Tag Archives: Stouffville

“Spring Poplars on the Bend” – Stouffville

“Spring Poplars on the Bend”

“See that path in front of you? That path has been laid before you, the one that you’re supposed to take, the one you’re told to take through life…just like everyone else. If you follow that path, you’ll be following all the rules, you’ll always know that you did what everyone wanted you to do and you’ll make it through…
See that path in front of you? I dare you to step off and make your own.”
― Travis Culliton

Looking out my home office window yesterday, as the dark clouds cleared and the sky brightened, I could not help but get outside for a few minutes to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. There is a nice trail system 5 minutes from home. So I took my camera to see what this day offered.

I’ve walked this path hundreds of times and there is always some slight variation in light, foliage, and viewpoint that makes each walk unique. I’ve also photographed these poplars on numerous occasions, including vertical pan shots like this.

However, this day, that slight play of light, new growth, and the bright green grass (including dandelions) made the element s align for this lovely spring image. It seems far too long since I’ve created one of these ‘painterly’ images, which I enjoy so much. Hopefully, this image of a bright spring day brightens someone else’s day.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Cherry Blossom Cluster” – Stouffville Reservoir

“Cherry Blossom Cluster”

“Oh, the wonder of it! The outrageous beauty! God didn’t have to give us cherry blossoms you know. He didn’t have to make apple trees and peach trees burst into flower and fragrance. But God just loves to splurge. He gives us all this magnificence and then, if that isn’t enough, He provides fruit from such extravagance.” – Lynn Austin

I was not expecting to see cherry blossoms this year. All indications were that this would not be a good year for them and I believed the time to see them in bloom was past. Thus, I was very pleased to find this lovely display along the way. I recall there being a cherry tree here but I have missed the bloom for the past few years and did not really consider looking for it. It certainly was nice to come around the trail and see the tree decked out in a resplendent coat of white.

Even sitting here writing this post, I can smell the sweet fragrance of the blossoms filling the warm air as I notice all the fine details and rich colours that are often missed in the broader view. That is the reason I decided to isolate this single cluster, to allow me to look at it, undistracted by the larger show the tree had to offer me.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/13.0, ISO 200

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

“Spring Beauties” - Close Up

“In a rich moonlit garden, flowers open beneath the eyes of entire nations terrified to acknowledge the simplicity of the beauty of peace.”
― Aberjhani

Can you think of a more appropriate name for these delicate spring flowers, in tones of pink and purple? The Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) in my area seems to prefer the bases of Beech trees as their habitat, yet some small patches grow in the open. Most of the plants I came across ranged between nearly white to pale pink and patched with striped fuchsia. This particular specimen was light blue with purple tinges in the flower buds, thus the photo.

I enjoyed the slight ‘glow’ of the stems, as the filtered afternoon sun lit up the forest floor. The light this day was spectacular and really showed the colours and textures well. Apart for their unique colours, this small colony sat apart for others and allowed me to isolate them for other plants, which are becoming more abundant as temperatures rise in the forest.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Forest Floor Companions”

“Forest Floor Companions”

“I am learning my way toward something that will make sense of my life, and I learn by going where I have to go, with whatever companions I am graced.” 
― Dean Koontz

At the base of a dead beech tree, these companions add brightness and life, among the dead and decomposing elements surrounding them.

For some unknown reason, the large beech trees in this local forest all died a few years ago. Many of them are very large and old, so it may just be a cycle, as there are many younger trees thriving in the same area. The die-off started a few years back and most of the elders are gone now, the bark peeling off their massive trunks,  branches falling to the ground with every passing winter. I also suspect a new housing development nearby may have altered the water table, ever so slightly, as to affect the older trees. The forest seems a bit ‘wetter’ than usual.

Yet, among all this death, spring offers her bounty of fresh life, in the form of wildflowers, growing in abundance at the base of these dead trees. There are Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica), also known by some as May Flowers or Fairy Spuds (the roots and flowers are edible), with their bright pink faces and delicate stems. Then there are also Trout Lilies with their mottled leaves and bright yellow flowers. Mixed in among them, though not pictured here are red and white trilliums, to name the most predominant in my area. It seems every year there are more, which is wonderful to see.

To think a few short years ago I would walk these same trails and never notice anything but the white trilliums. There is something to be said for slowing down and just looking. It’s amazing what we can see, if we take the time.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“First of the Season” – Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“First of the Season” - Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” 
― Frances Hodgson Burnett

Interestingly enough, despite the cold April we experienced in my neck of the woods, the first white trillium blossom I found, appeared exactly to the date of last year’s. I though for certain that it would be a full week behind, but this beauty, and her companions, waiting to open up in the next day or two, are right on time. There’s no stopping the natural cycle.

In fact, I think this may even be the same plant that bloomed first, last year. The conditions must be just right in this particular patch, as the whole group of them is slightly advanced.

