"Remember, you are this universe
and this universe is you."
- Creek poet Joy Harjo
To answer a few common requests/questions Can I post a bigger size?
Done. upped to 1000px from 700pxIs it real?
Yes! The EXIF data is available lower right. DSLR, tripod, cable release, etc.
For some strange reason there are two versions of this photo. One that is long - wider than 1:2, and this one. They are both the same photo but I have no idea how I ended up with one that is long and one that is much shorter! It is a stitch of a few images but I don't remember making two attempts, or how I ended up with the difference. Friggen weird! Ah well, a anomaly that works well for me! May release the panoramic version at a later time.Where is this?
About 40km from a small town called Fort Smith near the Alberta/Northwest Territories border. The waterscape is a bend of the gargantuan Slave River (a mile across on average), which runs from mid Alberta all the way into the Great Slave Lake.
The water empties from the Slave Lake and becomes the Mackenzie River, feeding into more separate lakes and rivers and underground waterways than you might imagine. Most of Canada's water, and a large portion of the worlds fresh water, can be found in this region and Canada's north in general. The Mackenzie continues northward, where it empties out into the Arctic Ocean.
The waterscape is not an ocean
A few have made the mistake of thinking the shapes near the shore are waves. If you look closely you can see cracks in the "waves." It is just irregular shapes created on the spring ice because our melt takes several months. Are there really that many (viewable) stars where I live in the night sky?
Technically, for the most part, yes. This photo is by my estimate effectively one stop brighter than visible with the naked eye. In complete darkness (in the absence of light from the blue spectrum), a compound called rhodopsin begins to accumulate in the rods of your eyeball. After about 40 minutes it reaches its peak and is similar to raising the ISO sensitivity of a camera. This process is called dark adapting your eyes.
Combined with fully dilated pupils, the swath of the milky way and thousands of stars are visible. It is absolutely, insanely beautiful. I have been fascinated with it since I was young. I can't wait to buy a deep sky telescope.