Saturday, September 17, 2005

A watery ride home

I often use my bike ride home from work as an opportunity to decompress from the day. The 25-to-30-minute ride gives me a chance to toss ideas around my head without worry of interruption. It's my only "alone time" of the day, and I cherish it.

I always try to have a camera with me to capture whatever tickles my fancy along the way. Part of the ride takes me past the Thames River. This path is a little longer and a little hillier than simply sticking to the streets, but it's a whole lot more inpirational. The tree canopy totally blocks out the rest of the world. The hushed sound of the forest is interrupted only by the burbling of the water whenever the path edges closer to the water. It's hard to believe that I get to experience this a mere five minutes away from my office.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped next to the spot on the river where exposed rocks make for a gorgeous vista for anyone who takes the time to look. I'd been telling myself for years that I, too, should take the time to get off my bike and just appreciate it all. But I was always too busy or otherwise occupied to listen to myself.

As it was, I was late getting home, and I really shouldn't have stopped. I was feeling rushed after a busy day, and I was looking forward to a night of work as well. I didn't have the time, but something compelled me to get off my bike for a closer look.

I carefully walked out on the flat, dry rocks to the edge of the flowing water, and started shooting. As soon as I did, I felt relaxed for the first time that day. I just let my eye wander along the glassy surface of the river as I looked for images that would help me remember this moment. I wanted whatever pictures I got to remind me why water has such a calming effect.

I think this is the one image that manages to do this. I hope you agree.

(Please click on the image to see it in full-size.)

Your turn - a 2-parter:
  1. The first three words that come to mind as you view this picture are...
  2. What images can bring your blood pressure down? What things should I be looking for the next time I'm out on my bike with my camera safely tucked in my bag? You ask, and I'll shoot it and post it here.


Kim said...

1. fluid
2. smooth
3. flat rocks

Michele sent me today, and as always, I love the picture you take, and the thoughful things you write about them. You don't sound like someone who only had 30 minutes of downtime, you come across as someone is in the downtime mode all the time. Please take that as a compliment. :-)

Tabor said...


I saw the most beautiful cloud formation driving back from a meeting yesterday. Don't know if I could have captured the texture and subtle shading with a camera...from now on my camera is going with me.

HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

Ooh, great picture.
1. flowing
2. cold
3. quick

Pictures that soothe me, pictures of the sky in transition, storms, sunset, whatever.

Glad you came by and enjoyed the photo I had up.

Anonymous said...

1. flowing
2. blessed
3. alive

Pictures that calm me down are beautiful treas in every season, clouds in the sky, sunbeams falling through leaves, love...

Here via Michele's

rashbre said...


And with Autumn approaching there'll be a gazillion things to photograph.

Ramona said...

Here via Michele's, but I pop by often. YOur posts are always thoughtful, your pictures beautiful.
Taking nature walks brings down my blood pressure. I enjoy finding wildflowers along the river edges, or in the underbrush. And if I happen to come across a little toad, it's made my day!

Anonymous said...

smooth, flowing, relaxing...

I agree with a post above... I love autumn pics!

Michelle sent me!

Ciera said...

1. Only three words? "Wow, that's cool."???? :) Quiet, serene, peaceful.

2. I like the celestial stuff...sunsets, cool cloud formations, stars....

here from Michele's!!!

Anonymous said...


Truly, pictures of water are the most soothing to me... something about the "unendingness" of the flow, imagining the bubbling or rushing... it always manages to slow me down a bit.

Here from Michele's, but I would have stopped by anyway. I've really come to enjoy your view of the world.

Misti said...


Clouds, I love clouds. All shapes and sizes. I am also on a shadow kick. B&W shadow pics really tickle my fancy right now.
I took a pictures of an interesting no parking sign the other day. I should post it for you,if you want to see it.

Misti said...

oh and Michele sent me this nmorning,tho i wa salreday here and planning to come back ;-0

carmilevy said...

Absolutely, Mrs. Fun. Can't wait to see your photographic vision.

Kristal said...


The sky always calms me. I really enjoyed this thoughtful post. Thank you!

Ciera said...

Hey Carmi - here from Michele's again. My system here at the library is on the slow side today too. Maybe it's the weather!! LOL!!

Ciera said...

HI again - from Michele's. :-D

Topwomen said...

Everyone was so thoughtful that i thought I'd mix it up with a three word statement: "Slip and fall!", sorry I just had to be different.

any pictures of nature, in particular of water, the sky (with and without clouds), and mountains do it for me.

BTW thanks for your thoughtful comment on my site. After reading your profile and how you like origami, i thought you might find this interesting.

Anonymous said...

1. fountain
2. wonder
3. peace

I had been here before and forgot the url.. I'm glad you commented on my blog so I could find it again, thank you.

Oh, part two.. what do I find peaceful? Life. Plantlife or gardens. Train tracks going off into the trees. Children laughing.

Anonymous said...

1. Glistening
2. Bubbling
3. Serene

I love pictures of the sky, most especially at sunset or with the sun playing in the clouds.

I am here via Michele, although you know I make my way here eventually.

Anonymous said...

Lovely picture and post. The words that come to mind - peaceful, glass-like and swirling.

