Earlier this week, I was feeling a little fed up with sitting inside and couped up due to the overly cold and snowy winter we have had this year. I normally am outside finding all sorts of things to shoot. I have taken to finding things in my house, trying to get my dogs to not lick the camera, anything to be able to shoot daily. So I decide 15 degrees or not, I was going on a field trip!
About a 45 minute ride from my house is the Charlotte Pier on Lake Ontario. It’s always nice to see that area in different seasons, but this year is the first winter I have gone. I had recently tried looking for the Snowy Owls I had heard so much about, not one trace. So I drove out there with the plan on shooting the pier in the snow, maybe get some chunks of ice or snow in the water. I had no real hopes of anything else, just figured I would take it as it came and enjoy the day.
When I arrived I realized, there was about 12-15 inches of snow. I knew there would be a bit, but all up the pier? Well now I was in for a challenge. Normally there were little boat ties in the middle of the walkway, you couldn’t see a thing in the snow. What I thought was great though, was that there wasn’t a footprint or a person in sight. My prints were the only ones and there was nobody there to interrupt in their day or bother on my way.
But then I noticed them, the swans! They were floating in the water, or slush if I am being honest. Yes there were ducks of all different kinds in there as well. But the swans were covered in snow, and their feathers had ice growing from them. Yet they weren’t phased. Some would flap their wings every once in awhile, others would just float along with the heads curled into themselves. They didn’t mind that I was there, even when I walked up to the side and stood admiring. The ducks who weren’t close took off skittishly, obviously not impressed with my arrival. Words can’t express how beautiful these creatures were, but I wondered how they handled being in the water this cold. This winter had to be so harsh for them. It took all I had not to hop in a boat and pull up to them with a blanket and warm them up or clear them off.