Blossoms

Every year I can’t resist taking photos of my plum tree in bloom. This year it seemed to go from just budding to full blossoms in one day. It’s in full glory right now. The problem for me was trying to find a new and unique way to capture the blossoms. I mean, how many ways can you photograph plum blossoms? Well, happily I think I found one. What do you think of this?

Plum Blossoms

This morning I was up early and enjoyed the view out back of the rising sun capturing the freshly forming maple leaves. Interestingly, living in Canada my entire life, I’d never noticed that maple trees have blossoms too! I know. For shame, for shame. They just happen to be green and they’re quite lovely!

Maple Blossoms

These were taken with my cell phone and I continue to be impressed with the camera on it. However, hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to take a foray into the blossoming park-lands of Ottawa with my DSLR and capture some more.

Until next time, enjoy the nature around you whatever the season!

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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. 🙂

Wild Rose

It was obvious, 5 years ago, when we bought our cottage that the previous owners were avid gardeners. They were retired and spent most of their time at the lake taking care of what is a fairly large property. Since then, the garden has become sadly overgrown. I have just enough time to keep the lawn mowed and to clip the weeds and bush branches that have grown into the pathway. I so wish I had more time for the garden. It is full of beautiful jewels such as poppies, lupines, lilies, and flowering bushes. One flowering bush, in particular, has taken over one of the gardens. It’s quite invasive and I always curse it because it’s SO prickly – the Wild Rose. This past weekend, however, I had to admire it. It was in full bloom and even after a heavy downpour. The petals which look so delicate are actually very resilient. I decided to just let it be. It deserves it’s place there.

wild rose

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

Bits of Today

I am POOPED! I spent the majority of the day outside and now I could easily put my forehead on the keyboard and sleep. It’s amazing what fresh air and sunshine will do to you. With all my time outside, I did manage to take some photos. One in the garden with my Giant Red Poppies and several at Mooney’s Bay here in Ottawa. Hope you enjoy themzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Aptly Named

Many, many years ago I’d seen a very mature Bridalwreath Spirea, probably one that was about 50 years old, in full bloom. It arched gracefully over a path into a beautiful garden – almost as if it were waiting for a bride to walk beneath it on her way to an outdoor alter. It is, indeed, aptly named. Two summers ago, I got one for my garden. It is still small but this spring it is very pretty and adds a dash of elegance to my backyard.