Monday, August 18, 2008

Between Dawn and Dusk

Last week, Frank, his older son Francis and I spent a few days up at their cottage. The weather was what Frank would refer to as good fishing days - mostly overcast and often rainy. The cloudy skies did occasionally yield to the sun in short-to-moderate bursts, often at the times of day that I like the best - when it begins its ascent or descent in the sky.

Most mornings were dull, and often rainy, so I was in the habit of sleeping right through the days' dawning. A large living room window allowed for a perfect view from the open bedroom door, and a quick glance while rousing usually confirmed that the sky was gray. One morning, I stole a sleepy peek outside and noticed that the lake had a warm, pink hue to it. Knowing full well that if I just rolled over and went back to sleep, I'd miss the week's only decent sunrise, so I grabbed my camera and headed out the back door to the dock.

(Click to enlarge)
This is the scene that greeted me.

(Click to enlarge)
Other mornings, the lake was cloaked with a moody fog.

Since most days were good for fishing, we did a fair bit of it. I caught my first Walleye (Pickerel) which Frank deemed to be just within keeper range.

(Click to enlarge)
The next afternoon, he took the boat out alone for a few hours and came home with this beauty, which he promptly filleted and wrapped for freezing.

(Click to enlarge)
While Frank was out fishing, Francis and I bonded with each other and with nature. He lifted rocks, logs and and other things to reveal a few hidden creatures. This snake was hiding in the raft.

(Click to enlarge)
This tiny toad allowed me a shot with my macro before Francis released it back into the grass.

(Click to enlarge)
An overturned rock revealed this Red-spotted Newt - part of the Salamander family.

(Click to enlarge)
After an unfortunate launch-tip-splash of the canoe, Francis changed his clothes, and got right back into the saddle paddle.

(Click to enlarge)
Glancing back toward the shore to my left, the boathouse and launch are partly obscured by the gnarly trunk of this cedar.

(Click to enlarge)
The evenings kindly offered many lovely sunsets. Here's one of them.

(Click to enlarge)
A few minutes later the sky was ablaze with brilliant colour.

(Click to enlarge)
On a different night, colours were more subtle, but created a pretty backdrop behind the silhouette of this tree.

In a few days, I'll post some more photos, some of which will include that goofball Benny.


Frank Baron said...

That's it!

I'm heading back there right now!

Lovely pics Hil. But somehow, I recall that walleye as being quite a bit bigger....

Anonymous said...

I feel like I've just spent all day with you...from sunrise to sunset and all critters in-between!

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautiful again, Hilary. I love the fog and the sunrise and I was quite taken with the toad and the newt.

Reb said...

I wanna go to the lake!

Sorry, that just slipped out. I love your photographs Hilary. The Newt is such a great colour! Love your sunrise photo, very glad you didn't just roll over.

steviewren said...

That pink sunrise was exceptional. I guess I've never been up early enough to catch a sight like that. I can always see your wonder of nature reflected in you photos.

Kerri Farley said...

WOW! I think I would stay at that cabin FOREVER! It looks like such a wonderful wonderful place.
So glad you got up for that sunrise shot!! And those sunsets are awesome!! Fabulous pics Hilary....and you have such a way of communicating it to need to write a book :)

photowannabe said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...glorious sunrise. Glad you didn't just roll over. The foggy mist off the lake is supr too. The way I read your descriptions I thought the snake had been filleted and put in the freezer...LOL.
Sigh of relief....:0}}

Travis Erwin said...

Great shots. makes me wish I was there.

SandraRee said...

Hilary, I'm so envious of the beauty around you. You're always at the best places to shoot gorgeous photos! And you're so talented to shoot them as perfect as you do. That was a great tight shot of the toad and the sunrise, sunset and fog... stunning!

david mcmahon said...

Your blog is ALWAYS a treasure trove of words and images, Hilary.

Michele said...

