Monthly Archives: August 2019

“Ramer Farm – Late August”

“Ramer Farm - Late August”

“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” 
― Aldo Leopold

I instantly fell in love with this quote. Spending any time at all on a working farm makes you realize just how precarious our food supply can be, that it requires constant work to yield any kind of crop, and that deep green fields can be among the most deceptively hot places you will ever experience.

Earlier this week I stood in this place looking at my wife’s late cousin Paul’s farm from a new angle. We were meeting with staff from Park Canada and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority to discuss a wetland restoration project that was planned in a parcel of low pasture land, which is seen here as the tall grass area just behind the tree stump. This area is fed by several springs just north of the property and, in the past,  provided a water source for Paul’s dairy cattle. Some time prior to his passing, Paul gave up his cattle herd and focussed on grain crops and the pasture sat generally idle, with the exception of a few cattle he allowed a friend to pasture there.

Standing here and reviewing the restoration plan and surveying the idyllic scene before me gave me a whole new appreciation for just how tightly interwoven our natural surroundings can be, even in a developed area like a farm. From here I see layer after layer of different environments unfold before me, from the bright green hay field, to the wetlands; the feed corn that grows on the flowing hillsides, till they meet the summer sky, with its billowing clouds. Among this multi-layered landscape, the barn and farmstead sit like a guardian, overlooking it all.

I know that Paul was involved in the process of developing this portion of Rouge National Urban Park, but sadly, did not survive to see it fulfilled. But, he left us his legacy in this little slice of paradise he called home for so many years.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)



“In the Heat of Summer”

“In the Heat of Summer”

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
― Henry James

Indeed, a bright, warm summer afternoon. Among my favourites, despite the lingering heat, there is a sense of comfort. As the day runs on, even the flowers nod their heads in repose.

The image I chose for today’s post was made at my wife’s late cousin’s farm as we dropped by this week to check in on the property. This lone sunflower sat along the laneway by the barn. It seemed out of place, but somehow appropriate and a real delight as I surveyed the farm scenes around me.

It was a warm summer afternoon and the ‘feel’ of that particular time and place is captured in this image. The puffy summer clouds float lazily in the distance as I stood enjoying the intricate beauty of the sunflower’s face. A simple image with all the colours and emotion of late summer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Breezy” – Bay of Quinte

“Breezy” - Bay of Quinte

“The wind skimmed the waters of the bay, creating infinite tendrils of foam that stretched as far as the eye could see.”
– Ed Lehming 

For me this was a rare opportunity to photograph a scene which I have seen and enjoyed several times over the past few years. It’s a view from the highway 49 bridge over Telegraph Narrows at the eastern end of the Bay of Quinte.

The bridge joins the mainland with the peninsula that makes up Prince Edward County. It’s a fairly high and expansive bridge and offers wonderful views ,both eastward and westward over the Bay of Quinte. But, it’s primarily a bridge for vehicles, with a narrow sidewalk along one shoulder. A rather long and steep walk to make photos.

Last weekend, the bridge was narrowed to a single lane for construction, with a stoplight regulating the traffic at the top of the bridge. SO, I found myself conveniently stopped a this beautiful vantage point. I reached in to the back seat of my truck, grabbed my camera and made a few photos of the bay, looking westward.

The wind, blowing from the west through the channel of Telegraph Narrows mad some interesting patterns on the water. I noticed there was only one sailboat out, so it may have been a bit too windy for people to actually enjoy a sail around the bay.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 135 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Slow Flow” – Papineau Creek

“Slow Flow” - Papineau Creek

“Summer moves forward, like a lazy river.”
– Ed Lehming

Ah, warm summer days, spent enjoying the northern countryside. Everything seems to slow its pace, just a bit. We spend the days drinking in the sweet warm air, and cool ourselves beside gentle streams. Not a care in the world.

Pictured here is one of my favourite summer stops. I came across it quite by accident as I was working on documenting the many waterfalls and cascades in the Bancroft area. I was looking for a set of rapids, based on a topographic map, and as I drove the back roads looking for an access point to the rapids I turned down a laneway and found this little slice of paradise. Here, Papineau creek gently flows over a rock strewn chanel, eventually resting in a deep, calm basin at the base of the rocks. It’s a perfect swimming hole. The water is actually quite deep in the pool formed by the flowing water.

