Floral

Rainy Birches

Rainy Birches - Ellie Kennard 2012
Rainy Birches – Ellie Kennard 2012

This gentle black and white photograph with its splashes of dark zigzags is another find from my 366 photo a day project in 2012.

original post: November 14, 2012 – 319/366 – Rainy Birches

Today was a day of rain and I spent some of it sitting in an industrial park while my car was being repaired. I stood outside with the highway traffic thundering over my head and thought I would photograph these birches with their few yellow leaves, planted in the embankment below the road. They seemed to be a pen and ink wash drawing

Leaf Jam

Leaf Jam - Ellie Kennard 2012
Leaf Jam – Ellie Kennard 2012

This photo is a favourite of mine as it was taken at the end of a long hike when I was still almost too sick to undertake such a walk. I was working on a project called “Thankful” with a small group of friends. This is why I really appreciated finding the image and post again as I have almost forgotten what it means to have balance issues and to be so unwell.

We rested when we arrived at these falls and as we were sitting on the rocks (and it wasn’t all that warm, I seem to remember) I saw this bundle of leaves hanging on for dear life. I am so glad to have recovered this post, rather like a mini diary entry as it (and the photo) reminds me of days that I am so glad to have left behind me. Thankful indeed!

Original Post: October 28, 2012 – 301/366 – Leaf Jam – or “The Intrepid Travellers Find the Falls 

Today we decided to do a trek to a place that we have only just heard about, Crystal Falls. We only had very scanty directions (rather sweet ones, given by Google Maps that start off by saying: “Let’s start at Tim Hortons” – Tim Hortons is a chain of coffee shops, for those unfamiliar with this Canadian icon). Eventually, after asking directions twice, we found the rough track that we hoped led to this place, deep in the woods (we were told to be careful of coyotes, which lent an air of excitement to our trek). We trudged along a rocky dirt road that climbed up and up and up a hillside until we came to a rather ugly set of power lines. At the bottom of the hill just under these power lines, we could see the falls.

The descent was steep and tricky and for myself, with balance issues and carrying camera and lenses the trip down was fraught with danger. I made it to the bottom where we then made our way through swampy terrain until we reached the edge of the pool. The falls were there before us and were lovely even though not spectacular. Although I took many photographs of the falls and will no doubt go back and take more, today’s feature is of a leaf jam that took my fancy with the water spraying up from it. 

We saw a couple approaching us from the opposite bank and when we could make our way within hearing distance they told us that the real way back to the road was on their side, much easier and a very pretty walk along the river. To get there we had to jump across slippery rocks, balance across logs wedged between heavy boulders in the rushing stream (remember the balance issues) and eventually be helped up the bank. 

So we were intrepid travellers today.

Peonies

peony - Ellie Kennard 2015
A peony photographed through a plastic bag with a hole cut in it – Ellie Kennard 2015

During 2015 I was part of a mentorship about creating intentional blur, which was the most fun I had had in as long as I can remember. It changed the way I looked at the world through my lens immeasurably – in so many good ways. These photos were both taken during that mentorship and bring back warm memories of my experiences at that time, the great people who taught me so much and the lovely warm summer we had that year.

A peony photographed through a plastic bag with a hole cut in it - Ellie Kennard 2015
A peony photographed through a plastic bag with a hole cut in it – Ellie Kennard 2015

Drops on Webs on Leaves

Drops in Webs on Leaves - Ellie Kennard 2012
Drops in Webs on Leaves – Ellie Kennard 2012

I am having so much fun rediscovering these photographs as I go through the rescue mission on my Google+ posts. This was one of my favourites, taken in September of 2012 with a macro lens which I always found a challenge to use hand held out of doors,  to get the focus just as I wanted. But this result, with the rich colours and textures was one I was particularly happy with. Although it is white outside, the rich colours here remind me of one of my favourite seasons for photography.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Original Posting: September 21, 2012 – 264/366 – Drops on Webs on Leaves

I can’t resist the colours of the leaves as they fall, the textures in them, almost like skin. When you combine that with some webs and add some drops from the night’s rainfall, I am out there on my knees with the macro lens you can be sure.

This is image #264 for my participation in the #creative366project

Magnolia Candy Monster

The Magnolia Candy Monster - Ellie Kennard 2012
The Magnolia Candy Monster – Ellie Kennard 2012

One of my favourite subjects to photograph is the magnolia tree outside our back door. It is beautiful in flower, but equally intriguing and beautiful are the seed pods. In my 366 project I featured photographs of it more than once and here is one of them (with a bonus image).

Original post

October 25, 2012 – 298/366 – *The Magnolia Candy Monster

I have lived with this magnolia tree in our garden and walked past it many, many times a day over the past 15 years. It is just outside our door. Every spring we have admired and photographed the flowers. Every day in the spring and summer, I have refilled the bird bath/drinker that sits in the shelter of its broad green leaves. Never before have I noticed this extraordinary display of the appearance of the seeds as I have today. I have not done anything to the colour of this. It is just as it is. Polka dot pink with bright red, almost clashing berries. And see the strange appearance like eyes in different places. How astonishing that we don’t see these things when they are right under our noses, don’t you think? And aren’t they wonderful when we do, finally notice them?

I took two photographs that I liked of magnolia berries, but will post the other in a separate post, as the 366 project is only one a day and this one was chosen for this project.

This is image #297 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

Bonus Image

Here is the additional image I took of magnolia seed, in closeup detail.

