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Decades ago the baymouth dunes at Sandbanks Provincial Park near Picton Ontario, Canada were bald. Years of agriculture clearing, and sand extraction for cement manufacturing, had eliminated all vegetation. The drifting sand exacted a kind of revenge by swallowing many acres of surrounding agriculture land...the road to the area was realigned at least 10 times and seasonal resorts were swallowed. Reforestation campaigns started around 100 years ago with limited success. The land that would become the park wasn't protected until the 1960s. Today, there is several species clinging to the arid environment, and the sand no longer shifts with vengeance. These Eastern Cottonwood trees are a prime example of adaptation.
I started my hike to this location early in the morning. I didn't have any pre-visualization in mind, because honestly, I was pretty grumpy. I hadn't slept well the night before and while I was walking out a strong wind picked up with cloudy conditions. Add to that the lower section of the trail was under water due to flooding so I wasn't too happy about being soaked to my thighs. I almost turned away. But as all landscape photographers know, nature can be sneaky, and by the time I reached the area in the photo I was rewarded for my effort with glorious clearing skies. I wasn't grumpy anymore. Due to the wind I knew that a tripod setup wasn't going to hold any details on the moving branches of the trees, so I waited for the light to improve and shot this image hand held at 1/60. Luckily around this time the wind began to settle so my shutter speed was fast enough to capture. Just like the trees, I needed to be adaptable to the environment.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor