Sand Patterns

•09/18/2014 • Leave a Comment

Superior_1930n

 

It was one of those beautiful cloudy days. The day was warm with a breeze off Lake Superior. Strolling aimlessly along a sandy beach. Lake Superior was on my right. The water gently rolling up the sand. To my left was the sand dunes, three feet or so above the beach. In the dunes was an assortment of plant life that keep the dunes from eroding away. Life is good when you are in locations such as this. Lake Superior stretching beyond the horizon, a gentle breeze on your face. As I continued my stroll on this beach, my eye caught bits of black color in the otherwise light brown colored sand. Running my hand through the black material, I discovered that it was indeed sand. Observing the embankment on my left I noticed a band of black sand running lengthwise in profile. The discovery of things geologically, plant life, and wildlife can be an adventure of its own. One observation that I made was the patterns as shown above. It was created by the gentle wave actions as the water rolled up the beach and receded. Thus you had a pattern of black sand on top of the light brown sand. Very simple in composition and abstract in form. All I did was set up my tripod and camera. Created my composition in the camera and shot looking down. This photo was taken in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Well that is it for now. So until next time happy trails.

Keeper of The Lake

•09/11/2014 • 6 Comments

Coldwater_Bay

 

The Keeper

 

I am the Keeper

Lying on the rocks

One of the many

Faces of the Grandfather

Keepers of the lake

I lie on the rocks

Facing the great sea

Known as Ojibwe Gichigami

Waterfowl skim the waves

Dipping their wings in passing

Eagles soar high above me

In the vast blue skies

Hikers trod my back

Along the coastal trail

The Coldwater River ends

It’s journey a short hike

Along ever changing beaches

The sand warm under the feet.

The migratory Salmon and Steelhead

Enter the river Spring and Fall

To start new life

For the coming generations

The great sea is

Through the passing seasons

Of a variety of moods

The annual storms pound

The ever changing shoreline

The great sea is never still

As I keep watch

I have been here

From times gone past

If you look carefully

You will spot me

The keeper of the lake

Sitting on a Moss Covered Rock

•09/04/2014 • 2 Comments

Superior_2064

 

 

 

 

Sitting on a moss covered rock

Surrounded by Black Spruce

Squashing a skeet now and then

The pesky critters would dive-bomb

To sting the back of my neck

 

A well beaten moose trail

Traverses the swamp edge

A scene of stillness

The open water quiet and benign

The ghostly dance of mist

Transforms the summer morning

 

The sun not yet risen

A channel leads one’s eye

To the far hills

The Black Spruce dark and ominous

At the shore’s edge

Protruding rocks break the shoreline

A cliff rises in the channel

 

The sun’s rays slowly creep

Over the shadowed land

Light filters through the mist

The far hills unfold

In the morning light

Fingers of light creep

Through the dark shadows

 

The mist is still swirling

A pair of Loons appear

Dark shapes in the mist

The warmth of the morning sunlight

Chasing the night shadows before it

The mist now dissipating

Exposing the Boreal Forest

 

Rising from my moss covered  rock

I quietly trudged  up the hill

With one last look

As I crested the hill

Another memory to preserve

Lake Superior Shorelines

•08/28/2014 • 6 Comments

SinclairCove_LakeSuperior

 

I have just concluded a two week trip along the shores of Lake Superior. From Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay. Along with my wife Maureen, I set up base camps in various locations and explored from there. From rain that was heavy at times to cold mornings, it was still enjoyable and fun. At the Rainbow Falls Provincial Park we had a few mornings of 5 to 7 Celsius. At  Lake Superior Provincial Park it was warmer. I crawled over a lot of boulders, walked sandy beaches as well as pebble beaches. It is not hard to be awestruck by the scenes that come before you. From the vastness of Lake Superior to the land formation before you. To stand on a pebble beach and look inland to see the pebble beach extend inland for a hundred feet or more. Thus at one time in history the lake was much higher. The rocks are covered with lichen and are a grey color. You see the power of Lake superior when you observe the smoothness of the rock structures along the shores. The rocks take on many shapes and sizes creating interesting photographic possibilities. Walking in the forest along the shoreline you are greeted by many forms of lichen on the ground or hanging from trees. I was standing on a rock ledge one evening looking at an island that appeared to be not far away. A canoe glided past me heading to this same island. A while later I looked up and was amazed how small that canoe looked in the distance. The island was further away than I thought. This emphasizes the vastness of Lake Superior.