Such beautiful photos... I wish I was there fishing with you gys... it's just too darn hot here to do any fishing!
Mountain Retreat

Pat - Arkansas said...

The pink sunrise photo is fantabulous! Glad to see the raft snake has been outted. Didn't you almost sit on him a while back?

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, but I'm glad to have you back among the blogging. I've missed you.

the Bag Lady said...

Wow, Hilary - these were worth the wait! Glad to see you had such a great time at the cottage. I seem to have lost the directions.....

Latin Lupe Lu said...

Hilary - Love the shot of the misty lake...I would like that framed on my wall...pleeeeze?

Cedar said...

WELCOME BACK!! And Frank men always remember fish being bigger than they were! Looks like a great place BTW.

Russell said...

I could feel myself right there as I scrolled through those images.

It has been many years since I was to the cabin in Ontario on Lake Superior, but seeing these photos I could actually smell the water and hear the sounds!

I have not traveled anywhere this summer outside of central Iowa - so this was truly a nice vacation to a beautiful place. Thanks!

gary rith said...

Oh, I love spotted newts, and they eat mosquitos, you know?

Crabby McSlacker said...

More stunning photos!

I must confess my very favorite is the second one, the moody foggy lake. Awesome!

imbeingheldhostage said...

STUNNING photos. Just fantastic.

I came from David's place.

Kat said...

Wow. So thankful that you decided to get up and take that pic. It is breathtaking! And the shot of the boat next to the gnarled tree? Love it.
Gorgeous shots.

Georgina said...

Hi, I arrived via POTD, I love your first sunrise shot I'm glad you didn't roll over and go back to sleep. The salamander is very cute. Thanks for sharing. Debs x

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Frank. When you tell the story, it can be. ;)

• Thanks for joining us, Susan. :)

• Thanks, Leah. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, Reb. If you ever join us at the lake, we'll put you in charge of sunrise pics. ;)

• Thanks muchly, Steviewren. It's a rare catch for me too. I see far more sunsets than sunrises. ;)

• Thanks so much, Kerri. I have more sunset shots coming up soon. Thanks for your very kind words. :)

• Ack, Photowannabe! I went back and made more space between descriptions and the next photos so that wouldn't happen again. A snake in the freezer would not go over well, but you should ask Frank about why he had a cat in his freezer for well over a year... Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Travis. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandra. I've been very lucky to find myself in some wonderful, natural settings recently. I never would have sought out that newt or toad on my own, so I have to thank Francis for those wee glimpses into wildlife. Thanks for your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, David. I always appreciate your kind comments and links. You're too kind. :)

• Thanks, Michele. Hopefully you'll be casting and reeling again before too long. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Pat. You really DO pay attention to detail. That's exactly where I noticed a snake (maybe this same one) when we were at the cottage in June. Francis found this one under the raft and saw yet another, smaller one peeking out of one of the spaces too. It seems they like to live there when it's not in use. Thanks so much for your kind words. I've missed everyone too, and finding that it's taking a long time to catch up on the few hundred posts which were written in my absence. Such prolific bloggers! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Baggie. I'll send them to you in email, along with the appropriate X on a Google Map. ;)

• Thanks, LLL. Every now and then I think about printing and framing a few shots, but so far haven't put any serious thought to it. Maybe this winter... You are welcome to that photo if you seriously like it enough. I can email you the full-sized file if you send me your email address. You can find mine on the sidebar. Thanks so much for you kind words. :)

• Thanks, Cedar. It sure is. And I'd add "among other things" to your comment to Frank. ;)

• Thanks so much, Russell. I keep forgetting that you have spent time in Ontario. Sounds like you're due for another visit to Canada. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Hi, Gary. Yes, they're a cool critter and I think they eat mosquito larvae among a number of other things. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Crabby. It was a very changeable scene. I snapped several shots as the mist drifted by and frequently disappeared and reformed. This one was my favourite. I'm glad you like it too. :)

• Welcome and thanks so much, Hostage. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Kathryn. I'm glad I got up too. That tree is in front of the boat house and boat launch. I think I took it while sitting in one of the docked boats. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Debs and thank you for your kind words. I hope you'll find your way back here soon. :)

Thanks again to David for linking to me. :)

Suldog said...

