Tag Archives: North Hastings

“November Beaver Pond” – Hermon, Ontario

“November Beaver Pond” - Hermon, Ontario

“A moment of peace and silence, breathing in and out the frigid air, watching daylight seep into the forest, hearing the first chatter of distant crows, the wind sighing over the snow and through the fir and pine branches and the twittering of chickadees as they flitted in little tribes from tree to tree.” 
― Mike Bond

The quote above just about sums it up. On a chilly November morning, I stood at the shores of a small beaver pond, admiring the interesting patterns on the surface of the ice. It was a moment of peace, one of many, during my day of hiking and hunting in the forests of Northeastern Ontario.

This is the same region where my upcoming “Boreal Trails” series of images was made. I wanted to set the tone and show a broader view of the forest before I start sharing the short series of photographic abstracts I made this week.

As you can see, it’s quite dull, but that’s par for the course in November. Despite this, it is very peaceful and I thoroughly enjoy my time on these trails.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/1200 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

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‘Autumn Creeps In”

‘Autumn Creeps In”

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds.” 
― Rainer Maria Rilke

I made this image on the final weekend of summer, along the shores of North Hastings’ Papineau Creek. Among the red pine and green maples, a bright splash of red reminds us, that despite the unseasonably warm temperatures we are currently experiencing, the cycle of seasons is inevitable.

The red fairly jumps out against the background, bright sunshine enhancing the effect. I believe these are Red Maple acer rubrum, which is aptly named. This year because other leaves have not quite started to change colour, the red maples stand out like crimson beacons. I say many along the highway the prior weekend but could not pull over for a good image. This one makes up for that to some degree.

As I look outside today, I see that fall is really beginning to advance, and the rest of the trees are joining in on what promises to be a spectacular, mild autumn.

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

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“First Reds”

“First Reds”

“The difference between darkness and brightness is how you thrive on those moments and how you use such circumstances with goodwill in your spirit.” 
― Angelica Hopes

Here we are nearing the end of September, and the end of summer. I was surprised to see just how much colour change is already occurring not too far north of my home. As my family and I drove through the North hastings region of Ontario this past weekend, I especially noticed than some of the maples had already turned bright red. Sadly, I’m not sure what species of maple this is but it sure stood out.

I simply had to make an abstract of it. As with many of these, the finer details don’t get noticed till captured in a photo. I was subtly aware of the colour appearing in the undergrowth, but it really showed up in the photo. There was also a dead tree, bleached white by the sun, which really popped, especially in the photo.

This image is part of a small series I have posted over the past few days, all made within a few hundred meters of each other on Papineau Creek.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/29.0, ISO 100 

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“Papineau Creek Pines”

“Papineau Creek Pines”

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul… but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.” 
― Peggy Toney Horton

In a quiet, unmarked park, along the banks of Papineau Creek, stands a beautiful grove of red pines and balsam firs. Pathways wind between them, enticing me to take just a few more exploratory steps to see what lies beyond.

It’s a hot day, very hot for September, but I know October and cooler weather is inevitable. This is my first time really exploring this little gem of a park. It’s crisscrossed with paths and roadways, making it extremely accessible and quite open. So, as I explored, I made a few more photos. Many just snapshots and memories of a day spent with family and a few more deliberate ‘artsy’ images in my favourite abstract style.

I’m reviewing them slowly, enjoying what each image offers me, still not sure if I have a series or not. We’ll see what the next few days offer up.

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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“Early Colours on Papineau Creek”

“Early Colours on Papineau Creek”

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
― Lauren DeStefano

I’m considering starting another series based on this past weekend, enjoying the Bancroft Area Studio tour and the natural beauty of the North Hasting Highlands area, which we drove through as part of the tour.

This has been a very strange year indeed. As we drove from studio to studio, I noticed many of the leaves had already begun to change colour. For those who follow my blog regularly, you will know that we have had an excessively wet summer, and a bit cooler than usual. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago and we are now experiencing a dry spell and temperatures more appropriate for July. So, it’s really strange to have it feel like mid-summer yet see fall colours starting. The trend is supposed to continue for at least another week.

The image above was made at one of my favorite rest stops in the area. A small, unmarked park along the shores of Papineau Creek. I stopped here for lunch with my family and decided to make a few images before cooling off in the creek.

Adding the element of water had a nice effect on the image, but it’s the only one like it, the rest are images of the forest. Like I said, I may make a short series of them and wanted to start out with this one as I consider the other images.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/20.0, ISO 100 

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“Above the Ponds”

“Above the Ponds”

“Quiet people always know more than they seem. Although very normal, their inner world is by default fronted mysterious and therefore assumed weird. Never underestimate the social awareness and sense of reality in a quiet person; they are some of the most observant, absorbent persons of all.”
― Criss Jami

I sit here tonight after a brief trip back to Bancroft to swap out photos I’m showing at an artists’ co-operative in Bancroft, Ontario. The co-op is called A Place for the Arts and I’m honoured to have been invited to participate in this wonderful place. I’ve met and engaged with fellow artists, including several very talented photographers. We all have very distinct styles and approaches to our art. I enjoy my times there, as I have learned so much just by spending time with other artists, as I begin to see through their eyes.

What really struck me during my two and a half hour drive north was how incredibly the forest has changed in the past three weeks, since I was last in the area. A few snow falls have pulled more leaves from the trees and compressed the ones already on the ground. More significantly, the colours, once glowing and full of energy, are now a muted brown.

I fondly recall the moment above, as I sat on a high ridge above two large beaver ponds, amazed by the bright colour and light, on the ground and in the sky. If you follow your eyes, there appears to be a path that leads into the distance over the undulating ground. There actually is a natural game trail that leads into the distance. The destination? The beaver dam that separates the two ponds and a natural escape from predators. If animals, especially deer, in this case, did not take this route, they would have to travel nearly half a mile to get around the water. It is well-travelled.

I sat on this ridge for nearly two hours, taking in this glorious view and warming in the warm sunshine. The forest around me was a wonderland and every detail etched itself in my memory. The whole scene felt dream-like in its serenity. Every detail, opening up to reveal itself, in time. I need to write more about this experince, but want to keep my posts brief. Perhaps tommorow?

Have you ever taken the time to just sit, with no distractions, and let nature reveal itself? It’s worth the time and changes how you see the natural world, just like my experience with my artist friends, as you spend time observing, it changes your entire perspective, at least in my experience.

So, it seems appropriate that this juncture of ponds can be applied as a juncture of my way of seeing things, another path between points of view.

iPhone 5s back camera @ 4.2mm
1/800 sec;   f/2.2;   ISO 32

High Resolution image available on 500px

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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