2/28/10

Dreams of Spring

For the past week or so, my thoughts upon waking have been of summer. Perhaps it’s the romantic thought of winter coming to a close, but I find myself thinking about picnics. 

White apple blossoms

Last night I actually dreamt about walking down an endless path lined with lush, white flowering trees. There were hummingbirds and butterflies everywhere, and all I wanted to do was breathe in the intoxicating scent of spring flowers.

Looking forward to the real thing.

2/23/10

The Forest for the Trees

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir

pine grove

Facebook

I’ve done it.

I’ve started a fan page for The Paper Butterfly on Facebook. I felt a little bit silly about it at first, but it really is a useful tool, if only for networking and getting my name out there. It will also come in handy for promoting upcoming art shows. Click this link to join: The Paper Butterfly on Facebook.

FACEBOOK Screenshot

The other {small} business-related leap I took this week was putting up my first internet ad on Craft Cult. It will be up for a week in a rotating sidebar. I wanted to start with a small commitment to see how much it helped. So for I’ve noticed quite a bit more traffic. Fingers crossed!

2/21/10

A Walk in the Woods

Today we took the dog for a walk in Carlington Woods. Just off of Carling in the middle of the city, its paths connect with those of the Experimental Farm. You can also walk up to a plateau with a spectacular view of the city.

Luca Looking Up x   Birch Tree Mushroom

It was fairly overcast, but the sun peeked out for a few moments here and there. The landscape was still made up of shades of white and grey…

Maple Keys

brown and beige...

Cait Birch Tree

…and a hint of green. Hat and photo courtesy of my husband.

2/16/10

Waiting for Spring…

I have been biding my time until the warmth and colours of Spring return, and tinkering with some images for my Etsy shop. Here is what I have come up with:

Junco and Lilacs

JUNCO Lilac

Cicada and Ferns

CICADA Fern

I just love the soft colours in them, I think they have a nice balance of cool and warm tones. Click on the images to link to my shop.

What about you? What are you most looking forward to once Spring arrives?

2/15/10

A Murder of Crows

dried grass

When I first started this blog, I had a mental list of things I wanted to find and photograph. One thing on the list was to find a large group of crows. We see them in the city all the time, two or three of them, cawing back and forth from backyard trees, harassing flocks of starlings or playfully dive-bombing each other in mid-air.

I wanted to see where they roosted together in a noisy flock. I knew where to find one; it was just a question of being in the neighbourhood.

crow

We parked the car on the corner of Bank Street and Riverdale in Ottawa South, and made our way down to the path by the Ottawa River. Already we could hear their presence, announcing our arrival with their throaty, raspy calls.

crow takeoff

There were so many of them, loud and bold~ my  husband used the word “cacophony” and I think that about summed it up.

crows tree

We watched their antics and listened to them for awhile, laughing when we heard one bark like a small dog.

crow walk

Many of them were sitting in the middle of the river on the ice, a hundred pointed black silhouettes against the white snow.

crows out of focus

Here they had enough mature, towering trees by the water for all of them to find a high branch, a mile above the city.

crows sky

Although in this photograph they look so small against the endless sky above them.

dried grasses

2/12/10

Birds’ Eye View

For the time being, we have chosen to live in a highrise apartment. We sometimes find ourselves complaining about having to wait for the elevator, or the fact that we don’t have the luxury of a backyard for our dog. And I just can’t appreciate the glaring neon streetlights or the birds’ eye view of a parking lot.

But I have to remind myself that that’s exactly what we have: a birds’ eye view.

view from above

From up here we can see the Ottawa River, the Gatineau Hills, and some very lovely sunsets. I just have to ignore the cars and the street noise, and use my camera to frame a little piece of it.

2/9/10

Cards

I am going to be updating the way I do my cards soon, so I am putting what I have left on sale in my shop. I’ve paired like items together:

BLUE PAIR

PINK PAIR 2

Clicking on the photos will link to my shop.

2/7/10

Two New Prints

I realized I hadn’t made anything new lately, so this morning I created two new prints for my shop:

Junco and Autumn Ferns

JUNCO Autumn Fern

Frosted Trees

TREE River Frost

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

2/6/10

Bate Island

There are many places to stop along the Ottawa River. This afternoon we stopped at Bate Island to walk the dog and take in the scenery. It’s a charming little spot, with sweeping views of the water. I forgot my bigger lens at home, so I mostly took photos of the shoreline. 

melting ice patch rock and footprints

red branches river snow 

It looks like a great place to visit again. It’s very central, and it had many picnic tables to spend a sunny afternoon. A perfect place to watch sunsets.

2/3/10

Name That Tree

I stopped by Old Quarry Trail again this afternoon. In the last hour of daylight, I was looking for a subject for my 365 Project. I came across this tree, which was silhouetted against the fading light from the sun.

Pine silhouette

While I tried to figure out the best way to interpret its chaotic spray of branches with my camera, it occurred to me that I had no idea what this was. It had many pine cones but no needles, just little buds. The branches hung like a Weeping Willow.

pine silhouette2

I looked it up when I got home; it’s a European Larch, which is a type of Pine.

A lovely subject.

Camping

I have been thinking a lot about the summer and I have come to the conclusion that we have to go camping this year. Every year we say we will, and yet the last time I remember actually going I believe I was twelve.

I asked a friend where to start and she suggested researching campsites on the Ontario Parks website. I did not realize that there were ten campsites within 200km of Ottawa! I was pleased to learn that Algonquin was one of them. For some reason I thought it was much further away. So now to decide where we want to go, and to decide if we should get a group of friends together for a weekend. If you have any recommendations about somewhere you’ve been, I’d love to hear about it!

image

One thing that has inspired me to explore the outdoors was looking at Maya’s flickr photostream. She has some beautiful sets depicting some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in her native country of Bulgaria. I highly recommend making a cup of tea and sitting down to take them all in. They are stunning and truly inspirational.

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