Tag Archives: Sauble Beach

“End of Day Cool Down”

“End of Day Cool Down”

“There’s a special quality to the loneliness of dusk, a melancholy more brooding even than the night’s.” 
― Ed Gorman

After a day filled with sunshine, family, volleyball, and too much food, a quick dip in the lake after the sun has set is in order. As I considered this photo of my son standing in the shallow beach waters at Sauble beach, surrounded by the incredible reflected dusk, I realized how strange it may appear to someone who did not know that the water is so shallow.

The beach is made up of long underwater dunes which reach far out into the lake. From the shore the water is very shallow and a few meters out, drops to about waist or even chest level, depending on the shape of the dune (and your height). The water then becomes quite shallow, again, as the next dune rises, say, knee deep. In the photo, my son is on the outside of the second dune, where the waters once more drop a bit deeper.

It’s also a bit of an unusual photo for me because my landscape and nature photos tend to deliberately omit people. In this case, I like the inclusion of the silhouetted form of my son, being part of the beautiful scene that spread before me, after the sun had already set. As a side note, I joined him in the water soon after this image was made, enjoying my own cool down and revelling in the beauty of dusk on Lake Huron.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/120 sec; f/1.8; ISO 32

“Purple Loosestrife” – Sauble Beach, Ontario

“Purple Loostrife” - Sauble Beach, Ontario

“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” 
― Euripides

Continuing on my “purple phase” theme, here’s a beautiful invader. Though a beautiful flowering plant, in Ontario and other areas where it was introduced as a garden flower, this garden escapee soon established itself in meadows and wetlands, crowding out native plants.

It spreads through rapidly spreading rhizomes and seeds. Each plant can produce over one thousand seeds. It also has no naturally occurring predators, so it spreads uncontrolled, though something, likely earwigs or slugs, seems to be feasting on the leaves below the blossoms.

The plant was spreading like wildfire a few years ago, but recent dry and hot summers seemed, coupled with human efforts to eradicate it, seemed to be taking its toll on the population. This year, which has been extremely wet, seems to have enabled it to bounce back and I’ve seen much more of it an areas where it has not previously occurred. SO the battle goes on.

It’s a shame that such a pretty plant needs to be so aggressively invasive. But, that seems to be a common theme. Plants are introduced from overseas because they are beautiful in gardens, but once they escape, without natural controls, they can quickly take over. The dandelion is perhaps the best known example. Imported for its food value centuries ago, it has now spread to every corner of the continent. However, as evidenced in this image, local insects wildlife also adapts and soon begins to eat the introduced species. Nature is quite adaptable, but with limits.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/60 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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“Spotted Knapweed”

“Spotted Knapweed Blossom”

“Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.”
– Jeremy Bentham 

What looked like delicate thistles from a distance turned out to be Knapweed. The dunes and roadside around Sauble Beach were filled with them. It’s yet another flowering plant that I seem to have overlooked in the past. I suppose it’s because I am deliberately looking for new wildflowers to photograph and learn about that I am finding these as well as many of the more obscure plants native to the areas I visit.

As I’ve said in a few previous posts, we’re now fully into the ‘purple phase’ of summer blossoms, with fields and roadsides filled with knapweed, thistles, vervain, and many more. I like this time of year for it’s diversity of flowering plants, though the rain and heat is taking its toll on the leaves and stems and I’m seeing many plants going dormant in preparation for the inevitable autumn, which thankfully, is still a while away.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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“Receding”

“Receeding”

“We’re always attracted to the edges of what we are, out by the edges where it’s a little raw and nervy. “
– E. L. Doctorow

Similar to my photo from a few days ago “Transitions and Sunsets“, this is another transition photo, made on the same shoreline, at a different time. The elements remain the same, but the light and weather conditions are different.

In this image, made mid afternoon, the water is beginning to recede, having been pushed ashore by high winds and waves. The small ripples in the water are the only indication of this wind, all else would seem calm, the timeless ebb and flow of waves on the shore. The effect the water has on the tone of the sand, making it slightly darker, is what first caught my eye, as well as the sorting of sand grains between light and dark, which is so common on beaches around here, creating the streaks of tan and gray.

It’s yet another image that I simply enjoy looking at and drawing meaning from.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/270 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

 

“Vervain Among the Dunes”

“Vervain among the Dunes”

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” 
― Rachel Carson 

I get great enjoyment photographing plants and animals in areas away from home and the sand dunes of Sauble Beach are no exception. I came across many plants which survive well in the dry sand dunes which bound the back of the beach. Many still need to be looked up and this one surprised me. A simple Blue Vervain in an unexpected environment.

Close to home, Swamp Vervain is fairly common but not Blue Vervain. The plants are similar, but differ in the shape of the flower spike. I was also expecting Blue Vervain to be more of a meadow or wetland flower, based on my experience, so to find it in the dunes was interesting. It did seem quite healthy in the dry environment, but I expect even the dunes hold surprising amount of water this year with high lake levels. The conditions may have been just right and nature continues to amaze.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/60 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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“No Volleyball Today” – Sauble Beach

“No Volleyball Today” - Sauble Beach

“All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.” 
― Arthur C. Clarke 

I made this image almost immediately upon my arrival at Ontario’s Sauble Beach. The forecast was for a mostly rainy weekend and our group had resigned itself that it might not be ideal for playing our favourite beach sport, volleyball.

As we drove towards the lake we were shocked by the immense waves, the like of which we had never experienced here, even during storms. After unpacking, several of us headed towards the dunes to check out the beach, which no longer existed. This is what we saw.

The combination of extremely high water levels in the Great Lakes this year coupled with steady winds directly from the west caused the water to literally stack up on the beach. You can sort of see the ‘stacking’ nearer the horizon, as the water from the deep lake hits the shallower waters of the wide beach about two hundred meters from shore. The wide, shallow sand bar acts as a buffer but the water still has to go somewhere and inevitably rolls over the sand bar and washes out the beach.

On a typical day, the beach front is about where the second row of waves is in the photo and the volleyball courts are about two meters above the lake level. On this day, expecting to miss out on volleyball due to rain, we found the courts under several centimeters of water.

The image does not effectively convey the force of the wind or the water, as the height of the waves is limited by the shallow waters, it became a high wild chop. Needless to say, it was a ‘wild’ day. So, between gale force winds and high water, there was no volleyball to be had.

By the next day, the winds had died off, the waters had receded, and as the sun warmed the ground, the beach was drying out, leaving us with pristine, flat surfaces for the rest of the weekend. A total change for this scene which greeted us on arrival.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 100

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“Honeysuckle”

“Honeysuckle”

“I drag myself over to the honeysuckle bush and pluck a flower. I gently pull the stamen through the blossom and set the drop of nectar on my tongue. The sweetness spreads through my mouth, down my throat, warming my veins with memories of summer.”
– Suzanne Collins

I don’t believe there are many fragrances that compare with honeysuckle on a warm summer evening. As I walked the narrow roadways and access points at Sauble Beach this past weekend, the fragrance hung on the air, sweet and full of memories, as the quote so aptly describes.

There are entire fences, heavy with honeysuckle vines. I could stand there for hours drinking in the fragrance and marvelling at the complex flowers, as hummingbirds and bees feast close by. Of course, I could not resist the temptation to photograph them for future enjoyment, just without the fragrance, which will remain a memory to be savoured.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/50 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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