Canada Underfoot in Manhattan

One of the nicest walks we took when in New York City this past June, was along the Hudson River.  The Hudson River Greenway runs all the way along the western edge of Manhattan: we walked from 84th Street to about 57th street. At 84th you can get under the Henry Hudson highway, and before 57th it is very hard to figure out how to get back across the highway. (We had to ask.)  For most of our walk pedestrians and bicycles shared the same path, with pedestrians clinging to the outside edges as fit commuters pedalled north after work.

New York City, Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

New York City, Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Shortly after this section and beyond the rusting dock (note the CANADA geese) there were some interesting art installations (to come in a later Manhattan Monday post) and words carved into the walkway.

Saskatchewan Valley Canada - New York City

Saskatchewan Valley Canada – New York City

At this point the bicycles were on a different path so I wasn’t taking my life into my hands to get these photos.

Canadian Pacific Railway- New York City

Canadian Pacific Railway – New York City

I believe a rail line from Albany New York terminated near here. I can only surmise – because googling got me nowhere – that the trains owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway (Canadian Pacific Railroad is an error) brought grain from at least two of Canada’s prairie provinces (Manitoba and Saskatchewan) perhaps to be shipped overseas from docks along the river.

Manitoba, Canada - New York City

Manitoba, Canada – New York City

This is my submission to WordPress’s weekly photo challenge Beneath Your Feet.

Black and White Geese on Ice

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Click on the photo for a larger version!

A little while back I posted photos of ‘our’ flock of Canada Geese taking off for the day. This is one I hadn’t posted. Unfortunately we’ve had too much snow for the geese to find food so all but about 20 of them have flown on (to Toronto?) or much further south.

This photo was converted to black and white, and I added a bit of split toning in Lightroom: highlight hue 62 (beige?), saturation 13; shadow hue 188 (blue-green), saturation 22. I added the black corners because the photo looked old-fashioned.

Ben Rowe of Aperture 64 challenged me to post a black and white photo per day for five days and to challenge five other bloggers to do the same. (Yeah, chain letters for bloggers…) My first response was here.

Canada Geese Morning Commute

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Before the geese leave for the day, there is much stretching, wing flapping, walking around, and forming groups.  The photo above is of the west bank of the river.  The geese share the open water with ducks: mergansers, golden eyes, mallards and black ducks.   The photo below is of the upper end of the open water. You can see, by the line of greenish brown, where they spent the night!

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On this morning, they were taking off towards the north.  This gang looks like they’re walking to church in Vernon River.

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This group headed briefly towards me, then turned north to follow those who had already left.

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You can check out yesterday’s post which has photos of geese in the air and which talks a bit more about the habits of this flock of about 3000.

Canada Geese Taking Off

Much more photogenic when flying towards you than away.

Much more photogenic when flying towards you than away.

For five of the last six years, 3000 (plus or minus) Canada Geese have over-wintered overnight in the Vernon River next to our house. There is open water caused by the narrowing of the channel for a bridge, and by the fact that the river is still tidal at that point.

Heading east before turning north.

Heading east before turning north.

They leave in groups of anywhere from four (4) to 400 after they’ve warmed up in the morning and feed on whatever they can find left in the fields on our third (?) of the Island.

Three different departures

Three different departures.

Flying to church in Vernon River.

Flying to church in Vernon River.

They return, usually en masse, just after sunset. My en masse I mean over 2000 of them at once. A few others arrive early.

At night they gobble all night long, which is rather soothing. As they take off, land, or when an eagle flies over, they are very noisy.

All but one of the shots here were taken with a Pentax K20D and a Tamron 28-200 mm zoom at 200 (300 on a crop sensor) at 1/350 second and f 9.5. The one of the misguided geese directly overhead was taken at 100 (150) mm.

Yo. Everyone else went the other way!

Yo. Everyone else went the other way!

My goal for the rest of the winter is to get at least one decent shot of them all coming back together.

My neighbourhood in B&W

Winter on the farm.

Winter on the farm.

“Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver”
Gilles Vigneault

Now that I have a more portable camera, I often take it when going for a walk in the neighbourhood. There are farm fields around us and farms nearby.  The Seal River is the pure white swath in the photo below.

Farm fields in snow.

Farm fields in snow.

The margins of the rivers provide shadows and angles, water and ice, reflections and dried grass.

A rising tide floats all ice.

A rising tide floats all ice.

And geese. A photographic challenge every year. There are about 3000 of them in the river overnight each night.

Catch them landing with the setting sun making their bellies glow? Not this day. But I’ll keep trying. The day these were taken most of then came back when it was almost dark. These were the early arrivals.

Stealth fighters coast in to land.

Stealth fighters coast in to land.

Can you find the one walking on water?

Landings reflected in the Vernon River.

Landings reflected in the Vernon River.

More walking on Water.

More walking on Water.

Keep watching for more geese. I got carried away last weekend.

I wander into the snowstorm – today!

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Blow, blow, thou winter wind.  Thou art not so unkind as Man’s ingratitude. (William Shakespeare)

Another digression from China.

This is the community where I live.  This bridge replaced a causeway, and five years after it was built, Canada Geese started to spend the winter in the river.

This is the community where I live. This bridge replaced a causeway, and five years after it was built, Canada Geese started to spend the winter in the river.

The river where they stay is next to our house.  They arrive when the rest of the river freezes up and live in the open water from the flow under the bridge.

The river where they stay is next to our house. They arrive when the rest of the river freezes up and live in the open water from the flow under the bridge.

In the photo below the tide is going out and the wind is blowing the snow across the flow.

Yesterday was the last day of hunting season so the freeze-up was a bit early for the safety of the birds.

Yesterday was the last day of hunting season so the freeze-up was a bit early for the safety of the birds.

Goose #1: remind me why we didn't go further south?  Goose #2: I've forgotten the way.

Goose #1: remind me why we didn’t go further south? Goose #2: I’ve forgotten the way.

When it snows in PEI, it usually blows too.

When it snows in PEI, it usually blows too.

Off to the mailbox...

Off to the mailbox…

Next post – back to China.