Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Edging Into October

The subtle shades of September have begun to spark and catch the blaze of October's fiery reds, but I'll have to save their flame for another post. For now, I'm still living in the previous month when a late summer trip to the cottage beckoned, and we followed.

The drive from my home takes about four hours. Once we're off of the highway, and heading north and eastward, the countryside gently changes from flat farmland to rolling wooded hills. Small ponds and creeks spill over into view, reflecting the soft hues of the season.

There are a few standard stops along the way - the grocery store for perishables and something sweet. We act as if we're giving into a whim when buying the ooey-gooey delight from their bakery section, but we both know it's inevitable. Other stops along the way might include the dollar store for a needed item we realize was forgotten, the chip wagon for this area's best fries and of course the tiny but adequately-stocked liquor store for wine or some spirit to help combat the chilly autumn nights.

The last leg of our journey takes us through winding dirt roads that follow the lake. The curves are tight as the road rises and dips, hugging the hills which make up this beautiful lake shore drive. The land is dense with trees, allowing only an occasional glimpse of water when glancing off to the left. Driveways are marked with a column of wood-carved signs, proudly displaying family names which serve to announce that you're approaching your destination. Throughout the twists and turns, Benny begins to turn up his volume - worry-whining to remind us that he must not be left in the car when we stop this time.

When you see this sign, you know it's time to turn left and drive the last few hundred meters to the cottage. (please click to enlarge)

We were pleased to see that there was a boat available for our use. I liked the way the yellow swirl on the side seemed to continue its flow in the securing ropes. (please click to enlarge)

Once unpacked, we decided to take the boat out and cast a few lines. Benny joined us, but we soon regretted our decision to include him as he never stopped running back and forth - pausing briefly to lean over the edge to bite at our wake. (please click to enlarge)

Visions of his little frame falling overboard prompted us to leave him inside the cottage next time - much to his dismay. This was taken as the boat was pulling away from the dock. (please click to enlarge)

Except for one particularly cold and rainy day, one or both of us fished at least once daily. The early evening sky treated us to its paintbox of colours. (please click to enlarge)

One day, we saw temperatures dropping from balmy to near-nippy. That last evening on the boat became a bit uncomfortable as clouds obscured the setting sun. This was the last cast of the day. (please click to enlarge)

Early the next day, while we sat on the deck drinking coffee, we selected a lure to fish off of the dock, and planned a possible hike. (please click to enlarge)

Benny "relaxed" in the boat which was docked nearby - until he saw something that caught his attention. (please click to enlarge)

Sunning itself on the dock, was a tiny red dragonfly. Since it had caught Benny's excited attention, it was in peril of being inadvertently stomped upon by an exuberant Jack Russell Terror. I offered a finger and the dragonfly gladly accepted the invitation to relocate. It graciously allowed me a macro shot before we bid it farewell. (please click to enlarge for detail).

We hope to return to the cottage for one last visit sometime next week. During that time, I plan to schedule two more posts with more images from last month's stay. If I'm not making the rounds visiting your blogs, and not responding to comments at that time, that's where I'll be.


Cath said...

I love these posts, and if I ever get over to Canada, I hope that you and/or Frank would show me the places you go to fish. It just looks so idyllic, peaceful, full of fun, relaxing...

Your photos of Benny seem to totally catch his character too - I love how you catch him mid-jump and that one of him looking out of the cottage window... awwww!

Thank you for sharing this again. (And if you don't want to share it in person, I would quite understand!)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Beautiful as always, and I love the Benny action shots! Oh, and the mopey one too. Oh and that shot of the rope and the dock and then the one...

hell, they're all great.

RiverPoet said...

I love the way you write and the photos with which you illustrate your tale. Poor Benny, with his limitless energy getting in his own way. I wish you could bottle that energy and send me some!

It's wonderful that you have the cabin to go to. What a wonderful place to de-stress.

Peace - D

Leah J. Utas said...

Enjoy your cottage time. Beautiful pics as always.

Mental P Mama said...

