Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Bridge over somewhat troubled water

A quiet spot on the way home
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Like many of you last night, I watched the presidential debate. And I was appalled.

I've worked in and around media long enough to know that politics is a tough, dirty game. But I never thought I'd see a sitting president refuse to denounce white supremacy, then literally call out to a specific group to "stand back and stand by."

I was pretty sure my brain would explode at that point, but I had another thought, as well. Hear me out.

This world, our world, is composed of elements far more diverse than a grifting, hate-filled narcissist who can't string a coherent sentence together. Someday, hopefully soon, American voters will finally get a clue and ask for leaders who focus on them instead of lining their own pockets.

But whatever happens November 3rd, we all have lives, at home and closer to home, that continue to unfold as they must despite what happens on an electoral stage or at the ballot box.

To wit, this bridge over the river beside the bike path that I often take on the way home from the office. I like to stop here on occasion, to reflect on the day that was and appreciate that I live in a city that routinely offers up places and moments like this. I'll stand in the middle of the span, almost feeling the energy of the water below and the light from above.

The pandemic has obviously put a stop to the daily bike commute, but I still like to return here now and again.

Because it helps me turn off the outside world and just be alone with my thoughts for a few minutes. Because we all have places that resonate with us. Because we all deserve moments like this.

Because not even a shameful display of anti-humanity can erase the blessings we all have right in front of us.

I hope you have similar places near you, and I hope you make the time to go to them. You deserve it. We all do.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walkabout #thames #valley #parkway #tvp #river #springbank #park #bridge #debate2020 #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Saying goodbye to the day that was

Airglow
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


There's a moment at the end of the day, just as the sun ducks out of sight, that the skies come alive.

The show often ends mere seconds after it begins. But if you're lucky enough to be there when it happens, it's just long enough to imprint on your memories forever.

Colors become shades. Shades become tones. Tones become textures. Textures become something you can practically feel from your little spot way down on the ground.

Tonight's walk with the dog coincided with this magic moment. So I looked up. The rest is history. Nothing else matters.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sky #sunset #dusk #blue #sky #clouds #light #tree #abstract #landscape #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Quasi-Charlotte's Web

The things we find when we look
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Spider. Not from Mars.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #spider #insect #bug #medway #valley #forest #nature #naturephotography #sun #light #texture #stilllife #macro #macrophotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #everythingchristian #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, September 28, 2020

Thunderbirds are go

Four-ship formation
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Before this year's airshow, I had never seen the @afthunderbirds fly. My, was I missing out.

The F-16 has a pretty expansive flight envelope, and it's pretty clear the show, as designed and performed, uses most of it. The energy and precision are off the charts, and I stopped counting how many times I was left without words as they tore up the skies above us.

It was a privilege to watch them. Alas, they flew away too quickly for us to give them a proper thank you.

Thanks team. Godspeed to you all.

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #lockheedmartin #f16 #fighting #falcon #viper #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, September 27, 2020

When life ends

No more to give
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The one constant in life is that it ends. For all of us.

We can argue until we’re blue in the face about what a “fair” amount of time might be, but it’ll never change that singular, stark reality.

So we make the most out of what we’ve been given.

No choice, really.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #forest #leaf #leaves #nature #naturephotography #sun #light #texture #gameoftones #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #everythingchristian #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Getting lost in the tall grass

The things that grow tall
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


"In the plains the grass grows tall, since there is no one to cut it. There is no one to water it either."
Vera Nazarian

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walkabout #thames #valley #parkway #tvp #river #tall #grass #monochrome #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #qotd #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Look closely at the purple flower

Nature's little miracle
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Always look for the color. It is as true alongside a path through the forest as it is in everyday life.

And with that, I think I'm about due for another one of those walks through the forest. See you there. 

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walkabout.#green #purple #flower #macro #bokeh #forest #nature #naturephotography #sun #light #gameoftones #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, September 25, 2020

Schnauzer in fog

The nose always leads
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We're trying to teach her to take in the beauty that surrounds her, but all she's really interested in is sticking her massively sensitive nose into the grass in an eternal search for bunny poo, or possibly the occasional dropped Goldfish (tm) cracker remnant.

So, no, she didn't much care for the fog. But she was still happy to be out, which is a win by any definition.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #fog #weather #wx #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Bridging a longstanding gap

 Bridge to a sustainable future
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Mmm, it has that new bridge smell. Can’t wait to take my first ride on it.

