September Serenity Blog Circle - Finding Serenity in the Outdoors

“Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” Katrina Meyer

My husband and I recently were lucky enough to spend two nights at the rustic Moraine Lake Lodge.

No TV or cellular service and limited Wifi. Just fresh air, nature, good books and a wood burning fireplace! It all adds up to serenity for me.

We arrived early the first day and left the crowds of Moraine Lake for an easy hike up to Consolation Lakes.

There is nothing like the fresh smell of the forest - I wish I could bottle that up.

Consolation Lakes

The backside of Mt. Babel

We stopped by a lovely little stream just off path, on the way back down.

Amazing filtered light and foliage in the forest

The next day we headed off for another hike to Sentinel Pass through Larch Valley. Sometimes these hikes can be slightly physically difficult, but the reward is always so worth it!

Larch Valley

Larch Valley looking to Pinnacle Mountain

Heading up to Sentinel Pass!

The view at the top, looking west into Paradise Valley - Sentinel trail continues down there!

The view looking back they way we came. The Valley of Ten Peaks and Minnestima Lakes in the foreground.

After returning from our hike, the weather turned so we lit the fireplace and relaxed with our books until we fell asleep! A guilt free nap with the sound of rain and thunder. Nothing more serene than listening to the sound of rain on the roof.

Part of the reason for the afternoon nap was the previous late night shooting the Milky Way!

The last morning we were there the weather was still unsettled but it made for amazing clouds hanging on the peaks.

Serenity is canoeing on a mountain lake.

I will always find peace and calm while spending time in the outdoors.

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue our circle to to see what has brought my friends serenity this month.

Next in the circle is Nancy Armstrong, Kansas City Fine Art Photographer

Click the link to see what serenity looks like for her this month!

Thanks for being here.

August Serenity Blog Circle - Lakeside Morning In British Columbia

At the beginning of the month our daughter was playing in an adult soccer tournament in British Columbia, so we tagged along for the weekend to watch her play. On the way we spent a night at the small city of Salmon Arm, located on the beautiful Shuswap Lake. The hotel was located next to the lake and a bird sanctuary, so I decided to get up around sunrise to walk the area. As I have mentioned before, I’m not a morning person, but I will have to try harder, because the light in the early morning is so fresh and lovely, promising the start of a new day. A different feeling than the equally beautiful end of day light.

Enjoy the serenity of a sunrise walk along the lake!

Bald Eagle in the pre-sunrise light.

Geese on the move

Great Blue Heron, I believe. I love watching these birds hunt, patiently watching for a fish or frog, then grabbing them with their beak.

dewdrop bokeh in the grass

Bug bokeh

Anyone home?

It took awhile, but finally the sun broke over the surrounding mountains.

The sun finally came over the mountains

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue our circle to to see what has brought my friends serenity this month.

Next in the circle is Iris Nelson, a Metro Phoenix photographer

Click the link to see what serenity looks like for her this month! Thanks for being here.

June Serenity Blog Circle - Back Country Drives

Something I used to do more of was hop in my car and go explore the back roads in the area around Calgary. It’s truly amazing how if you just get away from the main thorough fares, you find a quieter and slower pace of life. You don’t have to go far to find that serenity and peacefulness.

Calgary and Alberta are known worldwide for our Rocky Mountains, but there is so much beauty in our foothills and prairies as well. This is one of the things I love about where I live - if I drive in one direction I can be in the awe inspiring Rocky Mountains. If I head in another direction, I can explore the rolling hills of ranch land and green pastures. Head yet another way and I can enjoy the patchwork of farming fields and the huge blue Alberta sky.

Last week another photographer friend and I had plans to head south of the city to see what views we could find during golden hour. We strongly debated whether to stick to our plan as a big storm had rolled through around the dinner hour and we didn’t know what kind of light we’d get. We decided to go for it hoping the remaining storm clouds would provide some sunset drama.

As we drove, I spied some red barns around a turn, so we backed up and followed that road. When we stepped out of the car, the peacefulness hit us. No sound other than bird song and cows calling to us. Serenity found!

These friendly locals greeted us upon our arrival.

Our reason for stopping!

Close to sunset we tried this location. Just a simple pullout on the road to give us the views. It wasn’t looking hopeful, but then the sun gave us a little show.

Rocky Mountains in the distance

Layer of foothills stretching out to meet the Rocky Mountains

And across the gravel road, more of the friendly locals!

I’d say it was worth taking the chance on the weather. The calm felt as we took in our beautiful, amazing world so close to home was good for the soul.

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue our circle to to see what has brought my friends serenity this month.

Next in the circle is Jillian Baudry, a South of France photographer.

Click the link to see what serenity looks like for her this month! Thanks for being here.

May Serenity Blog Circle - 4 AM wake up calls

At the end of April, I attended my very first destination landscape photography workshop. You know, the ones where the entire workshop is centered around chasing the best light, so mornings are early, evenings are late and sleeping and eating are secondary to the shot? And at the end, you are exhausted, yet exhilarated.

The workshop was held in the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon with Don Smith and Gary Hart, both seriously talented landscape photographers. Sunrise shoots meant waking up extremely early! I am not a morning person and when that alarm went off at 4 am, I won’t lie, it was hard to get myself up and dressed! I had myself extremely organized with all my gear and clothing set out for the morning, so I could spend as many precious minutes under the covers as possible.

Our first sunrise location was Trout Lake, with snow covered Mt. Adams (actually a volcano) in the distance, standing tall and reflecting in the calm water. As we waiting for the sun to rise, we were treated to the sounds of birds, geese and ducks waking up and starting their day. The colours of the sky slowly changed and as the sun rose higher it painted the volcano and the foliage with light.

This is one of those locations, that if I had access to it regularly, I’d want to shoot in all 4 seasons, as I can imagine how different it would look in each season.

Once that initial shock of the 4 am wake up call wore off and I was standing in nature, watching and listening to the world awaken, I could appreciate the serenity of an early morning.

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue our circle to to see what has brought my friends serenity this month.

Next in the circle is Nancy Armstrong, Kansas Photographer. Click the link to see what serenity looks like for her this month! Thanks for being here.

April Serenity Blog - Spring Wanderings

I’ve been having some fun photographing birds this spring. Some I’ve just come across while on walks in the park, others I went looking for. One of my favourites has got to be these sweet little Black Capped Chickadees. They are quick and always moving. They have the sweetest song and there are certain parks where they will come feed from your hand.

Black Capped Chickadee

Black Capped Chickadee flying away!

Gathering seed

I think this is a female white breasted nuthatch

Of course, the old reliable Canada Goose is here, too! They are all over the place, paired up and preparing to welcome their goslings. This one must have had a nest nearby, he was on the park ahead of me, but didn’t want me there.

Canada Goose

The migrating swans pass through in the spring, hanging out on local ponds or sloughs, sometimes in larger flocks, sometimes just in pairs. I went out for a drive one afternoon and finally came across this large flock just as I was headed back home. They weren’t going to let me get too close though, so the best I could get was a shot of them flying off.

Migrating swans

This was a hairy or downy woodpecker, the hairy are bigger than the downy.

I was so thrilled to find this Mama Owl. I’d been told about a nest in this area and had hoped the owlets would be out, but no sign of them yet. Mom was tucked into the nest and we didn’t see much more than her head. I hope to go back and see the babes, soon.

Female Great Horned Owl

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue our circle to to see what has brought my friends serenity this month.

Next in the circle is Iris Nelson, Metro Phoenix Photographer . Click the link to see what serenity looks like for her this month! Thanks for being here.