Posts Tagged ‘midsummer’

There’s no better place to enjoy Midsummer than along the shoreline.  With the sounds of stones rolling under the wash of the waves in the background, willets forage in the waters at Silver Sands Beach.  Once a beautiful sand beach, the shore is now mostly stones.  Sand was trucked away decades ago to make cement for buildings and a runway, under the premise that the sands would return with the waves.  They never did.

Beach peas grow in profusion among the stones above the strandlines.  Their purple and green are a refreshing sight among the greys of the rocks.

A green crab, dried orange by the sun, lays in a tangle of seaweed in the sand.  Eventually, the sun will turn its carcass white.

Periwinkles covered with elaborate apparel are also present in great number. 

Dried pink amphipods are washed ashore.  They too will turn lighter in the sunlight.

Though you can’t tell by the image, the stones are warm to the touch.  To me, Midsummer means feeling the warmth of the sun in a way that touches you to your core.  There’s no better place to feel this than on the beach.  What does Midsummer mean to you?

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The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania (1846) by Sir Joseph Noel Patton

The faeiries must have been quarreling last night.  Though it was Midsummer’s Eve, it was rainy and windy.  Inclement weather is a sign that arguments are taking place in the realm of faerie folk.  In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ the king and queen of the faeries have an argument that affects the elements: 

Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck’d up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents

from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare

path into the woodsI’d been tentatively planning to sit outside on this night, under an Elder tree in the hope of seeing the King of the Faeries.  Midsummer’s Eve is the only night of the year when this is supposedly possible. 

Yesterday afternoon I set up a solar generated light next to my chosen Elder tree so that I could easily spot it in the dark.  The tiny light , which is in the shape of a hummingbird, changes its color from blue to purple to red to green.  It looks enchanting in the night landscape throughout the seasons.

I set out into the woods at 10:30pm to get a sense of whether or not the faeries might be out.  By then, the trail was already soaked and every green thing was covered with water. 

It was the last night of the old moon, so it was very dark in the woods.  Even if it hadn’t been overcast and raining, it still would have been the darkest of nights. 

At least the mosquitoes weren’t bad.  They can’t fly around in heavy rain.  But neither can the faeries, I soon realized.  I’d have to wait until next year at least to catch a glimpse of the King of the Faeries.

Before heading back inside, I took a couple of photographs.  The flash from my camera lit up the surrounding trees.  There are many Mountain Ash trees in this area.  These are akin to Rowan, which are magical in their own right. 

elder at night

I’m sure many of you don’t believe in faeries anymore.  Perhaps it’s time to reconsider and ask ‘why not?’  A belief in faeries does put a sparkle on the day, and just as with the wild creatures in the woods, just because you haven’t seen them yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.  If you want them to be geniuses, read them more fairy tales.

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

~ Albert Einstein

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I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine. 

From ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’  by William Shakespeare

It’s Midsummer’s Eve and time for a scavenger hunt!    Whether you live in the city or the country, here in Nova Scotia or on the other side of the planet, you’re welcome to participate.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to photograph five natural subjects that each captures the essence of one of the following elements.  Each one is characterized by one or several colors that may be substituted for a literal image of the element. 

  1. Fire (Red)
  2. Water (Blue or Black)
  3. Metal (White, Gold or Silver)
  4. Earth (Brown or yellow)
  5. Wood (Green)

Over the past five Saturdays, I’ve written a weekly post about some of the shapes that are found repeatedly in nature:  the meander, the spiral, the circle, the branch and the star.   Incorporating these shapes into your photographs is not necessary, but doing so will breathe more life into them. 

Here are some examples:


Fiery Red Poppy (Fire)

Red Poppy (Fire)

Trees Reflected in Birdbath (Water)

Trees Reflected in Birdbath (Water)

Star of Bethlehem (Metal)

White Star of Bethlehem Flowers (Metal)

Garden Snail on Leaf on Stone (Earth)

Garden Snail and Leaf on Stone (Earth)

Tree Trunks (Wood)

Tree Trunks (Wood)

The hunt will end on July 20th.  Your photos can be uploaded in a blog post (add a link to your post in the comments area) or they can be emailed to me for uploading on my blog.  Prizes will consist of prints from Drawing Conclusions.   Get outside and look at nature in a different way.  Have fun 🙂


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