 

Every once in a while you come across a scene that just blows you away. The composition above is one such example. I was standing on the beach at Sinclair Cove looking towards the islands in front of me. This was one of those days that was cloudy and dark. The far hills were covered with mist and sombre looking. It was getting on to late evening. The sun was peaking out now and then. I attached my 70 to 200 Canon zoom lens to be able to get a compact shot. I decided not to have any water in the foreground. To me that would have spoiled the effect. I opted to show mostly sky to emphasize the vastness of this land. Which it truly is. I added a touch of yellow to the lighter part of the sky. With that I enhanced the effect that I wanted. One thing I will say is that to get these type of shots, be aware what is before you and learn to capture these moments. They do not come everyday. It is incredible when this happens. It is awe inspiring to come across a scene such as this. There is so much mood and mystery in a composition such as this. Another fact is that I have been at this location four or five times in the last two years and finally connected.

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy is meeting and chatting with people I meet in my travels. I met up with a group of hikers at the Coldwater River mouth area. One of the lads sent me an email.

Hey Ken! I was part of the backpacking group you met on Lake Superior this week. I really like your work and your business cards were a real smart idea. The whole group has talked a lot about you. Well done!

So I asked the young man to send me some info on the group. This was his reply.

We did the trip through Calvin College, a Christian college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The members of our group were from various states in the US. There were nine incoming freshman and two leaders. We went on the trip to meet new people in our class, to learn more about Calvin, and to enjoy the outdoors. It was a pretty sweet trip.

It makes my day when I see young people out in the wilderness enjoying themselves and gaining valuable experience about the outdoors. The best of luck to these youngsters.

As I was putting my gear away at Katherine Cove a couple returned to their vehicle. I struck up a conversation with them. You can read Jen’s blog here. It is very witty and interesting. I am even mentioned.

http://prairiegirlgoeswest.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/from-the-soo-to-the-giant/

This coming weekend is the The Canadian Woodstock in Killarney Ontario. Watch the following video for info.

http://pierreajsabourin.wordpress.com/

Go to Pierre AJ Sabourin’s facebook page for a list of artists to be present.

https://www.facebook.com/PierreAJSabourin.Artist

While that is it for now. Until next time happy trails.

 

Wolf Lake Part 4

•08/21/2014 • Leave a Comment

WolfLake_1440

 

Monday morning dawned with no photo opportunities available.  Toasting bagels for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee sure started the day right. It was a relaxing morning. But all good things come to an end. Thus we packed up, loaded the canoe and made our way to the landing. Pulling up on shore a young couple pulled in behind us. Tim and I quickly unloaded to give them room to pull in. This was a young couple hailing all the way from Pennsylvania USA. They were on a one week canoe trip here. The  lad had ripped his knee open on the rocks somewhere. He was toughen it out though. Tim and I soon had my Ford Escape loaded with the canoe tied down. Before long we  where  at Highway 17E . Tim loaded his gear into his SUV. Shaking hands and saying our goodbyes we parted once again. A great trip. I told Tim I was stopping at the first Tim Horton’s for lunch.

I ordered a soup and chicken salad sandwich.  As I was busy eating my lunch, I noticed Tim standing there with a very worried look on his face. Tim asked me if I had seen his camera bag in my Escape. Saying no, I headed out to check. We were worried that the camera might be back at Wolf Lake. A quick search did not reveal his camera bag. Tim then checked his backpack and there was his camera bag. So all ended well and we parted once again.

