Seven in Black and White

A different kind of photography assignment this time.

No people.  Just objects or views or animals.

I randomly picked seven that seemed intriguing.

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1) There was some car trouble en route with one of the cars, so we had to stop along the roadside to check things out.  While the mechanically inclined looked under the hood, I did some looking around and was immediately drawn to this line of a tall “wall” of trees in the Wairau Valley, South Island, New Zealand.

 

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2) I was enthralled with watching all the water fowl, hanging out at a huge pond, nearby an historic N.Z. building….geese and ducklings….and even a rooster, too!  It had rained for a while, and this goose was taking sips of water as she walked alongside this curb.

 

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3) There was a flock of seagulls around the picnic area at the Pancake Rocks in the South Island, New Zealand.  I followed a couple of them around with my camera in hand, always hoping for good close-ups and also in-mid-flight moments.

 

Seagull in N.Z. from DCIM, Nov. 2017

 

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4) One from the archives of my current drumkit.

 

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5) We’ve had some snow already in November, but it has melted away again each time.  On Dec. 1st, I happened to see this lake with a thin layer of ice as far as I could see – large chunks of this thin ice lying on the water’s surface – with ice shards accumulated at the shore.

 

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6) Also from the archives….from last winter.  I had gone out one night to capture images of icicles in the front yard, illuminated by the house light.

 

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7) My latest hand drum, an African djembe, newly strung with goatskin on top, and I especially like the carvings in the drum’s body.

 

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The Flip Side

 

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A storm ravages,

With dime-sized hail stones laying

Waste to this year’s crop.

 

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A couple of days ago I was invited over to a friend’s place for a visit, mostly for sharing some food and lots of catching up and fun conversation.

Since it was my first time there, all of us who had gathered went for a walk in the adjacent fields for some exercise and to see for ourselves what devastation had occurred after a recent severe thunderstorm in the area.

My friend’s family have a huge cherry orchard that they have been tending for a couple of generations.  Such a weird fluke of a storm luckily happens infrequently; however, when it does, the effects are essentially a year’s fruit production completely gone to waste.

I was told that the cherries on all the orchard trees were only days away from being fully ripe to be picked and processed.

And then nature stepped in….

In the next photos you will get to see the flip side…..no beautifully formed cherries hanging from the branches, which would usually tempt us to pick them for a treat.

 

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The last two photos show the specialized machinery that is used to shake the cherries from the trees – as the fruit has to be collected regardless – to clear the trees for the remaining growth and recovering phases.

 

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Pine Tree Pollen

 

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Rays of green needles,

With squirming pink pollen worms,

And new needle growth.

 

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When I arrived home in the early afternoon today, the sun was shining brightly – perhaps to make up for the last three days of clouds and rain?

I glanced around the yard to see what was different, and my gaze landed upon a large pine tree.  Its growth pattern has intrigued me ever since we first transplanted it as a two-foot tall sapling many years ago.

I noticed some colour dotted in and among its needle-filled branches and went up closer to see.  And it was generously laden with clutches of these pollen “worms.”  And with new light green needle growth visible as well.

It seemed a bit puzzling to me, as in previous years I HAD noticed the new needle growth spurting outwards but never with the pollen in all of its splendour.

Somehow I must have just missed that part?

 

 

Tree Capillaries

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Tiny, thin branches,

Splay outwards….intertwining;

Life force transporters.

 

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I was immediately entranced with this image of the black trees and the lighter background.  The silhouette effect seemed to enhance the delicateness and intricate meshing of all those tiny branches on the trees.

It reminded me of our lungs.

The two tree trunks are the bronchi.  They branch into smaller, thinner tubes called the bronchioles.  In this photo, those are the next smaller branches coming from the main trunk stems.

In lungs, the bronchioles end in air sacs called alveoli, which are covered in a mesh of tiny blood vessels…..the capillaries.

See how those smaller tree branches continue into a myriad of even tinier branches….and they appear to mesh into a splayed outward pattern.

And the thought occurred to me that as our lungs bring in life-giving air into our bodies, so do the tree’s branches that in spring and summer are covered in leaves.  Aside from the food absorbed by the roots, the leaves and branches are a tree’s other means of keeping its life force going.  The bareness of winter shows this resemblance to the blood vessels in lungs more clearly.

In my imagination I see two tree “lungs” with their capillaries.

Aren’t they beautiful?

 

Rising Sun Tree

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Sunrise and sun rays;

A golden orb suspended

In the tree’s embrace.

 

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Got up early this morning.  Looked out the window.  No more of yesterday’s fog.

Instead, I was greeted by the promise of a cheerful and pretty sunrise!

I opened the window.  There was the sound of birds chirping – yay!

And the rising sun played peek-a-boo with me amongst the tree branches.

 

The Snow Dress

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Freshly fallen snow;

The young tree’s branches hang low,

But one clasps the sun.

 

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Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been getting big snowfalls followed by slightly warmer days in which much of the snow melts away again.

Two days ago we had another one of those heavier snowfalls, which, in my mind, always makes the trees look so elegant and pretty in their “snow dresses.”

I love how everything looks in that soft, glistening blanket of white snow.

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See how this next tree seems to be designed with a bridal dress train flourish flowing down its right side…

 

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And this last one “jumps” out more with its completely white branches, as it stands in front of the lesser dressed tree in behind.

 

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Festive Lights

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The wintry darkness

Is the backdrop for Christmas

Razzle Dazzle Lights!

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My husband and I went out last night for a movie, and as we approached the theatre, our eyes were immediately drawn to these multi-coloured, brightly lit trees, standing in the middle of the main open area.

Even though the stores at this mall are also lit up – late night shopping going on as Christmas draws nearer – however, these decorated trees out-shine them all!

WOW! They just razzle dazzle, and your eyes are constantly drawn to them.

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This photo I took looking up one of the trees.

In Praise of the Tamarack

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Green in the summer,

Its needles turn bright yellow,

Then drop completely.

 

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Do you know the tamarack?

It’s a coniferous tree that grows abundantly in Canada.

Tamaracks are among my favourite trees!

Once the many deciduous trees have impressed us with their spectacular fall dresses and then shed them, these modest trees – known as deciduous conifers, also called Tamarack (from Algonquian) and larch, suddenly explode into vibrant yellow colour!

They are the only conifers in Canada whose needles change colour and also get dropped!  I have been enthralled with these trees ever since I first learned of their unique quality years ago, when one of our older neighbours, Ross, told me about them.

I love seeing these yellow lovelies along all the country roads I drive these days, when everything else begins to look more brown and grey and bare, before winter sets in.

 

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Note:  The word tamarack is the Algonquian name for the species and means “wood used for snowshoes.”

 

Misty Dawn at Pickerel Bay

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Dreamy, peaceful dawn;

A light mist…floating islands.

Magic in the air?

 

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A view of White Lake early Tuesday morning….just after 7 a.m.  As seen from Pickerel Bay.

Before I got started with the work I had come to do, a movement in the sky caught my eye – a slow, gracefully soaring great blue heron; it has such a distinctive, unmistakable gliding style – I watched its flight for a few moments, then my eyes lowered to the horizon, and I noticed the mist on the lake water, and I was immediately entranced with the sense of peacefulness and calm.

At the sight of the tranquil water…..the island reflections….the light pink hues created by the just rising sun……it could be the perfect spot for enchanted Avalon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With dabs of red it starts…

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Mostly green, and yet…

Tinges of red here and there;

The magic unfolds.

 

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These days as I drive along the country roads, I see more and more green trees looking as if painted with yellow, orange, or red dabs at the edges.

It’ll be fun to watch over the next couple of weeks how the trees slowly change from green to more yellow, orange, or red until there is no more green to be seen.

Then, outside of the evergreens, all the other trees are consumed by colour, and such a vibrant display it becomes.

It’s a magic trick that nature plays on us!