Landscape

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.

Park Bench – Blowing Snow

Park Bench - blowing snow - Ellie Kennard 2012
Park Bench – blowing snow – Ellie Kennard 2012

Another rescued image post from Google+ that had never made its way to my blog, so I was really glad to see it and restore it here. Winter is setting in well here, with temperatures into the well below freezing numbers. It’s so nice to see this sitting here in a comfortable house in front of a warm fire.

Original Post: February 13, 2012 – Park Bench, Canning Nova Scotia – February afternoon

The village of Canning was once a ship building town and ships used to dock here to load apples and potatoes to send around the world. Now the river is small, just about big enough for a canoe or a row boat. It’s hard to imagine that a ship could ever have made its way up here.

There is a park here and in the summer it is lovely to sit on this bench and see the birds on the water and in the fields edging the dykes beyond. Quite beautiful in the blowing snow too, although the bench is rather less inviting and I nearly froze as I was taking this image.

Winter Dykes at Sunset 2018

View across the dykes from Canning Main Street - Ellie Kennard 2018
View across the dykes from Canning Main Street – Ellie Kennard 2018

A walk in the bitter cold last night had to last only 30 minutes. We were invited out to supper and Joni needed a walk. I didn’t dare walk in the woods or fields as the snow had melted and then frozen into ice that was too risky to negotiate so I just walked from home down into our town. I set the timer for 15 minutes and turned to go back as it rang. This is what greeted me and I remembered how lovely this Nova Scotia landscape can be. Winter has some of the best light I think.

Golden Beach Foam at Sunset

Golden Beach Foam at Sunset - Ellie Kennard 2014
Golden Beach Foam at Sunset – Ellie Kennard 2014

A golden gift for my readers today!

Original Post: January 22, 2015

There are moments of special light where the world is tinged with gold. This was a moment when we turned around on the beach walk, ready to head back. The beach was rimmed with golden crests to the low waves breaking on the shore. The effect only lasted for a moment or two and then the moment was over.

Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada – Kingsport Beach.

It’s hard to believe that this was taken on November 23, 2013. Today, on December 18, we are covered with snow. I suspect that the scene on this beach in Kingsport Nova Scotia will look a little different today.

Although this was posted on Google+, it was never brought into my blog as it was posted in a private community. So here it is! I found it while searching for a photo that fit the theme of “Waves” for a Join in Daily group.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

Harvested

After the Harvest - Ellie Kennard 2012
After the Harvest – Ellie Kennard 2012

Almost exactly 6 years ago today, as part of my 2012 project, I photographed a favourite scene, with bare fields and that lovely old barn in front of the misty valley behind.

Today it is most definitely not 19 degrees, as with the windchill factor it will feel closer to -18!

Original post:

November 13, 2012 – 318/366 – After the Harvest

I photographed this farm from the other side, in the Spring (see below), showing rolling fields in front of it, and an eagle perched in the branches of the tree we see here on the far right. This time I was driving past on the other side and there was a lovely haze behind the scene, leading down to the dykelands beyond. The harvested stubble in the front had a lovely almost spiky, shiny quality setting off the slightly dreamy, misty landscape behind.

It was 19 degrees today, which probably accounted for the haze and mist in the Valley. It won’t be this warm for long, that is certain.

This is image #318 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

The Farm, with Bald Eagle - Ellie Kennard 2012
The Farm, with Bald Eagle – Ellie Kennard 2012

Original Post:

March 20, 2012 – 80/366 – The Farm, with Bald Eagle

I have been looking at this scene every time I drive back from our shopping centre town, knowing that I wanted to capture it. Today there was such a lovely bank of low clouds over the “North Mountain”, framing the trees nicely that I had to stop and photograph it. It was only when I got it into the computer that I spotted the bald eagle in the tree by the farm house. This scene is so representative of the Annapolis Valley, so very Nova Scotia.

Image #80 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

Winter Field Before the Storm

Winter field before the storm with flock of gulls - Ellie Kennard 2012
Winter field before the storm with flock of gulls

January 3, 2012 – Day #3 Creative 366 Project

Winter field before the storm with flock of gulls

The clouds were hanging low over the hills when this flock of gulls rose over the winter field as the light highlighted them. I just happened to be driving towards them and caught this image. It is taken in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, near the Bay of Fundy (behind the hills in the picture).

366 and all that

Now that the sun-setting of Google+ is projected for next August, I realized that some of my earlier photographic posts I made on there had never been seen by most of my blog followers. As I was going through the earliest ones, specifically those where I began my photographic journey in earnest, I thought I should share the highlights of my photographic Google+ journey on here. While the comments on the original posts will be lost, the text of the posts and the images will be archived here. I hope you enjoy them.

