Friday, September 23, 2022

13 years...

Family resemblance
August 9, 2009
Laval, QC
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Time has a funny way of playing with us. Like today: 13 years to the day since I lost my dad.

Yet it feels like yesterday.

Or the day before that perceived-yesterday, when he left our house for the last time, turned the corner in his silver Saturn, and disappeared.

I share this not to be maudlin. I’m not one to dwell on dark memories. Yet at the same time, I’m keenly aware of why we keep memories alive in the first place. Because when that’s all that’s left, you hold on.

My life is filled with irony. I am a writer, yet I come from a family that, to be gentle, doesn’t communicate. Small day-to-day things aren’t shared. Major milestones aren’t marked. Leading with kindness isn’t - and never was - part of the equation.

My father was many things. And he was human. I get that.

Which probably explains why my family - the one my wife and I have built - is very different from the one I was born into. We’ve learned from those mistakes. From the opportunities not taken. From the moments missed.

Our kids will have a very different life’s trajectory than mine, which is as it should be.

Which is my rather Byzantine way of saying I appreciate the path I’ve followed to get here, and all my father did to put me on that path. He wasn’t remotely perfect. No one is. I still miss him.

#ldnont #throwback #family #everything

Three kinds of peppers

Eat your vegetables. All of them.
London, ON
April 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Wherever you may go, whatever you may do, find the color.

That is all.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #green #yellow #red #foodbasics #grocery #store #fruit #vegetables #pepper #peppers #fruitography #shopping #retail #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The business end...

Leaving the Earth behind
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


One more for the road.

Or is it the sky?

Either way, let’s mash the throttles and make this day something special, shall we?

@airshowlondon #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #usaf #f15 #eagle #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Related:
An Eagle makes jelly, September 2022
Screaming Eagle, September 2022
Jets and jelly, September 2022
Air shows matter, September 2022
Fightertown, Canada, December 2017
Shooting an Eagle, September 2017

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

An Eagle makes jelly

Block your ears
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sorry for all the plane pics. I’m slightly addicted.

This time out, we’re looking at an F-15C Eagle from the front quarter angle. Like last time, it’s just after takeoff, with the afterburners spewing flame and superheated air in their wake.

That roiled air, affectionately called “jelly”, is one of my favourite visuals when watching jets fly, because it’s tangible proof that something remarkable is happening. It also simply looks insane, which is always a plus.

I think that’s a pretty reasonable photographic goal: if it looks insane, or cool, or neat, then it’s worth shooting and sharing. If it makes us stop and sigh, or smile, or think, then it merits tripping the shutter.

Plane or no plane, I think this makes sense. To me, anyway.

@airshowlondon #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #usaf #f15 #eagle #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The persistent sunset

When the clouds (finally) give way
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I almost gave up on this one.

The skies were overwhelmingly grey, the thick cloud cover covering everything and anything with an equally thick blanket of monochrome and mirth. As much as I had hoped to see the sunset, it was clear the universe had other plans that night.

But I stuck around. The dog was happily lying in the grass by my feet, and I had nothing but time on my hands. Something told me things could change.

Eventually, they did. The clouds thinned out just above the treeline, and before long the single shade of darkening grey turned into a multicolored reflection of what happens when light gets to dance way above our heads. I could feel the warmth on my face. Even the dog seemed to be enjoying the surprise show.

I took the spectacle in until well after nightfall, and then slowly turned for home, the dog and I casting shadows on the sidewalk under the streetlights.

The experience, as trivial as it seemed, bounced through my head as we made our way back. What initially seemed hopeless, an overwhelming mass of grey that once threatened to swallow us whole, eventually morphed into something entirely different. Light. Hope.

I could have given up. But something told me not to. And I listened.

What did I learn from this?

Don’t give up.

Stay where you are.

Wait for the light to return.

It always does.

I also learned I wasn’t just watching a sunset with my dog that night.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sun #sunset #sky #weather #wx #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #jaycee #park #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, September 19, 2022

Screaming Eagle

Don't mess with New Orleans
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When the skies above are dark and threatening, bring the best tool you’ve got, and don’t be afraid to light it up.

On further reflection, I suspect this applies in life as much as it does in flight.