I am truly in awe of you. I take horrible photos - mostly because I have no idea what all of the buttons and dials on my camera do, I suppose - while you take shots full of awesomeness. Great stuff.

Missicat said...

Such beautiful pics! How do all those critters seem to find you?? Cute lil frog and lizard...

Unknown said...

i found you through David at authorblog...

i really enjoyed the visit... and your photos are stunning..

thankyou for sharing.

Daryl said...

What a wonderful time you had .. such amazingly good photos, Hilary, I especially like the newt ... and of course the pink sunrise...


lime said...

looks like it was well worth your while to get up early and enjoy every beautiful thing the day offered. :)

Louise said...

Oh, my! This post was worth waiting for! I love every single picture. The sunrise took my breath away. All the reptiles and amphibians wer wonderful, too.

What a nice, realxing time. Can hardly wait for more!

Tink said...

Wow. Those are, for lack of a better word, AMAZING. That first one made my eyes water, and I adore the snake shot.

Clowncar said...

You really have the pictorial narrative down to a fine art. An effortless flow to the words and pix. That lil newt was my favorite!

And I, too, thought for a sec you had filleted and frozen the snake. Yikes!

Unknown said...

Wow, this post attracted plenty of attention and well deserved too. Your photos were wonderfully moody. Either your photography skills have improved markedly (I can be a stickler for the technical mastery of photography, but I usually keep that to myself ;) ), or you got really lucky with your conditions.. of course, good photography is always a mix of both. :) Well done anyway though, and once again I wish I could come visit you guys on the lake sometime!

Jo said...

I've been dreaming of a lake house since I was a kid & your photos have me pining for a cottage of my own--what a perfect slice of heaven! It must be so hard for you guys to leave.

Great work as usual, faves are the misty water, the bitty newt & the snake...his racing stripes are so cool.

The sunrise was beautiful & it impresses me you can function so well that early in the morning :)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh now that is one lovely getaway. Excluding the snake shot, I LOVED them all. I'm just a wimp like that. :)

Indrani said...

The Newt shot was great, I could have never held one like that. But actually all the photos are BEAUTIFUL!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Sully. It took a bit a manual-reading and a whole lot of shooting in the wrong mode until I finally began to figure a few things out. Eventually I hope to figure out some of the rest. Thanks for your very kind words. :)

• Thank you, Missiscat. Those critters never found me. They were busy hiding but Frank's son knew where to find them. Clever guy, eh? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Carol. I'm glad you did find me. Following your link, I discovered that you have some wonderful photos your own self. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much, Daryl. I'm glad you like them. :)

• It sure was, Lime. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Louise. You always say the nicest things. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Tink. Coming from you with your own fine eye means a lot to me. :)

• Thanks very much, Clowncar. What a lovely thing to say. I guess that really was an unfortunate juxtaposition of snake and description. I'll have to work on that! :)

• Thanks for the kind comment, Ubi. It's been ages since I've seen any of your incredible photography. Do you have any links to share? As for a visit - I know you know your way over here. Any plans to return to Canada? It's a shorter trip from England than from Australia. Thanks for stopping by, Dave. :)

• Thanks kindly, Jo. You're right - it's always difficult to leave, and only partly because it's usually on the best weather day. ;) What makes you think I function well in the morning? I was actually totally off my mark. Shortly after I came back inside, I looked out the window to see a beautiful Great Blue Heron standing on the shore. A reach for my camera startled it immediately. All I got was a very blurry photo of its butt in flight! It was time for coffee. Thanks for stopping by. I miss your frequent blog posts but am glad that you're creating your art. :)

• Thanks, Mamageek. I'm not real fond of snakes myself.. and the millipede (ugh) that I didn't post.. and the Wolf Spider (shudder) that I refuse to even look at enlarged. They make the snake seem OK by comparison. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Indrani. I probably would have held the newt, but didn't complain at all when Francis offered to hold it instead. ;)

Anonymous said...

