For every photograph that I take, there are far, far more that I miss. They are the pictures stored in my memory, ready for when I plan to go back and spend the time it takes to get it right. They are the ones that got away because the scene is never there again. That first time, the light was just right, the elements all came together in a pattern or shape that was perfect, or something else about it made that moment (as every moment) unique. You can never get it back. As we drove by this scene at the end of the summer, the light and dark lines in the harvested fields, cresting the curving hills really made me want to photograph it. Unfortunately each time we were passing it we were in a hurry to go somewhere and it is right on the main highway, making a sudden stop a dangerous manoeuvre. So every time I had to content myself with looking longingly at the curves of the landscape and the straight paths left by the mower, the big round bales and the smaller squared ones. I knew that soon these would be gathered in and the green growth would blur the clean look of the field, the impression of all the elements flowing like meandering streams down the hill. On this particular weekend we set out specially to catch it. We had to stop on the side of the busy highway, with cars and trucks rushing past and the wind they created making it difficult to be still enough for the photograph. I had a long walk to get to this particular vantage point (sorry on the one hand that I had not brought my tripod, but also glad as it would have been so heavy to haul along the shoulder of the highway) and the day itself was a very blustery one as you see by the sky. I could already feel the shift of the season beginning with the gathering in of the crops.
Change to Fall
And then, suddenly it’s here, in all its glorious colour. Different fields, with grain crops gathered in are the foraging grounds for these many gulls – standing so still then lifting, wheeling, falling, dropping to stand again in groups as if by some invisible command. The light is on the backdrop of the autumn reds, golds and browns against the darker shades of the North Mountain behind. The heavy clouds above threaten rain that begins to fall in slanting drops as I am taking the pictures, trying to shield my lens from the water. I know that with the wind and rain most of these beautiful leaves will be a carpet before the week is out and this will be changed again, ready for the winter landscape.
The Farms Around the Village
Just to the right of the scene above is the farm near our house. Surrounded by the colours of harvested golden fields and the glowing leaves everywhere, the small white buildings cresting the hill look protected and inviting under that heavy sky. Some gulls in the field in front of me are settled, resting on the ground, some searching for worms, grubs or rodents that can be found in the stubble. Their white feathers are a striking contrast to the darker, vibrant tones around them. Suddenly, one starts up and the whole flock lifts to wheel in the air and turn into the wind. I am forced to turn away as the cold rain really begins to fall. Winter is coming.
You can see the Landscape gallery here: https://www.elliekennard.ca/ekgallery/landscapes/