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.

May Serenity Blog Circle - Finding Serenity in a Large Urban Park

I am excited to be sharing my first blog post as part of the Serenity blog circle.  The circle is made up of a group of talented women photographers who share their beautiful art together every month.  

I recently took a long weekend visit to Vancouver, BC.  It's a beautiful, bustling city on the West Coast of BC.  A trip to Vancouver wouldn't be complete without time spent in Stanley Park, an urban oasis on the edge of downtown.  At 1,000 acres, it's bigger than Central Park in New York City! 

I visited the park on a Saturday morning - it was full of people walking, biking or inline skating along the seawall, hanging out in grassy areas,  playing cricket or rugby.  I decided to take one of the quieter trails into an old growth forest area away from all the people.  It was there that I found my serenity!! I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time to absorb nature and its sounds, smells and sights, shooting as I went.  I put my Lensbaby Velvet56 on my camera and played to my hearts content! 


Please continue through our Serenity blog circle to see what my friends have shared this month.  Next in the circle is Eileen in San Antonio



A Special Kind of Tulip

Tulips are one of my favourite cut flowers to bring home and display.  And especially to photograph.  I am regularly grabbing a bunch or two at the grocery store to add some colour to our home.  Especially at the end of this long long long winter that never seemed to end! 

This bunch was the only one of it's kind when I picked them out last week.  They caught my eye because they were white with just a strip of colour and they had a variegated leaf, which I've never seen before. 

I was given an extra surprise once the blooms started to open! Last year Canada celebrated it's 150th birthday and in honour of that a special tulip variety was bred in the Netherlands.  Once these blooms started to open I began to suspect that these were that special variety. 


The flowers were bred to look like our Canadian Flag.  What do you think, do you see the Maple Leaf in there?  


I think I do!

The Netherlands and Canada have a special history that dates back to World War II.  The Canadian forces led the liberation of the Netherlands and, I've read, provided sanctuary for the Dutch royal family during Nazi occupation.  In gratitude, the Dutch sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada with a commitment to continue to send thousands more each year. 

Here are a few more images of our anniversary tulip!