Out my backdoor

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.”  ~ William Arthur Ward


You never know when actions will lead to opportunity.  This past March I found myself preparing for a photo exhibit.  When asked how long I’d been planning I replied, “I hadn’t.” It had never been a goal, ambition or something I’d ever remotely imagined doing.

But a simple “Challenge on Nature Photography” invitation — seven nature-themed photos in seven days — on Facebook in January opened a door.  Friends and family responded positively to the images I posted and persuaded me to “get busy framing” and show my work.  Even though it was in a small boardroom gallery, the thought was daunting, but I knew I would regret not taking advantage of the experience.

PosterThose who encouraged me lent a helping hand and “Out my backdoor” was soon on display.  The photographs shown can be seen here.  All twenty-five images are unedited and were taken within a mile radius of our home with a simple point-and-shoot camera.

The positive feedback and appreciation was overwhelming. My initial nervousness was soon replaced by gratitude for the chance to share my view of the prairies.  Someone commented, “You see what we may miss.”

Sun, moon and sky wall

When I head out for walks with my camera, I do so because I truly enjoy capturing images and moments in time, whether bright and bold, or small and subtle. No matter the season, every day offers something to make me pause and appreciate my surroundings.

Flowers and plants

After living on the farm for almost 28 years, perhaps I take my vantage point for granted. I didn’t realize so many others would enjoy “seeing through my lens”.

As a bonus to the whole experience, almost half the pictures sold. It is rather humbling to know my work will be hanging in new homes. Previous to the exhibit, I had never framed my photos, only shared them on social media — a trend that will now change.

I am grateful I pushed past my initial fear and trepidation, didn’t wait and let this opportunity pass. It was thoroughly enjoyable sharing the view ‘out my backdoor‘.  Now to ponder the question, “What’s next?”

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2016 Photo Exhibit

“Out my backdoor”

 Portage & District Arts Centre Boardroom Gallery Photo Exhibit 2016

l truly enjoy capturing images and moments in time, whether bright and bold, or small and subtle. No matter the season, every day offers something to make me pause and appreciate my surroundings. 

These unedited images were taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera.  Mother Nature provides the settings – all I have to do is be in the right place, at the right time. I like to share exactly what I see when I look through the lens. 

*Click on the pictures for additional description.  

 

 


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One small rain…

It rained last night. Not much, a mere one millimeter, but apparently enough to awaken the magic of spring. Winter has been reluctant to loosen its grip, but this gentle overnight rain had sufficient power to shift the tides.

This morning there is an après-rain freshness in the air. Overhead, summer-like wispy clouds reach out into in the cornflower-blue sky.

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An enthusiastic bird chorus greets me as I step out the door. Robins, which have been slow in returning, cover the lawn in convention-like style. Black-eyed juncos gather beneath the bird feeders, cleaning up the winter leftovers. Sparrows, finches and nuthatches flit back and forth to claim seed, scattering into the trees whenever a blue jay or woodpecker noisily bullies them away. Chickadees sing their spring song. Mourning doves coo softly in the background.

The wind is light, the temperature warm.  Miss Sage is anxious for a walk, and on a day like this, who am I to argue? It is all too easy to delay the tasks at hand and head down our quiet country road.

 

At the creek, we are greeted by the trills of P1140794red-winged blackbirds – the first of the season. The glass-like surface of the water is broken as a muskrat dives for cover upon on our arrival, ripples circling out as witness to its disappearance.

Then, a distinct rolling call urges me to look upward – sandhill cranes. Finally I see them, flying in relaxed, synchronized formation overhead, rising and falling with the thermal lift. Another sign that perhaps spring is here to stay.

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Back in our yard, the lawn is still a dried-brown, but here and there, tinges of green are beginning to show. It might only be the quack-grass revolting against winter, but nonetheless it is a welcome change.

It is remarkable what one small rain can do. More growth and change is yet to come, but spring is now poised to make an entrance.  And it finally feels like winter is headed out the backdoor.

An unassuming evening

I love where we live.  The prairie landscape is captivating and ever-changing. It isn’t perfect, but does offer many moments of perfection. The best ones are those which catch us off guard – the ones we don’t expect when conditions, as we perceive them, are less than ideal.

Last Tuesday had been relatively mild for the end of February in Manitoba. I was looking forward to a beautiful evening walk, but by late afternoon, the temperature dropped significantly.  An uncharacteristic fog rolled in as the sun began to set.

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Somewhat disappointed with change in conditions, I headed out with the dog  to take advantage of those last few lingering moments of  daylight.  As we walked along our quiet rural  road, the stillness of the evening engulfed us.    

The only sounds were my boots crunching in the snow, the tags on the dog’s collar lightly jingling as she trotted along, and an owl softly calling out in the distance. There wasn’t a breath of wind, no traffic in the distance, no planes flying overhead. It was if there were no one else in the world but us.

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Some might have found it eerily quiet but the stillness was beautiful, calming, peaceful. Ribbons of fog wove their way across the frozen, snow-covered fields and over the road. As daylight dwindled, a canopy of stars appeared above and the snow moon began to rise in the east.

It was a serene, unassuming evening, the kind you don’t want to end. One you would like to be able to bottle and share, so everyone could experience a touch of peaceful prairie perfection.