Umbrella

 

Week 7/26 BW Project 26

I have a vivid memory of a dark and stormy night when I was about 3 years old. I was running across a lawn, holding my mother's hand to go to look at something that was happening at the house next door, although I don't recall what that was – maybe a fire, or flood or something. Suddenly I felt a pain in my eye and cried out. My mother swept me up in her arms, a look of panic on her face. I had been struck with the spoke of someone's umbrella. Blood poured down my face mingling with the driving rain drops. My memory of the rest of the night is hazy, but I was taken to emergency where my eye was examined and it was discovered that the spoke had just cut into my eyebrow, missing my eye, fortunately.

My poor distraught mother must have been devastated as she thought of her darling little daughter, my face (she thought) scarred for life. The cut was not large, perhaps 1/2 an inch in length, maybe a bit less. I had often wondered where the scar was (I had never seen it, it was really very small) but a few weeks ago, so many years later, I found where the scar was. As a result of the trauma (mostly caused by my mother's panic and hysteria) I never could be convinced to carry an umbrella, even during the 21 years I lived in England. I am always very careful when I walk by anyone carrying one.

A few years ago, I told myself that it was foolish to be so unreasonable about using an umbrella and I have since bought ones that I use occasionally.

The theme this fortnight is "Umbrella", however so far we are still buried under snow (although today it has rained, in sympathy with the theme!). I dug my umbrella out of the car door, dusted it off (not very well) and set up the photograph more as an art(icle) piece than utility. The theme brought back this memory to me of that long ago accident.

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#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen

#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Nader El Assy +Howard Salmon and +tri rini nuringtyas

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This Could be the Last Time

 

For this winter anyway….

That was what I thought when I took this photo early last Sunday morning. That storm lasted all day and we are still cleaning up from it. Many of the (even main) roads are down to 1 or 1.5 lanes. The mail got through today, at least.

If you zoom in you can see that the snow is actually blowing quite hard, so although it looks as though it is still, as it has fallen on the trees and coated them, it is just very heavy snow that has stuck to everything. The ice that you see on the roof caused water to leak into the kitchen.

This has been a record setting year that I don't wish to see repeated. I saw in the news that New York was in shock and practically ground to a halt when they had about 1 1/2 to 2" of snow on March 21. On bare ground. I thought the news item was a spoof.

We have more snow (6-8") due on Friday night. So I guess this was not the last time. Not even close. But Joni likes it, as she gets to run around on the top of the drifts and bark at everyone from a height.

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#winterwednesday by +Antoine Berger +Logan Miller

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Where to Put it All?: 'Snowva Scotia is closed until Further Notice

 

So now we don't have anywhere else to put the snow, except to start filling up the parking area by the studio. But this was from yesterday's storm. What to do with what is expected on Saturday and into Sunday? There are more severe weather warnings.

Bus service is suspended in Halifax until further notice. There is a parking ban in place so, if there is no bus and you can't park, I guess everything will stay closed. I was advised by a recorded telephone message just now that fuel delivery in our area is being restricted to emergency locations, such as hospitals. So the empty propane tanks in the workshop will remain empty.

On another note, Future Shop is to close in New Minas permanently tomorrow night. If a store closes but there is no one there to notice as it was closed due to the weather anyway, does it still count as a closing down?

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+Photo Mania Canada with +Giselle Savoie and +Mark HELM #PhotoManiaCanada

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Milkweed Pod: Monarch Central

 

5 of 5 for #naturephotochallenge

Every time I look at this picture I think of that line from the Beatles' song "She's leaving home, bye bye'. The tightly packed cluster of milkweed seeds are opening up, ripe and ready to take to the air and disperse on the wind. The milkweed is a plant that is vital for the survival of the Monarch butterfly and so each of these beautiful bits of airy fluff carries a precious burden. The contrast in textures between the seeds and their wings is striking.

This photo was taken last autumn in Ontario after a light snow fall. Snow has taken on a whole different meaning since that time.

