Thursday, August 31, 2023

QOTD - On liking yourself first

"Remove the 'I want you to like me' sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs.”
Susan Jeffers

Quiet sunset

Shh...
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We don’t always need words.

Every once in a while - or perhaps a bit more often - it’s perfectly fine to just stand there in silence and take in the wonder.

Because silence is its own language, too.

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The tragedy of shelter

Accomplish anything, indeed
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I walked into this downtown alley looking for murals and street art. I found bitter irony instead.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #graffiti #mural #art #homelessness #accomplishanything #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #downtown #urban #city #king #street #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Parking the hut

Solitary
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


As a child, I always wondered what it must be like to work in a parking lot hut, especially in the brutal heat of summer or the vicious cold of a Canadian winter.

I always imagined the friendly folks who took our money and watched over our cars were made of tougher stuff than the rest of us, and could tell us stories about all they’d seen - if only we stuck around to listen.

Except the gauzy imaginings of a child often fail to hold up amid the cold light of adulthood. The folks maybe weren’t so friendly after all. They sure didn’t look after our cars with great care. And storytime in a parking lot was never an actual thing.

Which is why at 10:40 on a Sunday night walk with our daughter, I found myself face-to-face with one of the few remaining such structures in our town, and I was immediately transported back to those gauzy moments in the back seat when my imagination was infinitely more fun than the cold reality playing out on the other side of the car window.

Automation has taken over today’s parking lots, and if the hut remains, it’s typically boarded up and covered with graffiti. This one, though, is a keeper, a perfectly preserved time capsule of an age that no longer exists. If it ever truly existed at all.

I couldn’t walk past it without at least pausing to reflect on what it might have meant long ago to some child sitting in the back seat of the car. I hope their thoughts were gauzy, too.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #history #urban #city #downtown #canadalife #londonlife #clarence #street #night #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, August 28, 2023

Light. Tunnel. Hope.

What lies beneath
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Scene from an underpass.

The concrete overhead is crumbling. Rusty water from the rail tracks overhead pools on the sidewalk below, mixing with clumps of old bird poop for added effect. A man in tattered jeans screams at passing cars for no apparent reason.

Hanging around here for any longer than necessary feels like an unacceptable risk, yet I feel the need to at least snag a fast photo, to remember what this place feels like, to tell at least part of the story of a city cracking at the seams.

We’re no different from many cities. Burgeoning homeless population. Unchecked addiction. Non-existent mental health services. Spiralling street crime. An exodus of businesses from the already beleaguered core.

Familiar problems, sure, and no immediate solution. Or even a long-term one, as we can’t even agree on which paths offer the most promise to reverse this cropping decline.

For all the despair, I look back at this near-apocalyptic scene and see light at the end of this particular tunnel. This neighborhood at the other end was once a showpiece, where entire generations came to live and work and make memories they cling to till this day.

Once there was at least something here, and it seems cruel to turn our backs completely without doing at least…something.

So today I don’t. I stay despite the rising screams behind me so that I can at least snag one picture before I continue on my way. I’m saddened by what I see, and it bothers me that all I can do in the moment amounts to recording a few pixels before I quickly leave this place.

But I’m equally unwilling to walk away for good. And making a simple memory seems like a reasonable place to start.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #ruinporn #urban #city #downtown #random #lines #geometry #monochrome #richmond #street #streetphotography #monochrome #photography #apppe #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Strangers at the beach

Making core memories
Port Stanley, ON
May 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


People’s lives will play out in all kinds of ways, in all sorts of places.

For all the photos I’ve taken of others simply going about their business, I often wonder one thing:

What if someone else is training the lens on me?

I wonder what those photos might look like. And what these total strangers might be thinking as they, like I’m doing right now, flip through their archives and drink in the images they captured.

I hope they wonder about me as much as I wonder about them.

I hope they continue to both capture the stories of others as they add new chapters to their own.

#portstanley #beach #ldnont #ontario #canada #throwback #great #lake #erie #sun #sky #swim #water #waves #silhouette #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Saturday, August 26, 2023

One last chat with the Sun

Later, my friend
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sometimes the Sun reaches through the windows of the house and whispers, “Come out and see me one last time before I leave for the night.”

