Monthly Archives: July 2017

“Bee and Thistle”

“Bee and Thistle”

“Mindfulness is not the path of chasing. It is the path of beautification. When flowers blossom, the fragrance spreads, and the bees come.” 
― Amit Ray

I stood among this patch of Canada Thistle, enjoying the activity of bees, bugs, and beetles, noting just how much activity there was. One could stand for only a few minutes and see the incredible diversity of life drawn to a single species of flower in bloom. As I stood and scanned over the thousands of tiny blossoms, I could not help but be amazed at just how important this colony of thistles really is.

To many, this weed field would be a wild and unkempt eyesore, were it not for the tiny purple flowers. The thistles stand over a meter tall, shaggy and thorn covered, yet they provide sweet, life sustaining nectar to a multitude of insects. It was also nice to see so many species of bees, from honey bees, to carpenters, and bumble bees, each busily gathering nectar and distributing pollen.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

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“Ebony Jewelwing”

“Ebony Jewelwing”

A small black gem,
floating on gossamer wings.
Flitting and fluttering,
till the summer’s end.
– Ed Lehming

A member of the damselfly family, this ebony jewelwing floated from branch to branch around me for several minutes before finally settling on a leaf.

It required a slow and cautious approach to get within shooting range and I only managed a few shots before it took to the sky once more.

I really enjoy the way jewelwings float and flit, unlike dragonflies and their deliberate and rapid flight. The wings seem to be so pliable and ineffective but the random flight protects them from predators.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0 ISO 200

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“Over the Weight Limit”

“Over the Weight Limit”

“Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

This one just struck me as funny. So often I see birds landing on plants that can barely hold them, but I would not have expected it from a fly. After all, fly weight is an expression for very light, is it not?

After running short of material, I went for a quick walk with my son today, to the reservoir just north of me. On the way there we encountered lots of wildflowers and insects, including this fly balanced on a grass seed, which is bending under the fly’s weight.

A simple composition, but satisfying, nonetheless.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

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“Coleus II”

“Coleus II”

“There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme” 
― Jacqueline Carey

As humans, we are programmed to see patterns, and nature provides us much to see. This coleus, has been growing in my office since late October of last year. I see it every day, as I come to my desk or look out the window. The plant is quite large now, large enough that the weight of the leaves is enough to make it unbalanced in the small pot it was planted in and many of the leaves are very, very large.

So, yesterday, I considered what to do with the plant, which has been ever present these past few months. As I was considering this, I became keenly aware of the repeating pattern of it leaves, especially the bright, fresh leaves of new growth. Of course, I could not resist making a photo of it, so I could appreciate it even more. I did take it into my studio, as the light from the office window was not ideal.

Now, as I look more carefully at the leaves, and their patterns, I’m fascinated by not just the repeating pattern of the layered leaves but also the great texture and colour patterns. You don’t have to go very far to find interesting things to photograph, you just have to be aware of them, even if they have been in front of you for months.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.3  sec, f/32.0 ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px

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Thursday Doors | July 13, 2017

“Private Parking”

This week’s submission to Norm 2.0‘s Thursday Doors.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world.

“Private Parking – Bath Ontario”

This door caught my attention, as do the many unusual doors I pass on a daily basis. This one struck me as funny. The door is the entrance to what looks to have been a small residence or business at one point. It’s now a storage shed, completely full of junk.

I am often left wondering at the stories doors can tell. At some point in time, somebody took the time to make a fairly unique door, or they purchased a unique door and made it fit the door frame. What made me grin is the fact that this ‘junk shed’ is posted as “Private Parking”. Though the building is along the Main Street of Bath, Ontario, a small town of some two thousand residents in south-east Ontario, it is unlikely that parking will be at a premium or that anybody in the near future will be parking there.

The reason I ended up in Bath, a town with Loyalist roots dating back to the late seventeen hundreds, and was the recent  Tall Ships Regatta (see my previous posts few if you like old sailing vessels). The town was, at one point, a major port and trading centre, till roads and railways bypassed the town, taking commerce with them. It now has a small dock and sheltered harbour, making it the ideal venue for the sailing ships to anchor.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1 ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Purple Coneflower”

“Purple Coneflower”

“Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance.” 
― Rodney A. Winters

As a continuation to yesterday’s post “Beginnings“, here’s a mature coneflower blossom. I struggled for a title for this and fell back to just the name of the plant. The intent was to come up with a name for the image that reflected the character of the plant.

As those who follow my blog regularly would know, we have had a series of strong storms in the area over the past few weeks, including strong winds and pea-sized hail. The coneflowers have withstood them all. Though a bit weather-worn, the blossoms are still quite nice, though I had to bypass a few which showed considerable damage before settling on this one.

