Wolfe Island – Day Trip…. in February….. in the cold….

A lone deer and all his little turkey friends

So I thought I would take a break from posting about our adventures last summer because we did a day trip this past weekend. I will continue with our other adventures later on. I am getting slower as I get older, I am still editing photos I took in Algonquin Park in October!

Our friend, Tina, organized a day trip this past Saturday to Wolfe Island. Tina is a friend of ours and she started a Facebook Group called the Traveling Photographers Network. Basically it’s for photographers (we pretty much all know, or know of, each other) who want to get together and travel to sites to take photos of wildlife and landscapes. The trip can be just for the day or longer depending on where we go. It consists mostly of local photographers although there are a few from out of our area.

Wolfe Island is located directly opposite the City of Kingston (about an hours drive from our house) and it forms a natural boundary between Canada and the USA at the entrance to the St. Lawrence River. The Island is chock full of wind turbines which a lot of people do not like. I, however, do like them. I like the look of them and think they are an amazing source of energy. I think there are about 84 of them on the island, maybe more now. The Island is about 30,000 acres in size, about 20 miles in length and anywhere from 1-7 miles in width.

A napping fox

It was pretty chilly, I think it was about -16 Celsius but I bundled up! Lined pants, gaiters, mitts, several layers of sweaters, hot coffee and heated truck seats and I’m ready to go. We were in the lineup by 11 a.m. to catch the 1130 ferry, which is free by the way, and takes about 20 minutes to cross. We were able to catch up with friends we haven’t seen for awhile and meet some new ones. I believe the ferry can hold approximately 54 vehicles, depending on the sizes of course. We were not allowed out of our vehicles while on the ferry. Once off the ferry, we met up and then drove around the island in two groups looking for wildlife. Tina led our group and Bonnie led the other. I think there were about 16 people in total. We saw deer, turkeys (which I love to photograph) Snowy owls, hawks, Snow Buntings, a fox, Bald Eagles and a few other birds.

We went past the same spot twice to see the fox.

I have gotten quite proficient with photographing the back ends of animals. But that is fine with me, it quite often can give a unique perspective.

Oh no run it’s photographers!

I wasn’t fond of very many of my photos from this day but will post some anyways. The photo below shows a Snowy Owl in the tree, there is a wind turbine behind the tree. Too far away for a good shot but it does give an indication of what you need to look for, sometimes they are hard to spot.

Snowy Owl

So below is a Snowy Owl photo, I could have moved around to get a better shot but I didn’t feel like it lol. Owls aren’t one of my favourites unless they are doing something exciting, which this one wasn’t. I did play around a bit in Lightroom and then moved the photo to Photoshop to get rid of the wire but after a while I got tired of that so I just thought to myself, leave it alone! Based on the number of photographers out today I could take a guess and say there were easily 1000’s of pictures taken of this owl on the wire.

One spot we stopped at had a huge number of Snow Buntings flying around a family’s yard. They put out corn to feed them which is why there were so many in the trees.

We did spot a hawk and some Bald Eagles but my photos are not good, they were all too far away even for my big lens. But hey, I’ll put them here anyways to embarrass myself lol. Although I think the photo below of the hawk on a tiny branch is kind of interesting. I do love Bald Eagles and when they took off there was actually 5 of them. My photos from last summer of Bald Eagles were so much better but we were also so much closer to them.

As I mentioned, I love wild turkeys and as we were driving there must have been 30-40 turkeys fly in front of us going from one field over to the next. So amazing. I still think of that line from the TV show, WKRP in Cincinnati when they dropped live turkeys from a helicopter for Thanksgiving and Arthur Carlson, the Station Manager, stated ” As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” That line still cracks me up. They roost in trees so they do fly but I feel because they are normally on the ground people don’t think they do. My turkey photos are also not so great and I normally would not post them but I thought it was cute to see them all coming in for a landing.

Clint and I caught the 530 ferry off the island but the others stayed until after dark. It was an enjoyable day and didn’t feel as cold as we thought it would because the sun was shining so brightly. We have been to the island many times, even taking our bicycles over to bike the island. We will be back, at some point.

We had a great time and many thanks to Tina and Bonnie for organizing this lovely day trip.

Take care and stay safe!

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