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Perceptions

posted 1/10/2017 11:09:18 AM |
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tagged: perception, beauty, nature, photography, walk
  SimplyImp

After a week of the flu, I finally felt well enough to venture out for a walk yesterday late morning. It's a good thing I waited as the 'severe' conditions they'd been talking about in the valley proved to be black ice.

By the time I walked towards the park, the temperature had risen a bit so there was more wet slush than there was ice. Gaining access to the park, my entrance of choice is right at the boardwalk. Where it dissects the lake, a small cove houses bulrushes and a dock for the adjacent yellow townhouses. Colourful canoes lay discarded near the dock, waiting for spring thaw.

Due to the severe winds and cold we've had, the lake has been frozen for some weeks now, although not thick enough for skating. The ducks, geese and coots are all congregated around the main pier near the parking lot. Fortunately for them, there are numerous people who bring them bird seed every day.

I've seen the blue heron fly by here on the way to the lake, but I'm guessing it's found other sources of food elsewhere. I took my camera, as usual, and found several different things to photograph. Chickadees flit in and amongst the bulrushes, and although they were too quick for me to capture, I actually love how the bulrushes kind of 'explode'. A couple of photos of those, and then some dead flowers. Dead flowers doesn't sound too appealing, however, there were some yellow petals fluttering off to the side of the stalk, and the deep rust of the past bloom flower was caught beautifully in the sunlight.

Continuing on my walk, albeit carefully, about 1/3 of the way around the lake, a black bench sits on a floating platform, looking out over the lake in between tall reeds. It's one of my favourite places to sit and photograph. The contrast of the yellow foliage, snow, the silver sheen of the lake, surrounding evergreens and the blue sky peeking amongst the clouds was an image just waiting to be replicated.

Further on, another bench looks over the lake with a large, mossy tree branch extending like a long hairy arm pointing towards the far shore right next to the bench. In amongst the bushes, the deep green of a holly tree caught my eye with it's bright red berries.

Continuing my walk, and avoiding the parks board salting and scraping up the snow and ice with a tractor, I anticipated stopping by the daphne bush. It's the first bloom of the year and usually blossoms in mid January. Sure enough, the buds are already starting and another week and the bush should be in full bloom. No one ever seems to notice it, and I remember the first time I did, I couldn't believe how fragrant the buds are!

Several photos later, and I know people were walking by, wondering what I was taking photos of, as it looks fairly innocuous at this point. Ah, but if you look, you'll see the buds and the tiny flowers starting to open. Yes! Spring! And after the daphne flowers come the pussywillows and crocuses.

There's just something about seeing those pretty pink buds and their tiny little flowers that pack a huge fragrant punch that spells 'hope' for me. Winter is not my favourite time of year, although since I've taken up photography, I find it doesn't bother me the way it used to. Definitely, the appearance of a bud in January is the first sign that spring is on it's way.

Near the pier, the ducks and coots were rabidly pecking at the pavement, although I didn't see any bird seed. I'm thinking that maybe they were eating the salt that the parks had spread to break up some of the ice. The coots, normally exceedingly shy, were within a couple of feet of me, and I was able to capture a few photos showing their very cool feet.

Returning to my starting point of the boardwalk, I didn't see anything else that demanded a recorded image, and I headed home, glad to have been able to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.

Looking over my photos last night, I was absolutely thrilled at how the daphne flowers turned out. I see the arctic winds are back again today, blowing my screen door back and forth and the first hummingbird of the morning has arrived at the feeder, the sun is just coming up, turning the sky and the distant mountain peaks a beautiful pink.

There's beauty everywhere, if you look. But then, it depends on your perspective, I suppose. I choose to see the beauty.



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Comments:
ttomtarr

Jan 10 @ 11:37AM  
My dog is of the opinion that I should enjoy a very early morning stroll every day. As we take our regular route, I love to watch the subtle changes of the seasons, tiny buds sleeping, swelling, awaking, and finally rioting in color as the season progresses.

Late at night, the position of the constellations slowly move to the West, their annual cycle superimposed on their daily cycle. My friend Orion, who sleeps nights during the summer, rises early in the evening to dominate the wintery sky.

Here in the South, our seasons are far more subtle, but just as marked as up in snow country. And as a bonus, on retuning home from a blustery cold winter walk, we get to enjoy the embrace of warm air as we come back into the cozy house, with the faint smell of wood smoke, and the aromas of the treats slowly simmering on the stove.
smoothassilk

Jan 10 @ 11:39AM  
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
eastham

Jan 10 @ 1:25PM  
When most think of the Bronx, they think of the South Bronx, but the Bronx when viewed from above has a giant green funnel going down its middle. Woodlawn Cemetery is over 400 acres of greenery. Van Cortlandt Park, which adjoins the cemetery, is over 1,000 acres and the 3rd largest park in NYC. There is the Botanical Gardens and countless other small parks, which provide habitat to a number of species.

I marvel how the population at my little bird feeder changes with the seasons. The titmice and chickadees, who are my constant companions in the winter, eat their fill of insects in the summer and I never see them, except in the winter. Last year, nuthatches nested in the central "chimney" of my house -- not a true chimney, but a bricked area with access from the basement, via metal ladder, to the roof. The babies were so noisy as they hopped up the brickwork on their way to fledge.
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