Who am I to say no?

So I dutifully grab the camera bag and zing over to the nearby park for a ridiculously spontaneous moment amid the fading light.

Ridiculous because there’s no logical reason to drop everything and run to a stretch of overgrown, decidedly soaked grass beside a baseball field. The reward for doing so is a few dozen well-placed mosquito bites and the curious stares of strangers who wonder why this weirdo is pointing his lens at the sky.

Yet I’ve been doing it with increasing frequency this summer.

Because every once in a while it’s good for the soul to stand alone and just take it in. No apps, no feeds, no wireless. Just you and countless photons washing over you from 93 million miles away, perhaps interrupted by some clouds in the distance. Simple, really. But not.

Because once our nearest star fades for good and the show ends, I get to walk quietly away and ponder the wonder of what I’ve just witnessed.

Because what I’ve just witnessed is something I’ll never get to see again. At least not in that precise form. Different, sure. Spectacular, of course. But never Just. Like. That.

Because we’re only given a limited number of these moments, where the Sun reaches through the windows and asks us to come out for a closer look.

Because maybe we’ll be able to head out the next night.

Or maybe we won’t.

Because maybe the Sun won’t whisper.

Because nothing is ever guaranteed.

In the sky.

In life.

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

Friday, August 25, 2023

The iron gargoyles that protect us

We stand together
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We find fascinating things just inches above the time-worn pavement on London’s York Street.

If only these characters could tell us the things they’ve seen over the years.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #downtown #road #street #sidewalk #iron #gate #statues #creepy #texture #stilllife #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Sterling architecture

Watching over the neighbourhood
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


They call it Sterling Place. I call it lovely.

Which explains why I stand on the sidewalk and pause for some architectural appreciation.

None of this is planned. On the way from here to there, I realize I haven’t been here in a while, so I should remember the moment in some way. The sidewalk is narrow, the traffic whizzing by just inches from where I stand. It’s hardly an ideal place for a spontaneous smartphone photo session, but I figure I should make do with what I’ve got.

So I point the lens upward and play with the geometry to ensure everything lines up. I’m sure I attract some odd stares along the way, but deep down I hope I’m planting some seeds so that strangers might do the same thing.

What a world it would be if more of us stopped between here and there to stare up at what was, what is, and what might be.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #history #urban #city #downtown #york #clarence #street #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

After the shoppers have gone

Modern mausoleum
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Tell me if you’ve heard this one before:

Way back in the 1980s, city planners approve the development of a giant mall smack in the middle of a vibrant downtown shopping district. Entire blocks are levelled to make room for a concrete and glass monstrosity that they dub Galleria London.

Almost as soon as it opens, it struggles. Shoppers prefer suburbia, apparently, and not some windowless mausoleum with underground, pay-by-the-hour parking and lousy transit. Major anchors gradually shrink their footprint, then shut down entirely.

Worse, the streets around the Galleria suffer, too, and before long many of the retailers there, too, start to close for good. Downtown London soon becomes a place to be avoided after dark.

Over the ensuing decades, the Galleria is renamed - now known as Citi Plaza - and is somewhat reborn as a mixed use complex filled with offices, schools, and city services. The Bay department store is rebuilt into the showpiece Central Library, a shining example of how publicly accessible literacy and community-building done right.

It isn’t anywhere near the original vision, but that’s pretty much how the universe operates: plans are made, then everything changes. Manyana.

Ill-starred history aside, it’s a resonant place to explore, particularly as the sun begins to set and the worker-bees head home. The silence is deafening. The lessons this place has for us? Probably not being heard.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #shopping #mall #perspective #galleria #citiplaza #retail #glass #design #public #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #urban #city #downtown #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Just hanging around

Shadowy display
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Welcome to our latest entry in a random ongoing series featuring scenes captured in shopping malls.

I know what you’re thinking: Shopping malls? Seriously?

The why is simple: it’s close to where we live.

Besides, photography, at least to me, isn’t about the rare and the spectacular. It’s about the ordinary and the everyday. Because to my eyes, there’s plenty of spectacular close to home. We just have to find it, often at our feet. Or when we’re picking fruit up at the grocery. Or passing an empty bus stop. Or wandering past window displays at the local mall.

