Sunday, January 26, 2014

15/365 Grateful - Weekends, Shorts, Sun, & Surprises

Weekends are definitely something to be grateful for and this one was stellar. With temperatures in Abbotsford, BC reaching 12C /(53F) it was a shorts and flip flop kind of weekend, I gave my car a much needed bath on Saturday and took care of some errands.  Today was a "me" day, to do with it what ever I wanted.  I could not resist the lure of fog, sun, and blue skies.  It was a special day which came with a wonderful surprise, you will have to scroll to the end to see it.

I was late, the mist was already lifting at the Mission Bridge

The Mission Rail Bridge 

A carpet of moss, lush and green, grows amongst the river rock at Inch Creek.

Sometimes bad shots turn into cool images! This one appeals to the artist in me, but it also aggravates me, if it was a painting I would have to fight myself to keep it from my usual realism.

There were plenty of Eagles perched in the trees and flying about.  I'm happy that the Bald Eagle population has increased after almost being extinct not so many years ago.

I'm pretty stoked about seeing Pussy Willows especially in January. 

Now for the big surprise
well actually it wasn't big
But it was adorable
And it let me take lots of pictures

Here you go!
A little hint for you
Hoot Hoot

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to take pictures of this fellow.  He wasn't very big, perhaps 4" - 6" I have no idea what type of owl he is so if there are any birders out there I would love to know.

Update:   I believe this is a Northern Pygmy Owl

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

13/365 Grateful - Seasons

The world seems to move so fast, years pass in the blink of an eye. Enjoy the season you are in, live it to the fullest, appreciate and treasure each moment for a new season is on the horizon.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

12/365 Grateful - People/Life Journey

People have come and gone, sometime to reappear after many years, bringing along with them memories of times spent together, laughter shared, tears shed, broken hearts, childhood dreams.  They move in and out of our lives, some are with us forever, some only for a short time, but each one of you has added to my journey and played a small part in molding me into the person I have become and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

11/365 Grateful - Fairy Umbrellas

11 - 365 Fairy Umbrellas

My imagination went into overtime as I pictured fairies flitting about, their soft musical voices singing and giggling, as they crowd together under the sparkling umbrella waiting for the heavy morning dew to dissipate. 
Dreams are nothing without imagination or as Pablo Picasso said  "Everything you can imagine is real".   Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
Let's use our imaginations and dream, remember as a child, everything was possible, it still is if we only open our minds and believe in the magic.

10/365 Grateful - The Moon

10 - 365 The Moon

This was my first attempt at photographing the moon, I found out it's not as easy as it looks and you have to have patience.  The night before the shoot I scoured the internet for tips and camera settings. I jotted down notes so I felt I was prepared, well it seems there were a couple of things I forgot.  One, I forgot to check what time the moon would be rising, I figured it would be close to the same time as the night before, so I ended up driving around aimlessly, waiting for almost an hour before it finally began to ascend from behind the mountain.  Two, I should have brought a flashlight, by the time the moon came up it was too dark to see the button settings so I was playing with trial and error.  Three, a coffee and snack would have come in handy as this was done on my way home from work.  Four, patience, find a good spot set up the tripod and wait.  

09/365 Grateful - Opportunities

09 - 365 Opportunities

I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to travel. As I prepare for this trip I find myself looking back in time to 2012 which was a year filled with disappointment, financial issues and health problems, but I survived all that. Mid January 2013 things began to look up, when one door closed, another one opened and out of the blue I was offered a new job, less physically demanding, resulting in better health. I had an offer on my house but I did not accept it and took my house off the market, which relieved me of much stress.  Then at the last moment I was invited by my family to go to Maui with them. My grandson was unable to go so I got his ticket. I have so much to be grateful for and feel truly blessed. 

Maui was amazing and someday I will return, there is still so much I have yet to see and do there.

Now 2014 I am ready to hop on a plane again, February can't come soon enough for me as I count down the days until I am boarding the cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale and cruise the Caribbean, hot tropical breezes ahhhh it will be heaven.    

08/365 Grateful - Capturing Memories

08 - 365 Capturing Memories

Today I am grateful for my cameras.  Every time I scroll through my pictures it is like taking a walk down memory lane.  People, places, and adventures would likely be forgotten if not recorded in some form.  

Some people journal, some draw or sketch, others paint, for me it is a combination of photography and painting.   My cameras allow me to capture beautiful images, things that I might never again see, moments in time that create wonderful memories.  

My camera is also a tool that enables me to shoot images to use as painting references. 

I am also challenged to learn new techniques and venture into different situations, to step out of my comfort zone.  I have found that I am more aware of my surrounding, that I search for the unusual, that sometimes the best images are found off the beaten path.

