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.
When winter drags on (and on), I have to get creative to find subjects to photograph. It will be weeks before the snow melts and we are able to see the sand on the shorelines. So I lose myself in indoor activities: reading, knitting, writing, and making pictures.
This weekend, I played with sand and stones in a mini zen garden. Partly, this was to create pictures; and partly, this was to remember what summer felt like.
Eventually, the snow will melt (if it ever stops falling), and I will be able to get out with my camera again. Until then, I’ll pretend.
On Sunday morning, the trees looked like this:
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.
These photos better captured the feeling of the moment. It was truly magical.
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.
There is no calm like the silence of a hot summer night.
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.
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.
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.
I’m a little behind on my photo challenge… Quite apt for this theme: Imperfection.
This little beach find is perfect for my imperfect theme. It is slightly cracked, softened by the sea, speckled by the sand, and faded by the sun. Yet it remains intact, traces of vitality evident in its lines and shape.
Once a vibrant protector of life, it is now vacant. But the story of life resides in its curves, the scent and sound of the sea still alive within it.
It is imperfect, but it is still beautiful.