Tag Archives: family

“Mom’s Columbine”

“Mom’s Columbine”

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan

Many years ago, my mother brought me some columbine seed from her home in Vernon, BC. She referred to them as Mountain Columbine, but they are actually Aquilegia vulgaris Nora Barlow. For me, the fact that they come from her garden, in the mountains of BC, made the name stick. They are so different to the garden varieties we have in our area and they grow very well here as perennials which seed themselves out. They produce what I call a ‘mobile’ garden, since they are seldom in the same location twice and have surprised me in how far afield they travel. I just found one plant on the opposite side of the house from last year’s crop.

They have also travelled back to BC, as my mother asked me if I had seeds to spare. Hers had been winter killed and she now had none in her garden. It’s nice to be able to send them back to the source, knowing our gardens have these same shared plants in them every year. A connection over the miles. Yes, a love of gardening and flowers seems to run i the family. My grandmother’s garden was a thing of wonder and many of her seeds have found their way to my garden, though mine is a far cry from the stunning flower beds she once had.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Happy 90th Lois”

“Happy 90th Lois”

“God give me work, till my life shall end
And life, till my work is done.”

I married her youngest daughter twenty-six years ago and have grown to appreciate a loving a caring mother-in-law. Through good times and bad times, she has been a constant example of solid faith and patience. Always ready to help in any way she can.

This short post really does not do justice to what she represents to me, and my family. We are just so happy to have had her in our lives for so many years. So, today we celebrate 90 years of love and caring. 90 years loved.

The wonderful cake pictured above was made by our neighbour, as a centerpiece.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/29.0 ISO 100

“Looking West” – Hoover Barn, 9th Line, Markham

Looking West

“Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depths of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson

The barn is long gone, but the memory of this view remains etched upon my memories. It stood for many years on the farm where my wife grew up. The building weathered many storms, sheltered livestock, feed, and equipment under its expansive roof. My first memories of the barn where when I helped bring in the hay on a sweltering summer day and seeing the shafts of sunlight,streaming through knot holes, shining on the straw covered floor, and a single dim light bulb, high above our heads

I’ve looked out this doorway many times and my wife recounts her childhood memories of playing in the barn and seeing this same view over many years. The barn door, acts as a frame in this composition, focusing us on a rural scene, which could be almost anywhere. The difference, to my wife and family, is this was ‘home’. A place of business, of fun, and most importantly, of family. The view to the west was often the indicator of incoming weather and the canvas upon which nature painted many a stunning sunset.

My father-in-law, Maurice, passed away last week at the age of 93. As I look at this photo, my mind drifts to days past and a smile comes to my face at the thought that he too must have enjoyed this same view throughout his working days on the farm.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17.0-50.0 mm f/2.8 @ 20mm
1/250 sec, f/14, ISO 200

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“Last Chance” – Moore Lake

Last Chance

I titled this photo as I did for a few reasons. This is the last photo I ever took of my father before he passed away in 1979. He was determined to take a few last casts before he got in the car after a great family vacation on Moore Lake. He asked if I would come with him and take a picture. I complained about the mosquitoes and not wanting to be bitten, but relented and took this shot. Not knowing, at the time, it was not only his last chance at what he loved to do, but my last chance to capture a precious memory. He passed away later that summer.

I found the photo, which I knew I had, with a bunch of other photos from that time period. It was faded and dull. But technology is wonderful and I was able to touch it up and make it presentable. So glad I did not lose it.

Today also happens to be what would have been his 90th birthday. He’s the reason I have such a fond love of nature and all things outdoors. Dad taught me to appreciate the details and the cycles which are ever present. I often imagine him walking along with me, observing the marvels of the outdoors, discovering and celebrating new sights, and those sacred places I go back to time and time again.

So, on this day, December 16th, where he is especially present in my thoughts, I say, “Thanks Dad, for the deep reverence of nature, all you taught me, all the values you instilled in me, and the love you gave me, in your all too brief a time with us. You are ever missed and ever present in the thoughts of those who knew and loved you.”

In Memory of Harry Eugen Lehming 1925-1979

Pentax Spotmatic 35mm
Schneider-Kreutznach Edixa-Xenon 50mm, f/1.9

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