I first saw this scene from our campsite. I love it when you can find side lighting as such. It  adds such magic to a composition. What you really have to watch here is that you do not blow out the highlights on the rocks. With the rocks a light grey and the lighting being a little harsh this can happen.

This concludes my first trip into Wolf Lake. It was very enjoyable. I hope to be back soon. So until next time happy trails.

Wolf Lake Part 3

•08/14/2014 • 2 Comments

WolfLake_1367

 

With breakfast over and drinking tea made with blueberry leaves and a couple cut up strawberries, the canoe was soon gliding over the calm waters. We headed towards the landing. Tim and I had decided the evening before to haul the canoe over into Dewdney Lake for some bass fishing. I walked to the truck for our fishing gear. I saw a bag that had spices in it. Opening it I spotted the coffee and tea there. Wow that was so good.  Launching the canoe, slowly paddling the shorelines we were soon casting our fishing lines towards shore. In the process we caught and released 30 to 40 Smallmouth Bass. Most were not of any size, but a pleasant diversion for the day. After a couple hours it was time to head to shore for lunch. There was not much wind and it was getting hot. Tim commented that the sun was getting to him and I was beginning to have a headache. Not to complicate things we headed back to camp. At the campsite I laid down in the tent for a nap while Tim went for a swim. When I woke up and met Tim at our chairs we both had cooled down. Tim spoke about how cold the water was and as he dove deeper it got colder.

Evening arrived and photographic wise you could not ask for better. The wind became calm, lighting became great, just an awesome time for a photographer. We set up among the islands to capture the compositions. The one above is one of the results. Finally the wind came back, but that was okay as it was becoming dark and time to head back to camp.

Wolf Lake Part 2

•08/07/2014 • 2 Comments

WolfLake_1491

 

Having explored the campsite it was time to haul our gear into the campsite. Once the camp gear was in place it was time to sit back, relax and enjoy the grand view. A nice breeze was blowing off the lake. It being lunch time we proceeded to eat lunch. This was when I discovered that I had misplaced the tea and coffee. Tim’s Dad had been an ardent  woodsman and he taught Tim a lot about  the outdoors. One of the things was making tea from plant leaves. In this case he gathered up a bunch of blueberry leaves to put in with the boiling water plus raisins. It was not bad. Experiment and learn.

After stretching out in the tent for a half hour, we were soon on the lake exploring. Wolf lake is not a large lake. As we followed the shoreline enjoying the lake features I noticed that there was remains of trees that had burnt during previous forest fires. All the campsites had been taken. There are apparently four or five campsites on this lake. Approaching the outlet into Sylvester Lake we observed a large party at a campsite. Shooting through a narrow spot between the two lakes, the canoe glided onto Sylvester Lake. Looking around us, it was soon discovered that this lake had nothing to offer for photographing. Paddling back into Wolf Lake we followed the West shoreline to the upper end of Wolf Lake. Turning the canoe back to the campsite, returning in time for supper.

With our meal out of the way it was a matter of waiting for evening to descend upon us. As we sat in our chairs, Tim spotted a Loon across the lake with its one young chick.

I explored the shoreline near camp. There appears to be a very healthy population of Smallmouth Bass in this lake. The lake looks very healthy. There are an abundance of crayfish among the rocks. Crayfish are a favorite of the Smallmouth Bass. We managed to get some photographing that evening. Evening soon turned to darkness. Tim had a good fire going. The mosquitoes appeared. We spent a wonderful evening sitting by the fire under a canopy of stars. The moon was shining as a quarter moon.

When we woke up the next morning the lake was still with mist. I captured the above scene by using the boulders as my foreground and to direct your eye through the V. It helped to eliminate a lot of water from the scene. You can see a small ridge in the background along with what I believe is Wolf Mountain.

I will be posting more work of this trip in the future. I am heading up North of Sault Ste Marie to Lake Superior for a weeks photographing. So until next time happy trails.

 
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