Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winter Settles In


It is feeling like a good old-fashioned winter. Snow is on the ground and the temperature has remained cold. I wear layers as I go out and so far have not minded the cold. And when the sun shines in winter, the snow makes everything ultra bright.

Perfect Winter Day

The sky never seems quite as blue as a winter sky. 

Winter Blue

Even shadows take on the blue of the sky.

The Squirrel Snack Bar

The squirrels are still out in numbers, scavenging what they can. This "squirrel snack bar" made this fellow happy.

Preparing the Outdoor Rink

City workers were out preparing the ice - an outdoor rink. With frigid temperatures expected, this rink will have no trouble keeping its hard surface.

Temperatures are in celsius. As a reference point -18°C is 0°F. I'll be putting on an extra layer and going out to enjoy the sunshine.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Has Arrived

Have a Seat

It's here. After a small snowfall on Sunday, yesterday brought over 18 cm of snow (about 7"). As it was cold, it was light snow, not the heavy wet snow that falls when the temperature hovers nearer to 0°C (32 F). I quite enjoyed walking through white - so much brighter than the greyness that permeates cloudy days before the snow arrives.

Snowy Coat

While this "dog" sits motionless letting the snow accumulate on its shaggy fur, its living friends were cavorting in the dog park -  rolling in the snow, chasing each other, enjoying the novelty of the first real snowfall of the season.

Winter is Here

Snow is silent - it falls without sound, unlike rain or sleet and it muffles the city sounds.

Snow on the Benches

I did not stop to sit. I would not want to spoil the sculpted seats that nature had created. Snow brings its own kind of beauty.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Bringing Light

Angels on High

I have never been a great fan of November. It is a time when darkness starts to close in, when grey days and dampness permeates the landscape and the skin. Occasional snow brightens momentarily and then all settles back into moody November. And then the holiday lights start to appear, dispelling the darkness.

Holiday Lights

Whimsy starts to take over bringing smiles. As I don't take part in the frenetic and serious seasonal shopping, I am free to stroll and just enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Standing at the Ready

The market has begun to fill up with trees and their holiday friends. The scent of the season is everywhere. As the days get shorter, the number of lights increases. And in only three weeks the slow creep to more daylight begins again.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Autumn Colours

Fungus on a Log

Photographing has taught me to find beauty everywhere. I went for a walk with a friend in a park that we like - unfortunately our photographic opportunities were curtailed by renovation being done in the park. A wooden walkway across the swamp has been demolished to be replaced by a more solid one. so we had to get back in the car and enter the park from the other side.

Dried Up Flowers

Autumn has certainly taken hold with dried out flowers and coloured leaves.

All That is Left

There is delicacy even in decay.

Like Semaphore

While some trees have already lost leaves, others are holding on to theirs. Flashes of red stand out against the green of the plants that remain.

In the Park

Back at home I walked through the park. This is truly a glorious season.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Black and White

I was challenged recently to post black and white photographs for seven days running. I started to think about what would look good in black and white - or more precisely - black white and greys. I grew up with black and white photographs and they highlight different aspects of an image. The keyboard was too obviously black and white and I needed to find something to photograph that would work in grey tones.


A church nearby provided the next photograph. I think this allows us to see a bit more of the texture of the stonework.


Day 3 - I looked for strong lines. No need for colour when the emphasis is on the geometry of the photograph.


What else would look good in black and white - these reflections caught my eye - they were less about colour than form.

Large Leaves

I found myself testing out the black and white transformation on my phone or in my camera to see if an image would work. You need a fair amount of contrast and not too much texture around the image. For that reason I felt this photograph did not work as well. The busy background texture-wise took away from the main part of the composition. I took a number of photos on my walk that day - it helped me understand the need for contrast and simplicity when shooting black and white.

Looking Towards Downtown

While I like the look of the buildings, I am less happy with the composition. I took this while on a walk and did not take enough time to get the balance of buildings and sky right. But they will be there for another attempt. Also  - a cloud-filled sky might have added interest - the weather was not cooperative in that respect!

Squirrel on a Tree

This was a tough one. I wanted to focus on the texture - the bark and the squirrel but the squirrel was positioned in a way that he was against a dark background, but there was also a bright background near its tail. As a result the white is clipped.

I'll stick to colour for a while - but this has made me think about when and how I want to try more black and white shooting.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Walking up to Summit Park


The city's leaves are also changing. Their display is never quite as intense as in the country but I still find myself stopping to admire.

A Touch of Red

This splash of colour begged to be noticed.


Gardens, too are in a state of change. Some flowers show signs of retreat while others are still at their peak of glory.

In Full Colour

Each tree in its time - while some stay green, others lose their green pigments faster.

Stopping to See the View

No walk up to Summit Park should be without a stop to look over the city.


Autumn, like spring, is a time of constant change - all the more reason to get outside so as not to miss these glorious moments.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hiking in the Laurentians

Which Path

(From October 6) One path leads behind houses, the other up the mountain. We chose the path on the right - perhaps the road less travelled.

Follow the Markers

The trick is to find the marks on the trees. As you approach each mark, you should be able to see the next one.

Under the Tree

But don't just look ahead. There are many treasures hiding down low.

Remnants on the moss

This ghost of a leaf clung to the moss.

A Colony of Fungus

The trail markers were not always easy to spot. Especially when mushrooms almost obscured them...

Snaking Along

I loved the way this moss laden old tree trunk snaked along the forest floor.


From a distance this huge boulder looked like a small house. We couldn't imagine why it had been built in the middle of the woods only to discover its true identity.

Autumn's Fiery Colours

It's hard to imagine a bluer sky or more colourful leaves. We often had to stop to gawk.

Stump and Moss

And what do you see here? I pictured a nerve cell with its dendrites reaching out to make connections.

Orange Leaves

The colours change each year and each year I am enchanted by their transition.


These large fungi looked like an art installation. I loved their rhythm.


Back down at the lake the next morning we took a last look before heading home.

On Still Waters

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Season of Colour

Along the River

Autumn is a glorious season with leaves flaunting their changing colours. Reds and oranges, yellows and the remaining greens. Each day brings new changes to the palette.

In Transition

Change creeps in. Bits of leaves with dabs of paint - not yet fully transformed.

Maple in Fall

The reds are often among the first to appear.


The forest is home to many deer - silent, watching, aware.

Parc Linéaire

We walked along the Parc Linéaire - le P'tit Train du Nord. Admiring. Breathing in the smells of autumn.