It may seem strange that of all the things that tickle my soul, a bridge would rank near the top of the list. But this isn't a simple structure.

You're looking at the latest addition to the Thames Valley Parkway, the multiuse path network that's supposed to make it easy for cyclists, runners, pedestrians and other non-motorist folks to get around town without having to wrestle with traffic.

Nice in theory, but somewhat lacking in practice.

Because unlike other towns, our car-culture-led burg built a network with huge gaps in the middle. That doesn't serve entire swaths of the city. That stops mysteriously outside a given neighborhood. That often forces cyclists and others to cross high-speed roads, with nothing more than paint to protect us.

The bridge you see here is part of a pair - the other is around a kilometre to the left - designed to close a yawning gap in the path and open non-stop access to the city's northeast sector.

We'll take it, because any new piece of infrastructure that gets more people out under their own power is a blessing. And when they finally cut the ribbon on this new section, I'll be there on my own two-wheeled machine. To ride. And appreciate.

But it won't stop there. It can't. Because sustainability is never truly done.

And we're nowhere near the point where we - individuals, cities, society at-large - can, with a straight face, say we're doing everything we can to change the script.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walkabout #thames #valley #parkway #tvp #river #cycling #cyclingislife #bridge #monochrome #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Praying in a forested cathedral

Humbled and hushed
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram

I've been doing this thing lately: I pick up my camera and go for a walk in the woods.

Part of it is exercise: Those step goals silently mock me from the smartwatch on my wrist, and I owe my family a healthy Carmi.

Another part is creative. Exploring the world through new glass is a privilege, and only by using the thing with my bare hands will I figure out how to unlock its - and I'm guessing my - visual storytelling potential. 

The final and likely most critical part is disconnection, because it's overwhelming to be alive these days. 

Don't get me wrong: It absolutely beats the alternative. But still, Planet Earth has become an insanely noisy place, and we all deserve some refuge. Disclosure: Some days I need it more than others. So here I am, in a valley carved over the millennia by the quiet brook just behind me.

A stand of towering trees covers the entire sky way above my head, casting a protective shadow over the slope you see here. I stop in the hushed silence to take the scene in, not so much look at it as feel it in my bones. You can smell the peacefulness of this place. I wish I could bottle it up and take it home.

"Cathedral" often floats through my head when I stand under tall trees. I'm not one to pray, and even if I were it wouldn't be in a cathedral. But it somehow feels right to appreciate this spot for what it is: A place to reflect, connect, and recharge.

The rest of the world can wait for a while.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walkabout #forest #trees #tree #green #leaf #leaves #nature #naturephotography #sun #light #gameoftones #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Losing the leaves for good

Ephemeral
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Autumn’s colors are starting to show themselves here in the Great White North, so I’ve been looking for flashes of green wherever I can.

Because the planetary clock is ticking. And we miss the show if we don’t make the effort to get out there for a bit.

On the one hand, it won’t be completely game over once the leaves you see here turn some fiery shade of red or orange before falling to the ground. Next spring will bring new leaves, new life to this quiet path through a hushed valley.

But on the other hand, they won’t be these particular leaves. They won’t catch the light in this specific way, on this very afternoon. Different lives, different times, different experiences.

All the more reason to appreciate what we’ve got before it flutters to the shadowy earth below one last time, never to reflect the rays of the sun again.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #walkabout.#green #leaf #leaves #forest #trees #tree #nature #naturephotography #sun #light #gameoftones #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Follow the mama plane

Poseidon the protector
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When I first showed this photo to our daughter, she said it reminded her of a mother bird shepherding her babies across the sky.

Indeed, we’d all do well to have some mother-like guidance during long, perilous journeys. Perhaps on shorter ones, as well.

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #airbus #cc150polaris #cf18 #hornet #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, September 21, 2020

Wheels up!

A Hornet leaves Earth
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It may not seem apparent, but this is the most dangerous moment of any flight.

You've just unstuck from the runway, your wings tasting lift for the first time, the engines clawing out as much speed and altitude as possible. If something happens here, there's little room below you to recover, little runway ahead to land once more. Your options are limited.

Of course, this is a supersonic, twin-engined fighter plane with seemingly limitless power. Why not simply point the needle nose up, mash the afterburners and put it all behind you?

