How often in our busy lives do we miss noticing the small details and subtle beauty of creation all around us. Even if we live in a big city, one can notice these wisps with amazement, but get into true wildness, the state of mind that comes with slowing your mind down, emptying it of all the thoughts from our day to day lives about work, or school. We are able experience this wildness by simply sitting and absorbing what the creator has given us, the subtle sounds of a tiny waterfall almost hidden in the tangle of the underbrush. Feeling a cool breeze on our face at the same time as absorbing the warmth of the sun on a cool autumn day. Really feeling and experiencing the wildness that has existed since time began. It is no different now than ever before. Our minds can only absorb so much technology before we go into overload, with our iPods, x-boxes etc. Taking some time for our minds, for our being, for our sanity, can be as easy as sitting on a park bench or a stone along the path. Then without a thought of what to have for dinner, or how you will approach that difficulty at work, watch how a butterfly flies around erratically almost without purpose. How often does it settle down and rest? Does it return to the same place more than once? Look at the amazing colours of it’s wings as it alternates being backlit by the sun and then as it sits camouflaged like just another dead leaf on the ground. Did you notice how many different birds were singing around you and if any seemed to be talking to each other? Have you noticed how warm the rock you sat on is that’s been sitting in the sun, but when you put your hand down for balance on a shaded spot of the rock it was dramatically cooler? Look at how the small clouds fill the empty spaces left by the trees as they drift along with the wind. Amazing when you notice that the trees of the same species seem to know just how big a gap to leave between there branches as you stare straight up! Oh yeah, that cool breeze on your face and the suns warmth at once. Close your eyes and thank your creator!
While we were relaxing for the weekend at Camp Teepee Pole along the James River, I spent some time leisurely strolling along the shoreline. Looking for stones has been in my blood for many years as my parents were real rockhounds when I was growing up and our family would go out looking for dinosaur bones along the Red Deer River valley or Handhills Agates near and around the Handhills east of Drumheller. The best time for agates was in spring before the farmers had planted their fields and after a good wind which would clean all the stones on the surface of dirt making it easier to find. Dinosaur bones are constantly being exposed through erosion. So, after a good rainstorm, and once the ground had properly dried out, newly exposed fossils would be exposed and waiting for eager eyes to locate. I even had my own small satchel with my initial on it to put my treasures in. In fact, I still have that small satchel and many of the fossils and agates I had collected. Finding interesting stones is a genuine pleasure for me as is searching out beautiful textures such as these.
My family and I just returned from a great weekend away at Camp Teepee Pole which is near the Forestry Trunk Road west of Sundre in the foothills of Alberta. The first night out on Friday the 17th we experienced the Aurora Borealis for about 40 minutes. The aurora are caused by CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejection) which release huge quantities of matter and electromagnetic radiation into space from the surface of our sun. The aurora weren’t super bright and I couldn’t see the reds with my eyes, but I have enhanced the contrast a bit and my camera has much better vision than I do when it comes to seeing the very dim red spectrum at night. I used a Rokinon fisheye lens which sees a full 180 degree view and also introduces severe barrel distortion which explains the dramatic curvature around the edges of the images. This image is one of my favourites and was taken just as the display was coming to an end at around midnight. I had made my way down to the nearby James River and caught the moon setting and some beautiful streaks of red Aurora.
[Olympus E-M5, Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye]
Back in fall I spent an afternoon wandering along the shore of Gull Lake with a good friend. The wind was very intense and there was certainly no hope of a crisp image, so I let the wind do what it does best – blow. My pinhole needed about 8 seconds for a proper exposure which allowed the trees and grass to move wildly in the frame.
[Zero Image 6×9 pinhole]
A four image stitch of some beautiful farmland southeast of town in Red Deer County. This field is simply potential at this point.
Click image to embiggen
[Sigma DP3 Merrill]
A trio of Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) are wrapped by the late evening light along the edge of Bower Woods. I very much enjoy trying to find an interesting image without it having to be a postcard. Someone else has already made those images. I am more interested in the almost mundane areas and digging to make a competent image that is still pleasing but not like the wowee! sunset type of image. These images don’t appeal to as big an audience, but they are the sort of image that virtually anyone can relate to.
[Sigma DP3 Merrill]
The last light of the day sneaks between a few trees highlighting just this one.
[Sigma DP3 Merrill]