I’ve been teasing the extraordinary out of scenes most would dismiss as mundane for as long as I can remember. Because that’s where most of us spend the vast majority of our time. And the daily commute, the dog walk, and the hastily arranged breakfast. They all deserve some camera love just as much as the iconic touristy stuff we did on our last vacation.

I’m just old enough to remember when photography was film-based, so we metered every shot and saved it for so-called special occasions. Vacations, birthdays, graduations, weddings, whatever, the plan was always the same. We’d get dressed up. The camera would come out. The smiles would be put on. The rote photos would be taken.

Then the camera gathered dust until the next big day rolled around. The ordinary and the everyday went unrecorded.

The shift to digital has removed barriers to photography. It’s opened up moments that might have never been sufficiently “special”. Our cameras are no longer things we have to remember to throw over our shoulder before we head out: they’re always with us, in our phones in our pockets.

And we no longer balance taking a shot against our monthly budget. We simply shoot when something moves us, however plain or weird or unspecial it might be. Or at least we should.

Because everything is special.

Maybe I’m wasting my time with all this, but it makes me happy.

And if it makes others happy, too, then that’s a bonus.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #shopping #mall #masonville #retail #retailtherapy #retaildesign #retaillife #stilllife #glass #display #shadow #design #public #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, August 21, 2023

Dancing among the clouds

Looking back...
Winnipeg, MB
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Most folks who fly these days pay no attention to what’s going on just outside the window.

You’ve been hanging around me long enough to know I’m not most folks.

I’m the nerd who stares out in wonder.

Whose heart skips a beat or two at the prospect of dancing through the clouds and the rain and the sun and the shadows as we climb out and head out on an adventure - or home.

Who still finds it incredible that just about anyone can zoom at near the speed of sound high in the stratosphere, then return to Earth as routinely as if they had taken the bus to work.

Who still cherishes the ability of these wondermachines to transcend time and space and connect us with our most important people.

Who never wants any of this to feel normal.

Because it isn’t.

#ldnont #london #ontario #yxu #winnipeg #manitoba #canada #ywg #throwback #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #flair #flight #flying #aviation #boeing #boeing737 #avgeek #plane #planes #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #family #everything

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Take a seat

Comfy
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We spend entirely too much time waiting around.

So we may as well be comfortable, right?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #masonville #random #stilllife #gameoftones #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Now appearing on BlueSky

Serious question: Is it considered proper etiquette to announce your #BlueSky account while you're still on #Twitter (oops, X, #DumpsterFire, whatever)?

On second thought, I don't care.

Find me on #BlueSky at https://carmilevy.bsky.social.

Reflections in a forgotten corner of the mall

Lines and light
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


In a tucked-away corner of a quiet shopping mall, I wander across a security door that seems to defy the emptiness of this place.

As the mall once ate the downtown shopping district, e-commerce now comes for the mall. These once-iconic centres of retail and community life now increasingly reflect the fact that most of us have simply moved on. “Going to the mall” is less a normative social thing now.

As much as I despise shopping, it saddens me somewhat. Like them or not, these places once anchored daily life for so many. And generational change doesn’t come without varying forms of loss.

Yet this particular mall is faring better than most, its owners managing to keep the empty storefronts to a minimum as they drive their brand upmarket and make plans to build condos at the edge of the parking lot. Tomorrow’s mall will look and feel increasingly like a self-constrained, transit-connected community, and this one is already starting to shift.

But for now, sneakers are still being sold, Cinnabons are still being covered with gooey icing, and kids are still having meltdowns when they don’t get their way.

And deep in the shadows, a reflective security door casts brilliant patterns on a polished marble floor, a scene unseen by scattered crowds too busy with their smartphones to look any more closely than they need to.

They’re missing the ending of one story and the beginning of the next.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #masonville #random #retail #street #streetphotography #geometry #mirror #reflective #monochrome #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Friday, August 18, 2023

Chalk it up to art

Mix it up
London, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The neighborhood kids have been at it again with their sidewalk chalk.

I wish they’d do it more often.

I wish they’d never lose that sense of whimsical randomness.

I wish more parents would sit on the sidewalk with them.

