Drops on Webs on Leaves

Drops in Webs on Leaves - Ellie Kennard 2012
Drops in Webs on Leaves – Ellie Kennard 2012

I am having so much fun rediscovering these photographs as I go through the rescue mission on my Google+ posts. This was one of my favourites, taken in September of 2012 with a macro lens which I always found a challenge to use hand held out of doors,  to get the focus just as I wanted. But this result, with the rich colours and textures was one I was particularly happy with. Although it is white outside, the rich colours here remind me of one of my favourite seasons for photography.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Original Posting: September 21, 2012 – 264/366 – Drops on Webs on Leaves

I can’t resist the colours of the leaves as they fall, the textures in them, almost like skin. When you combine that with some webs and add some drops from the night’s rainfall, I am out there on my knees with the macro lens you can be sure.

This is image #264 for my participation in the #creative366project

Old Bottles and Rainy Days

Windowsill, rain and bottles - Ellie Kennard 2012
Windowsill, rain and bottles – Ellie Kennard 2012

I featured these bottles twice in my posts on Google+. This post includes them both.

Original Post:
Rainy day with bottles
January 24, 2012

Yesterday’s frost has gone and the expected rain arrived. Even a dull day can look interesting through a raindrop covered window with a bottle collection on the windowsill. I was playing with the focus at first but on seeing the drops, the bottles and the greenery outside on what I had thought of as a dreary day, the whole scene had an old fashioned warmth about it.

Image #24 for my participation in the #creative366project

Found Bottles - Ellie Kennard 2013
Found Bottles – Ellie Kennard 2013

Bottles
Original post: 15 Mar 2013
Project 52 B&W
Week 11: Old

Those were the days. When Eiffel Tour Lemonade came in liquid crystals in little bottles like the two you see here (from the late 1800’s). That was when perfume came in beautifully shaped bottles with a Bakelite top and when ink came in squat heavy ones. They were not fine or particularly delicate, but have great appeal. Many of these were dug up from our garden in England. In the past, people had their own little rubbish burying areas in their gardens – in the days before plastic packaging and public garbage collection. These were thrown out as garbage and we find them and put them on display.

This was taken with my new prime lens (40mm) which is forcing me to think carefully about my composition and not rely on being able to zoom. I am enjoying this new form of discipline in my learning process.

Ducks in a Row

Ducks in a Row - Ellie Kennard 2012
Ducks in a Row – Ellie Kennard 2012

To wish everyone a lovely weekend, remembering the promise and young joys of Spring, to follow the winter we are now heading into!

May 27, 2012 – 148/366 – My Ducks Are All In a Row
Original post:

Not far from us a special habitat that is protected and has been preserved and improved by Ducks Unlimited, is called “Miner’s Marsh”. It is absolutely rich with abundant wetland and marsh wildlife – birds, frogs, plants etc. We first went there this evening. It was unbelievably noisy with the loud booms of bullfrogs, beautiful song of red-winged blackbirds and other birds and ducks. The smells of marsh and ponds and wild blossoms in the surrounding woods were heady in the air this evening. This is one of the photographs of our first visit.
This is image #148 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

Magnolia Candy Monster

The Magnolia Candy Monster - Ellie Kennard 2012
The Magnolia Candy Monster – Ellie Kennard 2012

One of my favourite subjects to photograph is the magnolia tree outside our back door. It is beautiful in flower, but equally intriguing and beautiful are the seed pods. In my 366 project I featured photographs of it more than once and here is one of them (with a bonus image).

Original post

October 25, 2012 – 298/366 – *The Magnolia Candy Monster

I have lived with this magnolia tree in our garden and walked past it many, many times a day over the past 15 years. It is just outside our door. Every spring we have admired and photographed the flowers. Every day in the spring and summer, I have refilled the bird bath/drinker that sits in the shelter of its broad green leaves. Never before have I noticed this extraordinary display of the appearance of the seeds as I have today. I have not done anything to the colour of this. It is just as it is. Polka dot pink with bright red, almost clashing berries. And see the strange appearance like eyes in different places. How astonishing that we don’t see these things when they are right under our noses, don’t you think? And aren’t they wonderful when we do, finally notice them?

I took two photographs that I liked of magnolia berries, but will post the other in a separate post, as the 366 project is only one a day and this one was chosen for this project.

This is image #297 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

Bonus Image

Here is the additional image I took of magnolia seed, in closeup detail.

