Despite the fact that it is mid-winter here on Salt Spring, there is still plenty of life in and around our garden. The birds that don’t migrate can be found searching for berries & seeds, spiders continue to weave tenuous webs and the plants continue to thrive, some even producing winter buds!
It is an especially pleasant time to venture out early to see what patterns the dew has formed on the various fauna. Tiny lenses on each bud & leaf that magnify the world around them creating miniature, upside-down versions of the garden. The textures and colours show up particularly well in the overcast conditions where there is even light to illuminate every tiny detail…beautiful!
A new year is upon us and, so far, it promises to be a very good one indeed! The skies have been cloudy, misty, foggy, clear and everything in between creating diverse opportunities in the photographic landscape of Salt Spring Island.
It is a time to reflect back on the year gone by, to sit by a warm fire and enjoy the deep quiet of the winter months. Stacking wood, cooking soups & stews in the kitchen and relaxing with friends and family for good food and good company! Cooking is another one of my passions and during these cold and dark times I find that spending time in the kitchen keeps me busy & warm and I am rewarded with a great feast at the end of my work: a win-win for sure!
Now that the rains have begun in ernest, the levels are rising in our local creeks and streams and the greens are beginning to “pop” once more in the woods. Virtually all of the leaves have fallen from the Oaks, Maples, Alders and other deciduous trees and the first frosts are greeting us in the early morning.
It is a time of transition from Fall to Winter when the forests come back to life despite the lack of leaves on the trees. The earth is nourished once more by frequent rains and you can feel the relief as the plants and animals hydrate as much as they please once more.
The summer is finally in full-swing here on Salt Spring Island and, despite the cooler than normal temperatures, it is going quite well so far. I have been puttering around our property more and more these days exploring the garden which is teeming with life: ladybugs, butterflies, damselflies, bees, wasps, dragonflies and spiders all going about their daily business. My time spent in the garden is well rewarded with new, exciting compositions of colourful insects on budding flowers...compositions that will be sorely missed in the winter months!
My energy has been less than stellar so I have had limited access to my usual hiking trails and have been exploring the farm up in the Cranberry Valley as well as other easily accessible areas like Ruckle Park, Burgoyne Bay and Booth Bay. I did manage a short hike partway up Mt. Erskine yesterday and photographed the Arbutus trees which are shedding their leaves and beginning to peel...incredible to witness every year!
check a few updates to my RECENT WORKS
Summer has finally arrived on Salt Spring Island and with it blue skies and warm weather...perfect for getting out to capture new images! The winter seemed particularly long this year stretching all the way through spring and bumping up against summer. I had a challenging time keeping my energy levels up and am still struggling against daily fatigue but I am staying very productive despite having to piecemeal my work.
The fields at Fitz-Roy Farms are in full production mode, our garden and all of Salt Spring is teeming with life: animal, vegetable & human! Tourist season has arrived, the harbour is full and the Saturday Market in the Park is thriving. All is as it should be
Updates to RECENT WORKS
& FITZ-ROY FARMS
It’s May on Salt Spring which means that, as usual, the Eagles are busy at Booth Bay teaching their young to fish, fly, survive and thrive in the World that awaits them as they approach adulthood. The juveniles begin to moult and lose their spotted camouflage to become true, majestic Bald Eagles with white tops & tails. I love to watch as they swoop and glide in the air above my head just out of arms’ reach sometimes but well within the range of my telephoto lens! The Great Blue Herons put on a pretty good show as well...
Updates to two of my galleries, EAGLES & HERONS
and B&W DIGITAL
include some more of my recent photographs of these incredible aeronauts.
Since my recent return from Vancouver the weather on Salt Spring has been anything but co-operative, until now that is: warm and sunny with a cool breeze means ideal conditions to get out for some photo ops!
I haven’t been up to Fitz-Roy Farms in about a month and was expecting to see some changes in the fields: I wasn’t disappointed. The green house is in full swing, the garlic is going mad and the fields are drying out enough that planting is now going ahead almost full tilt. At 3pm the sun was still almost directly overhead so there was a good 6 hours of daylight left...summer is definitely just around the corner! I enjoyed catching up with Dan and Celeste and captured a few photos of them around the farm along with some of my usual documentary works.
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than getting out into the heart of Nature? I launched my friend’s wooden kayak from the end of Long Harbour this morning and paddled around to Chocolate Beach in Ganges Harbour for a 3+ hour tour. It was a mix of sunny and overcast with a light breeze at times but nothing worse: perfect conditions for a day out in the boat! I enjoyed playing with perspective alongside the BC Ferries dock at Long Harbour Terminal working with the various pilings in the foreground and other terminal structures in the background to give a sense of the monumentality of these forms when seen from a kayak (see RECENT WORKS
I’ve also been diligently working through my archives scanning slides and negatives so that I can finally retire film based photography for good. It’s been quite a process going through the older works but it has also given me an idea of what I need to aim for with my digital work (in some cases at least). Viewing my B&W negatives in their positive state has lead me to begin working in the digital darkroom to process my colour work into something other than tweaked RAW files. At this point I am enjoying the process of desaturating some images while working in faux B&W with others and everything in between. Photographing with an end goal of an almost monochromatic image in mind has opened up new and exciting alternatives in the digital world for my work...more to come!
The sun has been rather reluctant to come out for more than a few hours but that’s just enough to get people out to enjoy some vitamin D! When I ventured out this afternoon the sun was high in the sky and shedding warm rays across the island. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at my destination for the day, Salt Spring Island Cheese, the sun had decided to hide behind some rather intense looking clouds. No worries, I merely adjusted my ASA and began to explore the farm and to photograph all of the new, young lives that were gambolling across the fields and sleeping in the hay.
The Spring brings with it new growth in the garden as well and when I’m not off running around the island there is much to see in my own backyard. Recent Works
features some of my latest Spring time images: enjoy!
a seriously perfect day for getting out to shoot some local waterfalls: the light was diffused, temperature not to hot or cold and the streams running not too high and not too low. I managed to work my way along Musgrave Road to two sets of falls that occur along the same stream: the first was cluttered with lots of debris from the recent wind storms that we’ve had but there were still many compositions to be found in the smaller pools below the falls, the second set of falls was the opposite with lots of clutter below the falls and the headwaters clean & clear.
Slogging through the streams in gumboots is the only way to get the shots that I’m after: low-angle compositions mid-way into the flowing waters to give the viewer the sense of being in the midst of the rushing water and chaotic sounds that accompany even the smallest set of rapids. There is a feeling of life flowing along the streams, over the stones and through the roots of the trees & ferns along the banks. Spending time around fast flowing water and waterfalls always gives me a bit of an energy boost: I feed off of the same life force that keeps the forests alive.