Nikon D800
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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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“Blue Cohosh” – Stouffville Reservoir Trail

Blue Cohosh” - Stouffville Reservoir Trail

“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe

Yet another, early emerger, Blue Cohosh. This beauty emerges from the forest floor looking more purple-blue than  this image indicates. However, I wanted to capture the delicate flower and blue fruit. When they first sprout from the ground, the leaves are tightly bound in a frilly bunch and then open up into tender leaves. I’m always surprised to see these spring flowers survive late frosts unscathed, yet they do. Among the brightness of other wildflowers, Blue Cohosh is lost, until you look for it and suddenly, it’s everywhere. I’m blessed to have an eye for these understated beauties, which others pass by, never knowing what has been missed.

This particular specimen provided a unique composition as the plant appears to rise from a bed of bright green balsams, and an assortment of twigs, the young, slightly out of focus maple in teh background just adds teh finishing touches to this forest floor scene.

Honestly, I could spend hours drinking this in, watching new life fill the forest floor in a carpet of luxurious greens, with flecks for pink, red, yellow, and white as teh fresh wildflowers show their faces to a waiting world for the first time.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 165 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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If we were having a coffee…

Stouffville Reservoir in Spring

“All thoughts, secret or spoken, belong in a coffee table book written in Braille, so you can really feel the emotions.”
― Jarod Kintz

I decided to start into this forum with my standard quote style. I find looking up suitable quotes to match my photos makes me think about the photo and the emotions it invokes in me and thus, enhances the image. And, I added a photo above of a local reservoir that I did some artistic work on a few weeks back

Which brings me back to the original topic and my reasons for blogging in the first place: Blogging provides me a simple forum to share my photos and my thoughts with an audience who tend to be more creative than the average populace.

I’ve started small and have been pleasantly  surprised to be ‘troll free’, thus far. I tend to be quite open in my posts, trying to stick to a narrative style, as if I was sitting down with friends and being quite transparent about the events and processes that enabled me to make the photo in the first place. I’m hoping to engage in a larger group of people with similar passions to mine, and that has been successful. My feeling is that if I like certain elements of photography, surely there must be a handful of others out there like me?

The experience has also helped me to realize that, while it would be nice to make a few bucks from my photos, at least enough to support improving my work, it’s been more about creating works that bring enjoyment and inspiration to others. Were it not for a few inspirational photographers  who shared their thoughts and techniques freely, I may not be at the place I’m at now.

The reason I started on this journey has many facets, the first being explained above and the second is for me to develop a daily discipline to create and share a photograph, every single day, whether I feel inspired or not. The ultimate goal is to publish this daily journey so a larger audience can enjoy the experience too. I’m also enjoying reading the works of so many talented poets and writers. They are all inspirations to me to keep improving.

I’m looking forward to future #weekendcoffeeshare chats.

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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Ed

“Hydrangea on Ice”

“Hydrangeas on Ice”

“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?”
― Kahlil Gibran

This year, I left a few dried hydrangea blooms in my garden. My usual ritual is to trim them all down in the fall. I’m glad I left them, they added some interest in this past, dull, nearly snowless winter, and created a nice franewirk for our recent freezing rain event.

For those who have never experienced freezing rain, I’ll include a brief description here:
Freezing rain occurs when the ground temperature is below freezing while the air layers above are warmer. The precipitation falls as rain and freezes on contact with the ground. The end effect is that everything is coated with an ever increasing layer of clear ice. If conditions are right, this accumulation can be over an inch thick and cause major damage to trees and powerlines. Because it is a gradual accumulation, delicate plants, which would collapse in snow, are held rigid by the ice that encases them.

This was the case with the hydrangeas pictured above. A thin coating of clear ice built up over a period of a few hours, making them look like the are coated in clear glass.

It’s a beautiful effect, unless you are driving and have to chisel the ice from your car, or try to walk, since the ice is usually covered in a thin layer of semi-frozen water, making it extremely slippery. This is not a good feature when you are trying to walk around with your camera. The other thing with freezing rain is that it tends to be a very brief, beautiful event, which generally melts away within a few hours, as the temperatures rise.

I find it to be a challenging time photographically, since everything is beautiful and it’s difficult to isolate a particular composition within all that beauty.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 -0.33, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Spring Pastels” – Wendat Pond, Stouffville

“Spring Pastels” - Wendat Pond, Stouffville

“Nothing clashed because nothing had the strength to clash; everything murmured of safety among the hues; all was refinement.” ― Mervyn Peake

In anticipation of spring greens and colours, I find myself back in the familiar and somewhat commonplace of local walking trails. In the middle of town, I find small sanctuaries of wildlife and the remnants of last years plants which have survived the winter. relatively intact. Though my eyes see mainly greys, yellows, and browns, a deeper look yields subtle pastels, adding a softness to the stark and brittle stems.

I’m trying to see all aspects of life that way, looking beyond the surface and anticipating subtle beauty and wonderment in every situation. Admittedly, this can be a challenge, given the world we live in, with all its stresses and pressures, but I believe it to be a worthwhile goal.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 190 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

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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