January Adventures With My Snowy Owl Mittens

These are my Snowy Owl mittens.  Aren’t they the cutest?  They even have different personalities. With two layers of warm wool,  my hands have never been warmer when I’m out and about. I have had chronically frozen fingers in winter ever since I can remember.  Thank goodness these mitts came into my life now, as this January has been a cold one!  They were made from repurposed coats and sweaters by my dear friend Maria.   She knows.

Where did these mitts and I travel this month and what did we find?

Well, we spent a lot of time down by the north shore of Lake Ontario.   The ice formations there are spectacular!

Paper thin leaves of ice form on calm days.   Over time the ice piles up and the wind and waves build surreal sculptures.

Miraculously, this chilling landscape is home to some very resilient wildlife.

Snow buntings fly overhead in large flocks, chittering softly.   I managed to catch this one by itself for a little photo shoot.

Mute swans feed at the ice edges all winter long.   When it gets really cold, they tuck into a little ball and snuggle into their downy feathers.

I’ve had a couple of encounters with this young female Snowy Owl out on Gull Island.   She is perfectly at home floating around on the chunks of ice on the lake, watching the ducks float by.

Here she is surveying the breakfast menu at Presqu’ile Park.


Foxes can be seen running out on the ice searching for food.   This beauty was seen on Amherst Island, after it came to shore.

I also found this very hungry turkey feeding on sumach berries by the lakeshore.

I spent quite a few afternoons this January chasing sunsets.   I think winter skies are the moodiest and most fascinating skies we get all year.

I have a little glass ball (best $20 I have ever spent) that I have been playing around with to capture the sunsets in a different way.   If you look in the ball upside down, you will see the whole scene captured inside.  A little bit of fun with refraction.

Different day, different sunset.   Softer, cooler colours.   And speaking of cooler- I know my hands would have frozen without my snowy owl mittens this month.

Goodbye January!

Can’t wait to see what miracles February will bring.   Thanks for the mittens, Maria.



  1. Wow, beautiful Leslie! And I love the mittens. But what do you do when you’re shooting? When I take my mitts off to take a picture my fingers almost immediately hurt with the cold.

  2. Leslie … I really enjoy your blogs … you bring me closer to nature .. in each and every season … your photos are more than awesome … and happy you have lovely warm and unique mittens to keep your hands warm … thank you for the time you take post and never disappoint .. cheers to you … Carole …

    • Thanks for writing Carole. I am out a lot looking and I don’t always find much but the surprises make it worth it for sure.

  3. Really enjoyed your January photos, especially the ice leaf sculptures and the Snowy Owl. The crystal ball shots were neat, too. But the turkey image really blew me away. As a nature photography judge, I’d say this one would be a big winner!

  4. Wonderful work Leslie…a beautiful softness to the images which I like very much!

  5. You are full of talent and eloquence. A beautiful soul. ❤️

  6. I knew these mittens would have wonderful adventures with you. I’m so pleased they are keeping your hands and fingers warm so you can continue to capture these incredible moments.

    Thank you Leslie.

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