Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not Quite Winter - Not Quite Spring

These photos were taken on a recent visit to Frank's place. Many of the huge ice blocks from the flood a few weeks earlier had diminished significantly, and getting around on the paths was much easier, albeit muddier. Though warmer weather prevailed since my last time in town, the temperatures dropped after the first day, and our walks were brisk and all too reminiscent of the recently departed winter.

Muddy puddles and moisture on branches froze overnight, and Frank's idea to make a turkey dinner became more and more appealing. Delicious scents of roast turkey, stuffing and vegetables made his house a welcomed, cozy shelter from the cold. Hot apple pie and ice cream topped the evening off perfectly. No pictures of dinner - it disappeared too quickly.

With the changing seasons, so comes changes to the landscape. The shoreline of the creek erodes each year. Cracks in the banks eventually broaden, and large chunks of earth fall into the creek, sometimes taking trees with them. As the creek widens, it becomes more shallow which means warmer water and changing conditions for the fish which live within, and other wildlife which depend on them. (please click to enlarge)

Another large crack further along the shore. This piece of earth is probably in Lake Ontario by now. (please click to enlarge)

This is the same park bench which was previously surrounded with blocks of ice from the flood earlier this month. You can see how it looked just two weeks earlier in the image inset at the top right. (please click to enlarge)

Frank proudly shows how his caring ministration allowed this tree to recover from its near-horizontal, post-flood position. Nicely done, Tree Whisperer. (please click to enlarge)

Another risk to nature at this time of the year is brush fires. This small one was caught early enough to cause only minimal damage. It happened shortly after a morning walk and was photographed through Frank's front room window. (please click to enlarge)

It had become cold enough for the water's edge to refreeze, creating an icy border along the shoreline. Duck footprints wander along the muddy banks. (please click to enlarge)

Water droplets froze in mid-drip off of the dried brush of last year's vegetation. If you look closely, you can see a bit a green from this year's new growth. (please click to enlarge)

A pause along the worn footpath in the field to snap a shot of these milkweed seeds. This summer, they'll be in full bloom and attracting Monarch butterflies. (please click to enlarge)

If you take a look at the right-hand side of the photo, you'll see a little flash of white, which is the reason for these ducks in flight. (please click to enlarge)

This lone duck enjoyed a drink of water while afloat amid the sparkles of the setting sun. (please click to enlarge)


Tabor said...

Very nice photos. The ducks in flight is a good story in itself. I am so sorry for the flooding and mud in your area and know that real spring will soon be on the way.

Jinksy said...

Your shoreline shot is a most wonderful textile, if you forget what it really is!

NJ said...

It's amazing how quickly the weather changes at this time of year. No one is quite ready to believe it yet though. When I was out yesterday many of the towns folk were saying we will be hit by another big snow. However, I remain optimistic and think except for a small flurry winter is just a memory.

the Bag Lady said...

That flash of white wouldn't have been.... Benny, now, would it? :)

Great photos yet again, Hilary. Love the last one with the duck and the sunshine on the water!

Your spring is definitely further along than our spring. Sigh.

Carolyn R. Parsons said...

These are fantastic. I love them all. I love that the tree is saved(Tree whisperer) and to end the series with the peaceful duck in the sunshine.

I visit your blog a lot, but I don't comment enough. Great work.

You've inspired me, more nature walks for us..with a camera!


imbeingheldhostage said...

They're all wonderful, but I was captivated by that milkweed shot-- wow! Fabulous.

Mental P Mama said...

I think the tree whisperer did an awesome job. So amazing and terrifying to see how floods can do so much damage...

Hilary said...

Beautiful pics, as should be teaching technique!

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful walk, thank you. I love the pic of the milkweed seeds.

Andrea said...

Excellent shots!! It's so drab outside right now...but I knew that YOU would find a way to find the beauty!! And you so did. :)

Zuzana said...

I am always so happy when the blogger tells me that there is a new post from you, as I know I will be in for a treat.;))

I am amazed by the fact that there is a risk of fires so early in the year. It feels as everything in the nature must be soaked or frozen and fire would be the last thing to get hold in this environment.
Your pictures are beautiful; again very seasonal. My favorite is the one of the frozen droplets. It is as close as one can come to "freezing the time".

Hope you are having a lovely weekend, hopefully I will finally get around to mail you, I am sorry it has taken this long.;)))


Woman in a Window said...

Such a peaceful last shot.
At least you can see the ground. I'm pounding fist to snow and ice still crying...simply crying.

ds said...

