June Serenity Blog Circle - A morning at Reader Rock Garden

Life has been busy lately and I was feeling like I never had the time to just get out and explore with my camera on a walk or a drive.  So I booked off a Friday morning and headed to one of my favourite little places to explore, Reader Rock Garden.  The Garden is tucked into the hillside next to the Calgary Stampede Grounds, close to downtown.  The gardens were restored in memory of the man they are named after, William Roland Reader.  Mr. Reader was the Parks Superintendent for the City of Calgary for 30 years and started the Calgary Horticultural Society.  The gardens are located on the original piece of property that he and his family lived on and their home has been restored into a lovely little cafe.  I hope you will follow the links and read a little about this recently designated National Historic Site and the man who had a passion for plants and gardening. 

Wandering the stone pathways with my Lensbaby Sweet 35 and then my macro lens, on the beautifully sunny morning was the relaxation I was looking for. 

Double click the images for a larger view. 

The sound of a babbling stream is always so peaceful! 

A little bit of light leak on the peonies

Stone pathways guide you through the gardens

Lilacs still blooming here

Peekaboo blue!

Reader Rock Cafe

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue the circle to Nancy Armstrong Photos to see what has brought her serenity this month. 

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 http://eileencritchley.com/2018/05/16/exploring-nature-the-serenity-project



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!


January favourites

January was a pretty good month for photography! I am attempting to do a couple of different weekly photography projects with some other photography friends online.  It's a good way to try to stay motivated and inspired to pick up the camera during the long, cold, colourless and often dark winter months.  I'm about done with winter, but having said that, January allowed me a few outdoor outings with the camera.  A walk in one of my favourite parks during a warm spell, a trip to Lake Louise during the Ice Magic Festival to watch the ice carvers in action and some of the images from my weekly projects make up my grid of favourites from the month.  I hope to make a grid every month and share on my blog!

Month one done!

I'm looking forward to the next couple of months, as I have 2 trips to warmer climates planned!  I anticipate plenty of inspiration that will have me pressing that shutter button!


Viewpoints ~~ The Mountain Parks in My Backyard

Hi and welcome to my first post to the Viewpoints blog circle.  I am so honored to be part of this circle with such talented women. 

I live only a couple of hours away from Banff National Park, but seldom have the opportunity to visit.   People travel from all over the world to visit our beautiful mountains and lakes, but as residents we do take them for granted.   I decided to book a hotel room for a night and head out to shoot some places I've been wanting to go to.  So last week I hopped in my car and headed west! I couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather, it was warm and the fall colors in the mountains were spectacular.  The only thing that would have made it better was some clouds for interest in the sky, but in the 2 days I was out there, not a cloud was seen, just the big blue Alberta sky. 

My first stop was Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, just over the Alberta/British Columbia border. 

Cilantro at Emerald Lake Lodge

Cilantro at Emerald Lake Lodge

Paddle a canoe on Emerald Lake

Paddle a canoe on Emerald Lake

Then it was down the hill to Natural Bridge.

Kicking Horse River at Natural Bridge, Yoho NP

Kicking Horse River at Natural Bridge, Yoho NP

Next stop, the majestic Moraine Lake.  This was my first visit to the peaks and lake that used to grace our $20 bill.  Needless to say, it took my breath away and I want to go back, soon!

View from atop the rock pile

View from atop the rock pile

The next morning I was up bright and early for the sunrise at Lake Louise.  I was on the lake shore by 7 am, scouted out my location and waited for the sun to start shining on the peaks above Victoria Glacier.  By 7:30 the tourist buses arrived and the shoreline was full of people to watch the sun come up with me!

The Lake Louise boathouse at dawn

The Lake Louise boathouse at dawn

Here comes the sun, lighting up the peaks above Victoria glacier

Here comes the sun, lighting up the peaks above Victoria glacier

The yellow larches on the mountainside

The yellow larches on the mountainside

The teal blue waters of Lake Louise

The teal blue waters of Lake Louise

I headed home, taking the Bow Valley Parkway, which I've never travelled before this.  It was a beautiful drive, full of bold fall colors and amazing meadows and mountains.  My last stop was at Johnston Canyon to hike in to the waterfalls. 

Off the standard trail, away from the crowds, is this little quiet spot. 

Off the standard trail, away from the crowds, is this little quiet spot. 

Thank you so much for being here.  Please continue on to the other blogs to see what their views looked like this month! Next in line is Donna! http://www.bukaldersphotography.com/...