Changing Seasons – February’s 50 Shades of Grey

In contrast to last month’s photos taken on a beautiful sunny day, today was snowy and very overcast.  It was a sloppy drive down to the marina at Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto to capture February photos for the Changing Seasons Challenge.

Compared to the arctic temperatures we’ve had the past few weeks, it was rather mild outside at -4C / 25F, but winter doesn’t seem to be finished with us yet.

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The assortment of motor cycles and bicycles buried in the snow bank was rather curious.  I don’t remember them being there last month- nor do I think they will be going anywhere for a while.

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Snow and grey skies don’t make for very interesting photos.  It looks colder than it really was.

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Although the parking lot had a surprising number of vehicles in it, but there wasn’t a soul in sight.

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In many places, mine were the only footprints left in the freshly fallen snow.

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The surprise of the day however were all the ducks and swans.  They huddled together just off shore in the boat ramp area.  Here they were able to break small holes through the ice and feed off the bottom.

I attempted to creep in closely to get at bird level, but a couple of the swans took exception to my proximity and became rather threatening in their stance.  I made a quick retreat.

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Although I have lived near water my entire life, I’ve never seen swans in winter.  I was astonished to have a flock of swans fly overhead trumpeting loudly the entire way.  The sound was jaw-dropping.

I managed to swing my camera around and catch a couple of them as they flew over on a second pass.

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Today’s photos were taken at noon.  It had stopped snowing briefly, but resumed again a few hours later.  In all, it was a rather uneventful visit.

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About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Nature, Outdoor Stuff, Photo Challenges and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Changing Seasons – February’s 50 Shades of Grey

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  7. beeblu says:

    Gosh, how amazing is that snow. I’ve not experienced such a blanket of snow.

    Like

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  11. terryb says:

    All great photos, but I love the ducks and swans and ice flows! Nice shot!

    Like

  12. Phil Taylor says:

    The amount of snow has been dreadful this year hasn’t it? I always wonder why all ducks, geese and swans don’t head south for the winter.

    Like

  13. stvrsnbrgr says:

    Snow on the water is so eerie. I love your pic of the swans in flight!

    Like

  14. LB says:

    Again with the birds! Love it! I can’t imagine leaving my bike out in the snow!!

    Like

  15. Greetings from chilly Las Vegas. Today is only 74. I can’t hold my camera steady. It is way too cold here, today for being only the second week of February. I do love your images, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lovely pictures. I would love to hear swans. I’ve seen them swimming but never heard them make any noise.

    Like

  17. Boats. In the snow. So weird.
    If the swans aren’t migrating, maybe they need someone in a swan shaped motorised hang glider to show them the way. (Obscure movie reference.) 🙂

    Like

  18. treerabold says:

    Great photos. I really like the empty docks.
    Nice capture of the swans flying overhead!
    And one more thing…It really looks cold!

    Like

  19. kanzensakura says:

    These are wonderful pictures and you are a brave and dedicated soul. Captured perfectly this kind of day. And as to swans, don’t forget Hans C. Anderson who came from another Cold Land and wrote about swans, I think the story took place in winter? Not sure. But you were wise to back down. Those buggers can be mean.

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  20. Lynn says:

    I have often wondered about people leaving their boats in the water over winter. I can’t imagine it could be good for them. Along with the motorcycles, I suspect they will have a busy spring tending to them & getting them ready to ride!

    Like you , I have never witnessed swans in flight. I am certain it must have been worth the walk to the marina on such a grey day!

    Like

  21. Wonderful pictures, Joanne. My teeth chatter just by looking at them. I’ve been keeping warm but seeing those birds in the icy water makes me want to cry, even though they’re fine with it. B-r-r. I’m glad I’m not a bird of any kind.
    Curious what all those bikes are doing in the snow. The marina does look oddly eerie with no-one else about. Is that how it felt to you?

    Like

  22. Wow! Definitely huge changes since last month! I don’t think those motorcycles will go anywhere soon either: not the perfect conditions for motorcycles. It was a wise choice to withdraw from the swans, you don’t want angry swans to be chasing you. Thanks again for joining the challenge.

    Like

  23. Pingback: Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 02 | Cardinal Guzman

  24. Beautiful shots. So strange to see freezing cold when right now it’s so hot here. And really strange to see white swans – we have black ones in Australia. Loved your post.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      You have black swans?! Now that’s something I’ve never seen!
      This is the time of year when we start to get ‘cabin fever’ … that restless, easily irritated mood from being cooped up indoors and endless days of cold and grey skies. Anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring. It can never come soon enough 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  25. bulldog says:

    I love the captures, they show the cold yet have a very beautiful look about them… something I’ll probably never capture…

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Bulldog. When there is a clean, white blanket of snow on everything it can look very pretty. I suspect that because this area is more or less ‘abandoned’ in the winter, there is nothing to disturb the snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Perfect title Joanne! A very good idea to go to a harbour/marina to get photos about the changing seasons! Impressed!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      The title felt like an appropriate description for our world right now. The grey skies seem to strip the colour out of everything.
      I was comparing the photos of January to February and was quite amazed at how much had changed in only a few weeks. As we live through the seasons, we tend to ‘forget’.