Sorry about the mud, but you still manage to find such wonderful things to photograph (the water droplets, the milkweed sees, the tree-Yippee!!). That last lone duck is so serene.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The water droplets are stunning--especially with that little bit of green.

We are consumed with flooding right now as my husband's parents (who are not spring chickens) have decided to take their chances and stay in their home in Fargo/Moorhead. Grrrr!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Wishing you warm weather and stablized conditions there. Loved the milk weed shot. Looks like a shaggy dog's paw. :)

JC said...

When I look at your pictures I am transported into the pictures, standing along side you. Thanks for the break in my day. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

I love the milkweed shot and smiled when I enlarged the duck picture and realized that it was Benny who was "herding" the ducks!

Michele said...

A very nice walk through your area... I am looking forward to walks again here when not only when I feel stronger but when the weather decides to turn into Spring.
A large snowstorm is headed this way with some fair amounts of snow accumulation... The Eastern BC Rockies doesn't seem to be getting a break this year.

Have a good weekend, stay safe!

HeatherPride said...

Cool pic of the milkweed and the duck in the water.

SK Waller said...

I love these, but the milkweed photo is especially beautiful. It looks like an exotic hair style!

Maggie May said...

I particularly enjoyed the photos of the water droplets and the milkwood seed heads and the ducks.
Brilliant photography.
That crack in the earth along the river is like the aftermath of an earthquake!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

In some places, speaking of brush fires, in spring farmers light fires to burn stubble in the field.

Nancy said...

The frozen droplets are beautiful and my congrats to Frank for saving that little tree!

Zip n Tizzy said...

Our change of seasons are hardly noticeable if you're not native to CA. We appreciate them, but having lived a few years on the East Coast, I can really appreciate the thaw of a long winter.
Lovely pictures.

steviewren said...

Thanks Frank for being a tree whisperer extraordinaire! Job well done!

That turkey supper description made my mouth water. Mmmmm.

david mcmahon said...

Here's the deal. Next time I'm there I'll have to go fishing with Frank!

Thanks for the link you left me, Hilary.

Anonymous said...

Frank grows a straight tree, and Benny did a nice job helping you get those beautiful colors captured on film by encouraging those ducks to fly. :)
I saw green, I really did!
Spring is coming!!

Indrani said...

This in between phase too had some wonderful moments to be captured. Thanks for sharing.

SG said...

It is amazing... how nature dresses our landscapes so differently in different seasons! Lovely pictures...

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Tabor. Real spring is taking its time, but the flooding and mud is usually inevitable to a point. It shouldn't be too long now for a brighter-looking landscape. :)

• True Jinksy, it's woven with wonderful textures. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• I'm in your field of optimism for this year, NJ. I'm guessing a couple of cm at most, and if we're lucky, not at all. Thanks for the visit. :)

• It sure would, Baggie.. who else could it be? :) Thanks for the always-kind words, my friend. Yes, we're certainly a bit ahead of you. Over the weekend some green growth has become visible. And I saw one tiny, unopened, purple crocus in my front yard. :)

• Thanks very much for the kind words, Breeze. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. You'll find that you'll start seeing a lot more around you if you walk with your camera. It just begins to happen.. like magic! Thanks for your kind comment. :)

• Thanks so kindly, Hostage. I'm glad you liked that shot. I have fun with the macro setting. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• MPM he sure did, and that's only one of the many trees he's been straightening around the area. Thanks so much for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much for the very kind words, Hilary. I would if I had one. ;) Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks for joining me, Leah. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

• Thanks very much, Andrea. I like that you thought I could do that. It means a lot to me. :)

• Thank you, Protege. :) I so appreciate that you look forward to my posts. The fires happen because the top growth is so dried out. We're thinking that they were deliberately or accidentally set due to how quickly the fire department arrived. There were not there setting controlled fires so it seemed to be a concern. They were put out very quickly. Thanks for your always-warm words, my friend. :)

• WIAW I feel for you. You kept getting dumped with more and more up your way. Spring will come and when it does, I expect to read amazing details of its beauty and effect at your fine blog. :) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks so much for the kind words, DS. Much appreciated. It's always a pleasure to have you drop by. :)

• Thanks for the kind words, Jenn. I'm sorry your family is going through such a difficult time right now. I'm sending best thoughts your way and theirs. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Angie. You're so right.. it does look like a shaggy paw. I won't look at milkweed fluff the same way again. Thanks for that. :)

• Thanks for the very kind words, JC. I'm glad you joined me on this walk. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Sandra. He takes his chasing/guarding skills very seriously.. his listening skills - not so much. Thanks always for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Thank you, Michele. Hopefully the finer weather will coincide with your feeling better and you'll be out snapping your beautiful images in no time. Thank so much for dropping by and I'm still sending best thoughts to feel much better very soon. Hugs back at you. :)

