between seasons

Hammond River, late afternoon

The days are getting so short. It’s still dark when I get up in the morning, and the sun has set by suppertime. Autumn’s spectacular display of colour has been swept away by the November storms, and now the trees stand bare and waiting.

Autumn is over, and winter has not yet begun. We have feasted in celebration of Thanksgiving (except for our friends in the States), the ritual of Hallowe’en has passed in a shower of candy, and the season of Advent will soon begin. Before the last-minute Christmas panic sets in, before the cold weather arrives to stay, there are a few precious days. This is the time for looking back and planning ahead, reflection and preparation, as we anticipate the miracle of Christmas and the gift of light.

Photo taken on November 13, 2010


architecture + puddle = fun

old post office, reflected

I am a spur-of-the-moment photographer. I tend to take ’em as I see ’em. That’s not to say I don’t work with different angles and compositions, and I certainly spend enough time adjusting colour, crop, contrast etc on the computer. But I have to admit that I seldom plan ahead.

Last night was an exception. I had two reasons to take photos. The first was because it was Thursday, and Utata (the Flickr photo group I participate in) always has a weekly project called Thursday walks. The second is the photo conference happening this weekend in Moncton, called Foto Expo, which is also running a contest with the theme “downtown architecture”. I didn’t get out during the daytime because I was making apple chutney, and it took longer than I expected (doesn’t it always). So that’s why I was uptown with a camera and tripod at 8 p.m. last night.

I had been wanting to take a photo of this building for a while, so last night was the perfect opportunity. Finding the puddle was a bonus. I’m really glad I planned ahead and brought the equipment I needed for this photo shoot. I spent about 40 minutes in this parking lot (my car is the 2nd from the right) and took photos of this Old Post Office building from several angles. In fact, it was so much fun, I might do it again (plan ahead, that is)!

Photo taken on October 28, 2010

fall falling fallen

Last night it was just starting to rain as I let the dogs out. It was dark. The porch light didn’t come on. I missed a step and fell. Aaugh! Ouch. I landed on the top of my foot and twisted my ankle. How ironic: welcome to fall.

I have fallen badly only a few times, but my first response is always fear. I don’t know why, but that surprises me. Of course, there’s pain, and anger (well that was stupid!), but mostly an intense awareness of how fragile I am, how close to breaking.

Not that I have a history of injury. I’m cautious by nature. So far (knock on wood) I haven’t broken any bones. But I have survived a head-on collision with a car while on my bicycle (because I was wearing a helmet), and a couple of years ago I had another bad fall that left me with a purple bruise on my face and dizzy spells.

I know it could have been worse. I’m thankful that my ankle is not broken, and I don’t think the sprain is serious. I don’t like pain, but I can put up with a little soreness. Still, I’ll try to keep my weight off it for a while. It’s raining, it’s cosy indoors, it’s a good day to stay home and be pampered.

Taken on October 24, 2009

morning reflection

I have been wandering through Rockwood Park for more than an hour, taking long-exposure photos of the forest in the pre-dawn light. The birds are singing, the sun is rising, and it is time to go home. I woke up at 4 am to go on this adventure, but now I am beginning to feel tired. I stop for a moment by a small lake to watch the changing light. The dark water is calm, waiting for the morning’s first breeze. I set up my tripod on the grassy bank. One more photo.

Taken on July 31, 2010


Windows are eyes — they reveal and conceal, look outwards and in. The graffiti scrawled on the window panes caught my eye first. Then I saw the sign, leaning conversationally against the inside of the glass, which says: “Never mind the dog, beware of owner.” The paint is past peeling, the wood is worn and rotting at the joins. There is no barrier, no tidy garden or grassy verge between this house and the sidewalk. At first glance, the prospects seem bleak for the inhabitants of this tired house in the old North End. But there is more to the picture. Look the other direction: eyes are windows. See the bright blue sky and lush vegetation. See how life thrives wherever there is light and air and water. Look both ways before you judge this street.

Taken on May 22, 2010

Mispec harbour at low tide

Mispec is at the edge of Saint John’s coastal boundary. Fishing boats head out on the tide from the mouth of the Mispec River. There are much bigger boats waiting offshore from the neighbouring LNG and Canaport terminals where they will unload natural gas and crude oil. And just around this headland is one of the city’s few seaside beaches, a popular destination in summertime. The sea is a great provider, a destination for work and play, a source of destruction and beauty, a mysterious stranger always on our doorstep, calling.

Taken on May 30, 2010