Great Egret

Great Egret

Friday, 27 June 2014

An early start to a long weekend...

....literally. I arose at 4:30 a.m. to get to Erieau well before sunrise to catch the best light which I find is a half hour before the official sunrise time. I had done the same thing yesterday, although in spite of the weather radar indicating that there were minimal clouds, the entire sky was cloud covered, with only a hint of lighter cloud right at the horizon. So I sat in the car overlooking the Erieau harbour, and sipped my drive-through coffee on the one hand wishing I had stayed in bed, but at the same time enjoying the peacefulness at such an early hour.

But today was considerably better.....the sun actually put in an appearance! My favourite times are when there is some high cirrus clouds to reflect the rosy sun about 30 minutes before it peeks above the horizon, but today it was almost totally clear, with just an orangey hue. If you look closely, you can see that the lighthouse is 'on'.

10 second exposure 20 minutes before sunrise

However when the high clouds aren't present, then some shots immediately as the sun is appearing can be quite attractive.

0.8 second exposure

There didn't appear to be any birds of special note in the Erieau area, so I headed to Rondeau, hoping for some good light on a Red-headed Woodpecker's nest. At such an early hour, however, it was shaded by the nearby cottonwood trees. I did manage to get a photo of one of the adults out taking a short break from foraging for insects.

I wouldn't have minded if the woodpecker could have made a dent in the mosquito population.....they were quite feisty, so I spent a bit of time along the east beach enjoying the light breeze and the golden sunlight at the early hour.

The pioneer grasses are hardy.....they have to survive the extreme elements from intense cold and dessication in winter to intense heat in summer, not to mention the abrasive action of wind-blown sand. But eventually some pioneer trees appear, especially these Eastern Cottonwoods.

Later I went to the Tulip Tree Trail, just because I wasn't far away and there wasn't anyone else around. I was hoping to detect nesting activity of the local pair of Prothonotary Warblers. I took a few shots of the mossy upturned tree root. The mosquitoes, in spite of all the water around the trail, were not nearly as bothersome here.

While shooting this scene, I heard something slogging through the water a short distance farther along the trail. I checked it out, and watched three deer busily munching on aquatic plants. The closest one was no more than 10 metres away, and by moving slowly, they didn't seem to be bothered with my presence at all.

An event I had to be at in Chatham required me to leave Rondeau before 9 a.m......some days I don't even get to the park until 9, so it seemed odd to be leaving by then.

And now the long weekend is here, although for us retired folks, it isn't any different than any other weekend except some of my favourite places are more crowded :-)......enjoy it, everyone, and Happy Birthday Canada!


  1. Stunning sunrise! I have seen some nice sunrises at Erieau in the past.
    I don't know about this long weekend idea.....LOL!

  2. Thanks, Blake....Erieau is often one of the most accessible places in C-K to catch a good sunrise. As for the long weekend, some will take the Monday, some will take the actual holiday Tuesday, and some will take both! Hope you enjoy what you can out of is going to be hot and sultry out!