Magnolia Seed - Ellie Kennard 2012
Magnolia Seed – Ellie Kennard 2012

Harvested

After the Harvest - Ellie Kennard 2012
After the Harvest – Ellie Kennard 2012

Almost exactly 6 years ago today, as part of my 2012 project, I photographed a favourite scene, with bare fields and that lovely old barn in front of the misty valley behind.

Today it is most definitely not 19 degrees, as with the windchill factor it will feel closer to -18!

Original post:

November 13, 2012 – 318/366 – After the Harvest

I photographed this farm from the other side, in the Spring (see below), showing rolling fields in front of it, and an eagle perched in the branches of the tree we see here on the far right. This time I was driving past on the other side and there was a lovely haze behind the scene, leading down to the dykelands beyond. The harvested stubble in the front had a lovely almost spiky, shiny quality setting off the slightly dreamy, misty landscape behind.

It was 19 degrees today, which probably accounted for the haze and mist in the Valley. It won’t be this warm for long, that is certain.

This is image #318 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

The Farm, with Bald Eagle - Ellie Kennard 2012
The Farm, with Bald Eagle – Ellie Kennard 2012

Original Post:

March 20, 2012 – 80/366 – The Farm, with Bald Eagle

I have been looking at this scene every time I drive back from our shopping centre town, knowing that I wanted to capture it. Today there was such a lovely bank of low clouds over the “North Mountain”, framing the trees nicely that I had to stop and photograph it. It was only when I got it into the computer that I spotted the bald eagle in the tree by the farm house. This scene is so representative of the Annapolis Valley, so very Nova Scotia.

Image #80 for my participation in the Creative 366 project on Google+

Winter Field Before the Storm

Winter field before the storm with flock of gulls - Ellie Kennard 2012
Winter field before the storm with flock of gulls

January 3, 2012 – Day #3 Creative 366 Project

Winter field before the storm with flock of gulls

The clouds were hanging low over the hills when this flock of gulls rose over the winter field as the light highlighted them. I just happened to be driving towards them and caught this image. It is taken in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, near the Bay of Fundy (behind the hills in the picture).

366 and all that

Now that the sun-setting of Google+ is projected for next August, I realized that some of my earlier photographic posts I made on there had never been seen by most of my blog followers. As I was going through the earliest ones, specifically those where I began my photographic journey in earnest, I thought I should share the highlights of my photographic Google+ journey on here. While the comments on the original posts will be lost, the text of the posts and the images will be archived here. I hope you enjoy them.

Project 366

At the start of 2012 I was invited to take part in a project of taking a photo a day for the 366 days of that year. I had been sick for a long time and seemed to be deteriorating. Honestly, at the start of the project I wondered if I would survive to the end of it. Now, 6 years on and in better health than I enjoyed in my early 40s, thanks to a switch to a whole foods plant based diet, it seems that my fears were exaggerated. I know, from speaking to my husband Steven, that they were not. He tells me that he felt the same way about me. At times he had to drive me to local places and help me as I propped myself against the car to take the photograph. Each day of this project taught me more about the province I live in, and even the local area so that I came to love it more and more as I sought out its beauty. I learned how to use my camera and learned the basic principles of photography. (Although I had worked in our photo studio, I had never been the photographer, just the photo editor. Having the camera in my own hands was a new experience for me.) Each day’s search for an image gave me an added purpose and kept my spirits up. My fellow participants encouraged me as I did them, with comments and likes and I found many new friends in that special network that has always been under appreciated and espoused by so few of my friends. Obviously I did make it through to the end of the year, one photographic day at a time. This is the start of the highlights of those days.

This is the first of many posts to come where you will see a photograph and a short descriptive note about the scene. Perhaps (I hope) you will see my ‘eye’ and my photographic skills develop. I look forward to hearing any thoughts from any readers who would like to comment.

Spicy Comfort Drink for Winter Warming

This is my new favourite warming drink!

Coconut milk (actually almond milk this time. Coconut is creamier but I hadn’t made any), turmeric, fresh ground black pepper,  powdered ginger and Ceylon cinnamon heated with a steam wand (or on the stove top) with a little splash of maple syrup to sweeten.

The recipe was made up from a delicious drink we had in a cafe in Camden on a cold rainy day in London.

If anyone wants the recipe, just ask in the comments below.

Spicy warming winter pick-me-up
Spicy warming winter pick-me-up

Silent Miaow – Molly 2001-2018

The Silent Miaow* - Ellie Kennard 2015
The Silent Miaow* – Ellie Kennard 2015

It’s always so hard to say goodbye. In this case we didn’t even get a chance to do that. We lost Molly last night, when we were thousands of miles away.

