Frozen Dawn On The Connecticut River

For photographers dawn and sunset are the ‘golden’ hours, the best lighting of the day. However during the winter dawn also is usually the coldest hours.

I had always believed the rising sun would start to warm the day. I’m baffled because the sun rise always starts a drop in temperature. Not for very long, but it happens, and it’s just wrong.

dawn_frozen_air
Dawn Frozen Air Connecticut Winter

Yesterday, at dawn, any moisture in the air froze. Any exposed skin didn’t fair well either.

As the sun came up over the river the first light cast a blue color on everything. The snow and ice reflected this beautiful blue light.

Dawn On New England Farm
Dawn On New England Farm

Within a short time the light slowly shifted from blue to an incredible honey color.

7 Below Sun Rise Connecticut River
7 Below Sun Rise Connecticut River

The cold and wind finally pushed us to leave but the short time standing on the river bank was a great way to start the day.

 

Winter Day On The Connecticut River

Monday started out with the temperature at -5, very windy, and deep snow due to the 3 major storms New England has just had. In general a day to hide inside, but I filled my pack and went down to the Connecticut river.

After a short 1/4 mile walk up river I spotted a Bald Eagle in a tree
near a small spot of open water. Eagles will seek out any open
areas, not frozen, since ducks and geese will be nearby.

In typical fashion as soon as I had pushed through the snow and was within range of a long distance photo he dropped from the tree and flew over the river.
It was bitter cold so I ended the eagle hunt, headed for home, and
satisfied myself with some small bird activity and warm coffee.  The small birds are not hard to find, but difficult to shot since they’re always in motion.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

The second part of the day was off to hike the hills around Gillette Castle.

The following images were taken from the Castle cat walk over
looking the Connecticut river. It’s frozen solid here as far as you can
see, which is several miles. An eagle came by but he was too fast and low to see until he was past and on the horizon.

(People visit this site from many different places so here is some Gillette Castle info. A subject for another time here.)

On the walk back down the hill we did meet a Red Shoulder Hawk in a cedar thicket. He sat long enough for a few quick shots, then quickly flew off toward the Connecticut river bank below.

Red Shoulder Hawk
Red Shoulder Hawk

The last of our planned stops for the day was the Chester/Hadlyme
ferry landing on the river below Gillette. Connecticut has the 2 oldest ferries in the US. This ferry and the Rocky Hill ferry up river. Several earlier posts on this site were taken at Rocky Hill which I visit ofter.

(These links, Hadlyme Ferry and Rocky Hill Ferry , provide more information)

At the end of the day, heading home from the ferry, I caught a familiar shape far off in the trees as we drove past a bend in the river. We quickly drove down a side road and were greeted by the sight below.

IMG_6084-1A pair of Bald Eagles were hunting from the trees hanging over the river. We were able to photograph them for quite a long time before they flew off to the woods on the far side of the river.

IMG_6099-1

Bald Eagle Connecticut River
Bald Eagle Connecticut River

Some days the New England winters are not all that bad.

 

Coywolf, Coyote and Wolf

I recently read an article about research on Coyotes and Wolves. Included was a vague location and photograph of a female.

The female is in the above picture, location just about where previous sightings were. So I posted some images to revisit this.

Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river
Coyote Meeting by the Connecticut river

Below is a quote from an article I found online from the CBC.

Canadian Broadcast Corp. —

“A new carnivore has slipped unnoticed into cities across the Eastern seaboard from Toronto to Montreal to Boston and even New York. A versatile, new top predator that feasts on everything from rabbits to deer to moose. Scientists say it is one of the most adaptable mammals on the planet but what surprises them most is how this remarkable creature manages to live right alongside us but just out of view. We share our parks, our streets even our backyards with these wild animals, that both fascinate and baffle scientists, but few of us have ever seen a coywolf.”

“Coywolves emerged from a thin strip of land at the southern end of Algonquin Park less than a hundred years ago. Their arrival on the scene marks a rare event, the creation of a brand new hybrid species. A formidable wild animal that has spread across North America at an unprecedented pace, returning a new top predator to territories once roamed by wolves. Zoologist Roland Kays of the New York State Museum has been tracking these new creatures and describes them as having “a coyote like skull with wolf like teeth”.

Winter Stained Glass

Driving back from a trip looking for new places to shot once the snow is gone we spotted this. Actually it was behind a barn.

Please click the image to enlarge and see the full stained glass colors in the snow.

Snow and Stained Glass
Snow and Stained Glass

Looking around I found the barn and other buildings were owned by a church down the road. The building is a small private prayer chapel.

TPJ Photography