Spring Thaw

Winter started its annual retreat around here about a week ago. And with it the ice on the lake began to break up and move out. Open patches of water appeared and the ice volcanoes shrank a bit. And blue skies - something we haven’t seen much of this winter. But weather changes quickly, as I recently experienced. These images were taken over a five-day period, in different light, in areas close to where I live. All were taken around water and ice that changed on a daily basis.


A large piece of driftwood sitting close to the beach in the open water. But it didn’t stay that way for long. Just five days later strong winds, high waves and cold weather brought in more ice and water and that large log was buried once more.


Looking out from the shore, a close up the ice volcanoes. The white bands, and soft edges on some of the ice is due to the combination of moving ice and a two minute shutter speed.


The change in weather also affected the river cut. Completely open just a few days ago, it’s full of ice once more. It won’t last long, the warmer weather will quickly melt it, but for now this is what we have.


Driftwood comes and goes. It’s been in the water - sometimes already on the beach, often coming in with the winds. But those trees are no longer alive and the harsh weather can’t hurt them. But this small tree, once on the beach, is now surrounded by water and lots of wind. Will it survive? I hope so.


The living trees growing near the edge of the lake face harsh weather in the winter and early spring. Ice builds up on the branches, melts, and builds up again. Yet the trees somehow survive. I find their resilience - and their beauty - comforting.


I’m captivated by driftwood. Once living trees, possibly part of a forest, transported from parts unknown, they now appear as natural sculptures, formed by time, wind and water. Their shapes and textures are remarkable.


There was a lot of ice at Grand Bend this year. It is starting to melt but it will take time and some warmer weather before it’s all gone. But people are already there, watching the ice recede, and looking forward to the summer that’s not too far off now.


Weather changes everything. The light makes a difference, as does the wind. And ice - well that’s a whole story on its own. Ice is powerful, it moves whatever’s in its path And when it leaves, what’s left behind is different than what was there before.

First the Afternoon and then the Evening

Morning and evening light are usually the most striking but in winter it's possible to get lovely images even at mid-day.  Winter light is softer, more delicate, less contrasty.  My son was visiting and he wanted to get out and take some photographs so we headed out just after lunch.  That's not a time I'd normally think to get out with my camera but I was pleasantly surprised.  Our first shots were of thin ice on the lake that I found quite striking.  

Ice and Snow-Covered Rocks on Lake Huron

Ice and Snow-Covered Rocks on Lake Huron

At the Edge of the Lake

At the Edge of the Lake

We travelled on to Sarnia, stopping in Bright's Grove to see what the lake looked like from there. Lots of moving floes of ice along the shore, and a nice contrast between the sky, water and trees.

Lake Huron through the Trees

Lake Huron through the Trees

From there on to Sarnia to see the ice moving from Lake Huron into the mouth of the St. Clair River.  The river flow is fast and the ice moves quickly.  The lighthouse and buildings on the American side of the river provide an interesting background.

Ice on the River

Ice on the River

And then back to where we started to see how the light might have changed in the late afternoon.  We liked what we saw and stayed until sunset.

It was definitely getting colder but the light was changing all the time.  So we stayed and got lovely sunset light hitting the trees, the two at the edge of the lake and the cluster a little further out.

A great time enjoying the beauty we found everywhere.  Hours slipped by as we got lost in looking, seeking out images we thought were interesting, and then setting up our cameras to get what we hoped would capture what we felt and saw.  A lovely day with my son Scott - energizing and restorative.

Ice Sculptures

These were taken last week at Fifty Consevation Area near Hamilton, Ontario.  I was there with my son Scott.  The weather was not as cold as it had been and we were able to enjoy a lovely day outside and get some interesting images of the ice buildup along the shore.