I feel like I've had a relaxing visit to the cabin. I love all the shots with the exception of pitiful Benny-in-the-window. Enjoy!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Man, what a great selection of pics. Me and the missus would be HAPPY to join you next summer up there, thanks!

Dianne said...

Each time I begin my comment I always feel like I have so much to cover. My mind is going - and - and - and - probably a bit like Benny.

The shot of Benny in the window is so touching. It could be the cover of every article - "how your dog feels when you leave"

I love Jack Russell Terror

and I just adore Benny - he is happiness covered in fur

the shot of the lures is beautiful. love how you elongated it. only you could make fishing gear art.

thanks for all the great stuff!

props to Benny ;)

the Bag Lady said...

Think that's the dragonfly whose life you saved.....?
Great post, as usual, Hil!
I can totally relate to the dog whining when nearing your destination. Do not for an instant think that they don't know where they're headed! My dog gets so excited when we turn onto the road leading to our camping spot, it's as though she absolutely can't wait to get there!

Frank Baron said...

As nearly always, with your terrific pics and evocative prose, I felt like I was right there with you guys!

It's a gift Hil. Don't take it for granite or there'll be shale to pay.


Kat said...

We are trying to get up north in the next weekend or two to see the changing color at its best. And it is a must to stop for some ooey gooey goodness to bring up with us too. :)

Julie Wright said...

I feel more peaceful just getting to read about your trip

Anonymous said...

Benny in motion somehow captures the soul of Jack Russell, and I felt like you took us all along on your trip.
Of course, you didn't REALLY bring us along (there are too many of us to fit in the cabin, and we'd probably capsize the boat and scare away the fish with our laughter) but in reading your well-written words and gazing at your photographs, I feel like I've just had a vacation.
Thank you!

When you get a chance, there is an award for you on my blog (posted October 1st).

Suldog said...

I keep saying pretty much the same stuff when I come here. I need new adjectives.

How about if I tell you how much I love the tactile part of your work? You've captured the feel of each object you photograph. That doesn't always happen. And not just the particular roughness of the wood or the fuzziness of Benny's coat, but also the warmth absorbed from the sun, or the wetness from being near the water. Your photographs are extremely sensual, even when the subjects are inanimate.

You truly have a gift, Hilary.

Daryl said...

Lovely relaxing - even with hyperBenny - week ... love that dragonfly photo!


Tink said...

I always love your photos. The one of the dragonfly is superb. I also love the one of Benny on the back of the boat. His character really shows through in your shots.

Reb said...

What a wonderful trip and so glad that your took us all along with you. I love the sign photo, the texture and the age just pop right out and the boat and mooring lines, wonderful. Your photos are all so beautiful, there just are not enough words.

Seamus said...

That all looks so wonderfully relaxing! :)

Hilary said...

• Cath, if you ever make your way over here, it's a date! That would be very cool. :) Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. :)

• Thanks muchly, Crabby. I'm glad you think so. :)

• Riverpoet, it would be wonderful if Benny's energy could be harnessed. It would go a long way. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Leah.

• MPM, he sure does look pitiful, eh? Thanks so much for stopping by.:)

• Thanks, Gary. Well if you do, you'd better bring that sweet beagle of yours. Benny would LOVE that! :)

• Dianne, you cracked me up with your mind's imitation of Benny! Thanks so much for all your kind words.. they mean an awful lot to me. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Baggie. The dragonfly from last June was large and green. This one was small and red. I want to believe that the other one lived, but I can't suspend belief by THAT much. ;) That's an interesting theory about the whining. I never considered excitement.. just distress. He whines when Frank gets off of the highway to get to my place too, so maybe so. :)

• Thanks, Frank. Life is a sedimental journey with you. ;)

• Kathryn, we'll probably be having our respective ooey-gooeys at around the same time. That sounded wrong, didn't it? ;)

• Welcome, Julie. And thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• What a visual, KC.. an overstuffed cabin and boat.. loaded with bloggers! Thanks for the kind words. They're much appreciated. I'll pop over to see your blog shortly after I'm done here. Thanks. :)

• Sully, I can't tell you how much your words mean to me. Truly you made my day. Thanks so much for your kindness. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Thanks so much, Tink. It's impossible not to capture Benny's character. It shines from his goofy little face. Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks so much, Reb. I'm glad you liked that pic. It's a good thing the place was pretty much deserted. I must have looked pretty silly on tip-toe, leaning in close with the macro setting trying to get a shot at that sign. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• It sure was, Seamus. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Tricia said...

