Tag Archives: fresh

Iceland Journal – “From the Depths” – Hraunfosser, Southwest Iceland”

“From the deep places of the earth, pours forth a cool purity few can fathom”
– Ed Lehming

The mere sight of these falls brought freshness to my day. There is something in flowing water; a virtual baptism and washing away of the days heaviness happens, and the joy of simply living in such a marvelous world is reaffirmed.

This is yet another image of a section of Hraunfossar, in Southwestern Iceland. I left this one a bit darker to allow the brightness of the water and rich colours and textures of the mosses to dominate over the dark rock.

I keep having to remind myself that the water here comes not from surface streams, but a complex network of underground rivers that flow beneath the surface, through ancient lava fields. Here, it escapes to the surface through the side of a steep embankment. Many visitors to Iceland don’t realize that all the tap water comes from such underground streams. That’s right, the tap water is actually spring water. I started my trip with the purchase of a single bottle of water which I kept refilling with tap water or from mountain streams, after ensuring there was not a large, sheep filled pasture upstream.

Though warned to the contrary, I found nearly all the water at our various overnight stays was lovely and fresh. The exception being Reykjavik, where the water at our hotel reeked of sulphur. Though safe, I had a hard time convincing myself that it was OK to drink.

Once more, I am including a link to the high resolution version of this image should you wish to take a closer look at the details.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 170mm
1.0 sec, f/36.0, ISO 200

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“She smells fresh, like the shadow under trees.” 
― Julio Cortázar

The freshness of spring, among my favourite things. And with that freshness, the scents of spring, fresh-cut grass, tilled earth, and the flowers opening to the warm sun above. As well, the ferns have a unique aroma, which is quite noticeable when there are many plants.

Yet, even in the shadows, fresh life emerges. From the cool recesses of the forest floor, ferns break ground an uncoil their stems in the form of fiddle-heads. They are quite wonderful to see and mark the next stage of spring, the emergence of summer plants, those which will remain the rest of the season.

These tightly wound shoots seem to spring up from nothing, stretching skyward, and within days are clearly identifiable as the ferns which will soon blanket their surroundings. And so, this phase is brief and worth grabbing an image to share today. Tomorrow, it will be quite different, as it opens up to the sun.

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

2 sec, f/25.0, ISO 100 

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“Morning Freshness” Columbine – Nora Barlow

“Morning Freshness” - Columbine - Nora Barlow.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!”
― Steve Maraboli

As I sat, yesterday morning, sipping a coffee, on my back deck. I looked over my now lush garden. The rains have stopped, the temperatures are climbing and I can savour these moments, if only on weekends.

One of my columbine plants, is enormous, probably the result of several plants growing in a single location. Even at that, it towers almost a full meter in height, three times the height of its neighbours, and it is thick with blossoms.

I got up to take a better look at all the blossoms and noticed that the morning mist still clung thickly to the petals, like little jewels, adding further drama to the scene. Not wanting to miss this moment, as the lifespan of the blossoms is quite brief, I grabbed my camera and made a quick image to preserve this image to share today.

It reminds me of what a privilege it really is to be alive,as said so well in the quote I chose today.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/10.0 ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“First and Fresh”

“First and Fresh”

“They say you start weaving clearer, sharper memories after you’ve been to a place at least twice. Because then the reflection is more of validation. Let the rush come to you and let your senses be flushed the first time. There will be time for reflection after you’ve had your fill.”
― Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

For the past few days, I have been focussing my attention on the rhododendron in our backyard garden. It’s my first time with this beautiful flowering shrub and I’m enjoying watching it bloom.

What starts as cones at the tips of the branches soon changes to colourful clusters which burst into flower, one at a time. The blossom pictured above is an example of that process. One single flower, the first and fresh, has just opened. You can see the rest of the cluster just behind it. That cluster will open, one at a time over the next few days and remain in bloom for several days. As you can also see from a post yesterday, bees love these flowers and end up coated in pollen as they move from bloom to bloom.

From what I have read online, rhododendrons can be a challenge to maintain, as they require specific soil Ph, as well as moisture and the right amount of sunlight. I suppose this will become my ‘challenge’ plant. I’m hoping to keep it going for many years, it brings such brightness to our garden in a time when we eagerly await our summer bloomers, like peony, to brighten up our little oasis.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1 ISO 100

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“Hemlock Bough”


“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
― Neil Gaiman

What more fitting image for the New Year than a bright green branch? So full of life and promise.

I made this image yesterday, while on my final hike for 2016. In fact, it’s the last image I made in 2016. Yet, the feel I was after was not quite there, so once again, I ran it through my Topaz Impressions plug in to get the effect I was after. The result is this impressionistic image, which is exactly what I was after.

May 2017 dawn fresh and bright and full of vigour in your lives, may the seeds of creativity produce fruit in abundance, and may we all remember that we are connected in more ways than we can imagine.

Happy New Year 2017


“Orange and White”

“Orange and White”

Time spent alone, not lonely;
Untrodden trails, my footsteps, singular;
Unspoiled, for my eyes alone;
Newness, freshness;
Never seen before, yet fleeting;

Nature surrounds me, and astounds me;
I am renewed.
– Ed Lehming

A surprising splash of colour in a predominantly white landscape.

I finally had the opportunity to get back on the trails today. We had a few days of unsettled weather, including some freezing rain, a particularly unwelcome visitor for hikers. The recent storm system had produced rain and freezing rain, which essentially turned the trails into a treacherous ice-covered skating rink. Last night another small system rolled through producing wet snow, which nicely covered the ice and provided a wonderful base of sticky snow, proving much-needed traction.

The wet snow also created yet another winter wonderland filled with pine trees covered in thick layers of white icing. The new fallen snow also brightened up the forest and reflecting wonderful soft light throughout the forest.

Among all this brightness, a small maple tree, which had refused to shed its leaves, stood out against the white and green background. I suppose the maple is trying to compete with neighbouring beeches for leaf retention. It was a most welcome splash of colour as the year winds down and we approach 2017.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

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“Red Maple Spring” – Stouffville, Ontario

“Red Maple Spring” - Stouffville, Ontario

As spring continues, more colour and new life emerges, following the cycle of death and re-birth. The delicate structures of new leaves exploding from once tight buds are part of that cycle. A few short days ago, these red maple leaves were just bumps on a branch. Now, you can see the future shape in miniature. The soft morning light created a nice back-lit effect that shows all the structures nicely and soft focus blurs another cluster of leaves in the background. There is something soothing about these photos. I think it’s the freshness and promise each sign of new life holds.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm @ 165 mm
1/125 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 250