When heading out for a photo shoot there is a sense of excitement, the high anticipation I feel when I think of the possibilities. With my camera I get lost in time. In my mind I say ....just one more shot which leads to another.

07/365 Grateful - Rest

07 - 365 - Rest

The quiet calls to me, my breathing calms, my mind shuts down I find rest in solitude.

Today I am grateful for rest, to have a quiet warm house to come home to after a busy day, a hot meal, my favorite chair and time to escape into a book.

06/365 Grateful -Communication

06 - 365 - Communication

Today i'm grateful for the different means of communication we employ. I remember the old rotary dial phones (I still have one as a backup)and being on a party line, shared with 4 or 5 other families. How annoying it was when you wanted to make a call and had to wait for another person to finish their conversation. Our first phone number that I remember was only four digits long. Long distance calls were very expensive and best called on Sundays (cheaper rates). We had to store phone numbers in our heads, and I still remember some of those old numbers. We had handwritten or typed sheets taped above the phone with a list of our frequently called numbers.

Now we communicate via cell phones, more often texting then talking.  We no longer have to use our memories to store numbers our phones do it for us. We use computers to shoot off quick emails, cursive writing is becoming a thing of the past.  

We are much more efficient with our many machines, until they crash taking along with it all our memory.  It seems to me we also waste time waiting for a people to respond.  And I must admit I miss those long chatty conversations on the phone with a good friend and a cup of hot coffee in hand. I miss the pleasure of settling in a favorite chair to read a lovely hand written letter, written just for me

Are we more connected or disconnected?  Although I am grateful for modern technology I also feel a loss for what was.  

As a introvert it gives me a feeling of control, the choice is mine as to the level of communication I desire, this can be a good or a bad thing.

What do you think? 

05/365 Grateful - Adventures

05 - 365 - Adventures

Today i'm grateful for adventures, to often I find myself doing the same things, going in the same direction, getting oh so bored.  Adventures bring on excitement, they create endless possibilities and provide inspiration for my creative soul.  New found treasure is found in the beautiful colors of this simple fern with it's lightly frosted fronds.

Along an unfamiliar road, not far from home and I smiled when I saw this mossy Grinch high in a tree.

New found treasure is found in the beautiful colors of this simple fern with it's lightly frosted fronds.

04/365 Grateful -Beautiful sunsets

04 - 365 - Beautiful Sunsets

Today i'm grateful for sunsets, for a short period of time we can feast our eyes upon the rich vibrant colors of a beautifully painted sky. It is like watching a painting unfold. It starts gently with tentative strokes of color, then gradually the colors get bolder, dancing across the sky, each clamoring to be the star. Then with an explosion of the brightest colors imaginable it is over. In awe we gaze at the unparalleled beauty of this painting in the sky hypnotized, unable to walk away until all trace of color is gone.  In anticipation we wait.  

03/365 Grateful - The Gift of Sight

03 - 365 - The Gift of Sight

A dusting of snow sparkles upon the mountain peaks, as the sun reaches out to caress the tips of the trees. 

Sight brings the color of life to our journey. 

02/365 Grateful - Slippers Warming by the Fire Place

02 of 365 - Slippers Warming by the Fire Place

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. 

Today I'm grateful to come home from work to a nice toasty warm fire place, that turns on with the flick of a switch, and a pair of nice slippers to warm my cold feet.

I wish for heat,shelter, warm clothing and blankets for those that are cold, a hot meal to warm their insides, and a helping hand for when they need it.

01/365 Grateful - Coffee and Books

01 of 365 - Coffee and Books

My love affair with books began back in 4th grade starting with the Trixie Belden series written by Julie Campbell Tatham and a wonderful teacher Mrs. Theriault, who brought the stories to life for me, I remember eagerly awaiting each new twist and turn of the plot immersing myself in the words, taking part in the adventures and escaping into new worlds.

Throughout the years I have read book after book and as modern technology dictates I have advanced to using a e-reader, but as you can see traditional books still play a large part in my life. Currently in my reading pile are:

Girl #85 A Doukhobor Childhood by Helen Chernoff Freeman,
Confident Color by Nita Leland which is an old favorite,
Doodling in French by Anna Corba, lately I seem to be interested in all things french.
In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven by Jim and Sue Waddington

A bit of a mixed bag as you can see, interspersed among them are four journal books (we all have things we cannot resist and journal books are one of mine, even though I do not journal, maybe this will be the year I start) as well as my e-reader.

Coffee, ahhh what can I say, coffee is life, the nectar of gods and what wakes me up and keeps me going. Is it even possible to live without it. Seeing as it's New Years Day I think a dash of Baileys is called for to welcome in 2014.