As always...amazing!

just jamie said...

I never need to venture outside again. No camping. No zoo. No nature walks. I can just come here.

Profoundly beautiful.

(And, I'll get some fresh air now...)

Jo said...

Too bad for the blur, Hil...Blue Heron Butt in Flight would make a cheeky addition to an Audubon field guide LOL!

Anonymous said...

The sunrise photos are my favorite (both of them!) but oh, those macros...and the gnarly tree/dock picture!

I always feel like I've gone on vacation when I view your photographs.

Chi said...

Criminy! Are you on vacation everyday?! I only get a chance at pictures like that one a year, and far from home.


Jo said...

Hilary, those pictures are so gorgeous, and so Canadian! I feel as if I could step right into them. In fact, I think I'm going to do just that, and I'll go for a canoe ride. *sigh*

Dianne said...

I love the salamander :)

and the sunrise is stunning!!

I've always wanted a lake house - seems so peaceful, so calm. I see myself on a tiny porch reading - or drinking ;)

looking forward to new pics of Benny

Woman in a Window said...

NOTHING beats being on a lake. So beautiful. And the light that the changing day offers is always so wonderful. Beautiful shots! Esp. the canoe shot with the brilliant lighting behind.

San said...

Such lovely days. Thank you for capturing their essence in these photos, Hilary.

I am in love with your "moody fog" image. Maybe because I live in the desert and we get extremely little moody fog. We get moody dust devils.

Sandi McBride said...

Those are just glorious shots Hilary...believe it or not, I love the ones of the newt and the snake the most...someone once told me that the round pupil of the snake meant non poisonous...I hope it's so, I've picked up many a one I love the frogs and toads, newts and with my warmblooded self lol...loved this post!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Gorgeous photographs!

Country Girl said...

Thank you thank you thank you. For getting out of bed, for having your camera, for just going to the lake. These photos are incredible!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, AB. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Jamie. That's the one thing the camera can't capture.. the true fresh air. But I sure do appreciate your kind comment. :)

• Jo, only you would be ASStute enough to notice it though. ;)

• Thanks so much, KC. You always say the nicest things. :)

• Thanks, Cristopha. This one was far from home but I'm lucky to have some interesting spots that are pretty close to home. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much Josie. I know what you mean about them being so Canadian. Several blogs I've seen that have images of lakes, docks and shorelines seem to have that local appearance to them, and sure enough they are. Be sure to wear your PFD when you get in that canoe! :)

• Thanks muchly, Dianne. But why not reading AND drinking? ;) Stay tuned for more pics - they're coming up pretty soon.. ish. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, WIAW. I have to agree - it's hard to top the peace of a night in the country. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, San. You made me laugh with your moody dust devils. I think the desert would be so interesting to see, but I don't think I'd be quite willing to trade it in for the lake. Not for too long anyway. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandi. I didn't know that about snakes and their eyes. I don't mind the newts and toads so much, but I'm just not entirely comfy around snakes. It's not that I fear being bitten - they just make me squirm. As do spiders. Glad to know that you can handle them just fine. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, PT&E! :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Kate. They mean a lot to me coming from you. :)

G said...

Beautiful photographs and prose Hilary. The foggy morning shot and the tree-root shots are my favourites.

Hilary said...

Thanks very much blog princess, I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos -- except the creepy crawlies -- you could have left them out and suited me fine! :)

Hilary said...

Thanks, Addhumorandfaith. Gee, I'm beginning to get the idea that you're not much of a creepy-cralwy fan! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's exactly the kind of place I love to spend time. Gorgeous as always.

Hilary said...

Thanks, Jenn. :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

beautiful times, beautiful images....

Hilary said...

Thanks muchly, Moi. :)