• Thanks, Heather. I'm glad you liked them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Steph. Between Angie's comparison to Shaggy puppy paws and yours as an exotic hair style, I can see the Milkweed gaining popularity in the Salons.. both doggie and human. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so kindly for the very warm words, Maggie. The earth crack is mostly due to snow and rain-saturated earth, beaten down by rushing creek waters eroding it from below. But you're right it does look kind of post-earthquake-like. Thanks always for dropping by. :)

• You're right, Gary. That's a common occurrence in that very area at times, but didn't seem to be the cause this time. Frank was saying that the growth in that area should accelerate in a few days, and maybe he'll chime in to let us know if it has. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks L of L. I'm glad you liked the photos and I'm sure Frank will be along to a bask in that compliment. :)

• Thanks very much Z&T. As much as I complain about winter, I think I'd miss the transition into spring and summer with Winter's cold waving goodbye. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. Frank will probably be by later .. perhaps with a tree update or just to acknowledge all the appreciation from other tree-huggers. ;) Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• David, you won't even have to twist his arm, or mine. I'm going to have to tag along one that one! Thanks for the visit. :)

• KC, you are the eternal optimist! Thanks for bringing a bright outlook into my blog. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Indrani. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much for your kind words, Phoenix. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Daryl said...

I like them all; but the milk weed is phenomenal ....

Frank Baron said...

Fine story and pics, as always. I especially like the shot of that fat guy. :)

So, you WERE paying attention during my creek/erosion/warming waters lecture. ;)

(And bless you for not mentioning the turkey was a little overcooked. Let's keep it our little secret.)

SandyCarlson said...

There is a lot to be said for staying in on a dull day that doesn't want to be spring. And eating!

That milkweed image is glorious.

Cedar said...

I am looking forward to summer for you. Don't get me wrong the winter shots were great, I loved them, but I just feel like you all are way to cold up there.

Jennifer S said...

I always love your photos. The milkweed! I can't remember the last time I saw milkweed.

Reasons said...

Amazing pics and commentary. I remember how short the spring always seemed to be in Montreal, from cold to hot with only a snippet of complete defrost and warmth in between as there is so much snow to melt! I wish you some warmth soon.

There is a little award for you over at my place today.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Thank you for sparing us the turkey dinner photos, because no doubt I would not be able to get them out of my head all day and would be accordingly ravenous.

So again I'm amazed at how many gorgeous images you found in what at first might not seem an obviously "beautiful" time of year. If I'd walked outside I would have noticed the brown grass and mud and leafless trees and thought "Hmm, nothing to see here." So glad you showed me otherwise!

Kat said...

Gorgeous photos as usual. I love the frozen droplets, the milkweed and the ducks. Awesome.
Thanks for taking us on your walk. :)

Dianne said...

it's amazing how the elements make the earth shift and change - I love how you have such an eye and respect for what goes on around you

the frozen droplet shot is stunning

Benny is gonna have some bad karma with those ducks ;)

Tricia said...

You can make even my most least favorite season (stick season) seem beautiful!

Suldog said...

Always - ALWAYS - delight in what I find here. You're a wonder with a camera (although I really, really would have liked to have seen the turkey dinner.)

lime said...

always amazing to see what nature does as she sends one season packing and welcomes the next.

the shot of milkweed is gorgeous. love that one best.

Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm guessing the flash of white is the cutest dog ever! The milkweed shot is my fav.

Reb said...

Wow, what a difference to here! I love the shot of the ice droplets on the grasses and Bennie chasing the ducks is a great capture. Love the duck in the sparkly reflection too.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Lots of water in those banks. I am happy you got no personal damage. This has been a screwy year here too but so far no flooding.

Mark said...

The photos are always amazing! Very nice!

scarlethue said...

You go on the best walks. I'm jealous. Those milkweed seeds are so pretty. My neighborhood is so boring! Hopefully the weather will be nice enough this weekend I'll go somewhere else for a walk. The dogwoods are in bloom here.

How does a pill stop working by the way?! That's scary, don't know how I'd make it without. Actually I do-- I'd get a hysterectomy. It solved my mom's migraines, and mine are hormonal too. Kids, schmids, I don't know how she raised us with headaches like that anyway! I couldn't do it.

william ding said...

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SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by! I wanted to say I love that last shot of the duck dipping gently into the sunlight on the water.

Shammickite said...

