Tag Archives: Pickering Airport

“Backroads Colour” – 28th Sideline, Pickering

“Backroads Colour” - 28th Sideline, Pickering

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

A convenient five minute drive from my house is this little country oasis, which also happens to adjacent to the farm my mother in law grew up on. The the family was forced off the land many years ago when the property was expropriated for use as a future airport (which after forty years, has not happened, and hopefully won’t).

This beautiful country road is one of the few remaining in the area where maple trees lean over the road, making a tunnel of colour . I had visited two weeks ago and the trees were just starting to show colour. Then, I had to travel for a week on business. When I return this past weekend, some of the trees had already shed their leaves, but what remained was beautiful, nonetheless.

I’m believing this may be an abbreviated autumn, in terms of colourful leaves, we’ve already had several days of cool, wet weather, with strong winds, which has knocked a lot of the leaves down already. So, I drink it in while I can, make photos, when I can, and simply enjoy the season.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom
@ 70 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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“Frozen Falls in Altona” – Altona, Ontario

Icicles in Frozen Fall near Altona Ontario

Many years ago, just north of Pickering, Ontario, was a flourishing hamlet called Altona. There was a school, a couple of churches, a hotel and many beautiful farms, as well as a mill. In the 70’s the lands were expropriated by the Canadian government to build an airport. Well, the airport seems to have become a distant memory and the lands sat, essentially abandoned. The mill, and several other historical buildings, along Altona Road, were demolished a few years ago, as they sat decaying and neglected. The mill pont silted over to become a weedy meadow, indistinguishable for the surrounding fields. However, Duffins creek, the source of the former pond, continues to flow through and beneath the remnants of the pond and eventually, spills out over a small waterfall at the the end of the man-made pond. It’s quite interesting to find a waterfall in the middle of nowhere.

These ‘small falls’ have offered me  many photo opportunities over the years. I happened to visit them in the winter a few years back and they had frozen almost solid, over a few particularly cold days. The resulting ice sculptures were beautiful and the cool winter light made for some interesting effects and colours.

Above is a view of a small section of the falls which had frozen into a multi-layered formation of icicles. The day I made the photo was particularly cold and the photo captures this feeling quite well.

It’s sad that all that is left of Altona is a few shells of buildings and hints of things that once were, but there is still some beauty left in this mostly abandoned space and I can see why early settlers were drawn to the area.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 185 mm
1/60 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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“28th Sideline Fall Beauty”

28th Sideline Fall Beauty

This has been a beautiful autumn. Generally, by this time of the year, the leaves are down and it’s hinting at the winter to come. It has made photographing fall colors a real pleasure. Bright reds and oranges are everywhere with a nice mix of yellows and some splashes of green, from plants less susceptible to frost.

The photo above was made along the 28th Sideline, in North Pickering, Ontario. The old maple trees here create a wonderful canopy over the road and there is not much traffic. The road itself is in the heart of expropriated lands destined, at one time, to become the new Pickering Airport. Those plans seem to have been put on the back-burner and some lands have been designated parkland. These lands, still full of fertile farmland, have fallen into disrepair, with a few farmhouses scattered across the vast acreage. Fields are still actively worked, but it has lost the feel of a once vibrant farm community.

The one gain in this situation is that there is a lot of land that has not been absorbed in urban sprawl and large expanses of rural wilderness can still be experienced here. I go to this spot every year, and it remains largely unchanged. A fun fact for me is that the eastern tree line (on the left side of the photo) is the eastern limit of the farm my mother-in-law grew up on. I’m sure she and her brothers played in these trees at some time.

Nikon D300
Tamron 18-50mm f/2.8 @ 36mm
1/125 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 100

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