In with the cold





DecemberWindowFrost6This is what happens when an ice breathing dragon is trapped between 2 pieces of glass; your windows frost up and the temperature plummets.

The-Dragon'sBreathTechnically, this window has failed; there should not be moisture, frost, or dragons(!) trapped between the sealed panes, but I like to think of it as a literal ‘silver’ lining. Technical failure can lead to interesting things…

Happy New Year!

[These window frost photographs were made today – I have posted similar frost a few times last winter but it is always reinventing itself]

© Karen McRae, 2013

As busy as…

a beaver.BusyBeaver8


BusyBeaver4Where there is open water there is sure to be wildlife, but today is the first time I have seen a beaver in this part of the creek. It has obviously been busy in the area for a while, downing small trees and stripping off the bark for food. I’m not sure where its lodge might be located but I didn’t want to stick around for too long and be overly disruptive. Even with snowshoes on it is difficult to move quietly as the top layer of deep snow has a thick crunchy crust. Even so, some creatures are amazingly tolerant of the human activity on the periphery.

BusyBeaver3© Karen McRae, 2013

Two ‘Turtle Doves’…

Doves3Or more accurately, a small flock of mourning doves. These photographs are from a couple of days ago and they were made while looking out through the dirty windows so they are not very sharp. Two of the doves were sitting at the foot of our back door pressing their beaks up against the glass, cocking their little heads and peering in. I wonder what they were thinking? : ) Perhaps they were eyeing the pot of herbs just inside the door.

The deep cold from several days ago has dissipated. It rarely stays that cold for too long here, although, it is sure to return. In the past few days we’ve had a lot of snow, a bit of rain, and now you can hear the gentle sound of tiny ice pellets falling on the deep snow. The weather is sure fidgety around here.

Wishing each and every one of you, peace and doves.





© Karen McRae, 2013

Cold Blue



ColdBlue1It’s hard to resist the beauty of a really cold morning (-25c early this morning, according to our thermometre). At the edge of the rapids the turbulent water shifts the forming ice into different shapes and during the cold nights the surfaces grow carpets of feathery frost. The horizon is lost in a fog of water vapour.

FeatherFrost3A closeup of feather frost on an icy surface

GoldenEyeDucksAs I was out making photographs I spotted many brave ducks that seem to be willing to tough it out and spend the winter in and around the open water. Pictured are a couple of shy goldeneye ducks above, and what I think is an American black duck below.

The-Misted-CityA little glimpse of the city which is not far away

[Similar ice compositions to a post I did last year here, but the cold is a month earlier!]

© Karen McRae, 2013

Gold & Silver

GoldenMussel shells just under the surface and golden light on ice

Flight-and-fall2A chickadee in flight and leaves in the creek

It’s quite cold here now. Yesterday I bundled up and spent several hours outside. The birds were very busy foraging for food and the chickadees were especially friendly. They would land on my shoulder or hand, unexpectedly, expectantly. A gentle whirring sound of wings in my ears. And the most tender questioning “peep peep” from a nuthatch that flitted close by, wondering too, if I had little seeds in my pockets. I did.

As it becomes very cold the landscape transforms in strange and wonderful ways. The ice forming at river’s edge is bordering on Seussian but I haven’t yet found a way to make good photographs. Photographs that show the magic of it. Part of the fun is trying to figure that out, I suppose. Anyway, if you are looking for gold and silver, it’s not far away. You just might have to dress warm.

StarlingsWater reflections and starlings in flight ~ there seems to be a flock of them hanging around for the winter

© Karen McRae, 2013