Monthly Archives: August 2020

“Lush”

“Late August sunshine nourishes maturing plants. Fruiting vines, like grapes, hang heavy with their bounty.” – Ed Lehming

I’ve been spending more and more time at our home in Prince Edward County (PEC). One of the “county’s” claims to fame, and a major draw for urban tourists, are the numerous established and emerging wineries.

It’s a wonderful experience to visit the wineries and see all the ripening grapes in the fields, including these at Waupoos Winery at the south-east end of the county. It’s one of the oldest and most established wineries. It’s also quite unique in that the property extends right to the shores of Lake Ontario. I’m not sure the variety of these grapes but could not resist capturing an image of them. They look ready to burst.

Get ready for an ongoing theme of rural scenes and vineyards 🙂

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1800 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

“Shed”

“A common sight in the right light suddenly becomes beautiful.” – Ed Lehming

I’ve passed this shed countless times and it barely registers. It’s just an old shed along the road near my home. It’s commonplace and a bit weather-worn.

A few evenings ago, as we walked to a local restaurant for diner with friends the early evening light changed the entire appearance of the shed. It glowed in the soft evening light, becoming the focus of my attention.

Fortunately, I had my phone with me and was able to capture another beautiful moment in time.

“Warm Summer Days”

“In the heat of mid-Autumn, grapes hang thick and ripening in the sunshine. Harvest is not so far off now.” – Ed Lehming

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to visit few of the local wineries in Prince Edward County. Many are now offering food as an option. COVID-19 has made wine tastings ‘interesting’ and we experienced many variations on what was once a fairly standard practice. Depending on the winery, its size, and facilities, the owners have all done their best to devise a model that works for them. Some seem close to ‘normal’ while others are experimenting with alternatives.

Fortunately for us, we are already familiar with many of the local wineries and trust their product quality, sight unseen. However, it poses a problem when visiting wineries we are unfamiliar with. Despite the challenges, we did discover a few wineries with lovely wines and I’m happy for this; firstly because we have some very nice wines to enjoy and secondly, we are able to support local farmers.

One thing that was encouraging was seeing all the ripening fruit on the vines. Despite a significant drought and high temperatures, the grapes seem to be flourishing. Some recent rains will have helped the vines before they get too stressed. The image above was made at a local vineyard as we waited for our lunch, a fantastic wood-fired pizza under a trellis of grape vines; simply marvellous!

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/529 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

Edited with Prizma

“Shoreline Leopard Frog”

“Seemingly out of place, on a wide gravel beach, the frog makes its way over the polished stones to the refreshing waters of the lake.” – Ed Lehming

On a recent trip to Ontario’s Prince Edward County, we spent some time on a quiet gravel beach. The beach was made of heavily polished limestone pieces deposited by the churning waters of Lake Ontario. These stones where all flat and smooth and extended inland some ten meters from the shore. The beach ended an an elevated shoreline of course limestone, sand, grasses, and scrubby trees.

It’s been an extremely hot and dry summer in this region, so I was surprised as a leopard frog emerged from the dry grass behind where I was sitting and began making its way to the water’s edge. It made sense that the frog would want the water, but it’s a fairly long and highly exposed route to take.

This particular frog did not seem to mind me blocking his way for a few minutes to get a photo while others on the same journey were pretty skittish. A few moments after making this image I started along the lakeshore and noticed many other frogs in the water and along the beach, also refreshing themselves. As I continued on my way, I saw a stick laying on the gravel. As I stepped towards it the ‘stick’ moved, as it turned out to be a rather large Garter Snake. This snake was not alone and there were many other snakes doing the same thing; hoping to intercept a frog on it’s way to or from the shore.

While I did not see any snakes who had successfully caught a frog, I’m sure it’s not an uncommon occurrence and there is absolutely no shelter for the frogs to escape from, they would have to rely completely on speed and stealth to survive the journey to and from the water.

“Runic”

“Stone and wood; along the lake shore, bear witness to the tireless motion of water.” – Ed Lehming

This past week, as I stood on the stone covered shores of Lake Ontario, at Prince Edward Point, I had to consider how long these stones had been smoothed by the ceaseless action of waves crashing on the shores. Among the stones, pieces of driftwood, recent additions to the shoreline dance, also participate in the endless erosion.

The waves continue to roll in and the stones chatter, as if speaking, as the water rolls over them, pulls them back to the lake and then pushes them back again. The ancient language of the lakeshore, etched in the stones.

 

“Deep Summer Greens”

Deep Summer Greens

“Within the swamps of Prince Edward County, layers of green draw me deeper and deeper as the light shimmers with summer’s heat. Despite days of endless heat and sunshine, the forest remains lush.” – Ed Lehming

As I spend time exploring the landscapes of my second home, it’s the swamps that fascinate me. The swamps are not deep oozing bogs; they are filled with wonderful swamp maples which thrive in this unique environment.

I still recall these wetlands from my first trip into this unique part of Ontario. After driving through rolling hills and farmland, the road passed through a large patch of deep lush swampland. Seeing large trees living in a swamp was unexpected. At first I though the land had been recently flooded but research taught me that this species of maple is able to survive and thrive in the shallow swamps.

The contrast of the healthy trees and layers upon layer of deep green and healthy vegetation is wonderful. Even this summer, with days upon days of high temperatures and drought, the swamps are still lush, seemingly impervious to the conditions.

The canopy is thin enough that wonderful golden light is able to reach deep between the foliage making for an unusually bright swamp. The undergrowth seems to invite you to enter but I imagine you would not get far without getting bogged down. It’s like nothing else I have ever experienced and I was happy for the opportunity to capture it ad render it as yet another piece of digital art.

“Better Days”

Better Days

“Long, hot summer days and quiet country roads yield surprises and raise questions, to the curious.” – Ed Lehming

There are many times when a drive down a backroad offers interesting sights. Most frequently I see an old abandoned building and wonder how it came to be in the state it’s in. I try to picture it when it was first built, envision a family starting a home. As a new house, it must have held so much promise.

Yet here, along the roadside of Ontario’s Prince Edward County, many years after that time, the house has fallen into severe disrepair, a mere curiosity, barely standing, along the roadside and a photo opportunity for me.

I decided to render this image as digital art, to add some mood and interest to the image.