Tag Archives: summer

“Waiting It Out”

“Waiting it Out”

“For a while” is a phrase whose length can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s waiting.” 
― Haruki Murakami 

When composing this image, my eyes were first drawn to the warm and cool layers of light on the water as well as the texture of the water itself, the first caused by patchy clouds and the second, by high winds blowing off Lake Huron.

The seagull, seems quite at peace i the image, yet was being buffeted by the same winds which caused the water’s surface to ripple. The same ripples which give it the appearance of textured glass, rather than water.

It’s a strange image when I look back to the circumstances. The scene looks quite peaceful, but that was not the case at all. I think what creates this sense of calm was the unusual light that day. Despite the stormy, windy conditions, the sky was filled with quick moving clouds and a great deal of sunshine. This mixed light created some interesting effects, like the golden reflection of the gull’s belly in the water and the mix of blue to golden tones in the water.

Were it not for the tight ripples in the water as well as waving been there to make the image, I would think this to be a bright and calm morning photo of a seagull standing in water. Nothing special, until you look closer and start questioning it.

The seagull, as well as many others of its kind, stood in the shallow waters along the shores, bearing the winds and waves, looking for a morsel of food to blow in, biding their time, and waiting out the storm, which would soon pass.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 250mm
1/200sec, f/7.1 ISO 100

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“Vervain Among the Dunes”

“Vervain among the Dunes”

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” 
― Rachel Carson 

I get great enjoyment photographing plants and animals in areas away from home and the sand dunes of Sauble Beach are no exception. I came across many plants which survive well in the dry sand dunes which bound the back of the beach. Many still need to be looked up and this one surprised me. A simple Blue Vervain in an unexpected environment.

Close to home, Swamp Vervain is fairly common but not Blue Vervain. The plants are similar, but differ in the shape of the flower spike. I was also expecting Blue Vervain to be more of a meadow or wetland flower, based on my experience, so to find it in the dunes was interesting. It did seem quite healthy in the dry environment, but I expect even the dunes hold surprising amount of water this year with high lake levels. The conditions may have been just right and nature continues to amaze.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/60 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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“No Volleyball Today” – Sauble Beach

“No Volleyball Today” - Sauble Beach

“All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.” 
― Arthur C. Clarke 

I made this image almost immediately upon my arrival at Ontario’s Sauble Beach. The forecast was for a mostly rainy weekend and our group had resigned itself that it might not be ideal for playing our favourite beach sport, volleyball.

As we drove towards the lake we were shocked by the immense waves, the like of which we had never experienced here, even during storms. After unpacking, several of us headed towards the dunes to check out the beach, which no longer existed. This is what we saw.

The combination of extremely high water levels in the Great Lakes this year coupled with steady winds directly from the west caused the water to literally stack up on the beach. You can sort of see the ‘stacking’ nearer the horizon, as the water from the deep lake hits the shallower waters of the wide beach about two hundred meters from shore. The wide, shallow sand bar acts as a buffer but the water still has to go somewhere and inevitably rolls over the sand bar and washes out the beach.

On a typical day, the beach front is about where the second row of waves is in the photo and the volleyball courts are about two meters above the lake level. On this day, expecting to miss out on volleyball due to rain, we found the courts under several centimeters of water.

The image does not effectively convey the force of the wind or the water, as the height of the waves is limited by the shallow waters, it became a high wild chop. Needless to say, it was a ‘wild’ day. So, between gale force winds and high water, there was no volleyball to be had.

By the next day, the winds had died off, the waters had receded, and as the sun warmed the ground, the beach was drying out, leaving us with pristine, flat surfaces for the rest of the weekend. A total change for this scene which greeted us on arrival.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 100

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“Honeysuckle”

“Honeysuckle”

“I drag myself over to the honeysuckle bush and pluck a flower. I gently pull the stamen through the blossom and set the drop of nectar on my tongue. The sweetness spreads through my mouth, down my throat, warming my veins with memories of summer.”
– Suzanne Collins

I don’t believe there are many fragrances that compare with honeysuckle on a warm summer evening. As I walked the narrow roadways and access points at Sauble Beach this past weekend, the fragrance hung on the air, sweet and full of memories, as the quote so aptly describes.

There are entire fences, heavy with honeysuckle vines. I could stand there for hours drinking in the fragrance and marvelling at the complex flowers, as hummingbirds and bees feast close by. Of course, I could not resist the temptation to photograph them for future enjoyment, just without the fragrance, which will remain a memory to be savoured.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/50 sec, f/10.0, ISO 200

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“Sauble Beach Sunset Number 3”

“Sauble Beach Sunset Number 3”

“The beauty of the unexpected lies within the surprise of the momentum,
not only at its tipping point, but also within all the moments waiting.” 
― Akilnathan Logeswaran 

Sauble Beach, on Ontario’s Lake Huron, is known for its sunsets. This one did not disappoint. It was the last day of a long weekend with friends and family. We had just finished our supper and packing the car for the drive back home, when this sight presented itself. So, I ran to the top of a dune and snapped a couple of shots with my iPhone.

It’s funny, I had spent the past two evenings on the beach photographing sunsets, each a lot different than the other. Day one was the end of a wind storm, the waves just beginning to calm, and narrow clouds stretched out across the red horizon. The next day was also filled with wispy cloud, yet the sky was filled with more pink and purple hues. I was not even thinking of a sunset on our final day, since I was occupied packing up. Yet, of the three sunsets we experienced, I enjoyed this one the most, perhaps because it came as a bit of surprise.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/950 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20

“Bull Thistle Blossom”

“Bull Thistle Blossom”

“If you want the beautiful moments to shine, you have to contrast that with dark and gruesome moments. That’s the way life is.”
– Tony DiTerlizzi 

One of the many common blossom in this ‘purple phase’ of summer blooms is, of course, the Bull Thistle. Though, it could almost make it for the ‘pink phase’ as well. During my drives north, I have seen many Bull Thistles blooming and wondered what was delaying our local thistles. Well they seem to have caught up and I found many wonderful specimens to photograph, including this ‘pristine’ flower, blooming next to a walking path just south of my home.

There were many blossoms with active bees, but I will save those images for a later date. For now, I’m just enjoying the conflicting textures of this flower. So seemingly delicate on top, with its pink/purple frills, yet so obviously painful to touch just below them’

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/14.0, ISO 100

High Resolution Image on 500px

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“Basket O’ Plenty”


“Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.”
– Debby Boone

The next stage after the blooming of a flower, is the seed stage. I suppose I was surprised to see several of the Queen Anne’s Lace plants were already at this stage, so early in the season.

I call this the “basket” stage. The flowers have been pollinated and the seeds begin to form. In the case of Queen Anne’s Lace, the florets stems collapse inward, forming a basket of seeds. Thought it’s just the start of August, I know I will be seeing these ‘baskets’ well into winter, as the plant protects its precious cargo.

I liked the way the sun shone from this particular cluster, lighting up the seeds within, almost glowing with life.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/640 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

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