Tag Archives: migration

“The Final Stretch”

“The Final Stretch”

“Are you tired? Are you feeling that you will not be able to reach your destination? Then all you have to remember is that those who reached their far and hard destinations also felt the same way on their way! Knowing what others felt will give you a great power to complete your journey!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

I was looking for a suitable quote for this image and Mehmet always seems to have something that resonates with me.

The journey of the countless rainbow trout up Duffins Creek every April fascinates me. Since I saw salmon spawning in BC, these mass migrations have been a thing of wonder. The distance the fish travel, through almost insurmountable obstacles; strong currents, shallow water, and tangles of fallen tree limbs, to name only a few.

Yet, they persevere and most make it to the destination. In this case, a large dam that separtarates the introduced rainbow trout from the native brown trout. It’s at this dam that I witness the greatest ‘stretches’ as the trout leap high in the air, hoping to conquer the dam, to no avail. It’s their final stretch, literally, as they extend their brightly coloured bodies through the air. Once they figure they can’t go any further upstream, they spawn in a deep pool at the base of the dam, and make the return journey to Lake Ontario, this time, with the current to their favour.

In case you are wondering, I sat on a rock near the base of the dam for about an hour, waiting for just the right moment, and testing my reflexes, to make several images and settling on this one, which nicely shows the colour of the trout as the sunlight shines on its outstretched body. Also an act of perseverance.

If you like this image, I made another one similar to it, 3 years go, in the same location.

https://edlehming.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/rainbow-trout-jump-whitevale-dam-pickering-ontario/

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200mm
1/2000 sec, f/5.0 ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“The Return”

“The Return”

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.” 
― Kendal Rob

“The Return”

The return of migratory birds and the return of spring. Two things that go together nicely. Here we stand, on the cusp of spring, recent snows blanketing the ground in a final reminder of the season, now passing.

Birdsong, fills the air, between the sound of trees groaning in the north wind, its bite now feeling less severe, sun shining into the depths of the forest, lighting the dark recesses.

I love this time of year, the warming light and the lengthening days. In mere weeks, new growth with erupt from the ground, as the sun thaws the now frozen ground. Soon, life in abundance will return to the forest.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 170mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0 ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 29 – ‘Open’

“Duffins Creek Rainbow Trout”

I have several interpretations to the OPEN theme. It could be open to any category of post or it could be the ‘opening’ of something, like a door. In this case, it’s the opening of the natural spring cycle in my area of Canada. Throughout the winter, this large creek lies frozen. Within a few short weeks it transforms from ice to a living place once more (another opening of sorts), as the Rainbow Trout begin their annual spawning migration up the creek. Once more, it’s a link to a photo I made back in April, and one of my favourites.

This creates another link to OPEN for me, because a few days after the spawn ends, the fishing season opens.

I was debating submitting this image as well because the snake’s mouth is very clearly open as well. Ah, choices!“Pain in the Butt” - Seaton Trail

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“Mating Pair” – Rainbow Trout in Duffins Creek

“Mating Pair” - Rainbow Trout in Duffins Creek

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock

When time allows, I like to visit Duffins creek and stroll the riverbank, especially at this time of year. The narrow wooded trail follows the shoreline, through grand cedar stands, into deep gullys, along the creek, with its variable structure of rocky sandbanks, deep holes, and fast flowing rapids.

At this time of year, new growth is slowly emerging. Splashes of bright green dot the forest floor. Spring plants such as Coltsfoot, Bloodroot, Trout Lilies, and violets dot the landscape, welcoming the warmth of spring. Fiddleheads, the young growth of ferns, sit in tight knots, not quite ready to open, and the trout start their annual run up the creek to the dam at Whitevale, a small hamlet north of Pickering, Ontario.

At the right time of day, the trout try to leap up the fifteen foot high concrete dam, designed to keep the introduced steelhead trout from migrating further upstream. On this visit, the trout were not jumping yet and were pooled just beneath the dam. Many rested in the shallow pools just above the last set of rapids, including this pair, in full breeding colours. The shallow water allowed me to get a clear image from slightly above. This pair will breed and shortly thereafter, follow the creek back to Lake Ontario, where they will remain till the instinct to migrate up the creek returns next spring.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

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“Duffins Creek Rainbow Trout”

“Duffins Creek Rainbow Trout”

“I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins.”
― Khaled Hosseini

In what has become a springtime ritual for me, since discovering the phenomenon, some 20 years after living here, is walking the shores of Duffins Creek, near the town of Whitevale, and enjoying the annual trout run from Lake Ontario, to the Whitevale dam, where I have had some success photographing the trout trying to scale the ten foot tall dam.

To my observations, the run is not triggered by a particular week in the calendar, water temperature, or how clear the water is. The ‘run’ seems to to triggered by some combination of the hours of sunlight and daytime temperatures. Only the trout know what causes this urge to migrate upstream.

Along the shores of this creek grows a plant known as coltsfoot. It’s a small yellow flower, resembling a stunted, thick stemmed dandelion. The first blossom of this spring plant coincides perfectly with the trout run. We’ve had a mixed bag this spring, with temperatures early in the month above normal, yet the coltsfoot was not blooming, until recently. Low and behold, the trout have returned to the river for their annual pilgrimage to the dam. As noted above, the dam is ten feet tall and designed to keep this introduced species from migrating up the river and feeding on the native brown trout.

While they had not made it to the dam yet, I certainly enjoyed seeing the flashes of colour in the water as they fought their way past the current. I’m hoping to get back in the next few days to photograph the jumping.

The trout pictured above was hovering in the current in a relatively shallow part of the creek, providing me the opportunity to make a nice image, showing all his bright colours and patterns.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 250

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“November Fraser Shores” – Fraser Lake, Ontario

"November Fraser Shores"

A look back to last month, when I spent a few rain soaked days in the Fraser Lake area. This photo, made from the boat launch at the north end of the lake, encompasses a lot of what those days were like. It was still quite mild for mid-November, but a slow moving low pressure system had set up and filled three solid days with off and on rain, mist, and variable winds.

The mist created the nice layered effect of the trees on the far shore, while mid-frame, a few late migrating ducks take a rest just off shore.

For friends of mine who know the lake, you can see the Fraser Lake Camp ‘barge’ resting on the dock as well as the connecting bridge that spans the dual swimming docks.

For me, the image portrays the ‘resting’ time between a busy active summer on the lake and the inevitable winter to come. It’s a bit melancholy and that is the reason I chose to produce the image as a black and white.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/30 sec, @ f/2.8 -0.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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