Rainy, Fall Day in the Country

My daughter has taken up horseback riding which requires us to be at the stable by 10:15 Saturday morning every weekend. Normally, running kids to lessons – especially ones a drive away – is an onerous task almost every parent endures. This lesson, however, has turned into delightful activity for both of us. She rides. I photograph.

I’ve become quickly recognized around the farm for photographing just about everything. It is fascinating for me to find beauty in every day things and that’s normally what I search for. This past weekend, however, nature just handed me a cornucopia of colour and beauty that I could not resist. The rain brought out already brilliant colours and the grey skies served as a soft and mottled background.

I stopped multiple times along the highway to capture various shots of fields and forest. I also, to my great joy, found a path – a section of the Russell-Prescott Recreation Trail – only minutes from the horse farm. And what a stunning canopy and carpet of coloured leaves it displayed! Please enjoy the photos below!

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Christmas Bug

Yesterday I went with a friend down to the Glebe area of Ottawa and wandered around some of the stores there. Before going I’d made sure my phone was fully charged, as well as my DSLR camera, in case I wanted to take some photos. Another friend of mine had started posting photos of beautifully decorated Christmas trees on Facebook and I caught the bug. I figured there may be a few stores with some nicely decorated trees and I wanted to make sure I captured them. One store, in particular, Bank Street Framing, was decorated to the hilt. It was kind of magical and many of their decorations had a unique twist to them which made browsing in their store quite enjoyable. I took a few photos and thought I’d share them here – although you will note not all are of Christmas decorations (I got a little carried away). I plan on trying to capture as many nice decorations as I can over the next few weeks and I’ll make sure to post the good ones. Making the most of the season. 🙂

Summer Vacation 2014 – First Leg – Georgian Bay

Hello all! I’m here in Prince Edward Island and have finally had time to take a breath and go through the hundreds of photos I’ve taken in the last week. I can tell you that it’s quite an overwhelming undertaking. However, I did divide them into the different legs of the journey which made sifting much easier. We have crossed four provinces and have driven almost 2,300 km in a week. We’ve visited my Dad in Georgian Bay, taken the kids to La Ronde in Montreal, toured historic Quebec City, made a quick stop in Fredericton, and are finally resting a few days near Alberton, Prince Edward Island before heading back to Ottawa.

Georgian Bay is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Ontario. My Dad and his wife are fortunate to have a lovely cottage in the area of Honey Harbour. Although they don’t look out onto Georgian Bay itself, they have a gorgeous view of a smaller bay that is relatively quiet and sheltered. Although the skies were overcast all weekend, it did not stop the kids from swimming. They had a choice of going in off the dock or splashing in the sandy beach area. Aside from 1000 shots of them jumping into the water and searching for fish in the shallow waters, I spent the rest of my time taking nature shots.

The most frustrating thing in the world is to try to take a photo of a Loon. I swear that they purposely taunt me by appearing just close enough to shore that my zoom lens can barely make them out or by popping up right next to the dock when all I have with me is my cell phone. Then, just as I’m about to take the shot, they dive under the water and, after what seems like an eternity, pop up again 6 miles away. So, you’ll forgive me if the shot I’m displaying here is not entirely crisp but it’s the best darn photo of a Loon I’ve ever taken.

Loon Georgian Bay

The other photo of a bird I took was purely out of curiosity. I wasn’t sure what it was. It was soaring like a Hawk but was far too large to be a Hawk. It seemed much too graceful to be a Turkey Vulture, and yet, that’s what it turned out to be. I had never realized that Turkey Vultures have beautiful silvery wings, but as it dove and soared over the cottage, I could see them glistening in the sun. I’m rather glad that, due to my distance from the vulture, I wasn’t able to capture a clear shot of its face. You can, however, see the red around the eye and the yellow beak if you look closely.

Vulture GB_sm

The Muskoka Chair is kind of a cultural icon especially in areas North of Toronto. It is the Canadian version of the Adirondack Chair. There are subtle differences if you look closely. It seems almost like a faux pas if you have a cottage and don’t have one of these chairs. The well crafted ones are very nice and are quite comfortable. I liked the secluded location of this one in the photo and thought, if I had time to myself, I’d like to curl up in it with a good book and enjoy my surroundings.

Muskoka Chair GB_sm

Of course, I have to include a few of the flora as well so here they are – Lily Pads and Daisies.

I’ll return soon with stories and photos from Quebec. 🙂

Beautiful Peonies

I went through Wakefield, Quebec today as I usually do on my way home from the cottage. It’s a beautiful spot along the Gatineau River with lots of good places to eat and lovely little boutiques. The scenery is wonderful and the town, itself, has protected it’s quaintness which works to its advantage. Behind the bakery where I stopped for freshly baked baguette and beignets, aptly named The Wakefield Bakery, there was a lovely sitting area that was reachable be stone steps. The steps were lined with Peonies on one side and Queen Anne’s Lace on the other. How delicate and lovely! More of a treat for me than the baked goods.

peony

peony_path

The Story of the Sand Cherry

I had seen Purple Leaf Sand Cherries before but, up until about 10 years ago, I hadn’t realized how pretty they were in bloom. At that time I drove out to Strathmere , near Ottawa, where the entrance to the beautiful old home that stands on the property (now an inn) is flanked by Sand Cherries. I was taken with their appearance, almost oriental in their delicate beauty. I decided I needed one for my garden and planted one that summer.

The one I have, which has filled in the space between the deck stairs and the fence, has grown above the height of my deck railing, about six feet. Happily, I can admire it from my dining room table. Last year, I added another one to the other side of the stairs of the deck. I can’t wait for it to grow to the same size.

Yes, they only blossom once a year, but it is so worth it. The rest of the year, I can admire their unique purple foliage. Love. 🙂

Sand Cherry

Tulip Photo Fun

I don’t very often use a photo editor for my pictures here. At most, I’ll balance them a bit or crop but that’s it. I took this photo of a tulip in my front garden and loaded it into Pixlr Express just for fun. Although I love the original, I also really like the effect. Tulips are beautiful anyway and because they’re so diverse in colour and shape, I find them fascinating.

original tulip
This is the original. I think it’s rather ethereal looking.

tulip
This is the one altered in Pixlr Express. I love the detail it brought out. (Apparently I rotated it too).