Category Archives: Photography

Anonymous Penny Exchange

Although pennies are no longer in circulation in Canada, the forest economy is different. Last May I found a 1978 Canadian penny on the forest floor of Serena Gundy Park. I shifted it to a curved patch of moss for a photo and left it there.

Penny Found on the Forest Floor, Serena Gundy Park

Two months later, I followed the same trail, and to my surprise I saw a penny in almost the same spot! It was a different one though, stamped with the year 2007. It rested just beside the moss patch, possibly nudged from it by a curious animal.

Serena Gundy Park

Thank you, mysterious hiker, for creating an anonymous penny exchange! If I had had a penny with me, I would have extended the game. As it was, I took a picture and let the coin remain there for the next pair of wondering eyes.

Photostudies for Winter 2016-2017

Frozen Puddle, Scarborough 2016

St. Louis, Missouri Tree
Taylor Massey Creek, Scarborough

Serena Gundy Park, Toronto

 

Serena Gundy Park

 

Morningside Park
Morningside Park
Morningside Park
Taylor Massey Creek
Birkdale Ravine
Taylor Massey Creek
E. T. Seton Park
E. T. Seton Park
Taylor Massey Creek
E. T. Seton Park
Birchdale Ravine
Taylor Massey Creek
Taylor Massey Creek
Taylor Massey Creek
Clayton Missouri
Taylor Massey Creek
Wilket Creek

Gesture Studies with Windsock Model

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Sky Star Pose

Near the beginning of an extended walk last November, I became transfixed by a tall flapping windsock outside a bakery. I ended up taking over seventy pictures of the wind-animated figure, and each one had a different pose. It was like receiving a free art class on the topic of gesture studies!

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Smiling with Abandon into the Beyond
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Drop Me in the River

It’s astonishing how expressive fabric can be when it composes a long tube for the body, two hollow arms, and a head with strips of black cloth for hair. The different angles of the head and arms as well as various bends in the body’s “spine” gave strong impressions of joy, fatigue, despair, sass, embarrassment, playfulness, surrender, overwhelm, triumph, and humor.

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Bliss Float
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The Stretch Just After Waking

I managed to reduce the number of pictures by more than half, but I still need to ask viewers’ indulgence for the quantity of images posted here. (Sending a big thank you to Veronica Paloma for her thoughtful comments on these photos when I first posted them on Facebook last fall and for providing ideas for the titles “Bliss Float,” “Cheerleader,” and “Responding to the Latin Beat.”)

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Freedom to Be a Willow
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Salute to Freedom
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Taken Way Aback
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Shy Greeting
Overcome by the Giggles
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Marching Just Because I Want to March in the Wind
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Don’t Underestimate My Biceps Just Because I Am a Windsock. I Will Flex at You Until You Are Convinced!
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You Rang?
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Fetch Me My Fainting Couch!
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Horizontal Rocket Launch
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Temporary Lack of Insight
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Be Still My Hollow Heart!
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Windsock Means Business
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My Apologies
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Cheerleader
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Responding to the Call of the Salsa Beat
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Fill the Frame with Joy
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Awkward Conversation
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I Wish I Could Complete This Cartwheel
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Defiantly Awkward
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Gracious Welcome
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This Trampoline Is Awesome!
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Blown Back by a Temporary Obstacle
Victory

Images of North York and East York

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Aga Khan Museum, North York
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West Don River, E. T. Seton Park
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E. T. Seton Park
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Taylor Massey Creek
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Wilket Creek Park
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Wilket Creek Park
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Wilket Creek Park
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Wilket Creek Park
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Wilket Creek
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Neighborhood near Sunnybrook Park

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Willow on Don Mills Road
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Merrill Bridge Road Park
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Merrill Bridge Road Park
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Merrill Bridge Road Park
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Merrill Bridge Road Park
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Merrill Bridge Road Park

Photos of Scarborough, Spring and Summer 2016

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Gatineau Trail
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Gatineau Trail
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Gatineau Trail
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Highland Creek
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Highland Creek
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Near Kennedy and Lawrence
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Ashtonbee Road
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My front garden, Scarborough
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My front garden, Scarborough
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My front garden, Scarborough
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Gatineau Trail
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Gatineau Trail
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Centennial College Library, Ashtonbee Campus
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Centennial College Library, Ashtonbee Campus
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Gatineau Trail
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Alley near Kennedy and Eglinton
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Footbridge next to Lord Roberts Woods
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Footbridge next to Lord Roberts Woods
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Gatineau Trail
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Scarborough neighborhood
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Gatineau Trail
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Gatineau Trail
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Scarborough neighborhood
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Sidewalk on Lebovich Road
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Creek near Arsandco Park
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Birkdale Ravine
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Birkdale Ravine
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Lake Ontario at the base of the Doris McCarthy Trail
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Lake Ontario at the base of the Doris McCarthy Trail

Found Sculpture Gallery at Humber Bay Park

After lunch with a friend last Monday, I enjoyed a windy walk on the shore of Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park. Much to my delight, I discovered a spontaneous outdoor gallery on top of a boulder.