Project 366

At the start of 2012 I was invited to take part in a project of taking a photo a day for the 366 days of that year. I had been sick for a long time and seemed to be deteriorating. Honestly, at the start of the project I wondered if I would survive to the end of it. Now, 6 years on and in better health than I enjoyed in my early 40s, thanks to a switch to a whole foods plant based diet, it seems that my fears were exaggerated. I know, from speaking to my husband Steven, that they were not. He tells me that he felt the same way about me. At times he had to drive me to local places and help me as I propped myself against the car to take the photograph. Each day of this project taught me more about the province I live in, and even the local area so that I came to love it more and more as I sought out its beauty. I learned how to use my camera and learned the basic principles of photography. (Although I had worked in our photo studio, I had never been the photographer, just the photo editor. Having the camera in my own hands was a new experience for me.) Each day’s search for an image gave me an added purpose and kept my spirits up. My fellow participants encouraged me as I did them, with comments and likes and I found many new friends in that special network that has always been under appreciated and espoused by so few of my friends. Obviously I did make it through to the end of the year, one photographic day at a time. This is the start of the highlights of those days.

This is the first of many posts to come where you will see a photograph and a short descriptive note about the scene. Perhaps (I hope) you will see my ‘eye’ and my photographic skills develop. I look forward to hearing any thoughts from any readers who would like to comment.

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

Foggy Old England – Blame the French

Fog over fields, Lincolnshire - Ellie Kennard 2016
Fog over fields, Lincolnshire – Ellie Kennard 2016

Whenever the subject of the English weather comes up in conversation among those who have never been there, it’s never too long before I hear about how foggy it is there. I always laugh and say that what you see on TV shouldn’t be taken too literally, as often the programs represent Victorian England, when the pollution really did bathe the country in a murky dank smog. But those days are long over and England is no more or less foggy than other countries these days… Which is a shame in one way, because I really love foggy days.

For most of our stay in England last winter, the weather was absolutely glorious – at least during the dates we had planned to be there. We had to extend our stay due to illness and as if on cue, from that day the clouds, gloom and rain descended. And the FOG! I guess I have to revise my defence of the English fog as it really was very thick at times. But then I heard on the radio that this was an illegal weather immigrant phenomenon.

BLAME THE FRENCH!
So it seems that this deliciously atmospheric pea soup was wending its way across the channel and travelling hundreds of miles up into the heart of England, from France. We were driving through the Linconshire countryside as we heard this announced on the car radio and sure enough, there it was, creeping up the country, clearly visible across the field bordering the highway we were on. We pulled over and I took that photo you see above. So it’s not really English fog at all. But it stayed with us until we left.

FAMILIAR STREETS SEEM TO BECKON TO MYSTERIOUS DESTINATIONS

Foggy Street, Dogdyke - Ellie Kennard 2016
Foggy Street, Dogdyke – Ellie Kennard 2016

We took a walk down a familiar street which seemed to dissolve into a mystery just out of sight. Without the effect lent it by the Continental mist, this modern development had no more appeal than any other housing estate, but now it seemed to draw you along to see what secrets lay just out of sight. And then suddenly there it was! Right at the end there was a very English path with a lovely little crooked gate and a stone bridge through which trickled a gentle stream. It felt like we had jumped from one world into another!

A DIFFERENT WORLD

Country walk in the fog - Ellie Kennard 2016
Country walk in the fog – Ellie Kennard 2016

DUCKS IN THE MIST

The pond by this path was filled with ducks gliding silently through the reeds. The mist made them almost ethereal, like creatures of my past reappearing to remind me of all the ponds with all the ducks that had had bread fed to them when I stood by them on misty walks with my little girl.

Ducks in the mist - Ellie Kennard 2016
Ducks in the mist – Ellie Kennard 2016

It’s true that although England is no longer (usually) shrouded in thick smog, some of my fondest memories of the landscape of that country include mist or fog. All the same, I had not expected those memories would be so poignantly brought back to me on that short trip to Linconshire.

Jennie Feeding the Duck - Steven Kennard 1980
Jennie Feeding the Duck – Steven Kennard 1980

See the full gallery of my UK photographs here: https://elliekennard.ca/ekgallery/uk/

Deep in thought at breakfast

Pensive at breakfast, Gatwick airport - Ellie Kennard 2016
Pensive at breakfast, Gatwick airport – Ellie Kennard 2016

I’m not yet finished with England as far as my stories go, but this simply expressive photograph caught my attention today and I thought I would put it up to share. It’s one of the last taken on that trip, during our breakfast at Gatwick airport before we left and it doesn’t need anything more in the way of description.

Clicking on the image takes you to the gallery of photographs of our trip to England (more to come).