Friday, November 19, 2010

Chasing Sundog

This morning I woke in a funk and knew if I didn’t do something to get myself out of it I’d soon lose control of my entire day. So after I threw myself into the shower and got dressed, I grabbed my faithful and trusty digital SLR and headed out the door to Peace Valley Park.

Five minutes later I caught sight of a sundog in the sky as the sun rose. It was still early, about 7:30, so I pulled into the new mini-McMansion development being built on what was once a large dairy farm. As I drove up the hill, six crumbling concrete silos, the only remaining monuments to the farm’s former existence, stood like silent sentinels.

What is a sundog? The best way to describe it is a small chunk of a rainbow. While they are not very big, they are often colorful but transitory. In a matter of a few minutes a sundog will disappear.

Since I was within shooting distance of the silos, and had wanted photos of them, I decided to spend the time and get a few shots. Recently, these six silos were in the news to decide their fate. Two stand side by side like twins and the other four stand alone. At the moment, they await their fate, but soon families will move in and parents will not want their children playing in or around them. I'm sure I will drive by one day and all of them will have been removed.

Lake Galena, a 365 acre lake, is part of the 1500 acres that make up Peace Valley Park. Miles of hiking trails, some of which are paved, wind their way around the lake.

My goal for this morning was to hike around the entire lake. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would, two and half hours, but then I stopped along the way to take photos of whatever caught my eye.  

I stumbled upon four great blue herons, in different places along the way, warming themselves in the early morning sun as I hiked around the lake. Normally, they are very shy and will take off at the slightest hint of a human’s presence. These four seemed to be used to humans walking around since they were fairly tolerant of my presence. Or they were just too cold to move and I had them at a disadvantage. I respected their space since I didn’t want to stress them out.

It was a beautiful morning for a hike. The air was brisk and the sky a deep blue. Every now and then clouds would show up.

Before winter digs itself in, the lake is drained somewhat so the ice that will inevitably appear won’t erode the lake’s shoreline. Small cairns (heaps of stones set up as landmarks or tombstones) dotted the shoreline where the water had receded.

After my walk and just before lunch, I drove over to another small park where I saw a glorious sycamore tree in fall color yesterday and knew the light would be perfect by the time I arrived. It was.

This last shot is a Japanese maple in bright red color that wanted to take part in the sycamore's photo shoot.

My funk didn't stand a chance today and before I knew it, it had left for parts unknown. Sometimes it's good to jump on a funk, if possible, as soon as you sense it before it ruins your day.

Here's hoping you all find your own sundog.



Anyes said...

I learned something today, I had never heard of a sundog and if do not believe I ever saw one...Something to look for, Thank you
I guess you found the muse back ;-)

Lyn said...

Beautiful - you lifted our spirits too with your wonderful photos. Enjoyed the inukshuks and the vibrant colour of the maples.

SE'LAH... said...

I so enjoyed you taking me along on your funk-buster hike! The shots are wonderful but the 2nd shot of the sycamore tree is unbelievable!!!! Didn't know you had those trees here. It's very popular in Caribbean.

Birdie said...

the walk sounds divine and the pictures are breathtaking!!! thank you for sharing Chris :-)

Lisa said...

I loved this walk! I never knew what a sundog was, but I'll be on the lookout now. : )