Winter in Canada

Winter in Canada

This was, and still is, quite a winter.

Before it got really bad north of Toronto, I drove up to have a look. The temperature was minus 18 degrees Celsius.

My Prius wasn’t happy. Ice was building up in places under the chassis making scary noises. This is no country for a Prius.

I took a few pictures but my fingers froze. The wind chill was minus thirty.

A week later many roads in this area (Dufferin County) had to be closed due to snow and drifting snow. Snow plows were unable to keep up and crews needed rest.

My brother lives in this area. He couldn’t leave his house for a week.

Robert Frost once said: “You cannot get too much snow in winter.” After this winter I’m not sure we all agree with Mr. Frost.

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Perito Morena Glacier

Perito Morena Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier in southern Patagonia puts on a spectacular show once every few years.

As the ice slowly advances, it crosses an arm of Lago Argentino . When the crossing is complete, it blocks the flow of water through the lake causing the water level on the upstream side to rise dramatically.

This continues until the water pressure builds up too much at which point, in a sudden cataclysmic event, the toe of the glacier disintegrates and the upstream half of the lake suddenly drains back down to its unblocked level.

In Earth’s geological history similar events have occurred in other locations and on much larger scale.

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Sheep in Fog

Sheep in Fog

We were exploring Newfoundland, Canada.

On the Avalon Peninsula we decided to visit a colony of gannets, at the St Mary’s Ecological Reserve.

On the walk from the parking lot to the coast where the gannets were nesting, we bumped into this friendly family of sheep which did not seem to have any trouble with the overwhelming bird poo stench.

We really did not need a trail. Just following our noses would have taken us straight to the gannets.

We only got a foggy glimpse of the birds which, nesting on a big rock, just off-shore, were too far away to photograph. Hundreds of them seemed huddled on the smallest piece of rocky real estate.

But the sheep were close by and totally unperturbed by our presence.

There’s something warm and fuzzy about sheep in fog. They kind of blend in like little clouds…

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Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

The Glacier Lily is common in the spring time in alpine park lands in North America where the snow pack is melting. There are sometimes carpets of them.

The snow melts, the glacier lily pops up an hour later or sometimes even through the last bits of snow.

Because there are so many, getting an original shot is not all that hard. Not stepping on them is very hard.

Here I did a back-lit, low-angle approach, which worked quite well. I shot from behind, just missing the sun.

http://www.naturephotos.com
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Aspen

Aspen

Aspen are usually not separate trees. A group of trees shares the same root system and is therefore a single individual.

This is sometimes visible because in autumn in a forest of yellow aspen, a large distinct bunch may turn a different (often orange) colour.

If you want to get your fill of aspen: rent a four-wheel drive and take one of the many mountain trails of Colorado. Huge fun.

Just don’t get stuck somewhere on a mountain top as I did. Go with a group.

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Milkweed Bird

Milkweed Bird

People often ask me if I photograph birds.

Usually my answer is that I don’t shoot anything that will not sit still for me. I get puzzled looks. The truth is: I am very impatient, life is short, birds fly away.

There are much easier subjects out there which are just as pretty.

There are some exceptions. Here is a bird which I like.

We should have more birds like this. It’s name: “Milkweed Bird”. It didn’t move one bit.

A Fractalius filter was lightly applied to give it some feathers.

Milkweed is the exclusive food source for the amazing Monarch butterfly.

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