I've only recently started to ride my bike to work - it's a 40-minute journey - and each time I usually see something that makes me wish I'd taken my camera along. The other day I had to stop my bike to let a flock of ducks wander across the path. It was hilarious! And then on Thursday night I saw the Queen and Prince Phillip trundle past in an understated black car with a police escort.

By the way, I think it's cute that your London has a river Thames too! :)

Ciera said...

once more...we posted at just about the same Michele's.


annie said...

Wow, ya learn something new every day. I thought the Thames was only in England. Shouldn't it be "New Thames"? ha-ha.


I love sunsets and then the stars. Hard to take pictures of stars though, and actually they are a little too exciting.
I guess the ocean really does it for me; I can stare at it all day long and then leave the door open to sleep to the sound of the waves.

Russ said...

Michele sent me.
The first three words are "that looks cold". Sorry, but I'm a Florida boy.
The most soothing image I have is my dog Kasey. She isn't with me any more but she is still in my heart.

aprilbapryll said...

1. tranquil
2. contented
3. serene

I'm here from Michele's, and that's a beautifl picture. I love wet rocks -- I take pictures of them all the time under the flowing waters - they're so sturdy, so unflappable.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Very relaxing photo. It reminds me of Ohio Pyle State Park that's not to far from where I live.

What images bring my blood pressure down?

I'd say pictures of the Moody Blues, but I think they bring it up!

Here via Michele's this time! Hope your weekend is going well

Curator said...

1. solace
2. content
3. relax

I tend to accompany posts with pix because visuals often convey more than dialogue for some reason.

Have a nice weekend.


Anonymous said...

That was a pleasant experience. Ocean photos work the best for me but any kind of water images always bring my blood pressure and my stress level down. I've been trying to discipline myself to walk everynight around sunset to watch the sky. Last night I walked to the ridge with my husband and saw a magnificent sunrise. But my digital camera doesn't work well in a mix of light/dark scenes. Next time I'll bring my regular camera.

Hey, I don't mind the word verification codes at all. I'm just noticing that they would make great letters to play scrabble with...all those Zs, Qs, Js, Vs, and etc. The one below has 2 Xs! You probably have to be a scabble player to understand my fascination with it.

Lish said...

Hi Carmi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. The first 3 words I think of are beauty, peace, and coolness. I too am calmed by water and nature as a whole. I mountain bike on a trail in Georegtown, TX that follows the San Gabriel river every weekend. It is a very secluded trail, just me and the deer. I also take my camera with me but have yet to capture any of the deer on film. One day!

sage said...

Michelle sent me... love your picture. My three words: "take me home" I love rivers and rocks. As for what image lowers my blood pressure, i like looking at water and the sound of flowing water or waves has even greater impact

anne said...

Soothing, calm, abandon
Pictures of wee kids laughing are great for bringing my blood pressure down, because in my mind, I can hear the singing sound of their laugh.
Or dead trees. I love dead trees.

Tammy said...

What a wonderful picture. We just don't have stuff like that in Florida, I think you have to be in the North to be blessed with such stuff.

I'm too tired and lazy to think of any words, tho....hope you still luv me anyway!

Crazy MomCat said...

1. calm
2. soothing
3. heavenly

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love what you said today in yours. I also admire that you ride your bike like that--what a great way to appreciate the earth and stay in good shape! I'd love to see pictures of open grassy fields. I grew up in the flat plains of Texas and worked on my grandfather's ranch land. It would remind me of home.

Anonymous said...

bare happy feet

I love your photographs. I never remember to bring my camera anywhere. Or maybe I purposely leave it behind.

Pictures that lower my blood pressure? Water, sky, sand, surf, birds, fish, dogs.

Anonymous said...


Hey Carmi! Thanks for stopping by the Moo. I like your spirit, too!

Olyal said...

Oh Carmi!!! I love water!!! That is one of the most beautiful and relaxing photos I've ever seen!!!
the three words I think of are soft, glassy and flowing. :o)

Carol said...


I would like to see a picture of anything that would take you off of your bike for a moment's meditation after a long day at work.

Cecilia said...

trickle, vivid, flow

Lovely capture. Thanks for dropping my blog. Glad to have dropped by here as well. Your accompanying post is as thoughtful as your photo. Well done!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

1 flowing
2 smooth
3 rock

Be careful you don't fall over while on that bike. The camera can be fragile.

Michele sent me.

kenju said...

peace, serenity and the "on-goingness" of life, flowing ever onward no matter what (unless there's a

That's a great photo and you painted a good word picture of it, Carmi, you are indeed blessed to have that oasis so close to your office. I'd love to stand there a while.

Michele sent me this time.

kenju said...

Oh, I forgot....the images that reduce my stress are just like the one here, calm and sparkling water, beautiful sunsets or sunrises, precious animals and children and almost anything green in nature.

Kevin said...

Here, this time, from Michele's.

About the pic, in a word... heaven. Sorry, one's all I've got.

Incidentally, I had no idea there was a Thames River in London, Ontario. I have to get out of Mississauga more often.

Anonymous said...

bubble gurgle brooke

I live in the other London on the Thames. When the tide comes in the crashing sounds like "the ocean". It make me feel alive and fills me with this electric feeling...happiness.
love your blog, visit often.