In creating the image, I decided to show the entire plant, not just the blossom, as there is an abundance of close-up coneflower photos out there right now. I wanted to do something a bit different.

The next two days are threatening rain and thunderstorms so I am hoping to collect a few garden specimens to photograph before they too are damaged.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.3  sec, f/32.0 ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Beginnings”

“Beginnings”

“Maybe I don’t have enough beginnings in my life because I fought against the endings that were about to birth those beginnings.” 
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

As I surveyed my gardens this morning, I noticed that several of my purple cone flowers were already in full bloom, a nice change from last year when heat and drought caused them to put out very small, underdeveloped flowers, just big enough to produce some scant seed.

The flowers and even the stems this year are quite large, though some of the larger flowers are showing some hail damage from a few weeks back. There are, however, several large blossoms beginning to form into flowers. They are quite pretty in their underdeveloped state and catch the light nicely.

I’ve left this one in its natural state, including the many spider threads between the petals. It seems every flower has its resident spider, but this one seems to have temporarily vacated the premises. I like this ‘natural’ look, including the webs as it documents all the detail we often miss from a distance or first glance, a recurring theme for me lately.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.3  sec, f/32.0 ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“On the Ropes” – Tall Ships at Bath, Ontario

“On the Ropes” - Tall Ships at Bath, Ontario

“What’s in a life without Camaraderie? For setting sail on a ship with a band of merry brothers by your side is much more gratifying than drifting aimlessly on a boat lost alone at sea.” 
― Saim .A. Cheeda

This is not my typical photograph, but I could not help but be amazed by the young crew members of the Black Jack as they stood high above the deck and tied down the sails for the day.

The ship had already come to port and the deck was bustling with activity, each crew member performing their duty as part of a well trained team. Most of the crew members are quite young and participating in sailing camp and team building work. With the young women in the rigging, being guided by what I assume is a senior crew member, I thought the image of the team working together with the Canadian flag so prominent, was a great testimony to what has made our 150 year old nation so wonderful. It’s a lot of people, from different backgrounds, working together to a common goal.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

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“Empire Sandy” – Tall Ships at Bath, Ontario

“Empire Sandy” - Tall Ships at Bath, Ontario

“It had occurred to her many times that on board it didn’t matter where you were coming from or where you were heading. Each voyage had its own charisma. Like writing a book – word by word – or crossing a country – step by step – each minute had to be lived moment by moment.” 
― Sara Sheridan

This will likely be my last Tall Ships post. The ship pictured is the Empire Sandy and at 61.8 meters, is the largest ship in the regatta. Launched in 1945 and registered in Canada, it is a spectacular vessel to behold, with its white hull and bright sails, it makes most of the other tall ships look small.

By the time this vessel came into the waters off Amherst Island, the sky had brightened up considerably and the ship offered a beautiful side view, with most of the sails open. It also reflected nicely on the water, creating a very nice image.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“St. Lawrence II” – Tall Ships at Bath, Ontario

“St. Lawrence II” - Tall Ships at Bath, Ontario

“We clear the harbor and the wind catches her sails and my beautiful ship leans over ever so gracefully, and her elegant bow cuts cleanly into the increasing chop of the waves. I take a deep breath and my chest expands and my heart starts thumping so strongly I fear the others might see it beat through the cloth of my jacket. I face the wind and my lips peel back from my teeth in a grin of pure joy.” 
― L.A. Meyer

Above is yet another of the tall ships that made a stop at Bath, Ontario this past weekend. The ships came in all shapes and sizes, Some larger than others. The St. Lawrence II is a 21.8 meter Brigantine, registered out of Canada. It was built in 1953 and seems to be holding up nicely, I think primarily due to the fact that it’s hull is made of steel, rather than wood, though to see it on the water, that is not apparent.

As I stated in a previous post, this venue for viewing and appreciating these beautiful sailing vessels could not have been better. The ships came in, one by one as the crowds gathered on shore waited in anticipation. My vantage point was on a shaded patch of shoreline behind the beautifully preserved Fairfield-Gutzeit House.

The house, the oldest of three properties, and was built in 1793 and is open to the public for a small admission fee. It also houses the Lafarge War of 1812 Discovery Centre, which tells the story of Earnesttown (present-day Bath), the attack on the village and the flight of the HMS Royal George.

The house was a central location for the Tall Ship events and featured a beer garden and live entertainment for the entire weekend. For me, it was a quiet place to photograph from, away from crowds. It also made the arrival of the ships, one by one a thrilling experience, as they emerged, sails billowing, from behind a clump of trees. A grand sight indeed.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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