Fly safe, friends. And thanks.

@airshowlondon #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #usaf #f15 #eagle #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The good shadow

Stretched to the limit
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Whoever you are and whatever you do, please make sure you cast the right kind of shadow.

If we’re looking for one metric to measure whether or not lives are well lived, I hope it’s this one.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #road #street #stilllife #photography #leaf #shadow #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Always listen to the dog

Can we go home now?
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Early on a foggy Saturday morning, I feel a wet nose nudging the back of my hand. Calli the Wonderschnauzer is sitting up, willing me to get out of bed and get on with the day.

Far be it for me to deny our beloved pup her daily opportunity to terrorize the local squirrel and rabbit population, so before long I find my bleary-eyed self booking up her leash and stepping out into the murk, ready for another adventure.

As much as I whine about the inconvenience of dog ownership, the stark truth is I’d have it no other way. She is my little wingman, partner in crime, buddy. I don’t just “walk the dog” with her. She’s my crazy little pal who may not speak our language, but is nonetheless ruthlessly effective at letting me know what she wants.

So as we pause on the bridge over the creek to take in the murky scene before the sun burns it off, I feel the need to remember the moment. It’s another one of those things that she just gets, and she poses perfectly for me before nudging the back of my leg with that warm, wet nose of hers.

Time to get back home. Message received.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #actofdog #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #medway #valley #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #ınstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Friday, September 16, 2022

The vertical city

Geometric
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Playing with lines against the sky.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #urban #city #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Where we meet the stealth bomber

Death from above
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


If aviation has a Holy Grail, I imagine it would be this plane, the B-2 Spirit, more commonly known as the stealth bomber.

Through some crazy miracle of scheduling and logistics, she showed up at the airshow, and you could hear a pin drop as she flew over.

On the one hand, it’s jarring to think that this one plane was designed to deliver nuclear hell to enemies who (hopefully) would never even know she was coming.

On the other hand, it’s nice to know the mere existence of this aircraft helps prevent those same enemies from using nukes of their own. It’s sad to think that we need weapons like this at all, but it’s heartening to realize their deterrent power.

And from a pure design perspective, she’s a breathtaking example of what happens when brilliant humans are given the resources to produce next-level technology.

Over 3 decades after she first flew, she still gives chills whenever she shows up, and I count myself lucky to have been able to witness her in person.

@airshowlondon #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #northropgrumman #b2b #spirit #stealth #bomber #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #NikonCA #Nikon_Canada #NikonPhotography #Nikon_Photography #photography

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Fast food revelation, far from home

Waiting for normal
Winnipeg, MB
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


In the middle of a long journey involving planes, trains, and an automobile, my wife and I happen across a McDonald’s and stop in before we get back on the soon-to-be-darkened highway.

COVID being what it is, the place is mostly empty. So while we wait for our order to be filled, I slowly walk around and appreciate the spectacle of late-evening sunshine splayed out across early-21st-century fast food interior design.

I get it: I’m an idiot. It’s a freaking fast food restaurant jammed between the river, a rail yard, and a city bus garage. A freight train rattles slowly past the back of the parking lot and casts shadows over the cracked pavement. There should be no reason why this place is remotely worth remembering.

Yet it is.

Call me weird, but I don’t want to forget places and moments like this. For some strange reason, they matter.

The place may look unassuming, but I’m experiencing it with a woman who nods approvingly when I say I want to get artsy under the golden arches. Small moments matter to her, and the synapses in my brain tell me on this summer evening in a prairie town that I never want to forget what it feels like to be here, with her.

So if you’re still reading this, you’re getting a bit of modern plastic resto still-life. I, on the other hand, am left with an indelible memory of a trip I can’t imagine having taken with anyone else.

We should all be so lucky to find that one person who makes us feel that way. I’m lucky I did. I’m lucky I’m still here to appreciate it. And her.

#winnipeg #manitoba #canada #ywg #throwback #road #trip #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #mcdonalds #restaurant #fastfood #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Celebrating our family's very pillar

Lilly's first moments with Bubby
Dryden, ON
June 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


She’s quite the human being, this one, and for 364 days of the year, she spends every waking moment ensuring we’re all taken of.

