Sunday, February 4, 2018

#2059 "Singleton Sunset Reflection"

From Thursday January 18th, 2018 in the Singleton Studio in front of a cheery fire in the wood stove...

The sunset at 5:45 pm on Saturday January 13th, 2018 was striking but what caught my eye was the very long line of cirrus. I admit that at first I thought it was a jet contrail. It was not. Firstly that would be a very unusual flight path for a jet from the northwest to the southeast. That line in the sky was actually a deformation zone. The cirrostratus on the western horizon was moisture with the next warm conveyor belt. Another winter storm was on the way and the story was reflected in the open water of Jim Day Rapids. The milder temperatures had opened up the rapids a bit more.
The sunset colours change at the speed of light. When those shades are gone with twilight they will not be back for almost 24 hours. The colours of ice are even more transient. Shades of blue and tourquoise come and go with the low sun angles. These ice hues are in sharp contrast to the brilliant reflections of the sunset in the calm waters of Jim Day Rapids. In some ways it is a shame to put all of this on a panel so small and rough. I used a lot of paint and wore out some brushes.
Winter wild life made good use of the opening. The otters seemed to think of it as their own. We watched them chase some trumpeter swans away. The swans returned to feed and rest so the wild life must have worked out some mutual agreement. In the one image below the otter was nipping at the webbed feet of the swans as they beat their wings just enough to gain the safety of the ice shelf. In the following image the otter had poked its head up through one of the many holes in the ice and was surveying the presence of the swans after it had chased them out of the open pool of the rapids.

There are many holes in the Swiss cheese ice of the eastern basin of Singleton Lake. The otters seem to go up and down at will and almost anywhere. They are very proficeinet hunters of the fish. Perhpas the fish are more sluggish in the winter. Regardless the otters seems to score another meal with each dive.

The swans a a couple of flocks of blacks and mallards have also been making good use of the open water of Jim Day Rapids during this cold La Nina winter. The otters typically try to shoo them along but they always come back to feed and rest.
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