Beware of spiders.

In Paris (…Ontario, Canada), just before the Nith River joins up with the Grand, its width is spanned by a pedestrian bridge connecting the tiny, historic downtown to the park on the opposite side. The bridge is quaint. And covered in spiderwebs.

If you’re not too busy taking in the view of the river below, or gripping the handrail for dear life while trying to avoid disturbing the spiders, you’ll notice these lone, thought-provoking words written along the railing:

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Is this how graffiti’s done in small, pretty towns? In any case, I wondered why a bridge was chosen as the canvas for this particular message, instead of a wall or a door.

I put on my deep thinking cap and this is the best I could come up with: Maybe, as people, we’re most connected and accessible to one another when we’re allowed to experience and share the depth of our emotions – joy and hurt and everything in between – without the fear of judgement or failure or rejection. Maybe the world is a colder and scarier place when we become numb to our feelings in order to preserve ourselves. Maybe the bridge-philosopher is trying to say that we should work to embrace our vulnerability to experience a more wholehearted existence…Maybe, for some inexplicable reason, Brené Brown walked over this very bridge in Paris (…Ontario, Canada) and wrote this message! Look at that handwriting! Doesn’t it look like it could belong to Brené Brown?

Okay, okay. So I probably should’ve left my deep thinking/daydreaming cap at home. But it came in handy at the time. I needed a distraction from the spiders.

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Artists at work.

My skills in sketching with sidewalk chalk are limited to basic shapes (triangles, ovals, hearts), the alphabet, and if I’m feeling really creative: stick figures.

Not so for these folks! Here, a few of the talented artists at this year’s Cambridge International Street Art Festival. These photos were made near the end of Day 1. Though I couldn’t make it back to see the finished pieces on Day 2, no doubt they’ll be posted on the festival’s website shortly…

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There were five permanent installations this year, but I arrived in time only to catch one of these graffiti artists at work. Look for these beautified walls in another post!

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Good things. Small packages.

A tiny package came for me in the mail the other day: a filter. A small, round, neutral density camera filter.

This girl – who usually collects only bills and realtor brochures from the mailbox – hasn’t been so excited to pick up the mail in a long, long time.

A neutral density filter is mounted on the end of a camera’s lens with the purpose of reducing the amount of light going in. This allows for longer exposures in bright conditions, which can result in interesting photographic effects like motion blur.

With my new toy in hand, I scampered to a source of moving water with no time to waste. I wanted to try making a smooth, milky effect with the movement of the creek. It took some fiddling with the settings, but here are the results of my first time out:

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Okay. This is WAY more fun than bills and real estate (no offense, realtors).