In Newfoundland, the winters can vary from year to year. This year we have been experiencing extremely colder temperatures earlier than normal. This may frustrate some, but, not me. The colder temperatures have allowed the local waterfalls to freeze and start its picturesque journey into ice transformations ahead of schedule.
Only a mere 11 kilometres from where I live (Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) lies a wonderful paradise that many flock to during the warm summer months for a cool down swim, but, rarely do they hike it in the winter.
Stage One – The Landing
The landing is an area that many families flock to from June through September. It is a great place for younger children to swim under the watchful eyes of their parents. No brave souls dare to take a dip today. The water has carved out the rocks creating naturally moulded massage seats. You would normally see several people propped up along this area as Mother Nature relaxes them. Today, only the ice bits get that treat!
Stage Two – First Falls
The fast currents of First Falls are only recommended for strong swimmers who are daring enough to jump off the cliffs in hopes of executing the perfect dive. Trust me; it looks much more inviting when thawed!
The jagged cliffs have captured the snowflakes, while the cold Arctic air has quickly encapsulated the water and created layers of ice.
The roar of the water is deafening as the falls shows its might. The violent force of the water instantly creates a sense of caution. One can imagine that falling into these icy waters would not be a pleasant event.
Stage Three – Second Falls
Second Falls is the favourite swimming hole for many. It offers high cliffs, deep pools and several ledges to sit upon. Although there is a forceful water fall, the deep pool is calmly absorbing the pressure. The main pool is deep allowing for divers to jump off the cliffs into the inviting water below. This area is always crowded in the summer. But today, the pool of water remains empty as the temperatures would not lend themselves to a dip!
This cave has become a hideout for many explorers. They swim out and climb behind the wall of water. Camouflaged as they hide inside their own secret world. Today, it has become encrusted with ice. Not so inviting for a swimmer, but, certainly a photographer’s delight!
Art in the Ice – Branches of Delight
Lastly, a photographer cannot walk away without capturing how the cold mist envelops the nearby branches. These ice formations catch the light and offer so many dimensions for the eye to examine.
I hope you enjoyed taking this wintry hike up through Leech Brook. It is a true photographer’s delight that can quickly produce a hundred photos worthy of framing. I will return to do a summer version so that you can see the seasonal changes.