Magnolia Seed - Ellie Kennard 2012
Magnolia Seed – Ellie Kennard 2012

Revisiting England – thoughts from abroad

It’s time to revisit England. Not literally, though a little while ago we had thought to return this month. No, this time I am thinking of England at my favourite time of the year, when I always wish I were back there. It was April, 1968 when I first visited. I had just left a Canada which was still wintry, slushy and tired of the cold and snow. England was having one of its balmy, even hot, sunny springs, with flowers blooming everywhere, birds singing and everyone friendly and happy, sitting on the grass in parks and by canals. I fell in love with the country then and I will always go back there in my mind every spring. There is nowhere like it for me. I have no photographs of the spring in England, I don’t need them. My memory holds it all including the warmth of the sun on my back and on my pale winter face, and the wonderful scent of the spring flowers. Every year I think of the lines from Robert Browning’s “Home Thoughts From Abroad“* – “Oh, to be in England Now that April’s there…”

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry - Ellie Kennard 2012
Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry – Ellie Kennard 2012

And then another line comes back to me from “A Shropshire Lad“** by A.E. Housman “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough…” Many years later, the first real home I lived in in England had two ornamental cherry trees outside the front door.  To this day every time I see a cherry tree in bloom, I am transported back to that time and the joy they brought me then.

Through the cottage window

There were few flowers to be seen on our trip back to the UK, but some of the scenes brought back just as many memories. It’s funny how even the interior of a modern park home, one of many almost identical in tight rows, can seem like a quaint cottage when it is filled with the things brought from just such an old home. Everything about this said ‘cottage window’ to me and the simple treasures brought to it from such an old kitchen filled the modern space with a feeling of solidity and timelessness. The little lidded pots for tea and coffee had made a graceful transition to sit on a modern windowsill, and the bird feeders transplanted to the tiny garden were so familiar that as you looked out beyond them to the golden leaves on this new riverbank you were once again standing in the kitchen of the ancient cottage on the river bank in the Suffolk countryside.

Cottage autumn window - Ellie Kennard 2016
Cottage autumn window – Ellie Kennard 2016

The things we choose to keep

When we move to new homes, we choose the things that we want to keep around us, things that represent in some way who we are and who we have been. Here, this window hanging plant crossed generations and was selected to be brought through multiple moves. The horse brasses in the sitting room, tide clock and seascapes from Suffolk hanging on the wall as if they had always been there all serve to connect us all with past windows, past cottages, past loves, friends and families. No casual visitor could guess why such a plant, such simple possessions were carried through sad and happy times, places and lives, yet, even without guessing, something does come through, something more powerful than a simple object.

Memories through a cottage window - Ellie Kennard 2016
Memories through a cottage window – Ellie Kennard 2016

Looking around the home we were staying in I was warmed by the memories that each piece of decoration brought back.  They all opened a window onto the past that was still there, though so far away in time and miles.

*Robert Browning’s “Home Thoughts From Abroad” (to hear the whole poem on Youtube)
**A Shropshire Lad” by A.E. Housman – the whole poem linked here

Naturally Curly

I have had many new subscribers sign up for my blog lately, to my surprise (and delight, thank you all!). In celebration of this and for all of you reading, I am sharing a favourite image of mine I took in the full bloom of summer. This was our first year of growing dahlias since we left France, 20 years ago (and we had some glorious ones there, raised in the heat and sun of that idyllic place). We didn’t have much choice by the time we went dahlia tuber shopping, but we were generally pleased with the results, only losing a couple that didn’t make it to the surface. And the earwigs! What a battle I had with them, but I won!

Though the fresh blooms of this particular dahlia are flamboyant and dramatic, my eye was caught by this one which was almost spent, finishing its flowering in an elegant, stylish fashion. Each of the petals had begun to twist and curl and they reminded me of the tousled head of a little girl with brightly coloured, naturally curly hair.

Naturally curly - Ellie Kennard 2017
Naturally curly – Ellie Kennard 201

WHAT THE BEST DRESSED FUCHSIAS ARE WEARING THIS FALL

Now fall is upon us and the colours are starting to develop and intensify. It’s the most beautiful time of the year in some ways, though the chill is something I could do without. The warmth of the wood stove we use to heat our house and the faint smell of wood smoke in the cool, brisk autumn air have an appeal of their own and so I must simply shift my focus from the summer joys to those of this, one of my favourite seasons!

I looked out of my kitchen window yesterday morning to see these three jaunty looking fuchsias, protected so stylishly from the hard frost of the night before. I know their days are numbered, but as they are in glorious full bloom still, it’s surely not too much to ask just a few more days of enjoying the beauty of these before they go away for the winter?

What the best dressed fuchsias are wearing this fall - Ellie Kennard 2017
What the best dressed fuchsias are wearing this fall – Ellie Kennard 2017

While waiting and in memory

Some of my friends have recently lost loved ones, so thinking of them and their sadness at this time, I wanted to give them, even if only virtually, some of the dahlias from our garden. If they had lived nearby I would have taken them the actual flowers. These are for Prue, for Cynthia and for Amaya and for everyone else who might be feeling the loss of a friend or family member.

I am planning to share a few posts on a different theme from my usual ones on here, in hopes that they will be of interest to my present readers. I have been giving some thought as to how to do this, but I felt that I wanted to share some of the beauty of our garden with special friends and all who visit. They come with my love and thoughts for you all.

This fiery streaked and almost ragged looking flower has a warmth and a wildness that really appealed to me.

Dahlia flower - Ellie Kennard 2017
Dahlia flower – Ellie Kennard 2017

And a dahlia in waiting, teasing us, only partly unfurling, as if shy to show herself, the first to bloom on this new plant.

Coming soon, dahlia in waiting - Ellie Kennard 2017
Coming soon, dahlia in waiting – Ellie Kennard 2017