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I have been challenged by my friend +Tom Crews to participate in a 5-day Nature Challenge. I have been asked to post one nature photo each day for 5 days. I am asked to name a new challenger on each of my 5 days. Today I am challenging my friend​​​​​ +Linda Jess to join me in this. Just post one nature photo a day for 5 days. Tag me in it, copy this text and use the hash tag #naturephotochallenge and nominate someone else on each of the days.

Thanks for nominating me Tom. It's been fun, if I have been a bit slow at finishing. :D

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#bellesphotos +Belles photos by +Jean-Louis LAURENCE +Claudya Bonnet

#PhotoManiaCanada by +Giselle Savoie +Mark HELM

#hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers curated by +Krystina Isabella Brion +Melania Pierce +Kanlaya Chungsangornpornsuk +Wayne Lu +Iva Pas

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More Snow Due

 

We had an extra foot yesterday and there's another lot due for tomorrow night. It's very hard to walk now.

Joni manages, but I thought I was going to be sick when I got back today, it was such an effort. All the familiar landmarks are gone, buried deep. We are walking in the tree branches maybe more than 4 feet above the ground. And that's on the level surface, not on the snow banks that are above 10 feet high. The picnic tables are so far under the surface there's absolutely no sign of them. Hills and valleys are now the same. Without snow shoes I could not have gone at all.

For the first time I thought "this is not as fun as it looks".

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Cuckoo's Nest

 

(One Flew Over the)
Week 6/26: Inspired by TV/Film

I have had a long time mystery solved by getting a photograph for this theme. Over the past few years, in the summer I have been hearing a sound a bit like water gurgling down a drain, coming from one of the large trees in front of our house. I even tried to record it so I could get someone to identify what was making the noise. I never was able to spot the bird or work out what it might be.

The other day while walking through the fields, over the snow which is now about 3 or 4 feet above the ground, I spotted this nest wedged neatly in the fork of this tree. I was photographing it as it looked so intricate, finely woven and yet somehow sturdy, and the film title "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" came to mind. The film had nothing to do with birds, of course. That didn't stop me from making that association and so when I came home and was working with it, I wondered if they even have cuckoos here. I got out my trusty iBird app ( +Fraser Brooks​ AKA Bigfoot) and searched for Cuckoos in my area and, sure enough, the black billed cuckoo is indeed found in Nova Scotia. I played the sound on the app and there it was ! The water gurgling down the drain sound! It was nothing like the cuckoo calls I knew from Europe, which is why I had not made the connection.

For those who don't know, cuckoos do not make their own nests, they lay their eggs in the nests of more industrious birds who then, all unaware of the invasion, raise the hatched cuckoo in with their own young. If the host bird is small the growing cuckoo will gradually push out all of the legitimate young from the nest and grow to its comparatively monster size at their expense, exhausting the confused parents while it does so. So every nest is a potential cuckoo's nest.

I went back a day later (after another snowfall and bout of windy weather) and the nest was gone. Just a bit of the bottom was left firmly attached to the base. Hopefully that will serve as a base to build a new one for the season soon to come. And maybe a cuckoo will lay an egg in it. It will be too high for me to be able to see it so well and hopefully to keep it safe from ground predators.

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#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery+Brandon Luk+Lauri Novak+Alison Christensen

#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome​ curated by +Luis Vivanco S.+Оксана Крысюкова+Nader El Assy+Howard Salmon​ and +tri rini nuringtyas

#allthingsmonochrome +All Things Monochrome​ by +Charles Lupica+Enrique Pelaez+Brian Cox+Bill Wood+Dorian Stretton

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Summer Memories to Banish Winter Blues

 

4 of 5 #naturephotochallenge

After the cold wintry (and a little sad) post of yesterday I wanted to share something that made me feel warm and happy. A memory of a summer past, this one was taken in Maine a few years ago in the garden of a friend. We were just about to set out to visit the wonderful public gardens near where she lived and just as we were about to get into the car, I saw the beauty that was just at my feet. Summer will arrive and with it, all the beautiful flowers and creatures. I hope this makes you feel all warm with the thought of what is to come.

