Friday, July 24, 2015

I Lift Up Mine Eyes ...

It had been another one of those changing weather kind of days - alternating sun, gray skies, a threat of rain followed by more blue sky. Then after dinner the wind kicked up and storm clouds gathered. In no time rain was pelting against the north-facing windows. But as suddenly as the storm had come upon us, the wind blew it southward.

The sudden quiet made me glance out the window and I caught the remains of a double rainbow. I figured since I was outside with camera in hand I might as well also capture some of the summer blooms, freshened by the rain. I was absorbed in catching the raindrops hanging from petals and bees scurrying to gather nectar in the golden hour.

I finally lifted my eyes when I came around the west side of the house and was greeted by a sky in turmoil. Another storm further away had roiled the sky in the west while at the same time the sky in the northwest was trying hard to revert to blue. It made for an awesome sight ...

[Have a listen to an oldie goldie below while you relax here for a few minutes]

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lost and Found

I know from a comment I received last week from a visitor here that I'm not the only photographer who has occasionally (often ?) gone out on a photo shoot, and downloaded the results into a folder with the intent of coming back to review them when time permitted, only to let them languish - sometimes for years (?)

I've been slowly working to get photos from past years catalogued in Lightroom (I suspect this will be a lifetime project). Until I do it's a hit and miss approach when looking for something specific in my old folders. The upside, however, is that I do stumble across photos that I'd almost forgotten existed.

And so I came across a series I shot while in Denver to attend a niece's wedding almost 5 years ago. I dusted a couple of photos off and thought I'd share them with you. The first was shot from a hotel balcony with a 70-200mm lens perched on the railing, and the second with my then newly-acquired 10-22mm.

Perhaps you have some buried in a folder that should see the light of day.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Beauty That Surrounds Us (Reprise)

I'm working on an assignment for a client who is in the business of enticing people to take a pause from the hustle and bustle of life by enjoying a week of cottage living in beautiful surroundings. He rejuvenates tired cottages that once served that purpose.

I went out earlier this week to capture some of that beauty in an area about an hour's drive from our place, where the cottages are located. I could easily post a dozen photos but I think you'll 'get the picture'.

[Coincidentally I posted under this same title almost 3 years ago to the day - it just seemed fitting again]

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Terror in the backyard

The calendar is marking time for me these days rather than the clock. I realized it's almost been a month since I last posted. My camera has not sat gathering dust, however - I've done a little commercial work and family shots at birthdays and soccer games: those important moments in life. My work as treasurer for the dog rescue run by two of my daughters, with the help of many volunteers, has also taken much of my time (more info here.)

And then there are those surprises that almost catch you off-guard. I discovered that a new resident had made our pond home. I thought I had caught a glimpse of him some time earlier, but when I almost decapitated him with the lawn mower (rest assured, he survived the experience with nary a scratch) I was finally able to identify him - a snapping turtle !

I quickly ran to get a shovel and pail - I remembered being warned as a youngster never to try to handle one of these ornery creatures - they have rightly earned their reputation. This one was about 8" (20cm) across and was capable of inflicting a nasty bite. In deference to his ability and potential to snap, I used a zoom lens to capture his main weapon - a sharp beak.

I released him after a short while back onto the lawn and watched as he quickly (well, for a turtle) made his way to the water. A while later as I walked past the pond I noticed some old leaves stuck near the edge. Normally I would have removed them by hand but I picked up a stick that happened to lay nearby and reached to flick them out. As I poked the leaves, a head lunged out with lightning speed from beneath them and a beak snapped hold of the stick momentarily. I quickly realized that my fingers could have been the recipient of that attack. Lesson learned - no more fingers in the pond !

Despite his nastiness, even creatures like these play an important role in God's creation, helping keep things in balance. Otherwise I'm sure that our pond would be overrun by a plague of frogs.

[I apologize if I haven't returned a visit to your blog - I shall make every attempt to do that before my next post. Please know that I read and savour every comment]

the business end

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


While reading the news online this evening I saw an article about the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, in Holten, the Netherlands, paying tribute to the Canadians who paid with their lives to liberate that country 70 years ago. That reminded me of an event far back in my own history, when I was too young to realize its significance. That was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.

I received the commemorative cup illustrated below as an innocent youngster in kindergarten. My recollection of that event is that the cup was filled with candy. Little did I know then that within 2 years I would emigrate to the country that was primarily responsible for the liberation of the Netherlands.

My mother safeguarded this cup for many years until it could be entrusted to me. Since then it has stood tucked inside a cabinet from where I would occasionally take it and ponder it in silence. It reminds me of the connection I have with these two countries - one of my birth and the second which adopted me.

Amazing the significance something of such little monetary value can hold.