Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Nature’s Art

Friday, November 5th, 2010

These days I have to keep reminding myself to stop and take a moment to stop and smell the roses.  There’s frost now though, and not so many roses to smell.  Instead, I find myself stopping and watching the clouds, breathing deeply, and relaxing–if only for a minute.

Peaceful Evening

The same sky can look so different from one moment to the next, in morning and in evening…sometimes serene and sometimes quite ominous.

Storm Front

Today I didn’t get the chance to look up at the sky much.  The time hasn’t changed yet, so street lights were still on this dark cold rainy morning, and when I finally got home after a long day at work, it was still raining and grey….so I rushed inside to eat a warm dinner and hibernate for the evening.

Without time to knit today, I’m feeling a bit antsy.  To calm myself, and take a break from work, I’ve searched through some photographs that I’ve taken of October skies, and posted them here.  This has been my skywatching moment, and yours too!

Go have a look outside.  Stand in the sunshine (if you are lucky enough to have it).  Breathe, and enjoy nature’s ever-changing canvas in the sky.


Monday, October 11th, 2010

My family has, for as long as I can remember, had our thanksgiving feast at our cottage 45 minutes north of town.  The short drive takes us all away from jobs, school, home, and into the rocky wilderness of the Canadian Shield, where we can truly appreciate the fall colours changing, and the quiet of the lake in the morning light.

I was in the preparation crew this year.  My mom, grandmother and I set off a day earlier to get settled, make pies, set the table, and be ready to wash and rub the turkey before a day of basting.


smoothing the table cloth is very important


table's set

With preparations well in hand, I wandered off with my camera to document the colours and the wilderness for my grandmother who is no longer so mobile.

who lives under this toadstool?

the last daisies of summer

my new friend the garter snake

It is such a golden time of year.

My grandmother has recently been quoting a poem she memorized in her youth.  It has remained with her and now, in her 96th year she can still recite the whole thing.  I found the poem online here.

Wee shallop of shimmering gold!
Slip down from your ways in the branches.
Some fairy will loosen your hold—
Wee shallop of shimmering gold.
Spill dew on your bows and unfold
Silk sails for the fairest of launches!
Wee shallop of shimmering gold,
Slip down from your ways in the branches.

Today was spent turning an 18 pound turkey into this vision of deliciousness

Between bastings, we had time for a quick swim.  It is a tradition, started perhaps by my great grandmother, that we all go swimming on thanksgiving day and on the 24th of May weekend.  My aunt has recently started bringing along a thermometer, so I can report that we survived a quick dip in 10 C water.

Tradition dictates the attempt of a “ballet leg” synchro move.  Here’s someone’s attempt.

Sitting by the fire, after the swim, I was able to get some knitting done.  I don’t have pictures to show…but I do have pictures of the knitting going on across the room.  My aunt is making a sock.  My grandmother was giving advice on how to interpret the pattern.

At the close of a lovely party it was a jolt to close up the cottage and get back to the real world.  The dishes got washed, the food put away, the decorations gathered up, and the picnic table wrestled back through the patio door.

It is great to get all three generations together to celebrate, eat great food, and enjoy the beauty of nature.  There’s so much to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for today?

Farmer’s Market

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

There’s a wonderful thing that happens on Wednesdays on Queen’s University campus.  The farmer’s market rolls into town.

Students, staff, neighbours all arrive to buy fresh bread, produce, cheese, or to pick up some food for lunch.

There’s something that is so pretty about rows and rows of colourful vegetables

All are locally grown….and the apples that I got were delicious!  Next week I’ll have to bring my shopping list and skip the grocery store.

If you are in the Queen’s area check it out.  Sometimes there is a Topsy Farms booth selling yarn and knitted goods.


Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

This is the music of my teenaged years.

This song, Beati Quorum Via by Charles Villiers Stanford is one that immediately brings me back to being a member of the Cantabile Youth Choir on tour in England.  I close my eyes and can still imagine all faces and all the places that meant so much to me.  This was the music that we’d spontaneously sing on the bus across the British countryside, and inside some of the most glorious cathedrals along our way.

Yorkminster Cathedral

Memories have flooded back today, for many reasons, but some of the happier memories returned thanks to this song.  For yet again, in July, we’re embarking on a tour of England and Scotland with Cantabile (the adult choirs this time), and I find myself once more lucky enough to sing evensong at Yorkminster Cathedral.

Today was spent remembering, and singing, while on our choir retreat at Rideau Acres.  We learned lots of  music for the upcoming season and tour….here’s my new favourite Requiem by Eliza Gilkyson arranged by Craig Hella Johnson.  It’s simple, but carries so much emotion in both words and harmonies.

