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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Peaceful Day

Canada Day on July 1st. was spent with sis Pammie partaking in my favourite hobby. We made a return trip (haven't been since last autumn) to St.Joachim's Cemetery here in the city. It's our favourite cemetery, and sooooo peaceful there. It wasn't a long weekend for most as it fell in mid week, but for me it was as I generally only work the first 3 days of the week. I had the notion that being the holiday it was we could head out to any park and other spots around the city to capture Canada Day celebrations. But we preferred to keep away from the crowds and find some serenity instead.

One of the saddest experiences in any cemetery are seeing the wee ones stones; and after I captured this shot and a few others in the same spot I had to wipe a few tears from my eyes. Of all the losses one can experience in life, losing a child would have to be the absolute worse.

Whenever we visit cemeteries we always have in the back of our minds the respect for those who rest there and compassion for those they left behind. I think the Universe knows that as we always feel very welcome and especially at this place, St. Joachim's, as we can feel a "recognition" of who we are whenever we enter.

It's a most beautiful place to wander around in. At any time of the year there are always so many birds and animals there helping to keep us company. Squirrels, chipmunks, magpies, crows, robins, jackrabbits..... on this trip a crow squacked loudly at me most likely for coming too close to a tree that had its nest in it.

It was a rather perfect day for weather as the temperatures were hovering around 70F and the light was intermittant with some cloud and some sun. The one thing we didn't do this time was bring a light picnic lunch as we were only there for a couple of hours. I figure we must shoot about 100 or so pictures an hour, as we both came away with just over 200 shots. Most times we are there for 3 or 4 hours and we come away with 300 or 400 + shots.

It is that time of year here where baby birds are learning to fly and often end up on the ground. Here, and in my own neighbourhood, we spotted some who didn't make it and were laying on the ground underneath trees. It was sad to see, but I have to steel myself for nature's ways. Still, the amount of wildlife in there assured me that life does go on.

Whenever and wherever I am on a photo shoot, I prefer a mixture of light and shadow. It's just personal preference, but I do like the play of shadows and light on surfaces. The green light from the empty vase laying on the stone in this shot really looked lovely in person and I hoped to capture the same essence of beauty.

Reflections are another favourite of mine when photographing something, whether it is in water, glass or stone. Here, some flowers were growing where family had planted a tiny garden. It's not so much the stone itself in this case, as the world around it that captured my eye. Sister Pammie and I must have very similar tastes as we often end up shooting the same things, perhaps just at different angles. And if I remember correctly she also got this shot.

Of course, the darker the stone the better the reflection's image will turn out. In this case, the flowers were white and yellow so that made it even more possible. There are several stones that have flowers planted in front of them, and water taps scattered around the cemetery for that use.

As we always do, we both had a nice time just wandering in there and clicking away when we spotted something we wanted to capture. As I said already the weather was perfect for an outdoor excursion, and with the exception of a few days in late spring we've really had some great temperatures here. I know, I know..... we'll get hit with some overly hot stuff yet before summer is over and I'll be feeling ill because of it and whining!

The nice thing about St. Joachim's (or "St. Joe's" as I affectionately call it) is that there are SO many mature trees in there that even on hot sunny days there are always shadey spots to be found for a rest and respite from the sun and heat. THAT'S what I love about this place, it's so pretty with it's treed vistas and there are, unlike some cemeteries, monuments and beautiful old stones rather than just rows upon rows of look-alike stones.

I know some people who feel "creeped out" or uncomfortable thinking of wandering around a cemetery. But I also know for certain that if I took them along with us through some of these places that they would see it's much different than they think. There aren't many places that I feel so much peace as I do there.

It was a lovely holiday, and now being Sunday the work week is once again upon us. I'm gearing up for that, and also for the weekly grocery run in a few hours. Need me to pick up anything for you while I'm there? *giggle*

Oh and if you haven't already voted, you can head on over to Stardom Awaits! and place your ONE vote for the "Pets / Wildlife" photo contest!

Have a great week everyone, and take good care of each other!

Love Jude


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