It’s a place that I seem to end up in at least once a year. Stopping for a picnic lunch along the shore or going for a dip in the cool, calm waters. Just looking at the photo calms me, as I reflect on the times I have stood in this place and enjoyed the view, the sound of the water, and the sense of peace it brings me.

I hope to get back one more time in the autumn to see the place transformed with fall colours. For now, the deep greens of summer and refreshing water suffice.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 122 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1250

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Keep Out” – Picton Airport

“Keep Out” - Picton Airport

“As we journey through life, and along the roadways, we are often faced with things we don’t expect. How do we process those times and circumstances when an opportunity to observe and consider is presented?”
–  Ed Lehming

As a general rule, I don’t often photograph man-made items, unless they really interest me and the opportunity for deeper observation presents itself. So, here we go.

As my wife and I recently travelled some of the back roads of Prince Edward County, we found ourselves just outside Picton, Ontario  and were surprised to find the Picton had an airport, let alone one of this size.

The airport, it turns out, was at one time a fully active air force base, used extensively during WW2 when it opened in 1941 as a bombing and gunnery school. It went through several different iterations over the years, eventually transferring to the Amy and being used for several civilian purposes till being formally closed on 1969.

Currently, it’s owned by a private developer and the former barracks and hangers are being used by local businesses, including an art gallery. The large hangers were used as recently as last weekend to host a local beer festival. The airfield itself is still used as a municipal airport.

As I stood on the roadside along the ruting fencing, I was particularly drawn to the textures and lines that the fence presented me with. Widening the aperture a bit produced the clarity of the barbed wire detail while softening the watchtower in the background.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 125 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Swamp Maples” – Prince Edward County

“Swamp Maples” - Prince Edward County, Ontario

“It’s the unusual, the ‘out of place’ that gets our attention and prompts us to ask questions.”
– Ed Lehming 

While driving through Prince Edward County, a large peninsula in south-eastern Ontario, some of the main roads run through a fairly large patch of marshland, rather, swamp, since it is filled with shrubs and trees. What makes this so unique is that the swamps, which seem to be wet all year round are filled with large maple trees, primarily red and silver maple, which don’t seem to mind getting their feet wet in what is locally known as “The Big Swamp”.

The rest of the ‘County’ is rolling farmland with the occasional patch of low brush or juniper, as well as many of Ontario’s emerging wineries. The ‘County” is becoming a very popular destination, mostly because of its proximity to Toronto, its quaint villages, picturesque landscape, and a spectacular provincial park known as “Sandbanks” made up of miles of soft sand-dunes jutting into Lake Ontario.

Among this diverse landscape, I keep coming back to the central swamp, because it’s so out of place to me. I’ve been here many times over the past few years but until a few days ago, did not take the time to stop and photograph them. The trees you see in this photo stretch on for hundreds of meters into the swamp, but the thicker summer foliage obscurs much of that, so a trip back in autumn is definitely going to happen.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“Roadside Bliss” – North Hastings, Ontario

“Roadside Bliss” - North Hastings, Ontario

“One does not have to travel to far flung and remote places to find beauty. We simply need to open ourselves up to see it, by expecting it, in our daily journeys.”
– Ed Lehming

In line with my recent “Along the Way” theme, here’s another roadside treasure that I captured on my recent drive from Bancroft, Ontario to Picton. This stretch of Highway 62, north of the farmlands of Madoc, leads us through some near north Canadian Shield wilderness which is so typical of the North Hastings region. This same landscape continues north to Ontario’s Algonquin Park and beyond and can be easily enjoyed from the highway.

The rocky terrain, filled with pines, small lakes, and swamps goes on for miles in the same pattern and most travelers take it for granted,simply driving through it, focussed on a destination, when the journey is just as beautiful.

This small, roadside lake is called Spring Lake and I simply loved the serene little island with its tall pines and backdrop of fluffy summer clouds. I see these scenes all the time as I’m driving, enjoying them and envisioning a possible photograph, but often fail to stop. Or, I’ll see the scene and the angle or light has changed enough by the time I pull over that the composition is lost as a memory. This one worked out.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 122 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)