If only it could be that simple. Sadly, the laws of flight can be cruel: We've lost 20 Hornets since they first joined Canada's fleet 38 years ago.

But if you're going to be part of the global community, this is part of the cost of membership. Some may decry the need for machines like this in the first place. They're expressly designed for war. The money spent on them could be better spent elsewhere.

Valid points all. But this is an imperfect world, and our neighbors don't always have our best interests at heart.

Ask anyone who lived in London during the Battle of Britain if they would rather the government had spent the money allocated to Spitfire production on something else. This is how you deter aggression - or resist it when it comes knocking on your door. This is how you maintain sovereignty. This is how you keep the forces of darkness at bay.

Fast-forward back to today, and I doubt the dictators in our modern neighborhood would waste much time shifting their military strategies if we decided to get out of the fighter plane business altogether.

So let's call the need to arm ourselves not optimal, but necessary. Which makes me thankful for folks like this pilot, willing to brave basic physics and risk leaving the planet behind so the rest of us can sleep soundly at night.

#ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #cf18 #hornet #fighter #wheelsup #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Fenced in

Unequal geometry
Port Burwell, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


At first glance, it’s just a fence.

But like everything, everyone, and anyone, it has a story, a history, a context.

Someone decided there was a need. Someone picked up some tools and built it. Someone maintains it. A whole lot of someones benefit from its very existence, even if they never take the time to think about it. Or give it a second glance, let alone a first.

But here’s the thing: At first glance, there’s no such thing as “just” a fence. At first glance, there’s no such thing as “just” anything. At first glance, maybe just one glance just isn’t enough.

Not a bad lesson to hold onto as we reflect on the year just ended and ponder the one ahead.

#port #burwell #ontario #canada #beach #wood #fence #green #grass #landscape #great #lake #erie #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Welcoming the New Year, Differently

Endless Reflection
Port Burwell, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Today is the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I am, of course, a bad Jew, because a good Jew wouldn't be posting photos online on one of the holiest days of the year. And on a Saturday, even. Oy. 

But here's the thing: It's never been about the dogma to me. As much as I love being part of thousands of years of culture, tradition, language, and community, I don't believe that knowing how to recite certain prayers in a certain order will make me a better person.

Because I've crossed paths with entirely too many folks who are expert in the mechanical delivery of religion, yet wouldn't hesitate to look down at the rest of us for failing to meet their lofty ideals. The hypocrisy hurts my soul, because last I checked, unkindness wasn't part of the Jew code. Or, frankly, any code.

So here we are, on the cusp of a new year, in the midst of a global event that keeps most of us home and apart. Which, the more I ponder the reality of a pandemic-colored holiday, the more I realize just how much of a blessing this can be if we choose to see it as such.

Because we aren't engaged in the usual dog and pony show of crossing paths with folks on the way into services, we have a bit more time to think about how we'd like to change the script over the next year. How will we do better? Act more kindly to others?

Because reading words in a book won't make me a better Jew or a better person. I realize the mere act of expressing this may make me seem like some sort of heathen, but I'll risk the judgment of others if it means I go into the new year feeling just a bit more comfortable in my own skin.

Whatever you celebrate, make it a good one.

#port #burwell #ontario #canada #beach #great #lake #erie #waves #water #sand #rosh #hashanah #jewish #newyear #judaism #badjew #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, September 18, 2020

Green grass in a strong breeze

Everything is temporary
Port Burwell, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Take some long grass by the lake, mix in some stiff winds and sunlight muted through a hazy grey sky. This is what you get.

It'll all be gone in a couple of months, a mere echo of a uniquely memorable day our little family spent here.

I do that when we spend time together, take pictures of weird stuff like this because I want to remember how the experience felt just as much as I want to hold onto how it looked.

Feelings from two-dimensional images. I'll have to mull that one over for a bit, but it's clear I'll be toting my camera on a few more walkabouts before winter puts the grass to sleep. 

Because nothing lasts forever.

#port #burwell #ontario #canada #beach #green #grass #landscape #great #lake #erie #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #explore #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Dogs, mental health, and you

I get treat now, Daddy?
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Let's do a little experiment, shall we? Hypothesis: Seeing a photo of a dog makes our souls feel better. 

Yes? No? Maybe we should substitute a cat? Wherever you land, please weigh in with a comment.

I'll read 'em all to Calli, but make no guarantees that she'll share her own, as she lacks opposable thumbs. 

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything