Wildlife and Landscapes: Winter On Beautiful Wolfe Island

30 Mar

Spring has sprung! I’m doing a happy dance here, even though we’ve had snow and below freezing temps for the last few days.

I’m working on a project that requires reviewing and curating more than a year’s worth of photographs, and I’ve been surprised to see that I am much more creative and prolific, photographically, in winter than in summer. Maybe it’s because I have to work harder to appreciate every day, when the weather is cold and the days short. Maybe the landscape is just more dramatic. Any other theories?

I’ve also just realized that I have a lot of winter photographs that I have not posted. I was going to just skip right over them–after all, I am very happy to see the tail end of the cold season–but my friend Kim insists that they need to be shared, and I hope that a few other people out there might feel the same.

So before I get started with spring photographs, here’s a little recap of winter on our beautiful island.

December

I’ll be honest, this was taken through a window. By the time I put boots on and got out the door the bird had gone. But it conveys the feeling of that gray, snowy day.
Frozen droplets are like jewelry for the branches.
Before the ponds froze completely
Details on the forest floor. The intricate pattern of veins left on the fallen leaves is exquisite.

January

Happy new year!

In the woods, shadows create blue art on the snow.

A highlight of winter: the snowy owls
The coyotes use the ice to cross the bay. Once in a while one will get close enough to the shore for a good view.
Coyote on the frozen bay
The ferry is islanders’ link to the mainland. Many thanks to the team who keep it going in all kinds of weather. Here you can see how it has to keep a channel open through the ice. The city of Kingston, Ontario is in the distance.
When conditions are just right, a hoar frost covers every blade of hay, every twig, every fence. And the sky turns that colour we think of as icy blue.
I recently learned that wild turkeys were introduced to the island in the 1990s. We see them often, usually in the fields but on this day a group of them decided to try the road. Cue the jokes about parading to Ottawa to protest Thanksgiving.

February

The shortest month, that often feels like the longest. I guess that’s why I push myself to get out more, and end up with more photographs!

Wind creates beautiful sweeping wave patterns in the snow.
A surprising (to me) number of birds stick around all winter, including the woodpeckers. I think this is a Downy Woodpecker.
American Kestrels are beautiful little falcons, but skittish when it comes to having their portraits taken!
So many deer!
Another morning when ice covered everything.

At times this feels like the north pole. (Well, how I imagine it, anyway.) On this day the high winds were cold and constant, blowing the snow into drifts.
Eagles!
A tiny chickadee on a very cold day. Little birds puff up their feathers to trap body heat and stay warm.
With the branches bare, all the birds’ nests are exposed and collect little mounds of snow.

March

Some sunny days, but still snowy and cold. Walking in our woods, where the only other tracks are from wildlife, is a treat.

Gobble, gobble
A neighbour
A Northern Harrier hunting in the snow, just a few weeks ago.

And now: good-bye winter, hello spring!

10 thoughts on “Wildlife and Landscapes: Winter On Beautiful Wolfe Island

  1. Maybe you enjoy photographing winter there because the scenery is so different from that in California. Love all the wildlife photos best but the one with the berries encased in ice is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your world there!

  2. Linda, these photographs are so beautiful. I’m thrilled you documented winter on the island. I really hope you will do a calendar for the year and I will be happy to purchase it!

  3. Folks tell me “I don’t know how you go out during the winter – I just hunker down a wait it out”. See what they are missing? I, too, hesitate, but never regret going out (only bad clothing decisions). Beautiful work.

  4. Oh my goodness!!! These are just fabulous! I don’t check FB very often, so this is a special treat! I love not only the photos, but the just-right accompanying text. You have such a gift, my friend!

    Can’t wait to see your book! I have several friends who will enjoy a copy!

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