Friday, May 27, 2016

Among Trees

I am at home among trees.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

Spring is such an enchanting season. The sun is warm. The grass is green. Flowers are blooming. And the trees have both blossoms and leaves. Let's visit some of those trees, shall we?

otonabee river
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
~ Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
This wonderful view of the Otonabee River is just a few minutes on foot from my place. At the time of this photo, its trees were just beginning to fill out with that lovely early verdant hue which I often refer to as "virgin green." It's a short-lived period of time, but when that early or late-day sunshine hits the leaves, the colourful sight is magical.

camera club
A tree is beautiful, but what's more, it has a right to life; like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential. Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.
~ Anton Chekhov
See what I mean? We were getting close to sundown one evening, last week. There were a large number of photographers out by Little Lake and I soon learned that a camera club had selected this location for their outing. They chose a good place and time as lots was happening in and around the waters but that will appear in another post.

my tree
In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.
~ Alice Walker
Back in April, I headed back to my old haunts in Mississauga for a few days. While visiting with my past neighbours Caroline and Lloyd, we took a walk around the lake which yielded so many of my photo subjects back in the day. This tree has always been a favourite of mine. Over the years it has changed considerably as it has lost its branches but it still provides shelter for small creatures. Many a bird have dined on insects from its bark.

hazy sun and dock willow
And see the peaceful trees extend
their myriad leaves in leisured dance-
they bear the weight of sky and cloud
upon the fountain of their veins.
~ Kathleen Raine
Another favourite is the weeping willow which towers over the dock. It lost a lot of its branches in an ice storm a couple of winters back but it persists as a beautiful landmark on Lake Wabukayne. It was a hazy day and the sun was having difficulty breaking through.

hazy sun and willow
If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree.
~ W. B. Yeats
The newly-emerging leaves framed the hazy sun quite nicely.

stripped by squirrels
On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds.
~ Mark Tobey
One last tree from that walk. This squirrels had begun shredding the bark when I lived here. They have clearly made good work of it since I've been gone. I imagine that the bark makes for good nesting material.

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.
~ Willa Cather
Back in Peterborough, a few weeks ago, this flash of red caught my eye from a distance. I can't say that I've ever noticed the Christmas bow up in the tree before, and now that the tree is in full leaf, it's unlikely that I will again.

new growth
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
~ Albert Einstein
Although the bright bow caught my eye, the soft colours of new life caught my breath.

tree - first try
Trees are as close to immortality as the rest of us ever come.
~ Karen Joy Fowler
A couple of weeks back, I saw this guy inching his way along a less-than-sturdy branch which reaches out over the water and directly above some large, jagged rocks. I could hear the branch creaking with his every movement and my heart mimicked his progression by edging its way toward my throat.

tree - no go
All our wisdom is stored in the trees.
~ Santosh Kalwar
Thankfully, he decided to abandon his mission.

tree - second try
To be without trees would, in the most literal way, to be without our roots.
~ Richard Mabey
But then his buddy took up the cause. He didn't get quite as far as the other guy before he realized it was too risky. What was their quest?

tree -  lure cure

The story of the tree is written on every leaf.
~ Marty Rubin
All I could see was this but they said that there was also a forty dollar fishing lure toward the end of the branch which would have never held their weight. I'm glad they determined that their safety was worth more than the lure.

in bloom
Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.
~ Kahlil Gibran
So many blossoms in bloom. The colours are both soft and vibrant. What season could possibly beat spring for beauty? Well, maybe summer. Perhaps autumn. Nah.. let's just enjoy the spring.

"Listen to the trees talking in their sleep," she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. "What nice dreams they must have!"
~ L.M. Montgomery
The brief blushing blossoms of the striking magnolia tree.

A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human.
~ Georges Rouault
No matter how early or late our spring season begins, the lilacs always manage to be in full bloom on May 21st. I have noted this every year since 1988 on the approaching occasion of my late in-laws, June and Ken's golden anniversary. June fondly recalled how there were freshly cut lilacs on the tables at her wedding on that date, fifty years earlier. They thought we were just going out to dinner to celebrate that night but we threw a surprise party in their honour at our home. I made sure there were plenty of lilacs from our tree on the table. To this day, I think of them when those lilacs are in bloom.

red maple evening sun
When the time has come, every leaf turns to face the sun!
~ Akilnathan Logeswaran
These are the russet leaves of the red maple trees as they make their first appearance in spring. The foliage will show off its true scarlet brilliance in autumn. These backlit beauties were wind-dancing for me in the early evening.

More photos coming up before too long.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hands-free Mobile Device

There are a series of interconnecting parks about 20 minutes away on foot. I was sitting by the water in one of the parks, just watching people come and go along the pathway.

I hope to be a 90 year old guy who rides his unicycle to the store for whiskey and condoms. ~ J.D. Miller
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the somewhat awkward movement of this girl trying to say atop of her unicycle.

Unicyclists can ride longer than bicyclists because bicyclists are always two tired. ~ Unknown
I decided to walk ahead of her and snap some photos. Her name is Rachel.

On a unicycle, my tire will tire before I do. I ride for charity. I'm trying to raise enough money to buy a bicycle. ~ Jarod Kintz
By the time I got there, she had covered a bit of ground but had since lost her balance and was having a hard time finding her groove again. Still, it looked like she was about to get it back.

Unicyclists aren't crazy, just slightly unbalanced. - Unknown
Hang on, Rachel!

Q: Whats the difference between a hobo on a unicycle and a man in a suit on a bike?    A: Attire.
Can she regain her balance and momentum?

I live on the edge. Sometimes I fall off. - Steve Winterburn
Not this time. But she never lost her sense of humour.

Instead of a motorcycle gang, I'm thinking of starting up a unicycle gang. We'll be hell on wheel. ~ Jarod Kintz
Atta girl!

Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way ~ Unknown
This time, I think she's got it.

I can. I will. End of story. ~ Unknown
A sweet smile of success!

It's impossible to ride a unicycle, some of us have just figured out how to take a long time before we fall off. ~ Charlie Dancey
She soon left me in her wake.