I wish the colors stuck around longer than they do.

I wish these kids knew how much joy this brings to total strangers.

I wish for many things, apparently. Sometimes all we have to do to make them come true is to look down at our feet.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #chalk #rainbow #color #colors #signs #messages #random #road #street #sidewalk #suburban #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Thursday, August 17, 2023

The answer is always ice cream

Very cold. Very necessary.
St. Thomas, ON
July 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We all have moments where we’re faced with critical decisions. And the only decision that makes sense as our faces are pressed against the cold glass is to eat the damn ice cream.

We could rationalize all day why we shouldn’t. It has too much fat. It isn’t the uber-trendy gelato. It will reinforce our lingering feelings of self-doubt and despair.

But let’s be real: will a single scoop really be the key to a hellishly decadent life devoid of meaning? Are we somehow failures because we slipped up and had a scoop of rocky road?

Not every meal can or should be built exclusively around ice cream - as much as toddler Carmi once wished. But a life without an occasional lick of sweetness doesn’t sound like one I’d want to lead.

So I’ll take the black cherry, please. The extra kms on the bike will be well worth it.

#stthomas #ldnont #london #ontario #canada #shaws #icecream #food #foodie #foodporn #random #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Staring at lines in the sky

The lines that connect us
London, ON
April 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sorry, but I’m staring at the sky again.

It’s one of those seek-refuge-in-the-familiar things when the planetary merry-go-round begins to spin a bit too quickly for my liking. Or maybe it’s my way of dealing with things I can’t directly control. So I just stare off into the distance at random things that bring me comfort.

Standing under the naturally and unnaturally painted sky, I’m reminded of childhood, when others did the worrying on my behalf. I just had to wake up in the morning, and meals were prepared, plans were made, and bills were (invisibly) paid.

In adulthood, all that rests on our shoulders.

So we look for tiny islands where we can disconnect - even for a moment - and recapture what it must have felt like as kids, when the weight of the world was someone else’s problem. We didn’t appreciate it then. I’m certain we do now.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #blue #sky #weather #wx #cloud #clouds #cloudspotting #contrail #aviation #flight #flying #aviation #avgeek #plane #planes #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A different kind of goldfish

Swim!
London, ON
July 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


(Gold)fish out of water.

In all seriousness, goldfish crackers have quite the history in our little family. We bought them by the pallet for our kids when they were toddlers, and they remain a staple for us to this day.

The topper: they’re made by the good folks at Pepperidge Farms. Because Pepperidge Farms remembers. Goodness, I’ve just dated myself. Oh well.

So when I came across this single orphaned cracker on the road near our house, I couldn’t resist. When our youngest was two-years-old, I wrote a newspaper column about his goldfish addiction, and these silly-looking snacks will always trigger an irrational moment in my clearly convoluted mind.

Here's the link to the piece, from August 2004: Raiding the Archives 3 - Fishy Funny

I’m going to guess we all have food triggers that evoke powerful memories. What are yours?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #random #road #street #fish #goldfish #cracker #texture #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, August 14, 2023

Winging it

Fat Albert's starboard side
Somewhere over Northern Ontario
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Fly to faraway places.

Spend time with folks who make your life whole.

Try to freeze moments along the way.

Because time moves far too quickly.

Even for jets.

#ldnont #london #ontario #yxu #winnipeg #manitoba #canada #ywg #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #flair #flight #flying #aviation #boeing #boeing737 #avgeek #plane #planes #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #family #everything

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Our messy setting Sun

Smudged
London, ON
July 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Humans seem to be fixated on things that are pristine: perfectly clean clothes, classically proportioned faces, absolutely clear skies, that kind of thing.

But a funny thing happens when things get messy, like here, when the clouds and wildfire smoke mix so randomly that it’s hard to figure out what we’re even looking at. What was expected, defined, predictable suddenly becomes a rather different animal.

I almost couldn’t make out the Sun, as it was moving in and out of the atmospheric mess with ridiculous speed. And even when it managed to briefly show itself, it was barely there, a shadow of its typical self.

Yet this is my favourite of the bunch, as I probably couldn’t repeat the moment if I tried. Its imperfection is the absolute point, the reason I’ll remember this one over all others. It stands on its own despite the fact that it fits no preconceived definitions of perfection.