      Like

  27. Mama Cormier says:

    Here in the west end of the city the snow didn’t really start coming down until after 4:00. It’s nice and white outside again. Enough snow fell to cover the older greying snow from earlier in the week.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I’m always amazed at the size of the city and that different pockets can experience very different weather. There appear to be ‘dividing lines’.
      I do agree though. Right now everything is pristine.
      … and it is still snowing. Thankfully it is the snow equivalent of ‘drizzle’ so the accumulation hasn’t been overwhelming.

      Like

  28. These are some awesome photos! Love the one of the flying swans! Kind of spooky the way there seemed to be signs of life but no people. I wonder who would leave their motorcycle out in the snow like that.

    Like

  29. Grisly grey. But interesting to note the water fowl motif again. Glad you got out and about.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Heyjude says:

    I hope I see my swans this month, I love swans! But it does look very white in your photos, brrrr… and to capture the swans in flight is amazing!!

    Like

  31. Swans can be quite belligerent, can’t they? Oh, but the ducks are so darn cute! I think the contrasts between these winter scenes and the bustling activity about to take place is going to be so much fun to watch over the next year. All those empty docks just waiting for spring!

    Like

  32. Fun title and you did a great job on the 50 shades of gray in your photos. Not sure what you mean by an uneventful visit – I enjoyed it for sure! Liked all the winter shots but loved the composition of the one with the empty docks and won’t that be fun to revisit whe the warmer weather comes. I’ve never seen swan’s flying overhead – must have been thrilling😃

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I’ve never seen a flock of swans fly overhead before either and the sound of them all trumpeting was absolutely amazing!

      I was really hoping I could walk out on the docks, but everything is locked up. I imagine they don’t want riff-raff like me wandering about 😉

      Like

  33. But for US, this is astonishing stuff, Joanne ! – Downunder, the sight of a marina solid with ice and snow is simply marvellous ! Do you know why they put those huge yellow numbers on the swans ? – I do hope it’s not to stop hunters shooting them … 😦

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      LOL – I’m a lot less enthusiastic about it but I imagine it is a sight for those who don’t normally see it 🙂

      I wondered if anyone was going to notice the yellow tags. The trumpeter swans have a bit of a story behind them and the tags note that they have been relocated. Thought you might be interested in an article about them.
      http://naturalcrooks.com/rambles/why-swans-yellow-number-wing-tags-ontario/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank heavens ! – merely for scientific porpoises ! [grin]

        Like

        • joannesisco says:

          What I found really interesting was that relocating the birds seemed to cause them to lose their migration instinct. That explains why they are still here in the winter.
          Even worse is that their offspring learn migration from their parents and so future generations won’t be migrating either! There always seems to be an impact when we mess with nature.
          The good news though is that they seem to be surviving 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree entirely, Joanne: we haven’t once put our human oar into a nature situation without stuffing it up completely. The swans remain stuffed, but are at least finding how to manage IN SPITE OF US.

            Like

            • joannesisco says:

              I’m reading a book right now on climate change and it keeps me awake at night. Our planet is dying … all in the name of money and greed.
              That 1% of the population with all the money and power really don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment because they figure their money will protect them from the worst 😦

              Like

  34. Mrs. P says:

    I love the harbor and water images…so different than my world. My life has had a severe shortage of snow and every time I see it…it’s still magically wonderful.

    It’s sometimes surprising how beautiful creatures like swans and geese can have such cantankerous tempers.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      LOL – just like I drool right now over photos that include warm sandy beaches and palm trees 🙂 … but that’s the February “cabin fever” talking!

      I guess wild animals – including birds – can be very protective and are prepared to fight if you invade their sense of personal space. I’m not sure about geese, but I’ve been told the wings of a swan are very strong and can break a bone if you are struck by one – not to mention any nasty bite they might inflict along the way. Yes – they have my respect!

      Like

  35. pike says:

    Stunning how different views are now! Lovely photos!

    Like

  36. Clever title Joanne! Hope you get lots of hits!

    Like

  37. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne it looks like a fowl convention is happening. Either that or they are completely lost. Looks like those motorbikes got caught out in it as well!

    Like

  38. thatssojacob says:

    Greetings from chilly Wisconsin. What do you think of my new layout?

    Like

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