Tag Archives: joy

“The Light Shifts”

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.” 
― Leonard Cohen

Truly, a crack in the clouds, and that’s how the light gets in. Despite the snow-covered ground and a cold snap to the air, a warm and wondrous light shines through the treetops, setting the beech leaves along the trail alight with gold.

It’s scenes like this that keep me coming back to the woods. Well, it’s more than that, actually, but the constant play of light in the forest as a very significant part of it and it brings me joy. Even on the coldest days of winter, a slight play and shift in light can change a cold, dark forest into a wonderland.

With this beautiful light ahead of me, I can’t help but travel further into the wood. Lately, I’m finding myself squeezing my forest time into weekends and hanging onto those moments to sustain me through the week. So, days like today, where the light shifted between cool, and slightly dull to bright and warm within a few hours makes the time on the trails even that much more special.

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks, with some much-needed downtime, and some moderate snowfall, to get me well into a likely chaotic January.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 400

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“Crimson Splash” 

“Crimson Splash”

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous. “
– Amelia Barr

Though fairly similar to my “Autumn Creeps In” image, this one is different enough to stand on its own. The autumn leaves of the Red Maple fairly glow among the thin shimmering veil of pine needles and their pale greens and oranges. It’s late summer, the last weekend of summer and it’s hot, really hot as a late season heat wave exerts itself on the forest.

I suppose that’s why the green undergrowth is so lush, deep green and thriving. It’s quite a contrast between summer and autumn in one place. There is life here, cycles of life and never ending change. Even the reds and greens, speak of stop and go. The very nature of nature, at the Papineau Bend, and lovely little park carved from the forest along the banks of Papineau Creek.

These scenes of healthy nature are nourishing for me to reflect on. I imagine myself standing in this place and time, making photos and loving just existing here. Perhaps images to carry me through the upcoming winter, which, while beautiful in its own way, pales in comparison to a green and thriving late summer forest.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 100 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Beckoning”

“Beckoning”

“All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming – a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As I have worked on this latest series of images, it has become clear to me that I must be ‘in’ the forest, a participant in its life. To merely stand along the edges and gaze in, does not satisfy the need to immerse myself under the enchantment of its Green Veil. I need to be engulfed, to fully experience it.

By being in the forest, there is a ‘feel’, an energy, which is difficult to convey to someone who has not felt this life force personally. As I step onto the trails, even briefly, there is a rush of joy which is inexplicable. To be surrounded by such vibrancy is a blessing which I wish everyone could feel at some point. It’s a connectedness, a ‘oneness’ that is experienced within the woods.

So, as I close this series off, I chose this image. The image which beckons me to step in, or conversely, beckons me to return, as I look back on it on parting. In either case, it’s an invitation that I am glad for and which I will eagerly accept, the next time the forest beckons me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/16.0, ISO 200 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Yellow Returns”

“Yellow Returns”

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne

Early December of 2016 I bid a fond adieu to yellow, the colour yellow. It seemed at that point in time, the colour yellow was completely absent in my natural surroundings.

Alas! It’s now spring 2017 and yellow is returning to the world once more, after a long absence, and I welcome it back with open arms.

I spotted this lily at the store a few days back and had to bring it home. Though not the traditional white easter lily, this one will bring a splash of colour, and provide me with many days of photographic enjoyment as I watch, and document, its blossoms open. At the rate it’s going, it should be at its peak in a few more days, as yellow returns, once more.

Of course, with warming temperatures, yellow will return once more to my lawn, in the form of dandelions, but that’s OK too.

Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1.6sec, f/36.0, ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“December Poinsettia”

“December Poinsettia”

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”
― Norman Vincent Peale

I’m a few days late posting this. I meant to get it out for December first, but did not, since I was still saying goodbye to yellow and had not purchased a poinsettia for our home yet.

It’s a challenging plant to photograph, trying not to blow out the reds while pulling the details of the deep green leaves from the shadows. This one took me a few attempts but overall I’m pleased with the results.

And, of course, the poinsettia is a modern symbol for Christmas. Now that autumn is a fond memory, I look forward for future moments, with friends and family and the comfort that is Christmas in our home. First step taken, poinsettia is on the table as a centrepiece, let the next season begin.

Nikon D800
Nikor 24-70mm f/3.5-4.6 @ @ 45 mm
1.3 sec, f/25.0, ISO 200

Hi Resolution image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Wake Robins” – Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“Wake-Robins” - Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“I can still bring into my body the joy I felt at seeing the first trillium of spring, which seemed to be telling me, “Never give up hope, spring will come.” 
— Jessica Stern

The entrance of spring continues. After a day of cutting grass and getting gardens ready, I ventured out to a trail literally in my backyard. My hope was to see a few wildflowers emerging from their winter slumber, especially after this prolonged, cool, spring.

The regular patches I visit had a few sparse blossoms showing; they seemed thin and delayed, which did not come as a surprise. Given that, I followed the trail into the marshy woods and was greeted by an abundance of early bloomers. Among them, these beautiful Wake Robins or Red Trilliums, as some call them.

I love seeing these bright plants with their brilliant fresh leaves and red faces against the brown-gray background of the spring forest floor. It’s such a stack contrast between new life and the decay of the past. Needless to say, I spent quite a bit of time just drinking it in and making photos of the other species, which I will post over the next few days.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/25 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“A Walk Among the Cedars” – Seaton Trail

Walk Among the Cedars - Secord Forest

“Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm, and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.”
― Mike Norton

Solitude, sweet solitude, the place where I flourish, dream, recharge. I crave the quiet places, the forest trails, the meadows, and riverbanks. Each experience is such a part of me, and I a part of them. As I walk, stand, or sit, the majesty of nature, even the simple things, fill my eyes and mind with wonder. I am in creation, not merely a visitor, but a part of it. It fills me with joy and peace. Time ceases and I merely ‘am’.

For all the time I have spent walking the trails and photographing my surroundings, this one image fully expresses how it “feels” to me. I get emotional looking at it, since it puts me in that place I love so much. Not this particular location, so much, but how I feel when I’m in nature, overall.

The image has all the elements I experience on a regular basis when hiking near my home, the leaf covered path, the flowing forms of branches and leaves, sun shining brightly above and through openings in the canopy, and the dark spaces as well.

This photo was made a few short weeks ago along the Seaton Train, near Whitevale. The ice had just come of the trails and it was a beautiful, mild, late winter day.

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/40 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 32

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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