Today the light turns on her, as she celebrates another spin around the sun.

I’m rather certain there will be cake, singing (sorry in advance), many hugs and calls, and a dog at our feet trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. It’ll look like the typical day in our little family, because thanks to Debbie, we celebrate every one we get.

And while those everyday celebrations may not always involve balloons and candles and presents, she makes sure they’re special and memorable in their own right.

From the moment I met her, she’s been teaching me that small moments are in fact the big moments.

So while today’s milestone may be another small moment in a life that she’s ably filled with them, it’s a really big thing for her and for us, and a reminder that we’re lucky to be flying around our nearest star alongside her.

#LiveLaughLevy #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #happy #birthday #birthdaygirl #happybirthday #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, September 12, 2022

She joins the quarter-century club

Auntie Dahlia's favorite place to be
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


A quarter century ago, Dahlia squirmed her way into the world and worked her way into our hearts - and everyone else’s, too.

She started off tiny, but her life is anything but. Artistic, empathetic, brilliant, funny, loved. She is so many things to so many people, and her energy is infectious.

Any parent would be blessed to have a daughter like her, but we’re the only ones on Planet Earth lucky enough to be hers.

And thanks to her, 25 years blitzed past us. That’s the way it’s supposed to work when we’re having fun, and we can’t wait to hear what she has planned next.

Happiest of birthdays, Peanut Girl. We love you limitlessly.

#LiveLaughLevy #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #happy #birthday #birthdaygirl #happybirthday #parenthood #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

History points to the sky

Riveting
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Spent the day at @airsholondon yesterday. And while the main focus was watching the most sophisticated planes on Planet Earth rip up the sky, it’s this photo, taken in a quiet corner of the ramp, that sticks with me.

This is the engine of a B-17 Flying Fortress, a strategic bomber that was played a pivotal role in the Allied campaign to destroy Nazi Germany’s industrial capacity from the air.

This is one of the final flying examples of the type, rescued from the scrap heap by a group of 10 volunteers who each mortgaged their homes for $25,000 to buy the wrecked aircraft. Hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours later, this remarkable machine rules the skies once more.

The decidedly more modern planes on display - F-22 Raptor, F-15 Eagle, B-2 Spirit, you name it - all owed their very existence to this historic machine.

21 years to the day since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, this hushed spot in the shadow of a legendary bomber seemed like an appropriate place to reflect on why we still need instruments of war, why we stand on guard against tyranny, and why those who sacrifice their lives to protect ours deserve so much more than we’ve traditionally been willing to give back.

@airshowlondon #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #b17 #flyingfortress #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photography #lifeinthemargins

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Jets and jelly

Wide open throttle
London, ON
September 2017
This photo originally shared on Instagram


A few years ago, an Eagle turned fossilized dinosaurs into jelly, noise, and speed just above the heads of an enthralled crowd.

It was an epic, visceral, memorable moment for anyone lucky enough to be part of that crowd.

Today will bring more crowds, jelly, noise, and speed.

And I’ll say a silent thanks to the dinosaurs who millions of years ago kickstarted the process that makes days like today possible.

@airshowlondon #throwback #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #f15 #eagle #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Air shows matter

Hornet topside pass
London, ON
August 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Any day is a good day to stare at airplanes in the sky, but some days are even better than others.

It’s air show weekend here in #ldnont, so I think I’ll sling the camera over my shoulder and head over to the airport.

I took this at last year’s show, and the @cf18demoteam will be back in the air this year, too. They are, in a word, heroes.

While every air show seems to spawn a range of complaints - too noisy, waste of fuel and money, unnecessary warmongering, etc. - the reality is far more nuanced.

The pilot and plane you see here also guards Canada’s massive northern flanks. If you ask the professionals who fly these aircraft and missions, they’ll tell you about the Russian bombers they regularly challenge at the edge of Canadian airspace, the no-fly zones they enforce against belligerent actors, the rescues they pull off, the aid they provide after human-caused and natural disasters alike.

No one wants war, period. But let’s not fool ourselves: the world is not black and white. And the subtle shades of grey of statecraft dictate the need for spears like these to keep the malevolent actors around us in their place. Deterrence is a thing, apparently.

