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!

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. 🙂

Pictures from a Year Ago

We Canadians here in Ottawa were celebrating joyfully these past few days as the temperatures rose above 0C (32F) for the first time in a long time. It has been years (20, to be precise) since we’ve had such cold temperatures and for such a length of time. In Ottawa, February was the coldest ever recorded! As Brackenreid (from one of my favourite shows, Murdoch Mysteries) would scoff “BLOODY HELL!”.

Occasionally, I’ll look back at my photos from the same day a year ago (or more) just to see what I was up to or compare weather, etc. Interestingly, I discovered my photos from March 8, 2014 revealed a scene not unlike that of yesterday. I remember taking those photos and how thrilled I was to see the results of the thawing snow forming large puddles on the walking path. I took a similar delight this year…and probably have every year of my life!

It will likely be a bit of a temperature roller-coaster until May, going above 0 and then dipping below again but I won’t be surprised to see most of my compatriots running around in T-shirts by the time it hits PLUS 10C (50F). We’re a hardy and slightly “off the rocker” bunch…and we LIKE it that way!

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Until next time…be sure to dress appropriately for the weather! 😉

Sunday Check-in: Friends Who Publish II

It’s Sunday AGAIN! Seems to me it was just Wednesday! It’s been an exciting week…not so much for anything related to my accomplishments but rather those of friends. And I’m very happy for them. Whenever friends publish books I like to announce it here. So, without further ado, these are the latest and greatest (that I know of) coming out of my Ottawa writer/friend pool.

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Rose D. Franklyn has published her second romance book in her series entitled Sex and the Seasons. The first book was Spring Fever and Black Chocolate, and the latest is Summer Passion and Forbidden Fruit. I’ve already downloaded Summer Passion on my kindle and am looking forward to digging into it. If it’s anything like Spring Fever, it’s sure to be a steamy treat. The book is available on Amazon.com in paperback or for the Kindle, and for the Kindle on Amazon.ca.

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Sonja Lishchynski has published her first children’s book called Montecristo Travels to Pisa. The inspiration for the story is Sonja’s little Chihuahua named…Montecristo…who travels everywhere with his “parents”. Sonja has created a very informative blog about traveling with pets (dogs in particular). From these numerous blog stories, I imagine, there is fodder for this beautifully illustrated book (illustrations by Allison MacAlister) to become a series of wonderful adventures sure to thrill young audiences. This book is available in English and French paperback from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.fr.

20150306_193623My daughter absolutely adores Monte and her very own signed version of the book. 🙂

Until next time…happy reading! ❤

Mid-week Check in: Attending a Reading

Andrew Pyper
Andrew Pyper introducing The Damned.

Last night I attended a reading for the first time in my life (as far as I can remember). It was the through what is called the ChiSeries (Chiaroscuro Reading and Workshop Series) Ottawa. The ChiSeries organisers brought in three highly acclaimed Canadian Horror writers who are currently doing a tour across Canada known as The Dark Side II: Highway of Horror (presented by Simon & Schuster Canada). Andrew Pyper, Rob Pobi, and Nick Cutter thrilled the audience (or perhaps horrified us) as they read passages from their new works. At the end of a fairly casual session, during which the audience had breaks to peruse the works for sale (and likely purchase), there was a wonderful panel discussion and the audience was invited to direct questions to the authors. This was really interesting and introduced the audience to the minds behind the works.

I have to say, I’m not someone who reads horror. In fact, I avoid horror at all costs and in every medium. When I was young and foolish, I would watch horror films or read authors like Stephen King and spend weeks cowering under my covers at night sweating through numerous bouts of nightmares. I had several reasons for going to this particular reading, though. First of all, I’ve been interested in attending more readings and I wanted to see how the ChiSeries ran their events (wonderfully!). Secondly, I happened to have gone to high school with one of the authors. Now, high school was a long time ago but even when your life has taken you somewhere completely different, it’s nice to reconnect with those you enjoyed talking to way back when and to see someone from your hometown excelling in their chosen field (especially since his “chosen field” is my passion). I’m not gonna name drop…but that’s him in the photo.

ROW80LogocopySo, although I still haven’t done any work on my WIP, I did purchase three books last night. Two are written by Andrew Pyper (The Damned and The Demonologist) and one called Town and Train by a local author, James Moran, who happened to be in the audience. The books will likely lie on my night table until I screw up the courage to read them. Although I’m eyeing them with some dread I’m happy to have supported these authors. Also, Andrew did assure me that his books are more psychological thrillers than horror…so I’m holding you to that, Andrew! I will continue reading The Cellist of Sarajevo for now and we’ll see where I go next when I’m done that one.

Until next time…BOO!!! (that’s the extent of my horror writing) 😉