Forsythia and Other Garden Discoveries
Until very recently, I had no idea what grew in my garden.
We moved here in the fall, when I was starting a new teaching position and spent all my spare time unpacking and planning. There was no time to explore the yard, and soon the plants were buried in snow.
Spring came late this year. Now, though, I can enjoy the bursts of colour coming up. Crimson tulips, pink rhododendron, and bright yellow forsythia. Soon, I will have blossoms on the apple tree and hydrangea. I’m almost certain one plant is an astilbe; another I think is a dahlia.
Nature provides much beauty, but in spring it’s the flowers I enjoy the most.
Things that give me energy:
- Light (sunlight, truthfully)
- Salt air
Two pink doors, side by side, simply begged to be photographed.
For starters, I have always been drawn to the colour pink. Pink in any shade appeals to me: coral, champagne, or watermelon. So when I spotted these doors, the only logical thing to do was to make a picture.
They are almost perfect symmetry, twin doors separated by stripes of white and blue with identical silver knobs. Salt air and rain have aged them separately, however. It seems one has been more affected than the other.
Soon, these doors will open to ice cream and summer breezes. Sand will be tracked over their thresholds. They will be witness to sandcastles and sunburns.
I can’t wait.
Testing my Patience
April is the ultimate test of patience:
Shivering in spring jackets, because we can no longer stand to layer ourselves in winter wear; fingers icy because we refuse to wear gloves for even one more day; wiping snow off the car with our sleeves because, frankly, we are fed up.
Watching the snow melt, only to wake up to earth covered – once again – in snow; waiting for the ice to break up in the bay; driving deliberately through puddles so the spray scatters onto snowbanks in the hopes they will melt just a little bit more.
Patience brings rewards, too:
That first glimpse of salty water under the bridge and rivers beginning to flow once more.
An edge of lawn; a blade of green grass.
Sand and waves and a single piece of sea glass.
April can be a cruel month, but the rewards are worth the wait.
There is potential for art in so many places.
In the winter months (and in Northern New Brunswick, it still looks very winter-y outside my window!), I find this most challenging. Gardens and beaches and backyards are my go-to for photography. While there are plenty of beautiful possibilities in the snow, I much prefer the opportunities brought by warmer weather.
Indoor photography is a great place to practice awareness. It is a challenge to notice the tiny details of daily life, to appreciate the the normally overlooked compositions in the home.
This silver paperclip stood out from the rest, catching a glint of light coming through the window.
Art is everywhere.
Connecting the Years
In my daughter’s collection of doll clothes are a few items kept from my childhood.
This tiny embroidered dress is one of them; I can clearly remember dressing my own dolls in it when I was her age.
I’m happy I kept it. It somehow connects her childhood with mine, the years in between disappearing for a moment. It is also a connection of how many of the things I loved have become the things she loves.
Fresh flowers are beautiful, without question.
There is a certain allure that comes with age as well. Forgotten flowers, with their papery petals and crinkled edges, are no less beautiful. Faded hues turn sepia and thin veins become more evident. Their layers are compressed, holding on to the last drops of moisture, the last moments of life.
Time is a fragile beauty.
Photography is all about perspective (as is life).
Mundane objects can become surreal art through a macro lens. Tiny details, normally overlooked, take on new possibilities when studied and appreciated.
The morning sun on the kitchen table changes colours, creates reflections, and lights up salt shakers. Suddenly, salt is art.
Salt is also an accidental self-portrait… Look closely. 🙂
It seems counterintuitive to think of ice as a sign that winter is coming to an end. But these odd formations have appeared in my backyard, below the eaves of my house. They are the result of snow melting from the roof. Although it is still cold enough that it freezes, this gives me some hope that winter is near its end.
There are many ways to enjoy winter in Northern New Brunswick: skiing, snowshoeing, skidooing, skating, and sledding. By the time spring officially arrives, however, I am ready for its end. I crave flip flops and walks on the beach, campfires and balmy summer nights. I am done with all the whiteness and not being able to see around corners when I back out of my driveway.
We are not done with winter weather yet, but at least there are signs that it is beginning to end.
My daughter wanted to do a photo shoot with her American Girl Doll, Rosie. In one of the shots, the doll is literally balanced on a bicycle.
Life and parenting are a lot about balance: Time spent between work and family, between taking care of the house and taking care of the children, and between busy schedules and time for relaxation.
Making this photo was about balance, too: Stealing a few creative shots while also setting up fashion shots for the doll. I got to take pictures and spend time with my daughter; my daughter got to play dress-up and share this with me.