Democracy and freedoms come with a steep price - something most of us never seem to think much about. In the ideal world, we’d all be a little (okay, a lot) more thankful to those willing to devote their lives to pay that price, for they are the ones who allow the rest of us to freely decide to either cheer them on from the tarmac or whine about them from afar.

So pardon me in advance if I can’t hear the utterly predictable complaints. Those afterburners are freaking loud.

@airshowlondon #throwback #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #boeing #mcdonnelldouglas #fa18 #hornet #fighter #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photography #lifeinthemargins

Related:
1 MiG, dead ahead, September 2017
Shooting an Eagle, September 2017
Past, meet future, September 2017

Friday, September 09, 2022

Forests have structure, too

Impressionism among the canopy
Komoka, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


If Mother Nature studied structural engineering, I’d like to imagine her portfolio might contain scenes like this.

The world outside this verdant canopy dishes out one wave after another of turbulence and uncertainty. Yet the layers of green leaves, supported by a perfectly engineered lattice of branches, somehow keep it all at bay.

Soon enough, though, this canopy will shift colors, then disappear entirely.

But something tells me this forest, no matter the season, will remain the perfect oasis it’s always been.

A return visit is most certainly in order. Because we all need places like this to keep the real world out.

#ldnont #london #komoka #provincialpark #ontario #canada #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #texture #shadow #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Thursday, September 08, 2022

The Queen has died

This is one of those moments we’ll remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.

A remarkable life of service ends. A page in history is turned.

May Queen Elizabeth’s memory be a blessing.

Leaves in the deep shadows

Catch the light
Komoka, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I’m still playing in the shadows where no one else seems to go.

#ldnont #london #komoka #provincialpark #ontario #canada #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #texture #shadow #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #stilllife #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Their third...

Three years ago today, we surrounded you both as you built the first piece of your life as a family.

What you’ve both accomplished since your wedding day is the stuff that any parent wishes for a child. You’ve worked tirelessly, turned a house into a home, and welcomed the first of her generation into the world.

It hardly feels like three years has gone by, yet here you are, making the most out of every moment.

Long may we all find reasons big and small to get together and celebrate. Long may we be blessed to be parents to kids (okay, no longer kids) like you who so fully embrace the little things that make life such a gift.

Happy anniversary, Michaela and Zach. When Lilly smiles back at you, know it’s because she’s enjoying the journey just as much as you both so clearly are. Love you all.

#LiveLaughLevy #dryden #ontario #throwback #wedding #anniversary #parenthood #family #everything

Related:
Welcome to the world, Lilly, June 2020
Their first, September 2020

Saying goodbye to Winnipeg

Looking at the world through a different lens
Winnipeg, MB
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Despite what we may have heard, or wished, this pandemic isn’t done with us yet.

We’re not back to normal. Whatever normal is.

We may never be.

But some pieces of familiarity are finding their way back into our lives.

Like flying, which we were lucky enough to do a couple of months back.

I took this on the way home, a quick look back at a city, Winnipeg, that had been so good to our family over the years.

We didn’t spend nearly enough time there this time. But the fact that we were able to get there at all, again, was enough.

We may never return to the mythical normal. But it sure feels right to slowly reclaim some things - like getting on a plane - that we once took for granted.

We won’t be taking them for granted anymore.

Maybe that’s one of the tiny bright spots we need to hold onto as we craft a rather different-looking future. #winnipeg #manitoba #canada #ywg #throwback #road #trip #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #swoop #flight #flying #aviation #boeing #boeing737 #avgeek #plane #planes #nikon #nikon_photography #nikonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Po stares into the wind

Pensive little girl
Grand Bend, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Po the Teletubby went back to the beach yesterday. And since she’s attached to my camera bag by a carabiner, she didn’t go alone.

It’s become our end-of-summer tradition in our family to head to the beach before everyone heads back to school and work. We get sand in unmentionable places, we eat food we probably shouldn’t, and I take stupid pictures of angry birds.

In other words, the perfect day.

And since Po has been a part of our narrative since before our kids could walk and talk, it seemed like a normal thing to do to take a picture of her in her natural element.