This does sound like a perfect trip and a beautiful edging into October. Just reading about the cottage feels peaceful.

Oman said...

always beautiful and always sharp. thank you for the journey. great job.

Woman in a Window said...

What a great post. A lovely slow cadence which is what time at a cottage brings.

Four hours north brings you closer to my neck of the woods, I think, but still far enough away that it is a litte foreign to me.

So enjoy your last trip up! Things are just peaking up here. I trust it will be cool and colourful for you.

Cheffie-Mom said...

So well written and the photos are so peaceful, such a beautiful place.

SandraRee said...

I agree with Frank and Suldog, you do have a gift Hilary.

Another beautiful, well written post.

And another sigh from me... :)

photowannabe said...

Wish I was at that cottage too. It really looks like heaven on earth. To drop a line in the water anddrink coffee while enjoying the quiet is my idea of a vacation. Enjoy your last trip of the season and I am looking forward to more pictures.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

What a beautiful trip down memory lane. I love both Benny shots - especially the action Benny!

Soooooo serene Hilary!

Anonymous said...


It looks charming! makes me want to get in the car and head for the woods, and a bakery, I am afraid :)!

Russell said...

I am just seeing this and it is already Thursday, October 2. I really like this post.

People in my part of the world plan all year long to get away to the north woods for a week or so. Then they drive all day and maybe all night to get to their cabin. But they talk about it all year long until they get to go again!

I remember going to our cabin on Lake Superior and thinking how wonderful it was to be in the big, rough, wild country where you might see a bear or a moose and maybe catch a few fish!

Seeing the tackle box, the fishing rods, the boat, the water -- that all brought back many memories of a happy time.


Country Girl said...

These are gorgeous photos (as always) Hilary!!

May I ask: do you use blogger to upload? I do and every time I try to click to enlarge when I'm done, not all of them work.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

steviewren said...

I love that tackle box shot. So many colorful lures luring me to rifle through the trays.

Michelle H. said...

It's incredible when people get nature shots, like the dragonfly. Then to add the exact words to fully emcompass the shot. Brilliant!

I remember I went fishing once in my life, it wasn't as peaceful as your trip.

JC said...

Wonderful post. I felt like I was on the journey with you to the cottage. I loved the pictures. Poor Benny he looked so sad as y'all left him but so happy as he jumped from the boat. I love the close up dragonfly shot. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Tricia. It is incredibly peaceful there. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Lawstude. Your kind words are much appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, WIAW. We're expecting both cool and colourful. Particularly cool! You're right about the distance. I think the cottage is less than half the distance between Toronto and your area, north-wise, and much further east, which means it's probably freezing where you are now! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Cheffie. It's quite the setting. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you so much, Sandra. I can't tell you how much those kind words mean to me from all of you. :)

• Thanks, Photowannabe. That was an apt description for sure. I appreciate your visit and kind words. :)

• Thanks, MG. The words "Benny" and "serene" are so rarely uttered in one sentence. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Meredith T. I'll have a piece of something delicious just for you. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Russell. I'm so glad that these photos could evoke happy memories for you. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

• Thanks, CG. By now, you have the answer to your question. It was fun exchanging emails with you and I'm glad it helped. For the record, the advice I gave Country Girl was to store her images on Photobucket, and to connect to them in Blogger by using the "direct link" option. That should result in showing the image in its original size (as posted in Photobucket), when clicking on it. Thanks for the visit, CG. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. They sure do lure the eyes, especially those of a Jack Russell Terrier, which is why that box was snapped shut as soon as the photo was taken. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much for your always-kind words, MLH. It sounds like you have a story connected to that fishing trip... :)

• Thanks so much, JC. Benny sure does know how to make our hearts twist into knots. It's partly the expression.. and mostly the pathetic whimpers. He recovers pretty quickly though. Thanks for your very kind words.

