Category Archives: Autumn

Coping

Everyone has his or her own way of coping with loss or drastic change. For me it means grabbing a camera, putting a leash on the dog, and going for a walk on a country road just to stretch and breathe slowly, letting the stress out with each deep breath.

Last vestiges of fall foliage

Last vestiges of fall foliage

Sometimes if you take the time to peek into the ditches you’ll find remnants of the amazing fall foliage colours the Maritimes are famous for – and it will make you smile in spite of yourself.

Not letting go

Not letting go

And at the edge of the road a loan leaf clings to the naked branch of a bush, its comrades blown away by the last strong wind.

After two weeks of travelling in to the hospital to sit with my mother, brothers and sisters while her life ebbed away, and another week of frantic activity after the not-unexpected 6:a.m. call, the hubbub has slowed and the exhaustion has set in. When you are sad it is hard to get motivated to bundle up against the cold and go outside, but Mother Nature offers solace, encouragement and the rejuvenation needed to keep coping and moving on.

 

Supermoon (Beaver moon) Rising

Supermoon (Beaver moon) Rising

Last night I had intended to go out and set up my gear to capture the rising of the Supermoon over the local hills. One of the side effects of grief and attempting to cope is the inability to remember things properly and motivate yourself in a timely way. Instead of preparing, I sat down and ate dinner with my husband, only realizing after the fact that I’d missed that moment of the moon appearing over the crest of the hill. The best I could manage was a quick snap of it rising rapidly through the naked tree branches across the road.

Supermoon setting

Supermoon setting

My alternate plan, since I’m an early riser anyway, was to get out this morning and capture the giant orb setting over the Town of Sussex to the west of us. Mother Nature played a cruel joke on my plan and hid most of the moon behind cloud cover, showing just enough to taunt me!

Look closely and you'll see the lights of Sussex at the bottom of the photo.

Look closely and you’ll see the lights of Sussex at the bottom of the photo.

Everyone has different coping strategies. For me it will be more walks with Harley and perhaps a camera over my shoulder too. It’s been a long several months and no matter how prepared for someone’s death you think you are, you aren’t. A death brings out the best in some people, and the worst in others. Hopefully those who cope by striking out against others will find their way back to those who support each other in coping with the loss of the linchpin that held it all together.

Also posted in appreciation, BLOG, caring, death, emotions, Fall Foliage, family, New Brunswick, photography, rural living lifestyle, seasons, writing Tagged , , |

Autumn in New Brunswick

backlit-red-leaf-web-copyAutumn in #NewBrunswick means cool, crisp and clear days, cold nights and, most importantly, brilliant fall foliage! The peak time for the most colourful display is usually in about two weeks – around our Thanksgiving or mid-October. However, this year there’s a strong hurricane threatening the entire eastern seaboard from Miami through our area and beyond. So, I decided I should gather as many seasonal images as possible today – and if there are more to be had later, I can always add to the collection. We’ve had an unnervingly dry summer so the leaves are literally hanging by a thread, dehydrated and ready to fall with the smallest breeze, never mind hurricane force winds.

apples-web-copyAutumn also means apples. These very small, sour crab apples grow on my neighbour’s tree. They’d probably make good jelly but, as older folk are prone to say, they don’t make “good eatin'”. Other varieties grown in orchards throughout the area are much tastier for snacks, pies or sweet treats!

abandoned-house-knightville-web-copyIn the countryside around #Sussex the colours of autumn are just beginning to emerge. They provide a wonderful backdrop for many scenes, even this old, derelict farm house collapsing in upon itself.

beaver-lodge-web-copyThe industrious beaver family in the pond behind our house have been fortifying their dam in an effort to raise the dwindling water level that will provide their winter habitat and protection. Normally all that greenery behind them would be under water at this time of year – a testament to the long, dry months of summer.

deer-across-field-1-red-tree-web-copyMeanwhile, in the field across the road from our house, one lone red maple stands like a sentinel above a couple of grazing deer.

far-side-of-highway-web-copyIn the adjacent field the trees on the far side of the #1 Highway are just beginning to show off their autumn colours.

seed-head-web-copyHay scraps on the edges of the fields have gone to seed.

timothy-web-copySome stand out against the detritus of a season past its glory.

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Still, the view from our deck can be enjoyed as we keep track of the developing autumn colours on the far hills. Meanwhile, summer’s warmth is laid to rest¬† for another year under a canopy of colour.

 

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Also posted in BLOG, Canada, Fall Foliage, New Brunswick, photography, seasons Tagged , |

October denouement

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It’s the first of October, the denouement of autumn into that other season that we shall not name. Leaves on deciduous trees have been changing colour for the last few weeks and will probably peak in the next week or so.

The day began with the thunder of shotguns on this first day of bird hunting season. Ducks and geese fled overhead, quacking and honking in fear for their lives. But, as the sun rose, the hunters took respite until tonight when they’ll try again to nail those hapless birds. Truthfully I have no problem with hunting if it’s to put food on the table. I just fail to understand killing anything as sport. But that’s for another post someday.

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The sedum have flowered and changed colours from pale pink to a deep rose shade. Left untrimmed in winter their determined seed heads will be seen above the snow and those birds who spend the season here, as opposed to heading south, will feast upon them.

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Meanwhile, the hayfields have been cut for the second time and most of the bales taken away to feed the herds of cattle over the coming winter months. A few ignored or forgotten ones remain as distant trees mark the changing of the seasons. Summer is truly over.

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And the remnants of the black-eyed Susans punctuate the changes in the gardens – hanging on as long as they can until cold winds rip their shrivelled petals away from the seed heads. Like the sedum, those small black seed heads will remain until spring providing sustenance to the over-wintering birds and those returning early from their southern vacations.

October is the month of drastic change, beginning with clear and bright days with cool nights and ending by heralding the dark, damp and cold that is November. Luckily it is also the month that gives us the most brilliant of colours before the total denouement of the season.

Also posted in BLOG, Fall Foliage, New Brunswick, photography, seasons Tagged , , , , |

The hills are alive – with colour!

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This is the week-end for fall foliage. Drive down any country road and around every corner you will see patchwork vistas of deep reds, brilliant oranges and glowing golds.

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We’re lucky in the eastern half of Canada. Wherever there are stands of hardwoods, or at least mixed forests, there is colour – and this year, lots of it!

This morning I left the house before dawn to catch a rocky hillside in the light of the rising sun – and I wasn’t disappointed.

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As the sun rose over the hill behind me it lit the trees along the rock wall adjacent to the highway.

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And highlighted the iron ore so prevalent in our area._L2H4274roadside-web

Every rock appeared rusty in that early light._L2H4276roadside-webAnd every bush and shrub was lit as well. Some days it’s really worthwhile to get up and out before the rest of the world has bothered.

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And sometimes there’s a wee surprise hidden in the rocks in the middle of a field on a sunny and warm autumn day. I hope you enjoyed today as much as I have.

 

Also posted in BLOG, Canada, Fall Foliage, New Brunswick, photography, seasons

Autumn in the country

Autumn in the country around Sussex, NB, means brilliant fall foliage colours, harvesting, and, for some intrepid farmers, the annual provincial ploughing competition. This year it was held in the field up the road from our home.

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Mother nature cooperated by providing a brilliant and sunny day for the event and a colourful backdrop for spectators. The object of the game is for the ploughmen/women to drive their tractors and create furrows of a specific length, width and depth on a consistent basis. If you’ve never driven a tractor you can’t really appreciate just what a challenge it is!

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This gentleman came prepared, complete with a sunshade on a hot afternoon.

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Ploughing is not a gender-specific endeavour on most farms, as this young lady aptly demonstrated.

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Nor does the size or brand of the tractor matter. It’s all about the driver’s skill.

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With each pass the judges step in and measure the result and any deviation can mean the difference between becoming champion – or not.

Although it’s a serious undertaking, it’s also done in good spirit and a skilled ploughman/woman is a joy to watch.

Of course, here in Kings County we always have the juxtaposition of generations-old rural traditions against industrial development.

The tips of the stacks from the nearby potash mines dot the backdrop.

The tips of the stacks from the nearby potash mines dot the backdrop.

Whatever your interest, autumn in the country is both pleasant and colourful. Get out and enjoy it while you can. Sadly, autumn heralds the arrival of that other not-to-be-named season.

_L2H4236 - Version 2ploughing-web

_L2H4239 - Version 2ploughing-web

Also posted in BLOG, community, Fall Foliage, farming, New Brunswick, photography, seasons

Pre-Winter Dreaming

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Dreaming at Dawn

Like the horse in the photo I find myself dreaming, in the pre-winter dawn of each day, of warmth, sunshine and the sound of the surf on the beach in Brazil. It is early November and the time has changed here in the Maritimes giving us light a little earlier in the mornings but plunging us into darkness before the supper table has even been set. The days are rapidly shortening and the temperatures are dropping quickly too. Nights are now below freezing and the daytime temperatures, even when the sun is shining, do little to warm the body’s core or the soul.

After three years of dreaming about participating in one of Paula Da Silva’s “Focus On” workshops – and scrimping and saving to make it happen – it’s over. The sense of let-down could be overwhelming but the on-going contact with others who were there and a hard drive full of images to play with keeps the joy alive!

I read an article in last Saturday’s newspaper by a writer from Fredericton, Nancy Bauer. She wrote about seeking a place for writing – a place that nourished the soul while providing at least the basic amenities for her craft. She described writers’ spaces as being cluttered with piles of paper, books and other materials – and I looked around my office and realized she had described my space to a “T”.

My desk, and every other surface in the tiny cubbyhole I call an office, is piled high with paper, books, references, computers, disks, camera gear and a few errant coffee mugs. Sometimes the clutter smothers me and I envy those tidy souls whose work spaces look like something out of a magazine – perfection and clarity. But, although I’ve tried a few times, it’s just not me. I can’t seem to escape the need to pile things where I can keep an eye on them – just in case. You never know when that piece of paper, receipt or pen might be needed, right? And I DO know where they are!

But I digress. Winter is coming and I will, of necessity, be spending more time in this space of my own. Perhaps it IS time to try, once again, to declutter my space and my mind. I might, possibly, focus on one task at a time – or not. I function reasonably well as a pingpong ball, bouncing from task to task, idea to idea. And, it simply is what it is.

So, I’ll go on dreaming – of wonderful past experiences and future ideas. Things to do and places to go – someday – in my dreams.

Running to the sea

Running to the sea

Also posted in photography, seasons, winter Tagged , , , |

It was spring in Brazil

Butterfly on a shrub at the Universidade de Cavalo near Sao Paulo, Brazil

Butterfly on a shrub at the Universidade do Cavalo near Sao Paulo, Brazil

When the members of the Brazil on Focus group arrived in Brazil it was spring. For those of us from North America, where autumn was in full swing with cool, crisp temperatures and the brilliant fall foliage just beginning to emerge, the warmth, humidity and endless flowers were a delightful shock to our sensibilities.

Days were hot, humid and sunny while evenings were only a little cooler. Sweaters and coats were definitely NOT needed. We were fortunate, indeed, to enjoy an extended summer season before returning home to increasingly shorter days and colder temperatures.

Although we were there to improve our equine photography skills, the chance to photograph other, sometimes unrelated, subjects was always available. This shot of the butterfly on a bush was taken during a break at the Universidade do Cavalo. I had been watching an instructor with his class of future farriers, and wandered outside the stable to see what else there was to see. There sat this lovely butterfly doing what butterflies do.

Meanwhile, inside, the class continued.

Technique and understanding are the key components

Technique and understanding are the key components

The instructor, Danilo, was very patient, showing his students how to strike the hot shoe to shape it effectively.

Shaping a hot shoe on the anvil

Shaping a hot shoe on the anvil

Strong hands - soft touch

Strong hands – soft touch

When these students complete their course, they will have no difficulty finding clients who appreciate well trained and skilled farriers to keep their horses’ hooves in good shape and prevent avoidable lamenesses.

Spring in Brazil – the light, the colours, the sounds and the scents – they all assault your senses upon awakening every morning.

UdC assault the senses _L2H7094 - Version 2

 

 

 

Also posted in appreciation, BLOG, horse photography, photography, spring Tagged , , |

Autumn Mornings

Some mornings, especially autumn mornings, are just too beautiful to miss. I had to grab my gear and hit the road earlier this morning in search of any remaining autumn foliage in our area. As I headed toward Mt. Hebron I found a little that was left.

The hills are alive - with some colour

The hills are alive – with some colour

Looking back toward Sussex from high on a hill with the sun hitting the trees, it was possible to get a little more colour. I was away in Brazil when the colours peaked for this year; but I still captured some to bring a smile to my eye (and yours?).

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And, in my friend’s pasture, some whitetailed deer grazing. When hunting season starts next week I hope they’ll be a bit more wary!

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Autumn mornings really are my favourite!

Also posted in appreciation, Fall Foliage, photography, seasons Tagged |

I will need time to adjust

Mares in the morning mist

Mares in the morning mist

After attending Brazil on Focus with Paula Da Silva and a host of talented international photographers for two weeks, it’s going to take a while to settle back into my regular life for sure.

Just the temperature difference alone is a jolt to the system. It was hot and humid in Bahia, Brazil and it is crisp and cold here at home. Shiver.

I will need time to adjust for sure – and time to contemplate and put my thoughts and feelings into some sort of coherent order to share with you all.

In the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the photographs from my amazing journey!

Also posted in BLOG, happiness, photography, Travel Tagged , , , , |

Almost Autumn

Autumn coming _L2H6712 - Version 2

It’s almost autumn. The calendar says it’s still summer (technically speaking) for another week but Mother Nature has other thoughts on that subject. Two nights ago there was a nasty frost and 0C temperatures. Last night the moon was nearly full and it was cold. The heat is on in the house and people are contemplating switching over to flannel sheets on their beds – sooner rather than later. Brrr.

Those who have livestock can already see the thick winter haircoats developing. And bees are stocking up for the coming cold.

bees stocking up before winter

bees stocking up before winter

Autumn is a bittersweet season. Here in New Brunswick the fall foliage is often spectacular – brilliant reds, oranges and golds as the hardwood trees’ leaves change colour before falling to the ground in a crazy patchwork quilt. But those colours and the crisp cool mornings herald the impending arrival of another, less delightful, season.

Hardy flowers showing off in the dying days of summer

Hardy flowers showing off in the dying days of summer

I’m lucky, though. One week from today I’ll be heading to Brazil to participate in the photographic ride of a lifetime – a two week workshop with Italy’s Paula Da Silva called Brazil on Focus. So for me summer will return for two more weeks and I fully intend to revel in the warmth as long as possible.

Stay tuned for postings from Brazil as time and WIFI availability allows. With a group of photographers from around the world I’ll be exploring the culture of the people in the State of Bahia, the horses unique to the country (Mangalarga Marchador and Campolina) and other breeds you’d be familiar with like (believe it or not?) Appaloosas and Quarter Horses. We’ll be visiting breeding farms and exploring the unique desert landscape in north eastern Brazil.

So – check back for updates and, in the meantime, enjoy Mother Nature’s artistic seasonal display!

The brilliant fall foliage is already on display!

The brilliant fall foliage is already on display!

Also posted in BLOG, Canada, environmentalism, Fall Foliage, nature, New Brunswick, photography Tagged , , , , |