Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

Maybe black and white is the best medium for landscapes, I don’t know.

~ Fay Godwin

I don’t know either.  Yet, as much as color enhances, black and white seems to add another dimension to subjects.  Perhaps it’s by eliminating color that we’re able to see form more clearly.  In their magnificence, colors can distract and prevent us from looking more deeply at a subject’s form and contours.

Just before dawn and dusk, landscapes are void of most of their hues.  A similar effect is created by fog.  Color becomes less important as one’s eyes focus on simply identifying shapes.

Layers of hills and trees become more discernible in the distance.  In color, one layer doesn’t look too different from the other, but the gradient shades are more noticeable in black and white. 

The seasonal palette disappears in the absence of color.  It’s replaced with forms and shapes that convey a feeling of peace and tranquility.  

Perhaps black and white images provide us with a silence for the eyes that affects the soul in a way that’s similar to what our ears experience in quietude. 

Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye.
~  Austin O’Malley


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The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust

Go ahead.  Get outside. 

Find your boots, your mitts, your hat and scarf.  Never mind how cold it is.  Get out there. 

Don’t wait for warmer weather, bluer skies or windless days.  Don’t wait for an occasion when you might have more time or more enthusiasm.  Get out there now. 

So much is waiting for you to discover…  wonders made for your eyes only. 

Give up your expectations and let yourself be surprised by what nature has to offer today that it didn’t yesterday… a bluer sky or fluffier cloud layers… sparkling snow or frozen mud puddles… delicate ripples or white caps on the water.  Just get out there and see for yourself. 

No need to commit to more than ten minutes.  But chances are, you’ll get hooked and stay out for longer than you’d expect.

frozen mud puddle

Nature puts on a new show every day.  Don’t miss it!

We must not be slaves either of time or health; we cannot dispose of either as we will!  If we thought of acting only when all the conditions were favorable, we would pass our lives doing nothing; or at least we would get out of life very little of what it can give us.

Go ahead!  That is a phrase I like so much.  Even if everything is far from perfect, we must learn to say it.  And things will go ahead, since joy does not come from without or from circumstances.  Its principal source is within us.

~ A Carthusian

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Amidst the fog, the day dawns in a blush of soft pinks along the salt marsh trail.

Summer’s pinks may already be a distant memory, but November still has its roses to offer.

Akin to a false sunrise, a blush of pink in the northwest sky is only a reflection of the sun rising in the east.  It may be disorienting to walkers in deep woods who are without a compass and trying to find their bearings.

As they pale with the approaching winter, marsh grasses reveal subtle pinks at the bottom of their stems that were less noticeable during their green phase.

The blush of pinks and oranges at the tips of this weed growing in the gravel are reversed to the centre in its negative image.  Whichever way you look at it, the landscape in November is still glowing, and has yet to lose her charm.

When a girl ceases to blush, she has lost the most powerful charm of her beauty.

~ Gregory I 

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yellow foliageSunny yellow foliage is making its appearance on the Nova Scotia landscape.  Birches, poplars and tamaracks all transform into bright gold at this time of year.  Hot summers will often turn the leaves a dry brown before they have a chance to become yellow, but this summer’s plentiful rains and cooler temperatures promise golden hues this fall.

Some areas of the countryside change colour before others.  Some transformations from green to yellow are gradual, while others seems to magically happen overnight.

In the woods, toadstools have popped up in shady spots under trees.  There is quite a variety of them in the maritime woods, but the yellow ones are especially eye-catching and pretty.  I’m not sure if the ones in the photograph below are Yellow Patches or Yellow-orange Fly Agaric.  Both are considered inedible. 

toadstools and goldenrod

Golden rod flowers are still in bloom although many have now turned a dull brown.  They’ve been a sign heralding the end of warm days since I was a child.  Perhaps they steal and absorb the last bits of sunshine, keeping the final rays of warmth in their roots until spring.

yellow ribbon

Like many families with loved ones on tour, a yellow ribbon is displayed in the front yard.  My son Kip arrived in Afghanistan this past week.  The yellow ribbon is a reminder to keep him and other troops in thought and prayer during their period of deployment.  We look forward to his safe return in the spring.

A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite tender sky,
The ripe, rich tints of the cornfield,
And the wild geese sailing by;
And all over upland and lowland,
The charm of the golden rod; —
Some of us call it Autumn,
And others call it God.

~ Willian Herbert Carruth

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View from Cow Bay Road looking towards Lawrencetown

View from Cow Bay Road looking towards Lawrencetown

The above view struck me as the most awesome in the area when I first saw it. Like a tourist, I often used to pull over while driving, just to admire this view from Cow Bay Road.

View from Flandrum Court

This week marks twenty years since we moved to Cow Bay.  Back in 1989, there was only the odd tree in the front yard and the house was totally visible from the road.  I soon got to work transplanting trees from the backyard to the front.  Today, a wooded area affords more privacy while also providing a barrier to sound, wind and dust from the road.

View from the top of Flandrum Hill Road

View from the top of Flandrum Hill Road looking towards Lawrencetown

Fog and mist are common here, but on clear days, views of the Atlantic Ocean are possible.

Looking towards Osborne Head

Looking towards Osborne Head

Views of Osborne Head became visible once trees were cut down to make way for the construction of new homes in the subdivision.  Paved streets gradually replaced the peaceful forest trails where I used to hike with my children.  What trails remained  became impassable due to fallen trees after Hurricane Juan in 2003.

More than the landscape changes over time.  One facet of aging is the tendency to become more insular with the passing years.  While youth looks out and expands its territory, as we age our focus is directed inward and we more often look within for reason and meaning.  These days I spend more time in my own yard, exploring less the landscape beyond the surveyors’ lines.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the best views are yet to be discovered.

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