During our breaks we walked around and got to enjoy the changing colours, and get chased by a few geese.

I was able to knit a few rows on my hat too.  Little by little progress is being made.

What music brings back memories for you?

Photos of Fall

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Isn’t fall wonderful when the sun shines?

Turning leaves….

….interesting fungus both big…

…and small…


….bushels of apples….


….cloud filled skies with the sun streaming through.

I’ve been inspired to start knitting a hat.

It’s a top down beanie, and the pattern is inventing itself as I go.  I’m loving how the nightgreens/nightviolets handspun yarn that I finished a while ago looks when it is knit up.

Spinning and Cloudgazing

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I am really enjoying these autumn skies.  The clouds shift so quickly….

….and keep distracting me from my spinning wheel!  Soon enough these clouds will be full of snow, and it will get dark so fast that I will not be able to capture them.

I hope you take time to look up and admire the colours and fluffiness of these clouds while it is still warm.

What’s on my wheel?  Why it’s a combination of superwash fibers from slimchicken’s etsy store.  The colours are Nightviolet (which seems more predominantly purple and blue mixed with black)

and Nightgreens (which seems more predominantly green and black)

I purchased 2 oz of each colour, and I am alternating sections of roving as I spin.  I’m a little unsure (as usual) about what this will end up looking like, or what the finished product will be.  That’s all in the fun of spinning.  Lots of time to contemplate possibilities….

….and get lost in the clouds.

Stormy Skies

Monday, September 13th, 2010

After work today, I was sitting down to spin some new fiber.  It is lovely and dark, blue, black and green.  Out the window, it appeared to be sunny, but then I heard rain, and loud rumbles of thunder.  It wasn’t just rain, but a torrential downpour of rain.  Big drops of rain.  The kind of rain that soaks you to the skin in 10 seconds flat.  The kind of rain that makes giant puddles that cars splash through and you can see their wake.  The rain obscured the view of distant trees and houses, and all the while, the sun was still shining.

I could hear kids screaming about a double rainbow, but I only saw one.  I’m not sure if it can be seen in the picture, but I know that it’s there.

The most amazing fluffy clouds passed by leaving a clear blue sky.  We must have been on the edge of a pretty big storm.  I’m amazed how fast it came and went.

Back to the spinning wheel I go, now that the stormy excitement is over.


Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

This is what is going on outside my window….

car alarms are honking….wonder if they got hit by lightning….

I was outside on my balcony before the rain started, watching the sky light up!

(not sure where the lightning is in this one…hope it’s not hitting my building!)

I came inside when it got too scary.

I really enjoy the high speed aspect to my new camera!

Taking Baby Pictures

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Yesterday I met with Eilidh and her mom to take some pictures in the park to illustrate the “Eilidh” cabled vest pattern.  It was a lovely day, sunny and warm.  We found a spot in the shade, and got the wee one all dressed up, and sitting up.  Now, sitting up is new for her, and maybe she rolled a bit too far forward, squishing her stomach….or maybe she’d just been fed….but before any pictures could even be taken, she spit up down the front of the vest.

Thank goodness mommies always carry a bag full of wipey things.  We cleaned her up (you’d never know the vest was dirty in that picture!)….but she was really not into the whole modeling thing.  There were lots of pictures that look like this one!

Cuddles with mommy made it all better.

Funny thing is, when you take pictures of grown ups, you never have to worry about if they will spit up, or spontaneously cry when you get out the camera!  Thanks for being such a good sport Eilidh, and thanks to her mommy for letting her be a model!

What’s your craziest photo taking situation?

Grandmother’s Garden

Monday, May 24th, 2010
allium and bleeding heart

It felt like summer today!  It was a perfect day to take pictures of my grandmother’s beautiful flowers.  She has been an avid gardener for most of her life, and has a long yard edged with flower beds.


While we were out in the garden we saw birds and their nests, butterflies and other insects…


There’s a rabbit and a fox that are sometimes spotted in her yard


My grandmother sat watching her garden and her trees and wondered out loud how many places you could sit in the middle of the city and see nothing civilized.  We could still hear lots of noises though.

ranunculus--in the buttercup family

The sun was very warm, and after doing a few garden errands, moving some plants up from the basement, and positioning St. Francis by the tree, I introduced her to a refreshing beverage made from her estate mint.

St. Francis is in position

Drink Recipe:

Combine ice, water, lemon juice, honey and mint in a blender.

Blend it until the ice is ground up, and the mint is shredded.

Garnish with a sprig of mint

I first encountered this drink while in Cairo last summer.  It brings back good memories.  I’m planting mint on my balcony, so I’ll be able to make this drink all summer.