Happy Place

grassy sunset gbSurprising to me, city girl, to have found so much to love outside of the city – pinkish sunset gbI go whenever I can, and am taken aback by the enormity of the quiet, the riotous colours and life teaming so softly – big sky sunsetSunset to dusk to deepest dark of night to sunrise again, and another day begins… bird spreads wings
geese fly past clouds
queen annes orange sunriseWeekly Photo Challenge – Happy Place

Musing on Georgian Skies

On July 3, 2012, when I’d had my first little starter DSLR camera for about 3 weeks and barely knew how to turn it on, I took the bus up to Collingwood for the first time, went for an afternoon walk and happened upon this scene –the tempest #1The wind was blowing, a storm was on its way in, and I was thrilled by the blasts of wet air, almost sea-like, and the dramatic clouds everywhere.diagonal busy cloudI walked. I took pictures. I marvelled.
At the time all that was expected of the experience was a relaxing week up north on Georgian Bay – I had no idea this was the beginning of something.ducks under billowy cloudsBut now, just about 3 years later, and many dozens of trips north with that camera and several others later, I can say…
Something happened.
Something grew.
That spot, happened upon by chance on a first day out wandering, and the surrounding hills and paths and parks, became my wild sanctuary, my muse, my special spot.canadiana new w rflctr

rocky shore

point, low clouds

the house on the hill

dragon cloud

Weekly Photo Challenge – Muse

Big lake, big thaw, splash of orange

Seven degrees today and everyone was out, the streets bustling again after so many cold quiet weeks and months.
Early in the morning I felt the pull down to the beach, down to the water, some deep hankering need to see the lake.ice, beaches in march 5Sigh….YES.  That expanse of water, so big it only freezes along the edges, the ice now melting and breaking off into mini-icebergs.ice, beaches in march 4What is it about large bodies of water that are so powerful, so enchanting?ice, beaches in march 7I lingered as long as I could, taking photos of nothing in particular, thinking again how photography is really just an excuse for other things – an excuse to be outside, an excuse to talk to people, a means to an end…
Wandering further down the beach there were more people, some of them exploring a series of architecture student installations, strange colourful creations around empty lifeguard posts.ice, beaches in march 1 w orange thingyOthers were walking their dogs.  One orange dog bounded happily down the beach and into the water, only to stop short as the iciness hit his legs and made him think again –ice, beaches in march w dogPoor fellow.
I thought immediately of another photo I had from the summer, of a dog bounding in just so, at precisely this same location, but his happiness was entirely unmitigated.
dog at beach, iphoneWeekly Photo Challenge – Orange

Unusual POV – bird sanctuary and more

20130906-153343.jpgToday was a bird day. Bit by bit I worked my way out into the folds of the bird sanctuary, knee deep in the water, scrambling on rocks increasingly covered in bird poo, assuring me I was in their territory. Many of them flew away at my approach. Others stared coldly. I waited. I figured if I hung out long enough they’d get used to me.
Wednesday was a mammal day. I biked some 36km to Thornbury and back, seeing bunnies and chipmunks darting across the path. On the way back, the sun going down, I passed through a patch of air so rank and funky I knew there was something big in the bushes, likely bear.

20130906-185633.jpgThursday was looking like it was going to be all cute little bugs – caterpillars and locusts and this very charming ladybug –

20130906-185850.jpgBut when I looked up from the rock where I’d cornered this poor little guy, a snake slithered past into a small tuft of grasses and a frog bounded away, saving himself.

20130906-190224.jpgThe snake both spooked and thrilled me – I haven’t seen a snake in years, had forgotten their creepy eerie magic, the way they glide effortlessly along the earth.
Riding out, I had to swerve to avoid a toad on the path.
Insects, reptiles, amphibians.
But today was birds.
Swans, geese, ducks, and gulls by the dozens. Their sanctuary so still and peaceful I lost interest in photos and simply contemplated the sky. And when a heron flew overhead, just 2 meters above me, I didn’t even turn on my camera but just stared at his strange pterodactyl body and listened to the faint metallic whoosh of his wings.
Peace.

20130906-190934.jpgweekly photo challenge – unusual POV

Sea (or not)

20130905-153305.jpgActually it isn’t the sea, it’s a lake. And in fact it’s only the bay of a lake.
But it’s pretty fucking huge.
And powerful.
And these days quite, um, cold.
But like look at that –

20130905-153618.jpgThat is one big body of water. And it isn’t even the biggest one.
Once I flew from Toronto to Winnipeg and we passed over Lake Superior. That shit went on for days. Huge, massive lake.
Not quite the sea, not the moody enchantment of the Atlantic off Maine or Connecticut, not the terrifying energy of the Pacific off Vancouver Island, not the inviting enrapture of the Caribbean but….works for me.

20130905-154345.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – sea

Focus / unfocus

egret fishingThe egret was fishing in his usual spot in the river – he can be found there most mornings. So I was taking photos of his strange egret-y shape, gangly and odd and awkward, he flying away further upriver whenever I got too close, moving us both further and further upstream, until I sensed something in the grasses behind me.
unfocus grassThere was a presence – or perhaps a flicker in the peripheral vision – of movement, of something, of someone.
And then I saw him – utterly still in an effort to remain invisible.
bunny in grassForgetting the egret now, eyes focused into the grass, I managed a couple of photos, but when I moved and looked again, I’d lost him.
Wandering deeper into the field, trying to track him down, I realized there were tiny flecks of blue everywhere in the tall grasses around me.
blue dragonflyThe entire field was filled with strips of blue, and now, forgetting the bunny after forgetting the egret, I focused on the dragonflies, many of them having their private moments in flight, hovering, or resting briefly on the stalks.
What an intruder I was to each of these critters, and yet, invasive human, I didn’t hesitate.
double dragonfly
Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus