Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Snow

Winter has arrived, just in time for the holidays.  Shot early in the morning after a fresh snowfall, this scene captures the calm, peaceful feeling of a fresh snowfall.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shine wherever you are!

"I wish I made more money", "I want a better job", "I'll be happier if..." "I don't like the way that person treats me", "My boss is a ...", "it feels like the world is against me", "I'm always broke"'s easy to get discouraged and become down with all of life's challenges.  I read a book recently that made a very important point. "Blossom wherever you're planted." Stop trying to change the world around you and accept where you are. If you're in a field of weeds, stop trying to pull them all out, rather learn to blossom among the weeds.

On a cold winter night, this man stands alone with his guitar, barely noticed by people passing by. He stops frequently to warm his bare hands in the freezing temperatures. His guitar case is open for donations but it's nearly empty. For most of us, the reality of this scene is a bit grim and many of us would pack up and leave. But this man isn't bitter. As I approach him, I see that he isn't frowning ... he's smiling. In his world, he is on stage with the spotlights blazing and he is belting out the tunes, echoing through the tunnel for everyone to hear. He is shining bright, blossoming in a field of weeds, an example for all of us to find our happiness right where we are.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Downtown Christmas

Each year, the National Capital Commission treats Ottawa's residents and visitors to a spectacular Christmas light show.  Over 300,000 twinkling lights cast a glow of blues, yellows and reds.  This photo was taken in downtown Ottawa, only a block from the parliament buildings and captures the soft glow of twinkling blue and green lights that canopy the city trees.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fiery Birch Trees

In a cold, barren field, crisp white birch trees stand out from an abstract background that appears almost as though it is on fire.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Going Squirrely!

I shot this image yesterday as I watched a band of playful squirrels stopping by for a snack.  Not long ago, this feeder was "bird central", but now it's left for only the hardiest of birds and these squirrels that fill their cheeks.  This female is one that frequently stops by for a visit and yesterday I was lucky enough to catch her with my lens.  I didn't stop there though.  I loved the pose and the charming character of this squirrel and I wanted to present her as a painting.  And so, several hours of careful brushing led to this final image.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

CN Steam Engine 1112

Built for Canadian National Railways in 1912 by Montreal Locomotive Works, this old steam engine was in service for approximately 50 years before it was donated to the Canadian National Railway Museum.  In its last years of service it ran the tracks of Quebec and Labrador.  It now sits proud, lit each night at the Smiths Falls Railway Museum.  In this shot, I wanted to show her as she might have looked back then.  

Steam hisses and brakes squeal, the bell dings, and a horn blows muting all other sounds as she comes to a stop at the station on this cold night.  Here, she sits patiently, waiting to continue down the tracks to the next stop as her coal fired boiler idles and her bright light cut a path through the darkness ahead.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Waiting for Snow

November winds have cleared the leaves from all but a few of the trees leaving hearty evergreens to dominate the forests.  The summer buzz on the river has gone, island cottages are sealed up, and the waters returns to a quiet mirror like state that reflect a stormy winter sky.  Despite frigid temperatures, a brave, weatherproofed band of ducks swims about undisturbed.