain frozen and edible to whatever animals eat these sorts of things thanks to the sudden drop in temperature we experienced.  

The hate comes from being unable to move back far enough to make it clear that 20 or so feet behind this scene is a creek.  You know what it is now that I've said, but I couldn't close down my lens enough or move back far enough to bring it into clearer focus.  It's one of those shots that could have been, but isn't.  

Going forward, I don't know if I have mentioned it here, but in 3 weeks today, I will be on my way to Alaska for the first time with a desperate hope to get some stunning shots of the Northern Lights and of course a beautiful landscape.  In all my life, I never thought that in January, I would be thinking that I would like to travel another thousand miles further north, but I'm doing it!!

Please feel free to comment.  I'm always open to hearing suggestions, critiques and even requests.  I love to explore, especially if there might be a challenge to it.