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful trip, and I so enjoyed reading about it, illustrated by your beautiful pictures! Benny is such a cutiepie. And I love the dragonfly picture, too. I, too, enjoy taking pictures of creatures I meet in the woods! :)

Anonymous said...

That Jack Russell terrier is an amazing dog and my kind if I was allowed to get a new dog. Our last one, Autumn Eve, was a Toy Fox terrier but at the top of her gene pool and bigger than most toys.

I like your photos and am so glad the dog didn't bite the lures.

Anonymous said...

Truely a wonderful series of natural photographs and prose

Althea said...

:) i'm jealous! hope you're all doing wonderfully well. i'm definitely hoping i'll run into you soon...

Kappa no He said...

Benny's saying, You can't be leaving me behind!

"Take if for granite"..."sedimental journy". You guys crack me up.


Shammickite said...

I particularly like the pic of Benny doing the Macarena, but my fave pic is the one with the boat and reflection and the yellow rope, I really love that one! Super.
How nice to spend some time at a cottage, so relaxing. My family has never invested in a cottage although we did rent a couple for various weeks when my boys were younger. Perhaps next year we'll rent one and the whole family can have a cottage experience!
P.S. spent a couple of hours walking at Stephen's Gulch yesterday, what a great place to go for a doggy walk.

SK Waller said...

How wonderful to have someplace to go when you want to get away, and how wonderful to have a Benny! I especially like the photo of the yellow swirl. Being a aural type, I never would have seen that.

Hilary said...

* Welcome, Thomma Lynne and thanks very much for your kind words. Benny is fun to photograph and seemingly hard to resist. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

* Thank you, Abe. I sure look at JRTs quite differently than I used to since Benny. I know they have a bit of a reputation for being aggressive but nothing could be further from the truth as far as Benny is concerned. Maybe you'll be "allowed" to get one. ;) Thanks for your kind words and I sure hope you're feeling better.

* Thanks, Roentarre. Your kind words are much appreciated. :)

* Althea! :) Good to see you. Now, did you mean "run into you soon" as in whilst playing trivia, or are you planning a trip across the world? I wouldn't turn down the former, but I sure am hoping for the latter. Do tell! Thanks for stopping by. :)

* You could hear Benny too - eh, Kappa? Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks, Shammie. Benny was doing the Macarena? You have quite the imagination. :) Stephen's Gulch is beautiful. I've only been there in late winter/early spring. I'll bet it's just gorgeous this time of year. Hmmm maybe we'll hit those trails before the trees are bare again. Thanks for your always-kind words. :)

* Thank you, Steph. I never saw the swirl until I was looking at the photo on my computer. It wasn't what lured me to take the shot. Thanks for your kind words. "how wonderful to have a Benny" evoked quite the smile. Thanks for that. :)

Cedar said...

Benny looks a little miffed to be left behind. Better to left behind than to end up chum.

Cath said...

I just revisited this one and I have to tell you I totally agree with Sully's comments. All the others, but especially Sully and Frank. You are gifted. So like Frank said - don't take it for granite!

Thank you also for your welcome should I get over there. Highly unlikely, but you weren't to know that so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Hilary said...

• True, Cedar. And he really does get over it quickly.. but he sure looked like a glum chum. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Aww thanks again, Cath. And you never know. I'll still hope. :)

Louise said...

I always love tagging along with you, and your photos seem almost like being there. Loved the yellow on the boat going into the ropes. What an artistic photo! And also loved poor Benny in the window. I'm not sure I could have taken that sad look! Then him jumping out of the boat was quite amusing!

Hilary said...

Thanks, Louise. I'm glad you could join me. That yellow swirl really was a fluke. I never noticed it until I uploaded the photos. I was pleasantly surprised. Benny looks like that even if we pull out of the driveway to go to the store for 2 minutes. He gets over it real quick and therefore so do we. Thanks for you kind words. :)