I appreciate that some folks may think it isn’t remotely normal for an adult to carry a child’s toy around for decades.

But who defines what normal is, anyway?

#grandbend #ontario #canada #beach #great #lake #huron #po #red #teletubby #summer #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, September 05, 2022

Where shadow covers rock

Painted by the sun
Komoka, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Deep in the woods, the canopy overhead turns an otherwise blazingly hot, sunny day into a hushed, cool, green-tinted oasis.

Good for personal comfort, but pretty lousy for photography, which apparently needs more light than this place can muster.

Still, defiant slashes of sunlight manage to push through the leaves high above and randomly scatter themselves here and there across the forest floor.

I come across a rock that’s been lit up by one of them, and my eyes zero in not on the plant growing in front of it, but by the shadow that’s been left behind.

I’m struck by the fact that the absence of something has now become my central focus, as if a figurative vacuum is even worthy of attention (pro tip: it is. Negative space is a thing.)

As I tuck the camera away and head back to the real world, I make a mental note to continue looking into the shadows.

#ldnont #london #komoka #provincialpark #ontario #canada #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #rock #texture #shadow #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, September 04, 2022

This old house, 17 years on

Lost to time
Laval, QC
August 2005
This photo originally shared on this blog and on Instagram

Remembering the day I said goodbye to the house where I grew up.

#17YearsOn #chomedey #lifeasahouse

Pretty purple flowers

Full frame color
Winnipeg, MB
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Just outside a very special place where butterflies live, I find myself captivated by purple flowers in a perfectly kept garden.

This isn’t an earth shattering scene by any stretch of the imagination. Just a random slash of purple.

But random slashes of purple, or any other color for that matter, make me smile.

I hope they make you smile, too.

#winnipeg #manitoba #canada #assiniboine #zoo #throwback #road #trip #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #purple #flower #flowers #stilllife #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Saturday, September 03, 2022

A donut like no other

Those eyes
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Time to play with the donut, Dad.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #ınstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

The fire in the sky

Someone painted the sky again
London, ON
September 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram

It was a good night to stand among the trees and watch the fire in the sky slowly fade from view.

I either do this too often or not often enough.

I lean toward the latter.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sun #sunset #sky #weather #wx #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #optimist #park #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Friday, September 02, 2022

Revisiting the Peanuts Gang

Apologies if you're allergic
London, ON
May 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Go on, you know you just want to dive in.

I won’t say anything if you won’t. It’ll be our little secret.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #fiveguys #restaurant #peanuts #food #foodie #foodporn #instafood #foodphotography #foodstagram #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Nuts to that, March 2018
20 years of Peanut, September 2017
That's just nuts, March 2016
Another edible photo, December 2004

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Knots in the wood

Parent and child
Dryden, ON
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Every once in a while, we come across things that make us stop and stare for a bit. Like these strange growths on the trunk of an otherwise normal-ish-looking tree.

I don’t know enough about forestry or botany to explain how a tree trunk ends up looking like this.

But I DO know that I like what I see, and considering all the other weird stuff that stops me in my tracks, it’s obvious my photo-trigger bar is set pretty low.

Which, if I’m being honest, makes me a terrible person on group walks, because everyone’s always forced to wait for me. Or explain to strangers and passers-by why the weird guy over there is lying on the ground and pointing his camera at an exposed root. Or a squirrel. Or… We can’t have it all, apparently. I’m strangely good with that.

#dryden #ontario #canada #forest #tree #trees #texture #nature #naturephotography #abstract #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Uprooted, May 2022
A face in the bark, January 2022
Message in the bark, October 2017
Stonehenge on a tree, February 2011
Bark, cubed, November 2006
Hidden color, February 2006

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The things leaves can teach us

The world at our feet
Komoka, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The leaves are already piling up on the forest floor. And if we listen closely enough, they hold a number of lessons for us:
  1. Some leaves are brightly colored. Others less so. They’re all beautiful. Whatever their color, they all play a role in the lifecycle of the forest.
  2. Not so long ago, they hung on the branches overhead. Now they await their fate underfoot. Time moves in one direction, and no one is immune.
  3. There isn’t a lot of light down there in the dirt, so you have to linger a little to take it all in. It’s always worth taking the time to see the entire picture.
  4. This may look and feel like an ending, but everything here eventually decays and fuels whatever else will grow here in future. Beginnings and endings are fuzzy that way.
  5. We were raised to not get dirty. Our parents were wrong. Never miss a chance to get down in the dirt and feel it between your fingers.
  6. If you close your eyes just so and wait patiently for a few minutes, you’ll hear the heartbeat of this place. Forests are noisier than we think. Gloriously so. Drink it in.
I could go on. Looks like another wander through the woods is called for.