Perhaps I should hold onto this pic and show it to all the awkward-feeling kids who are either left alone - or targeted - because they stand on their own, because they’re blemished by life, because they don’t meet some arbitrary standard set by others.

I was one of them, and they need to know that being supposedly pristine or perfect makes for lousy photos. And people.

Besides, I’d rather hang with the smudgy Suns of the world. They have better stories to tell.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #sun #sunset #sky #cloud #clouds #weather #wx #jaycee #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Fish sandwich still-life

Before we dig in, a photo
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
June 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


This seems like a weird still-life photo of a fish sandwich. And I guess in some ways it is. But in so many more ways - the ones that matter - it’s anything but weird.

Because whenever I want to hold onto times and moments that feel right, I find myself reaching for my camera.

Because when you’re far from home, you seek comfort in the familiar. And nothing is more familiar than comfort food.

Because a photo - even a weird one - freezes time and memories with remarkable fidelity.

Because when all is said and done, we’ll remember the meals we had with the people we loved.

Because weird - food, photos, people, whatever - is always worth holding onto.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #throwback #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #burgerdon #restaurant #food #foodporn #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Friday, August 11, 2023

Toe beans on pink

While she sleeps...
London, ON
March 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Paws for effect.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #actofdog #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #pink #beans #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #─▒nstagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Where we stare into the azure waters

Floating on the edge
Deerfield Beach, FL
February 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Every once in a while, I’ll stand on the shore, stare toward the horizon, and wonder about the stories playing out on boats sailing the thin line between here, nowhere, anywhere, and everywhere.

And as I feel my feet sink into the sand, I’ll wonder if the unseen strangers on those boats are looking toward shore and thinking the same thing.

I sure hope so.

#deerfieldbeach #florida #vacation #throwback #travel #atlantic #ocean #green #blue #gameoftones #sailing #sailinglife #sail #boat #sailingphotography #sky #water #waves #landscape #landscapephotography #nature #naturephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Chasing birds at any age

A moment by the surf
Deerfield Beach, FL
February 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


As kids, we ran around and chased the birds as they carved twisted paths through the sky.

As adults, many of us forgot to run around and chase the birds.

Which, to my mind, feels like a lost opportunity.

So on a warm February morning at the very edge of the ocean, I tossed my sandals off and randomly chased a few gulls as they carved twisted paths through the sky.

Because some things never change.

Some things never should.

#deerfield #beach #florida #throwback #travel #atlantic #ocean #bird #birds #gull #flight #flying #azure #blue #sky #wildlifephotography #animal #nature #naturephotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Swimming in the Sea of Humanity

Mass relief
Port Stanley, ON
July 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I have a funny little habit: I often assign names to my photos.

Like this one. I call it Sea of Humanity, and it reflects another strange habit of mine where I shoot random scenes of large numbers of people in a public setting.

I realize this is a lake and not a sea, but the moment still sticks in my mind and my soul, where regular folks are going about a regular day, just trying to find a moment of rest from a fast-moving planet.

There’s a certain poignancy to the everyday-ness of scenes like this, and I’d like to imagine that all these people are enjoying this moment in this place as much as I am.

#portstanley #beach #ldnont #ontario #canada #great #lake #erie #sun #sky #swim #water #waves #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Monday, August 07, 2023

Random straw poll

Bucolic
Middlesex Centre, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Hay you!

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #hydepark #road #cycling #random #farm #blue #sky #clouds #cloudspotting #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Catching up with the cows

Moo moment
Middlesex Centre, ON
August 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Good bike rides become great when cows are involved, and I can’t imagine not stopping by the side of the road for a little bovine catch-up session.

They are incredibly cute and incredibly curious, and they’ll often crowd the fenceline when a stranger approaches.

I don’t want to disturb or otherwise upset them, so I speak gently and move slowly so they know I’m a friend.

I don’t speak cow, or any other animal language for that matter, but I’d still like to imagine that they know I adore them, that they’re just as happy to see me as I am them.

In the end, there’s no way to really know for sure.

But imagination is a wonderful thing. And languages take on many forms.