IMG_3759 Anonymous artists had created a gathering of small inuksuit sculptures, and I loved how the waves had become co-artists, knocking some sculptures over and leaving others intact.IMG_3778IMG_3764 IMG_3766 IMG_3785 IMG_3786Before I left the boulder gallery, I contributed an inukshuk of my own to say thank you.IMG_3793

Images of Scarborough

Mystic Skittle, Centennial College Library
Mystic Skittle, Centennial College Library
Scarborough Moon
Scarborough Moon
Winter Evening, Jack Goodlad Park
Winter Evening, Jack Goodlad Park
Near Warden Avenue
Near Warden Avenue
Pylon Moonshadows, Scarborough
Pylon Moonshadows, Scarborough
Jack Goodlad Park
Jack Goodlad Park
Gatineau Trail, Scarborough
Gatineau Trail, Scarborough
Wexford Park
Wexford Park
Hydro Corridor near Gatineau Trail
Hydro Corridor near Gatineau Trail
Hydro Corridor
Hydro Corridor near Gatineau Trail
Hydro Corridor
Hydro Corridor Near Gatineau Trail
Spring Under Ice
Spring Under Ice, Gatineau Trail
Near Kingston and Birchmount
Near Kingston and Birchmount

Scotland 2015

Pollok Park, Glasgow 2015
Pollok Park, Glasgow 2015
Burrell Collection, Glagow 2015
Burrell Collection, Glagow 2015
Burrell Collection, Glasgow 2015
Burrell Collection, Glasgow 2015
Burrell Collection, Glasgow 2015
Burrell Collection, Glasgow 2015
Merchant City, Glasgow 2015
Merchant City, Glasgow 2015
The Kelpies, Falkirk 2015
The Kelpies, Falkirk 2015
Garden Water Bowl, 2015
Garden Water Bowl, 2015
Garden Water Bowl, 2015
Garden Water Bowl, 2015
New Lanark, 2015
New Lanark, 2015
Capelrig Burn, 2015
Capelrig Burn, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015
Rouken Glen Park, 2015

Creek to River Adventure in Toronto

When I descended the steps at the beginning of a three-hour trek from Taylor Massey Park to the Don River Valley, a multitude of  surprises awaited me.

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Victoria Park Avenue entrance to the park

IMG_6881Along the trail, I discovered green palaces reflected in the creek, a memorial bench wreathed in spontaneous wildflowers, animal sculptures carved from a fallen tree, and the sight of a chipmunk fleeing to its burrow.

"In memory of Joseph Crawford (1956-1995). Never forgotten. Always in our hearts."
“In memory of Joseph Crawford (1956-1995). Never forgotten. Always in our hearts.”

 

IMG_6950Flowers and chains framed the beauty of the stream, and wavy reflections of tree trunks served as pillars for a temple of nature.

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IMG_7016 The first trail marker for the Lower Don appeared after an hour and fifteen minutes of walking. This was exciting because I had never witnessed the transition from Taylor Massey Creek to the Don River before.

The Don River and Canoe Conversation Piece

Much as I love the sheltered flow of a woodland creek, the impact of seeing the waterway expand and deepen in capacity astonished me. My chest expanded, my breath deepened, and I felt freer, bigger, and more open.

IMG_7059IMG_7071Ten minutes into the Lower Don section of the walk, I noticed a short dirt trail leading to a lookout on an elevated bank.  With my camera looped around my wrist, I fell into a reverie while looking at the opaque water and began to daydream about the Missouri River (my home river). Suddenly, a very large pink and white fish jumped high above the surface and made a flamboyant splash upon re-entry.

I was so startled that I almost dropped my camera. However, I wasn’t upset in the least, for it was a privilege to have been shaken up by that feisty fish. Its breathtaking leap made me feel alive and gave me hope for the health of the river.

IMG_7079Tired but refreshed by so much beauty, I continued the journey, noticing a family of geese, graffiti murals at base of soaring bridges, and an artist painting a shimmering river portrait in olive green, brown, and ocher.

IMG_7103Near the end of the hike, I encountered historic Todmorden Mills at the base of a very steep incline up Pottery Road. I had almost reached the top of the hill, panting from exertion and the extreme heat, when the final surprise of the day greeted me: a Dairy Queen right at the summit!

In my personal history of ice-cream consumption, no plain vanilla cone has never tasted as good as the magical one purchased on Pottery Road that afternoon. It was the perfect ending to an adventure made possible by Toronto’s generous creeks, powerful rivers, and unpredictable wildlife.

 

Haliburton Wolf Sanctuary

A visit to Haliburton Wolf Sanctuary was one of the highlights of a recent family vacation to central Ontario.  We were fortunate to see so many wolves from the observatory last Wednesday because the pack could have decided to hang out elsewhere within their 15-acre enclosure.

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My camera passed from hand to hand with new wolf sightings, so this photo and the ones below represent a collaborative effort.

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The Broken Tree of Deer Lick Creek

A trip to Brookbanks Park led me to bifurcating trails, the sight of a hare bounding across an iron footbridge, and the waters of Deer Lick Creek.IMG_4251blogOn the banks of the creek, a giant tree had fallen and snapped in two. The distance between its severed stump and trunk was not great, but the expanse of liquid space between the two jagged ends took my breath away with its beauty.

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IMG_4332I loved how the brook filled the void of disconnection and death, blessing an abyss with a measure of peace. As witnesses to brokenness and loss, the slow movement of water, the round stones on the creek bed, and the reflections that animated the skin of the creek comforted me. IMG_4342That tree died, but beauty didn’t die. It just changed. A whole tree, intact, thriving, with glossy leaves is beautiful. But a broken tree with only half of its body still rooted in a muddy bank is gorgeous too. IMG_4322Like Cohen’s cracks that let the light in, the shocking break is an opening for time, change, and water to move — not to take the pain away but to lovingly acknowledge its impact. The broken edges can breathe into that forgiving emptiness, exposing their ache to the kindness of night.IMG_4365IMG_4378