#ldnont #london #komoka #provincialpark #ontario #canada #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #texture #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
Streetheart, August 2022
One tough leaf, February 2022
When leaves end, October 2021
Starting to see red, September 2021
Leaves at our feet, September 2021
Red leaf down, October 2020
When life ends, September 2020
Temporary red blanket, October 2019
Grounded, October 2017

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Look into the fading sky

Multiple shades of salmon
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Don’t regret the storm.

Be thankful for the painted sky it left behind.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sun #sunset #sky #weather #wx #onstorm #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #water #cloud #clouds #jayceepark #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:

Monday, August 29, 2022

(Almost) back to the moon

Windows on history
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


As a kid, I woke up early and stayed up late to watch shuttle launches. I read every book and article I could about NASA and space travel.

My fire for technology was sparked by a boyhood obsession with things that not only flew, but flew so fast that they achieved orbit. My rock stars were astronauts and engineers and ground crew who made these miracles happen.

As an adult, I mourned the losses of Challenger and Columbia and their respective crew members, and the weaknesses in human behaviors that fuelled these avoidable tragedies.

I watched superpowers evolve from enemies on the ground and adversaries in space into true partners who built a beacon in the sky that inspires kids like me every time it flies overhead. Then I watched those same superpowers begin to dismantle that same partnership.

Somehow all these lessons of space flight helped shape my storyteller’s brain. Because the stories of rockets really are the stories of us.

All of which explains how I find myself early this morning, surrounded by screens as I watch NASA attempt to launch Artemis 1 on a crucial test flight. Half a century after the Apollo program wound down, we’re about to take the first steps toward returning to the moon.

It’s one of those inflection points in history, which largely explains why I find myself wearing my NASA meatball logo t-shirt over my space-themed jammies while the rest of the fam sleeps.

NASA teams are currently troubleshooting some chilldown issues with engine 3 on the core stage, itself carried forward from a storied career powering shuttles to orbit. So it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll hit their launch window, let alone the original T-0 at 8:33 a.m. ET.

Whatever happens next is anyone’s guess. [UPDATE 8:35 a.m. ET: the launch director has called a scrub for the day.] But I can’t imagine missing out on a story that, unlike so many that dominate the news cycle today and every day, represents the very best of who we are.

Moments like this were humbling and memorable when I was a child, and they’re precisely so today, as well.

Godspeed, Artemis 1. May the dreams of the countless heroes who created you continue to soar not only into the heavens, but well beyond.

#Artemis #Artemis1 #GoArtemis #NASA #SLS #Orion #spaceflight #space #moon #dream

Related:
Old orbiter. New code. February 2020

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Staring into the reflective waves

The things that happen when we change our perspective
Thornhill, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


As photographic subjects go, water is a particularly fascinating one.

On its own, it’s perfectly clear - and absolutely useless at telling its own story.

But shift your perspective a little and suddenly everything changes.

Like here, where a low-angle stare into the waves lets us see an ever-evolving, mirror-like surface. A quick tour through my photo archives highlights countless images of water, all incredibly diverse, all just scratching the surface of water’s visual potential.

Rather impressive for something that’s completely transparent.

It’s a timely reminder that first impressions are rarely the last word, and we owe it to ourselves to try, try again when we’re not content with that first glimpse.

Because the waters we peer into have so many more stories to tell.

Come to think of it, maybe this applies to much more than water.

#toronto #thornhill #ontario #canada #water #waves #reflective #reflection #mirror #texture #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Saturday, August 27, 2022

It's new keyboard day

Touch this
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


My name is Carmi, destroyer of keyboards.

