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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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!

I See Spring

It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Ottawa today. After work I sat on the back deck, sipped a beer, and soaked up the sun. It was so wonderful after such a horrible winter. Sadly, the weekend will be a bit nippy but I got some photos today that will remind me that, despite the set back over the next day or so, spring and warmer weather are definitely on their way.

Signs of life in the garden.

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Until next time…enjoy the little things. They’re often a sign of bigger and better things. 🙂

Oot and Aboot in Ottawa

Although it’s been fairly cold here in the capital, winter’s so bloody long that you might as well pull on your mukluks and throw on your parka and get outside anyway. Otherwise you’re facing some pretty severe cabin fever…RUDRUM anyone? I mean, what’s a little frostbite amongst friends? It’s a little war wound you brag about and compare severity. I’d rather that than starting to talk to the wall…especially since the wall doesn’t answer. I know. Don’t ask…just know that I know.

Anyhoo…

skatingOn Tuesday it was beautifully sunny so I grabbed my skates and headed off to the Rideau Canal Skateway. Now, if you’re not familiar with this world renowned skating rink, it is the largest in the world and a UNESCO heritage site. It is 7.8km long and a beautiful place for some winter outdoor exercise and enjoyment. The skateway is actually part of the man-made Rideau Canal Waterway which extends 202 km from Ottawa to Kingston. You can boat the entire length through a system of locks in the summer.

I don’t skate as often as I would like. It’s some effort to drive in from the burbs and get down to the canal, but when I do, it’s always a pleasure…once my shins have warmed up. Oh! The pain when I started! I decided to skate against the wind first and went toward downtown from Dow’s Lake for about 2.5 km. By the time I turned around, my nose was frozen but I was sweating under my coat. Luckily my shins had loosened up and the return skate, with the wind at my back, was wonderful! It also wasn’t busy so I had lots of room to toddle along.

I stopped to take a photo of the Bank Street Bridge. I love this bridge and the beautiful church you can see to the left of it. Whenever I drive along the canal I always want to stop to take a picture but there’s no way to pull off to the side where I would need to. I took advantage of being on the ice to capture it and also the beautiful, clear day.

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Today a friend invited me to go for a walk at Hog’s Back. I grabbed my bag of peanuts for feeding the birds and headed off. Now, if you’ve read this blog off and on over the years, you will have seen several of my posts on feeding the chickadees. It’s always a treat to have the wee things land on your hand and then flutter off with their food. Today, I couldn’t have my hand exposed for too long but I did manage to feed a few. The real treat today was spotting a Pileated Woodpecker. We heard him hammering away before we actually saw him. He was just magnificent. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my good camera with me and had to use my cell phone to try to capture him. The phone camera isn’t so good at long distant zooms but you can clearly see his red crest and black body in amongst the branches.

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My friend and I walked for a good hour and a half through the snow-covered pathways. She enjoys being oot and aboot as much as I do and it was a perfect morning for it. Now it has started to snow and I’m happy to be comfy inside. I guess you need a little of both to truly enjoy the winter.

Until next time…look for balance and enjoy being oot and aboot! 🙂 (and, by the way, Canadians don’t really say “oot and aboot”…I’ve never heard anyone, anyway…but we enjoy laughing aboot it)

Black and White Challenge

Back in early December I was invited to join in on a 5 day Black and White photography challenge on Facebook. The challenge involved posting one black and white photo every day for 5 days and each day inviting a new friend to join the challenge. It was great fun and very inspiring to see what my friends would come up with each day. I had planned to post the photos I used for the challenge here sooner, but today seems to be the day. So here they are!

Day 1 - My cat, Merkley
Day 1 – My cat, Merkley
Day 2 - Mists on Lac D'argile
Day 2 – Mists on Lac D’argile
Day 3 - Sun and leaf
Day 3 – Sun and leaf
Day 4 - Snow and Lamp
Day 4 – Snow and Lamp
Day 5 - Window Seat
Day 5 – Window Seat

Which one do you like best?

Until next time, hope you’re having some fun.

Icy Remnants

The cold snap has come and gone through Ottawa. We had some pretty frigid temperatures, especially the windchill which dropped to -40C (-40F) the other night. Just before the frigid temperatures, it rained and then froze leaving a layer of ice on everything, including tree branches and the most delicate of shrubs. It’s quite spectacular to see when the sun shines upon these tiny crystals that form. I’ve been dying to go out and photograph them but it’s been too cold (for me, anyway) to use a camera until today. Warm enough for a few photos, still cold enough to preserve the remnants of the big chill. These photos were taken in my yard. The first is of my Purple Leaf Sand Cherry and the second of what is left of my Basil plant.

Purple-leaf Sandcherry

Basil

Until next time. Keep warm and have a lovely weekend. 🙂