Thursday, November 21, 2013

Frosty Morning at Swallowfield

Eddie, above the estuary at the
south end of Swallowfield
(c) Jean Ballard 2013

The temperature has dropped and there is a hard frost on the ground even midmorning.  But the sun is shining, the air is crisp, and to me the weather is perfect for a walk with the dogs.  I take Eddie, who can run off leash, and our guest dog Chelsea on a long line, and head to Swallowfield.  It is one of my favourite places to go in the fall - sunlight reflecting on pools of water, solitude, ocean vistas across the estuary, tall bare trees and then open grasslands,  a wide, level trail.

Eddie and Chelsea on leaf-covered trail

Along the trail at Swallowfield

Estuary, south end.

I usually head north at the t- intersection in the path, to the Chemainus River and across the estuary. Today I headed south instead, past the foundations of an old homestead, gazing at the paradox of the smoke and steam from the pulp mill and the sillhouette of the mill stacks against the natural beauty of this protected waterfowl landscape.

Crofton Pulp Mill in distance
Bright red berries attract many small birds, while overhead an eagle flies.  Suddenly I spot a bird I don't recognize - the size of a crow yet rounder, with distinctive bars on the breast.  I have only my little camera, so can't zoom in quite close enough.  A grouse perhaps?  Yet it doesn't seem quite right.  It is only after I upload the photos that I notice a second bird of the same species to the right of the photo.  Can you see them both in this first frame?

Two birds in the bush

Bird one
from centre of  above photo

Bird two,
from right side of first photo
Eddie, Chelsea and I continue on our way, crunching the ice over the puddles as we go.  This one, however, remained intact - a maple leaf in whirls of frozen water:

Frozen Canada
(c) Jean Ballard 2013

 A few more photos before we head home:

Chelsea Dawn on the estuary

Bullrushes on a frosty fall day

Bare trees and blue skies
Two hours of walking and we didn't meet a soul.  All within 15 minutes of home. How lucky I am to live here.


Brigid said...

Beautiful! Lucky, indeed...

Caroline A said...

I've missed our walks,lol.
Your adventures are always so nice, and the pictures are amazing! I don't know what birds those are, look forward to finding out.

The "frozen" picture is incredible! Were you to enter that one in a contest, it will win, no doubt in my mind!

Anonymous said...

Jean, the quality of the light in these pictures is incredible. You did a fantastic job to capture them. My favourite is the first one with Eddie above the estuary. It looks almost like a painting! Thank you for sharing them.

Dom said...

Great photos. I especially love the first one. Gorgeous!

Unknown said...

Hi Jean. I agree with the other folks...the lead photo is beautiful. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures Jean.