All Bark and No Bite

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Sometimes I forget I have a blog.  Life takes over, and before I know it, weeks (sometimes, months) have gone by without an entry.

No matter how hectic things get, however, I never stop taking pictures.  My camera never gets put away.

In the backyard of the home I grew up in, there is a massive apple tree.  In spring, its blossoms are resplendent.  In late summer, its apples cover the ground below it.  Its gnarled branches have held my children while they galloped on an old tire horse, and shaded their play summer after summer.

Its age shows in its bark, but so does its strength.

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One Magical Morning

On Sunday morning, the trees looked like this:

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We had had freezing rain the day before, and the angle of the sun was lighting up the thousands of tiny frozen drops.  I hadn’t even noticed at first, having had my coffee and done some marking for school.  Then, when I was doing dishes, I looked out the window and it was simply magical.  I immediately dried my hands and grabbed my camera.

The trees were glistening in the light, but the first few shots I made didn’t truly capture how gorgeous they were.  After a few sharply focused shots, I decided to try something a little different.

The Glistening Trees wA Magical Morning wA Billion drops of sunlight w

These photos better captured the feeling of the moment.  It was truly magical.

Cactus on a Beach

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I will go to the beach until I can no longer go to the beach.

Wind, rain, cold – they don’t stop me.  Only when the snow covers the ground for the winter and makes climbing down to my favourite beach treacherous do I stop for the season.

On this bright, crisp, sunny day I dressed in layers and headed out.  I had checked the tide times, packed my bucket and my camera, and carried a snack in case I got hungry.  This time, I even remembered to pack tissue – if anything can send me home early, it’s that or the lack of a bathroom.

I expected to be alone on this chilly day, but when I arrived, a couple was already there.  With a bucket.  A large bucket.

My heart sank.

No doubt they were searching for sea glass.

I took a breath and went down anyway, hoping they hadn’t cleaned it out.  It took seconds to realize they were serious sea glass hunters, however.  The tracks always tell:  footprints woven up and down the shoreline showed they had covered every inch.

Sighing, I decided to make the best of it.  I had my camera, after all, and it was a beautiful day for a walk.

I didn’t find much sea glass.

What I did find was a tiny plastic cactus, swept up the beach by the tide.  I couldn’t resist a few shots of it standing on the sand, the irony of a cactus seaside not lost on me.

The cactus stands on my kitchen windowsill, now.  A reminder that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but if I keep my eyes open, I might find a fun little unexpected detail.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 25: Texture

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Around here, it is not unusual to see ATVs rolling by at the beach.  The expanse of shoreline and lack of crowds make it possible to travel the shoreline this way.  For a moment, the quiet of the beach might be interrupted by the passing of a driver; however, it is a moment only and I have yet to witness anything less than respect in this activity.

Wet sand lends itself to changes in texture.  These tire tracks are probably gone now, washed away by the tide.  If I hadn’t been paying attention, I might have missed the intricate pattern created by this brief moment.

#createmindfulness2017

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 23: Harmony

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Zen Life

On the beach, I search for sea glass, drift wood, and circular rocks.  I am drawn to curves and softened edges, items that have grown more beautiful from friction, from change.

Perhaps it is my Libra nature, but I am also drawn to balance.

These circular rocks represent harmony for me.  Their shape, their colour, and their texture are more enhanced by their arrangement and their togetherness.

The weathered wood and the surrounding space further create a zen feeling in the photograph.

Harmony is balance, calm, and a feeling of rightness.  It is an agreement and a pattern of likeness.

It is peace.

#createmindfulness2017

 

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 20: Details

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One of the things I love best about photography is that it forces me to pay attention to the details:  the way the light casts shadows; the contrast created by differing backgrounds; or the flowers that have fallen from the plant.

While photographing a brilliant red Canada 150 planter (Happy Canada Day!) on my parents’ back patio, I looked beyond the flowers to the table and spotted these dropped blossoms.  Instantly, I was drawn to the mix of textures and colour created by this composition.  I much prefer it to the photos I made of the flowers themselves.

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 19: Change

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The first “flowers” of spring:  dandelions.

They pop up along foundations, between crevices in sidewalks, bordering curbs.  They are the first splashes of colour, and then they, too, disappear.  Seemingly overnight, they change into fluffs of white, pompoms dotting the fields.  A breeze picks up the pollen and sends it on to new destinations.

Change is inevitable.

#createmindfulness2017

*Please bare with me while I catch up on many missed blog posts over the next little while.  🙂  Summer vacation is here, and with it, more time to write, photograph, and create.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 18: Nature

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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.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 16: Patience

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.

 

#createmindfulness2017