Ripple effect.

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Good as gold.

Remember my sweet spring seedlings? The basil’s now filling out nicely in a pot and the violas are showing off their tiny, sunny blooms in the garden beds. Sadly, my attempt at growing lavender ended poorly – not one survived past seedling-hood. Luckily, there are lavender-smart folks who know what they’re doing, and they’re only a short drive away.

Weir’s Lane Lavender & Apiary is a small local farm specializing in lavender and bee-related products. I’d originally intended to visit with my family this summer, but instead made a solo trip today, which was probably for the best because bees love lavender blooms, and my kids do not love bees. (They love the idea of bees, but are wrongly convinced that bees will go out of their way to sting small children. I have explained the difference between bees and mosquitoes but I don’t think it’s sunken in yet).

In any case, I enjoyed wandering the lavender fields, chatting with super-friendly staff and visiting the store, which looked and smelled positively divine. The helpful woman tending the store told me the lavender-infused honey tasted “like gold”. My arm didn’t require further twisting. I bought it. I ate it. She was right.

Perhaps I should leave the lavender-growing to those who know how to spin it into gold?


Love note #13.

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I’m glad that Erica loves herself. I’m glad that this statement is carved into a fallen tree trunk. And I’m glad I was carrying my camera when I nearly tripped over this particular dead tree.

Erica’s declaration is now 13th in my accidental photo series.

Here’s how it started:

One day last November, while out walking, I came across this:


I thought it was cute. I’d just begun my daily photo project a few weeks prior, so I snapped it, pleased to have stumbled upon something interesting to post that day.


A couple of weeks later, I found this:


Nice, right?


And then, in January, Coral showed up again in a different part of town:


Wow, someone really has a thing for Coral.


Later in January came this:


Okay, now I felt I might be on to something. All the graffiti in my town was not, evidently, crass or offensive or nonsensical. Could even crappy-looking graffiti be forgiven for looking crappy if it sent a warm and fuzzy message?


Since then, I’ve had my eye out for public love notes… and here are the rest (so far):

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I decided to file the 13th love note under this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge of Satisfaction for two reasons:

1) Adding photos to my collection of random public love notes is gratifying, not in the least because I love imagining the story behind the scribbling; and

2) While the rest of that tree trunk was etched with several versions of So-and-So loves So-and-So, Erica claimed self-love. I’ll choose to imagine that it was Erica who whittled this message herself, not someone else who wrote it as an insult. I’ll choose not to imagine Erica as a lonely, resentful person. I’ll choose not to imagine her as a narcissist. I’ll choose to imagine her as a well-adjusted, emotionally intelligent individual who has great capacity for giving and receiving love because she loves herself first. I’ll take her carved declaration as an act of self-acceptance, independence, gratitude and satisfaction. Brava, Erica!

Okay, clearly, I’m wearing my rose-coloured glasses tonight. They’re lighter than my regular specs, so I try to remember to put them on every once in a while.

Especially when I’m looking for love notes.

Standing tall.

All that remains of the Dufton Woollen Mill (destroyed by fire in 1922) is this brick smokestack, now incorporated into the beautiful Shakespearean Gardens in Stratford, Ontario.

Can one have both an aversion and an attraction to miniature smokestack doors? I suspect I’d be hit with an attack of claustrophobia if I had reason to pass through, but I’d love to peek at the space inside. The photos don’t provide a true sense of scale, so you’ll have to take my word for it: This door is so petite, I’d barely be able to squeeze in sideways.

It’s Thursday, so I’m happy to add this tiny door to Norm’s weekly Thursday Doors entryway collection.

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What a zoo.

If you’re following along, by now you know I’m most comfortable with shooting still life photos, featuring subjects that won’t cry, hide, or apply fake smiles in an effort to make me go away.

Our outing to the zoo today provided a good opportunity to practice with moving targets (other than the monkeys that live with me). My nature subjects are usually flowers or scenery (don’t move, don’t cry, etc.), so I tried to remember the guidelines for photographing animals, like keeping the eyes sharp, leaving room for movement, etc.

We had fun while learning. During live presentations, we watched an elephant named George use a paintbrush, and a parrot named Wasabi sing “O Canada” (two events I would’ve considered unlikely before today). But this wasn’t the circus of old… the organization values responsible and respectful care of their animals, and staff were sure to stress the need for public engagement and education in order to continue conservation efforts in the future.

I ended up with a lot of shots of the blurry and boring variety, but there were a few I liked. However, I just noticed that half the photos I chose to post here include a sleeping (or sleepy) animal. Does it count as a moving target if the subject is snoring, or about to snore?

Ah, well. Practice makes… progress.

It’s late, late, late – I’m off to do some snoring of my own 🙂

Full of wonder.

In case you were wondering, this is the view when you lie face-up on the ground beneath the awning of one of the entryways at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

Okay. You probably weren’t wondering about that particular view. If you’re wondering anything at all, it may be whether I had ended up on the ground accidentally or on purpose, and perhaps how my presence there may have affected any passersby.

Never mind. Back to the view:

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