Great photos as always!
I still have some icy patches in my back yard, the spring can't quite decide whether to stay or not, it was quite frosty on my roof this morning! Sunny on Saturday, then pouring rain on Sunday, then cold again on Monday... very changeable!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Daryl. A nice compliment from a fine photographer. :)

• Frank, I don't see a fat guy in any of my photos - just a slightly over-cooked turkey. ;) How could I not listen to your "lectures" about the creek banks? You tell them over, and over, and over again. :)

• Thank you, Sandy. You're right about staying in and eating. There IS a lot to be said - my bathroom scale tells me about it all the time. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Cedar. It is indeed still too cold. I'll be happier when the temperatures stay above freezing overnight. That can't be too much longer.. can it? Thanks for the visit and for the kind wishes. :)

• Thanks so much, Jennifer. There's a lot of milkweed around Frank's area. And Monarchs. They're quite lovely - together and apart. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Cheerful 1,2,3. You've described spring in Montreal perfectly. It is a fleeting season there but tends to last a bit longer here in Ontario. Thanks very much for the thoughtful award. It's sitting proudly on my sidebar. :)

• Thanks so kindly, Crabby. There is indeed a lot of mud, dead grass and bare branches. Before I got this camera, I'd have seen only that too. The lens seems to see things differently. Thanks so much for the kind words. They always mean so much to me. :)

• Thanks for joining me, Kat. Always appreciated. :)

• Thanks so much for those very kind words, Dianne. That means a lot to me. And yes, bad, BAD karma for Benito! :)

• Thank you, Tricia. That's a very kind thing to say. And "stick season" is an apt description. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much, Suldog, for your always-kind words. Trust me, you wouldn't have wanted to see the turkey dinner. You'd be hungry all day (like Crabby said) and you'd blame me for your tummy growls. I know how much you love turkey, so I chose not to take photos just for you! OK.. truth is, I forgot. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Lime. You're quite right about the transitional stages of the seasons. There's much to see there that can't be found during any mid-season. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Cheffie. Your guess is correct! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. I'm glad you like the photos. I know we're quite a bit better off spring-wise than you are. I hope you catch up and enjoy some warmth soon. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, OML. I hope you continue to remain flood-free. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Mark. Much appreciated. :)

• Scarlethue, take a camera with you on your next walk, and I'll bet you won't find your neighbourhood so boring. There's a different world when seen through the lens. The pill I referenced at your blog is Imitrex and it used to work for my migraines about 75% of the time. Eventually it stopped working at all. I don't get as many migraines as I used to - just regular old headaches now. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, William. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandy. I'm glad you like it :)

• Thanks, Shammie. Yes, the weather has been very changeable the past couple of weeks. We too, had frost this morning. The warmth sure is taking its time to settle in this year. Thanks for the visit. :)

San said...

Hilary, your photographs capture beautifully the complexity of this in-between time, as winter is transformed into spring. Magic is at play.

And kudos to the tree whisperer!

Dave said...

You will be glad the weather will soon be warm again Hilary. - Dave

Anonymous said...

Your turkey dinner was making me feel very hungry! Lovely pictures.

CJ xx

Glennis said...

Very interesting post. I liked your watch of the shoreline, the sides are falling in just like icebergs at a glacier.
I liked the milkweed seeds; beautiful. And it must be helpful having a tree whisperer in the family!

Pat - Arkansas said...

As always, I enjoyed the walk with you, Frank and Benny. Thanks for taking us along. I loved the photo of the ducks in flight; enlarging it showed the beautiful, beautiful blue on the upper sides of the wings. Fantastic!

Hilary said...

• Thanks very kindly, San. Much appreciated. If only the in-between time wasn't so long! I'm ready for spring flowers, and yet it's snowing this morning. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

•Dave, I will indeed. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, CJ. It's making me hungry now too. Maybe I should have breakfast. ;) Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Glennis. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate your kind words. Frank also happens to be a Fish Whisperer and a Bird Whisperer. ;) I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• Thanks very much, Pat. I always enjoy your visits. The Mallards do have incredible colours in the sunlight. I'm glad you were able to see them in this photo. Thanks for your always-kind words. :)

Louise said...

I love your walks through the woods and by the creeks and ponds. I cannot begin to tell you how they warm my heart and remind me of when I was so much younger--really, a child, for I haven't had much of this regularly since. I love to see the changes in seasons.

I can't even imagine what is dry enough to start a fire!

Hilary said...

Thanks very kindly, Louise. I'm so glad you enjoy the photos and I'm happy to have you along with me on these walks. Thanks for stopping by. :)