The part of our community where beauty (the state park) meets the beast (industry). That big fluffy smoke has reared its head here through all four seasons since I was a child and probably many years prior to that. It makes for some interesting texture in a photo, especially on a very brisk winter’s day–but it is the uglier side of the city, visible from the north pier off the bay of Lake Erie. One doesn’t stand on the pier for too long in the winter, unless one is a glutton for frostbite. A few quick photos, and its back to the vehicle. In summer, this pier is filled with fishermen and fisherwomen, and this part of the bay has quite a bit of boat traffic. It is one of my favorite areas to run in the other three seasons, ending with a neat little lighthouse at the end.
I shot this a few Easter mornings ago and, as I was cleaning out some of my files, this caught my eye. I remember the morning so well–it was very cold, a holiday morning, and I wondered a lot about the man in the photo. Was he enjoying some quiet time? Doing something he really loved? Or, perhaps, escaping from either the loneliness of an empty house on Easter morning or a spouse he would rather not awaken to.
No matter the reason. There he was, hearing only the lap of the waves and, likely the chatter of his own teeth. Then again, there I was–out in the cold, camera in hand, all by myself. Not escaping from anyone–likely thinking I wished I’d stayed in my warm bed with my husband. But that which I also loved–capturing a bit of solitude and creativity in a park I love like no other–took me out of my warm, comfortable home for a bit.
The season following the holidays brings with it such drastic weather, my natural inclinations kick in. I want to hibernate. Over the holiday week, my husband and I were both hit with a flu like no other. Knocked us both flat on our backs. It doesn’t take long for me to become complacent–I have not touched my running shoes for a few weeks, nor picked up my Canon to capture much of anything. Rest is important, but if you sit for too long, it can become very difficult to get moving again.
Time to get moving into a brand new year. Cheers to all!
Precious few are the moments I find these days for quiet and meditation. Most often, those moments are stolen in the early hours of the morning, when the animals and human inhabitants of our home are fast asleep. It is in these quiet hours I can lean in to my soul, embrace the quiet, and reflect on the importance of stillness in my life. Many individuals find discomfort in quiet and solitary time. I do not, for it is there that I come to know myself, who I am.
As I move forward in to the busy week, I have an image in my mind. An image of stillness. I carry it with me to remind me of what it feels like to slow down, take a breath, and stare quietly until I can see my inner peace.
Have a good week, everyone.
Some photos just have to be saved for the right moment. I captured this flock some time ago, perhaps the winter before last, struttin’ their stuff to the girls (who look duly unimpressed, I might add) after finishing a run at the local state park. It’s funny what you can capture besides a sunrise when you get up early enough.
Today is Thanksgiving, a day of gratitude which I hope I remember to carry the other 364 days of the year. My gratitude list is long and personal, so I won’t delve into it here. I will tell you, though, with a bit of levity, one item I am particularly grateful for at this moment: its rainy, right above freezing, and windy as can be. I am registered to run a 10k Turkey Trot in about an hour. I’m grateful for having enough sense to stay home, where its warm and dry, and let the turkeys run their annual race 🙂 I think I will stick to the treadmill and the Macy’s parade.
On the shores of Lake Erie’s bay sit a small grouping of cottages, two rows deep, inhabited in warmer months by those with a fondness for all things Lake Erie. Like many of us who live abreast the shores of a great lake, we wind down the late fall, preparing our homes and hearts for the slower, colder pace of our winter. Winter is not optional here. There’s no getting around it, no “mild winters” ahead for this area. Lake effect snow and wind chills are a fact of life, part of every native’s vocabulary in these parts.
No complaints here. I do tire of winter come April–but now, in this latter part of autumn, I embrace stacking wood (my chore of the day), lighting a fire, watching the trees glow with the brightened feathers of our cardinals feeding on sunflower seed treats. I love the smell of the pine-scented candle and welcome the stringing of holiday lights upon my white picket fence (chore #2 of the day). Curtains pulled early, stew steaming on the stove, cats and dogs curled up for the evening, I am ready. I am hunkered down.
My view coming over the bridge on Saturday’s run, mile 4.45 of a 5 miler. Great way to end a run.
With a few weeks left in the season, summer is holding its hot and humid grip on these parts of the country. One of the nice things about living near a great lake is the abundance of water to splash and play in on a hot summer’s night. Most people drive to the local state park, with its miles of beaches and cookout areas. And then there are those spots along the lake that are little known to the visitors and newcomers in the area, where the crowds are few, the setting peaceful and quiet.
This family splashed around under the setting sun for quite some time. Simple fun. No Wii‘s, no iPods, no laptops. Just a weird stranger on the shore, snapping their photo from time to time (that was me, the weird stranger). Didn’t seem to bother them. I’m not sure they even noticed. They seemed completely captivated with the fun they were having while the bright, orange fiery sun slowly tucked itself in to rest up for another day of summer.
There’s nothing like a warm summer morning, filled with haze and sunshine. While I sometimes curse the fact that I’ve tossed and turned all night in heat that wraps itself around you and won’t let go, I simultaneously feel afoul the very moment I see summer slip slightly toward cooler weather. How is it possible that summers of youth last many more months than summers of a later age? The days pass much more quickly than those days when I frolicked into the evening hours, counting the fireflies that lit my way into night. Now, a summer seems as quick to pass as that fireflies momentary light. On and then off. Bright and then dimming, onward to the next season.
I got off my lazy behind tonight, heading out with the warmth of the summer’s evening and my Canon. Plenty of companionship for me. The evening was warm, but the breeze’s touch was soft and comforting. This was the air of many a childhood night spent playing on the front lawn until darkness (and our mothers) beckoned us to our bedtimes.
I have to travel just a few miles to reach the lake’s shores. I was anxious to take some photos. The sun was just beginning its final decline, like the fiery ball on a New Year’s Eve with Dick Clark. I had a little bit of time. I love a good countdown. I prepared to shoot, quickly taking the first shot to meter for just the right light. A family splashed in the waters beyond me, dancing in and out of the sun’s reflection against the great lake. I sauntered my way along the shore, snapping at will. Enjoying the comfort a peaceful summer’s night brings.
As light turned to dusk, I returned to my car, heading home with my night’s treasures. Time to develop the photos. Time to see if justice was served in at least one or two of my captures. And yes, there were a few photos I really liked. But this one–the one I’ve posted–this was my metering shot. The quick one I took to adjust my settings. I wasn’t paying attention to who was watching me back. A slight crop reveals that I wasn’t the only one out on a watch tonight.
But I was the only one with the camera. Lucky me. 🙂