When the weather advisory goes out early afternoon on July 5th I reluctantly shut down the computer and looked for something else to occupy my time. Huge cloud formations were visible all around and the camera was close by. We jumped in the car and made our way out of the valley to be greeted by distant rain clouds meeting bright canola fields. Ahhh!
Not far from Tuxford is this little church with adjacent cemetery, always a welcome focal point especially with the dramatic clouds overhead.
We really wanted to take it all in and explored roads not familiar to us…
…leading us into the far distance…
…seeking vistas and converging lines…
…never growing tired of the ever-changing sky!
We drove to escape the rain…
…successful for some time!
Stopping along the way to immortalize wind battered outbuildings of an abandoned farm…
…the rain chasing…
…and finally catching up to us!
Another July afternoon well spent in South Central Saskatchewan!
Tired of broken pavement and ever expanding potholes on Hwy. 15 from Kenaston it wasn’t difficult to reach a decision to explore an alternate route after a delightful lunch at the Highway Host in Rosetown, SK. Heading south on the Hwy. 4 the well-maintained road leads through Elrose and Kyle, with Kyle being the larger center boasting amenities like a Co-op Marketplace, gas stations, and restaurants.
The rolling hills landscape was more pleasant to navigate on this well-maintained road and not too much traffic. As we approached the Diefenbaker Basin we were greeted by lush, green escarpments dappled in light and shadow with the dramatic cloud formations overhead.
At the lowest point the information center was a welcome sight. It was time for a walk about to explore.
With the beginning of the May long weekend the information centre was open. The lower level of the refurbished house has been converted to an interpretive centre. A young couple with baby in tow decided that the “museum” is too small to spend time in… I found it very informative. The Goodwin House Interpretive Centre is well organized sharing the natural history of the area.
Local flora and fauna are also well represented.
A great place to lock eyes with birds indigenous to the area… even if they are frozen in time…
Outside we were treated for a fly-over by a flock of pelicans. It is not often that I have my camera ready to capture such a sight!
Leaving the Diefenbaker Basin we stopped several times to capture the dramatic cloud formations. Saskatchewan isn’t called “land of living skies” in vain.
It isn’t often that destinations in Saskatchewan can be reached from two approaches with the same mileage. This drive was very pleasant and full of new sights and surprises. We have already decided that this is a great place to return to. The cactus will be in bloom in July… stay tuned and check in then to see if we made it back to the western end of the Diefenbaker Basin.
I never thought I would venture out looking for winter in Saskatchewan at the end of January. That is exactly what I did today. After several sunny days in a row and temperatures well above 0 C Buffalo Pound Lake is beginning to thaw. The water is open at the causeway, something we don’t usually witness till March. We took a drive and ended up at the Arm River Valley near Findlater, SK. It was already later in the afternoon and I just had to capture the lack of snow. Walking through the dry grass as I made my way to the crest of hill isolated snow patches crunched under my boots and the grass rustled in the gentle breeze.
It is difficult to believe that this is January 30th: A cloudless blue sky, golden light that bathed the dry landscape and were it not for the occasional snow patch I would think it is late fall.
My focus was directed to the trees. Without foliage the gnarly branches and rough bark make for wonderful contrast against the blue sky.
Near the frozen river’s edge this tree beckoned to be captured with its live branches opposite to the dead branch still reaching toward the water source.
Could it be a foreshadowing of what is to come?
The search for winter was rewarded with small snow patches that showed evidence of melting and freezing to create multiple layers that were illuminated by the setting sun.
I only carried my 17-35 mm lens with me wishing I had also brought my 105 mm macro lens. With the car too far away I would have lost all the light so I crouched down to capture the ice crystals only to discover them painted in a peachy gold by the late afternoon sun, beautiful and not visible when I stood above.
Another image that captured the sun painting along the edge where the ice met the path.
Back at the car I quickly changed lenses to make one last image of the peeling paint and rust on the locked gate to the park. Great inspiration and a great first shot with the new macro lens… I am going to use this Sigma 105mm macro lens a lot – love the tack sharp quality and excellent color rendition.
Thanks for coming along on my winter 2016 search – what a difference a year makes!
What to do when the weather turns grey? I can sit indoors, pine away and long for sunny days, or I can grab my camera and give the new wide angle lens a little workout.
I recently made the big decision to invest in the Nikon 17-35 mm, 2.8 professional lens. Not realizing what I had been missing out on I am instantly hooked. The way this lens performs, the absolute clarity throughout the image and the benefit of the fast aperture are all contributing to rekindled enthusiasm in photography, even on grey and dreary days.
Monday I came across smouldering fields… farmers burning flax straw, a by-product of the recent harvest. Flax straw does not break down naturally and it appears that the farmer close to us has not made arrangements to ship the straw off to be used in industries taking full advantage of attributes this strong fiber has to offer. The result of the controlled burn is heavy layer of smoke that lingers, makes lungs burn and and shroud the already weak sun.
After a brief walk among the smouldering flax straw piles I was in need for some clean air. It was time to explore the lake shore which recently froze solid enough to navigate safely. I was rewarded with countless unique ice sculptures Mother Nature created with the help of strong wind and wave action just prior to forming the layer of ice on the water. Time flies when I discover such unexpected treasures.
For added dramatic effect I decided to de-saturate the images as they appeared grey and washed out in the natural palette. Once I adjusted the curves in Photoshop, increased contrast to define the subject matter a monochromatic presentation was the logical choice. Enjoy!
Wakamow Valley shrouded in fog
Nikon D610, Sigma 24-70mm @ 70mm, f/11, 1/25, ISO 250, hand-held.
A foggy day in Southern Saskatchewan usually doesn’t get me far from home. An early morning drive to Moose Jaw provided an opportunity to walk the dogs through Wakamow Valley. The fog was lifting fast but I was still able to capture the ethereal landscape.
Cormorants scanning Buffalo Pound Lake
I am proud to announce that I will be hosting this year’s World Wide Photo Walk. If you find yourself in the Moose Jaw area and want to participate, visit the registration page for the walk and join the group. Here is the link to register. I have scouted the location yesterday and was pleased to see cormorants, a Kingfisher and bison. Fall colors are in full force and will provide wonderful opportunities for landscape images.
Please note: the address on the map on the Kelby site is a Moose Jaw address. We will meet at 3:30 pm at the entrance to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park. To reach the entrance use Hwy 202 from Tuxford or Hwy 301 from the Weyburn junction. We will then proceed to the the Bison Corral. Watch for the road signs in case you miss the group leaving at 3:30 pm.
Once the walk concludes we have the option to gather informally at Carol’s Catering and Cafe on the north service road. This gathering is optional. It will provide us with an opportunity to share experiences and enjoy some refreshments.
I look forward to seeing you Saturday, October 3rd, 2015.