Be well, my moo-friends. See you on the next ride.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #vanneck #tenmile #road #cycling #cyclist #cycle #bicycle #pink #bike #cyclinglife #bikelife #instabike #random #farm #streetphotography #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Ten years on...

At the crossroads...
Middlesex Centre, ON
August 5, 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Today marks a notable milestone for me: 10 years since I had a stroke.

I’ve written about it every year since - see below for more - but this year feels…I don’t know, different.

So I’ve returned to the spot where it all began, where I cranked my neck while riding my bike, accidentally tore my carotid artery, and set off a chain of events that colors my and my family’s life to this day.

I’m here not because I hate this place. I strangely don’t. Rather, I revere it, as it’s where my life quite literally turned itself down a different path.

Ten years on, I’m starting to appreciate how profoundly this experience has reshaped me.

Ten years on, I’m a lot more deliberate in how I spend precious time, who I spend it with, and whether I’m doing everything I can to squeeze as much joy and meaning out of it.

Ten years on, I’m keenly aware of how precarious this life thing is.

Ten years on, I cherish the fact that my brain still lets me do what I do - create words and images, tell stories that need to be told, surround myself with passionate professionals just as committed to the craft, bring knowledge and hope and light to others through my work.

Ten years on, I hope I’m a better human being.

In the end, I’m not going to regret that any of this happened. The world is constantly throwing all kinds of stuff at all of us, and nothing we do can ever change or control that. Like the weather, it just is.

This experience has taught me that we can certainly control how we choose to respond. Like maybe bring an umbrella.

My response every day since has been a simple one: get up in the morning, shake off the dizziness, fear, and worry, consciously express gratitude that I’m still here and still me, and dive headlong into whatever the day decides to serve up.

And at the end of each day, I’ll reflect on what I accomplished and hope I get another day to do it all again.

Because we’re all dealing with stuff, and we all wish we could do better with the time we’ve been given.

Because this experience and this decade have taught me that time is the only thing that matters.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #wonderland #ninemile #road #stroke #awareness #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #cycling #life #family #health #everything

Related:
So, about that stroke - August 2014
More stroke stuff... - August 2014
Stroke survivor shares his story, London Free Press, Aug 14, 2014
Coming up on Canada AM - Lookahead to February 2015 interview
Winding down the day that was - February 2015 - incl link to Canada AM/Heart/Stroke Month segment
Two years on... - August 2015
Three bonus years - August 2016
Four years later - August 2017
Five years on - August 2018
Seven years on, August 2020
Eight years on, August 2021
Nine years on... - August 2022

Friday, August 04, 2023

Geese aplenty

Bird sanctuary
Port Stanley, ON
July 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Maverick had one Goose. This place has many more.

#portstanley #ontario #canada #topgun #throwback #beach #lake #erie #birds #angrybirds #geese #canadageese #flight #wildlifephotography #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Dance to the beat of the waves

Ending with a bang
Deerfield Beach, FL
February 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


If the waters can dance with reckless abandon, then so can we.

#deerfield #beach #florida #vacation #offgrid #throwback #travel #atlantic #ocean #green #blue #gameoftones #waves #landscape #landscapephotography #nature #naturephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Wednesday, August 02, 2023

The yellow flower of happiness

The color of life
London, ON
July 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The one where we stare at pretty yellow flowers and do everything we can to avoid smiling.

Spoiler alert: we can’t.

Because flowers are happy; and yellow ones even more so.

A trivial thought? Perhaps.

But I still hope you pass it on, as even trivial thoughts have the potential to bring us joy.

If we allow them to.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #yellow #flower #flowers #flowerstagram #flowersofinstagram #flowerphotography #nature #naturephotography #garden #art #plants #macro #stilllife #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #picoftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Every wave has at least two sides

Shaped by the unseen
Deerfield Beach, FL
February 2023
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The ocean never stops throwing waves our way. Kind of like life.

It helps to learn how to ride them.

Or capture them before they crash into the shore.

Before the next set rolls in.

#deerfield #beach #florida #vacation #offgrid #throwback #travel #atlantic #ocean #green #blue #gameoftones #waves #landscape #landscapephotography #nature #naturephotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded