Thursday, 3 December 2015


I know people in the prairies don't consider 7 degrees and overcast as winter weather, however for a Victoria-ite, this is it.  The drab darkness, the promise of rain, and the fact that our 1940s home is drafty and cold. We insulated the basement ceiling 10 years ago, had storm windows installed 2 years later, and finally, had insulation pumped into our exterior walls- though very little could be stuffed in- and still the floor and interior walls feel cold.

Signs of Winter at our house: #1-hand-knit wool socks are de rigueur  #2-Brian wears his long-sleeved cosy fleecy indoors  # 3- baths are an evening necessity, not because we are particularly dirty, but rather so that we can warm up.

Layered in sweaters, I'm invariably too warm when I go to a friend's newer home or condo, and sometimes even when I venture outside.

Brian says it's just 20 days to mid-winter's day, the winter solstice,  after which we begin the slow return to summer.  The optimist.

Me, I worry that I won't be able to take my camera outside in the rain.
And that it's dark by 4 o'clock.
And, as my camera setting is permanently 'no flash', I guess I'll need to read the on-line manual to find out how to change that.

The leaves in their many guises are all but gone, so now I wish for deep, clinging fog and frosty beaches.  Heavy clouds and piercing rays of sunlight. Reflections and shadows. Thankful for warm socks and gum boots and the wonderful photo gloves Jean knit for me. 

Denying the onset of December, we are still printing the leaves of my summertime canna lilies; Patrice patient as I bring to her a USB 'stick' loaded with the images I like most.  From these 40 or 50 we choose 2 or 3 to print.  (this wonderful  photographer buddy has long ago given up asking me to bring only 5 selections!)

I know there are millions of images waiting to be captured. And, I know too, that even if the day starts wet, and my errands seem dull, I should always have my camera with me. Coming back later rarely works.

The amazing frosted leaves I saw on the tennis courts at Stadacona Park had been cleared away the following day. The canna lily bed that I had climbed into one autumn morning had been dug over and the soil simply mounded by the time I returned the next week.

I have learned to take hundreds of photographs when an image excites me.  When I am in awe, almost breathless. When I shout 'WOW'. Or, conversely, when a blanket of calmness envelopes me and I see into my subject.  When I know I am reaching  a deeper place.

So winter, I guess I'm ready.