I wore out another one yesterday, so off I went to the big box electronics store.

I thought I’d grab some pixels of the new one before it, too, meets a similar fate.

I feel I need to apologize to it.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #logitech #mac #keyboard #random #homeoffice #writerlife #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Related:
QWERTY madness, August 2018
(Key)boarded, January 2015
Thumbellina, September 2020

Friday, August 26, 2022

Echoes in green jello

From generation to generation
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Decades ago, my late mother-in-law started making green jello whenever we brought our then-toddler son, Zach, to visit.

Why green? It was his favorite color.

Fast forward to today, and Zach is now married, and he and his wife, Michaela, are the proud and incredible parents of Lilly.

So when they got to town for the little one’s first ever visit here, my lovely wife Debbie, aka Bubby, had green jello ready.

Lilly is, of course, too young to eat it. But practicality means less than the simple significance of how a simple treat came to be because of a simple connection between a little boy and his grandmother.

And as this seemingly simple family tradition continues into the next generation, I can’t help but think about all the other small things family members do for each other. And how lucky I am to have married into this particular family, where the tiniest of gestures seem to have the most profound impacts over us all.

Indeed, Zach became the person he is because of tiny gestures like a green bowl of jiggly jello.

Soon enough, their daughter will learn - and carry on - that identical lesson.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #green #jello #glass #food #foodporn #random #kitchen #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #family #everything

Related:
Two months on... April 2013
Slice of life, November 2006

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Filet-O-Fish Conundrum

Marketing > Fish
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Am I the only one who thinks McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish buns are made from a substance that doesn’t originate on Planet Earth?

Perhaps I’m making too big a deal out of something so trivial, but the texture isn’t remotely close to an actual bread-like creation.

And yet this has been my bizarre fast food go-to since I was old enough to choose for myself.

Not everything needs an explanation, after all. Not everything needs to be haute cuisine, either.

As long as it brings us comfort whether we’re sitting in our own kitchen or find ourselves far from home, that’s pretty much all that matters.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #mcdonalds #filetofish #fish #fastfood #food #foodporn #texture #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Where the sky tells stories forever

Journeys to faraway lands
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Will the sky ever run out of stories to tell?

Eventually, yes.

But not today. Not tomorrow. Not within our lifetime.

So I guess I’ll see you out there sometime. I’ll be the guy staring up into the not-so-random randomness, thankful to have the chance to do so at all.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sun #sunset #sky #weather #cloud #clouds #wx #silhouette #walkabout #forest #tree #trees #optimistpark #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The two sides of any fence

Lean in
Arva, ON
July 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Fences can divide us.

Or they can bring us together.

Our choice, really.

#ldnont #london #arva #ontario #canada #walkabout #fence #texture #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, August 22, 2022

Dog bathed in light

Did someone say treat?
London, ON
August 2022
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Shafts of brilliant sunlight pierced the forest canopy and settled diagonally on the grass below, cutting perfectly defined angles through the humid morning air.

I’ve seen these before - often far off in the sky as storms roll in or out - but never had the phenomenon played out so close in that I felt I could reach out and touch the light.

Of course, Calli the Wonderschnauzer didn’t seem to feel the same way, and instead chose to focus her attention on the squirrels tormenting her from the trees towering over her rather small-ish form.

Never mind, though, as she eventually allowed a quick pose in the valley before we headed back to reality.

Looking at this photo, it occurs to me that all it is is light. Ephemeral, easy-to-miss optics. Mere echoes that slip past us without much thought or impact.

But it also occurs to me that the stories behind how that light comes to be, and how it makes us feel, are more profound to our existence than a simple snapshot might suggest.

Thankfully I have a furry partner in crime to remind me of that each and every day. We’ll be ready the next time the morning light decides to come out and play.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #medway #valley #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #ınstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Trees under a farm country sunset

Life in silhouette
Elginfield, ON
July 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Either the trees are saying goodnight to the sun, or the sun is saying goodnight to the trees.

Maybe the answer doesn’t matter as much as the fact that we’re there at all to witness the moment.

#elginfield #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sun #sunset #sky #weather #wx #country #farm #rural #roadside #tree #trees #silhouette #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded