New Year’s Day at Minette Bay

Photos from the annual local photographers’ walk around Minette Bay. The deepest cold passed, leaving ice everywhere. There was a heavy overcast and occasional fog.

A female bufflehead duck in the tidal flats of Minette Bay. (Robin Rowland)

Previous New Year’s walks

January 1, 2017
January 1, 2016

A snowy Remembrance Day in Kitimat, November 11, 2017

A near blizzard did not stop the people of Kitimat turning out for the Remembrance Day service on November 11, 2017.

Building a snowman before the Remembrance Day service (Robin Rowland)


Laura Mckenzie and Linda Lewis checking the wreaths prior to the service (Robin Rowland)


An RCMP officer leads the colour party (Robin Rowland)


The colour party (Robin Rowland)


The RCMP march to the cenotaph. (Robin Rowland)


The invocation, left to right, Dwight Magee, Royal Canadian Legion, Rev. Dr. Dona Lethbridge, Legion chaplain, Marg Bogaert, Royal Canadian Legion. (Robin Rowland)


Cubs and scouts at the Remembrance Day service (Robin Rowland)


Lucy Beatty of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary lowers the flag during the two minutes of silence (Robin Rowland)

A moment of silence. (Robin Rowland)


Veteran Jason Parrill lays a wreath on behalf of Canada. (Robin Rowland)


Anne Berrisford lays a memorial wreath  for Captain (Chaplain)  D. Schmidt. (Robin Rowland)


A cub lays a wreath. (Robin Rowland)


Mayor Phil Germuth lays a wreath. (Robin Rowland)


The wreaths (Robin Rowland)

A Mountie salutes during the playing of O Canada. (Robin Rowland)

A driftwood stump alongside a sea monster

The root side of a driftwood stump creates a wonderful pattern, January 1, 2017, at Minette Bay Lodge. (Robin Rowland)

While this stump, emerging from the icy waters of Minette Bay, sort of looks like a sea monster. January 1, 2017 (Robin Rowland)

Kitimat River estuary Christmas bird count 2016

Canada Geese on a take off run in the Kitimat River estuary, Dec. 17. 2016. (Robin Rowland)


I made the annual trip with Walter Thorne into the Kitimat River estuary on Saturday,  Dec. 17 for that leg of the Kitimat Christmas Bird Count.

We didn’t see as much variety as in previous years because the region had been the grip of an icy -15 C at least cold snap for the previous ten days. That meant many of the creeks and wetlands that were open in previous years were totally or partially frozen over.

Parts of the estuary were completely or partially frozen in the cold snap (Robin Rowland)

So that meant we saw lots of Canada geese and ducks.


Canada Geese flying over the frozen wetland (Robin Rowland)

And up into the trees. (Robin Rowland)


A northern shoveller. (Robin Rowland)

An American coot with a bit of a plant in its beak. (Robin Rowland)

A bald eagle looking through the gloom. (Robin Rowland)

A gull at the end of a snowy log. (Robin Rowland)

A Christmasy scene, ducks and geese by two evergreen trees. (Robin Rowland)


A New Year’s photography party on the mudflats of Minette Bay, Kitimat


As the tide goes out, the ice  covering a briny tidal creek collapses, leaving  patterned cracks. Minette Bay, Kitimat January 1. 2016. (Robin Rowland)

I spent New Year’s Day on the mudflats of Minette Bay, near Kitimat, with other local photographers.   At low tide,  of course.   Ruth and Howard Mills who run the luxury B&B the Minette Bay Lodge invited us for the photo walk on the ice and mud followed by  hot soup and great New Year’s snacks.

Most of my images look best in black and white.  There are few in colour at the end of the blog.


Looking across Minette Bay with Kitimat’s iconic Mt. Elizabeth in the background.  Just after noon the water was just a couple  of centimetres deep, covered in thin layers of ice.  The cold made the mud solid enough so that it wouldn’t be boot grabbing ooze you experience in the summer. January 1, 2016 (Robin Rowland)

minettebeach_1bwThe beach, covered in seaweed, snow and old logs looking west from the trail,  January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)


Looking west toward Douglas Channel, and the Rio Tinto aluminum plant with the winter sun low over the hills to the south. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)

The twisted roots of a dead tree lying on the beach in some ways reminded me of the Iron Throne. Game of Stumps, anyone? (Robin Rowland)

Walking back to the lodge along the creek trail. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)

Another angle on the creek from a bridge a little further along the trail. (Robin Rowland)


Ice on a chunk of rotten log on the mudflats. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)


An ice crystal floats on the thin layer of water on top of the frozen mud. (Robin Rowland)


The winter sun shines through the rain forest. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)


Happy New Year! Kitimat’s photographers celebrate in the middle of a day on the ice. (Robin Rowland)

Christmas Eve moonrise over Mt. Elizabeth


A rare Christmas Eve waxing gibbous (almost full at 98.4 per cent) moonrise over Mt. Elizabeth in Kitimat. (Robin Rowland)
Sony Alpha 55 at 200mm.


The moon rise over Mt. Elizabeth, 500mm Minolta mirror lens with Sony Alpha 77. (Robin Rowland)


About 20 minutes before moonrise. Mt. Elizabeth at dusk. (Robin Rowland)

The moonrise in November (about 20 minutes later so the sky was darker)