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I have been challenged by my friend +Tom Crews​​​​​ to participate in a 5-day Nature Challenge. I have been asked to post one nature photo each day for 5 days – in my case not consecutive. I am asked to name a new challenger on each of my 5 days. Today I am challenging my friend +Janet Patterson​​​​​ to join me in this. Just post one nature photo a day for 5 days. Tag me in it, use the hash tag #naturephotochallenge and nominate someone else on each of the days.

Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: http://www.elliekennard.ca .

#hqspanimals +HQSP Animals​​​​​ curated by +Alejandro J. Soto​​​​​ +Krystina Isabella Brion​​​​​ +Andy Smith​​​​​
#inpraiseofpollinators ++In Praise of Polllinators​​​​​ by +Dusty Gedge​​​​​
#bellesphotos +Belles photos​​​​​ by +Jean-Louis LAURENCE​​​​​ +Claudya Bonnet​​​​​
#naturemonday +NatureMonday​​​​​ by +Rolf Hicker​​​​​ +Jen Baptist​​​​​

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Crow's Tears

 

3 of 5 #naturephotochallenge

Cold, long winters are very hard on wildlife and everything does its best to survive. I was terribly saddened the other day to come home and find some feathers from our female cardinal lying in the snow. I just couldn't believe it! We have hundreds of blue jays, lots of mourning doves, so many other birds, but only 1 pair of cardinals. With that abundance of choice, why did whatever it was have to choose my female cardinal to eat? I came to terms with it by remembering that fact. It's hard for everything wild. They survive as they can.

In the woods at the top of our garden where I had seen owls and other large birds, I found a scene of destruction the other day. Clearly a crow had met the same fate as my little cardinal. This feather lay set apart on the snow with – unlikely – frozen drops of water. Like tears. For all the creatures that have suffered this winter.

Today Joni was staring fixedly at a branch just outside our house. I followed her gaze and there was a hawk watching my bird feeders. I felt conflicting emotions – excitement because I love to see large birds of prey, but also dismay at the thought of the reality of the prey it was hoping to grab, my lovely little birds on the feeder.

As I reached to get my camera to see if I could photograph it, a crow flew at the hawk to attack it. That smaller bird chased the hawk away from our property and away from the bird feeders. Sometimes you're the windscreen, as the song says, sometimes you're the bug. The hawk lost that one.

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I have been challenged by my friend +Tom Crews​​​ to participate in a 5-day Nature Challenge. I have been asked to post one nature photo each day for 5 days – in my case not consecutive. I am asked to name a new challenger on each of my 5 days. Today I am challenging my friend +William McLean​ to join me in this. Just post one nature photo a day for 5 days. Tag me in it, use the hash tag #naturephotochallenge and nominate someone else on each of the days. No pressure, Bill, but I hope you feel like doing it.

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I hope Your Day is a Blue Ball Day

 

Everyone who is following Joni's story has heard about her passion obsession with blue balls. Here is a portrait of her with her two current favourites. (One is more of an egg shape and originally came dressed up in a cute fluffy animal cover, but that went in about 10 minutes, leaving the business part ready for play.)

I thought I should post this to show that Joni does have a comfortable time when she is indoors. She doesn't spend her entire life in ice and snow. Though I think it's only the blue balls and meal times that make indoor life bearable for her. (I had to break this post off three times to fetch it for her when she had bounced the blue egg out of her reach.)

I hope you all have a day as full of fun as she does with her blue balls!

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#dogloversworldwide +DOG LOVERS Worldwide by +Robert SKREINER

#hqspanimals +HQSP Animals curated by +Alejandro J. Soto +Krystina Isabella Brion +Andy Smith

#noapologies #bordercollie #puppy #JonisDiary #AdayinthelifeofJoni #fansofJoni

#fidofriday +Fido Friday by +mel peifer +Lisa Lisa +Suhaib Ayaz +Wes Lum

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