Molly was such a different cat. She took 17 years to really come out of her shell and learn to play and show affection. Her last years got better and better as she gained confidence and began to enjoy her life. She discovered the fun of chasing her tail this summer, at almost 17 yrs old. It’s so sad that, having got to that stage, her life ended so suddenly.

Molly had a special fashion sense. This photo demonstrates it best…

Molly's manicure- Ellie Kennard 2015
Molly’s manicure- Ellie Kennard 2015

Molly was very serious almost all her life, with an intense way of looking at you – almost right through you. We sometimes called her The Looking Cat. We never knew why she was like that as Cornish Rex cats normally are very playful and not at all timid. Her life long companion, Rupert is totally different. He is gregarious, fun loving, affectionate and full of confidence. The first 2 weeks we had her she spent lying flat between the mattress and the box spring of a bed, almost too frightened to come out to eat. Once she began to trust us, after about 10 years, she would sometimes just sit and stare at us unblinkingly, making everyone feel slightly uncomfortable. She looked right into our souls.

Molly's intense stare - 2015
Molly’s intense stare – 2015

Molly knew how to be elegant. Like all cats, she loved the sun and would always seek it out, whether indoors as here, or outdoors as in the opening image, wearing her harness which kept her from straying.

Molly Silhouette - Ellie Kennard 2013
Molly Silhouette – Ellie Kennard 2013

Goodbye Molly. Rupert will miss you. And so will we.
*Molly was here sitting in front of the book “The Silent Miaow” by Paul Gallico

Revisiting England – thoughts from abroad

It’s time to revisit England. Not literally, though a little while ago we had thought to return this month. No, this time I am thinking of England at my favourite time of the year, when I always wish I were back there. It was April, 1968 when I first visited. I had just left a Canada which was still wintry, slushy and tired of the cold and snow. England was having one of its balmy, even hot, sunny springs, with flowers blooming everywhere, birds singing and everyone friendly and happy, sitting on the grass in parks and by canals. I fell in love with the country then and I will always go back there in my mind every spring. There is nowhere like it for me. I have no photographs of the spring in England, I don’t need them. My memory holds it all including the warmth of the sun on my back and on my pale winter face, and the wonderful scent of the spring flowers. Every year I think of the lines from Robert Browning’s “Home Thoughts From Abroad“* – “Oh, to be in England Now that April’s there…”

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry - Ellie Kennard 2012
Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry – Ellie Kennard 2012

And then another line comes back to me from “A Shropshire Lad“** by A.E. Housman “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough…” Many years later, the first real home I lived in in England had two ornamental cherry trees outside the front door.  To this day every time I see a cherry tree in bloom, I am transported back to that time and the joy they brought me then.

Through the cottage window

There were few flowers to be seen on our trip back to the UK, but some of the scenes brought back just as many memories. It’s funny how even the interior of a modern park home, one of many almost identical in tight rows, can seem like a quaint cottage when it is filled with the things brought from just such an old home. Everything about this said ‘cottage window’ to me and the simple treasures brought to it from such an old kitchen filled the modern space with a feeling of solidity and timelessness. The little lidded pots for tea and coffee had made a graceful transition to sit on a modern windowsill, and the bird feeders transplanted to the tiny garden were so familiar that as you looked out beyond them to the golden leaves on this new riverbank you were once again standing in the kitchen of the ancient cottage on the river bank in the Suffolk countryside.

Cottage autumn window - Ellie Kennard 2016
Cottage autumn window – Ellie Kennard 2016

The things we choose to keep

When we move to new homes, we choose the things that we want to keep around us, things that represent in some way who we are and who we have been. Here, this window hanging plant crossed generations and was selected to be brought through multiple moves. The horse brasses in the sitting room, tide clock and seascapes from Suffolk hanging on the wall as if they had always been there all serve to connect us all with past windows, past cottages, past loves, friends and families. No casual visitor could guess why such a plant, such simple possessions were carried through sad and happy times, places and lives, yet, even without guessing, something does come through, something more powerful than a simple object.

Memories through a cottage window - Ellie Kennard 2016
Memories through a cottage window – Ellie Kennard 2016

Looking around the home we were staying in I was warmed by the memories that each piece of decoration brought back.  They all opened a window onto the past that was still there, though so far away in time and miles.

*Robert Browning’s “Home Thoughts From Abroad” (to hear the whole poem on Youtube)
**A Shropshire Lad” by A.E. Housman – the whole poem linked here