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McBeth Point and Cat Head, 1997: Part 2

March 27, 2012

Nick Butterfield (L) and I labour across the loose cobbles that make the walk toward Cat Head such a great workout (someone should design gym machines based on this principle!). Note the snow that still remains in June under the shadow of the cliff. (photo © David Rudkin, Royal Ontario Museum)

Last week, after posting that piece about fieldwork in the McBeth Point – Cat Head area of Lake Winnipeg’s North Basin, I decided that I needed to go through my slides to find more photos of the memorable 1997 expedition. Even better, Dave Rudkin has also sorted through and scanned some of his excellent images, so here is a further sampling from our hunt for Ordovician fossils in that beautiful place.

Since it is such a struggle to walk along that beach, it was wonderful to have a boat to retrieve our fossil "booty." Here, Dave Wright takes a morning fossil-pickup run in the Zodiac. (photo © David Rudkin, Royal Ontario Museum)

The dolostone at the tip of McBeth Point is full of beautiful white chert.

The pelicans love to haunt a spot just north of the tip of McBeth Point.

Most of McBeth Point consists of a narrow spit that extends far into the lake. Here, with a north wind, waves pile up on the north side of the bar, while it is calm and blue to the south.

In the evening light, the Goldfield arrives in McBeth Point harbour.

An evening bonfire by the old "mink ranch": (L-R) Nick Butterfield, Christine Kaszycki, Ed Dobrzanski, Dave Wright, and me. (photo © David Rudkin, Royal Ontario Museum)

Our tents sit on the concrete pad that remained from a burned building.

The sun sets into the North Basin.

Christine and Ed by the fire. (photo © David Rudkin, Royal Ontario Museum)

How are we going to fit all the people, gear, and fossils into two small floatplanes? (photo © David Rudkin, Royal Ontario Museum)

In the Beaver, I fill in the logsheet. These planes have such wonderful instrument panels, like the dashboards of 1950s automobiles! (photo © David Rudkin, Royal Ontario Museum)

As we fly out, we bank past Inmost Island (that is the Beaver's float in the foreground). Just yesterday we walked all the way around this little island, picking up trilobites and fossil algae as we went.

© Graham Young, 2012

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Lee permalink
    March 28, 2012 4:35 am

    Another Great post Graham! Excellent photographs by Dave…. very scenic : )

  2. Daniel permalink
    April 9, 2012 3:30 am

    Hi Graham, the photographs are not only nice, but they are in perfect condition as in the form of slides and after 15 years. Slides would be full of fungus even after 5 years. Do you use any special method to store them.

  3. Graham permalink*
    April 9, 2012 11:23 am

    Daniel, I haven’t seen issues with mould here as it is a dry climate. However, a lot of the slides had bits of dust on them, and I had to use the dust and scratches filter in PhotoShop to clean most of the skies and lake surface areas. Also, old slides are a bit washed out in comparison with modern digital images, so there was quite a bit of exposure adjustment and occasional boosting of saturation too – it is labour-intensive to work from such images!

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