White Spring threw doors wide open,
Bursting into sudden silver flames..
The McLaughlin Wildlife Reserve Bay: before the rainstorm.
One cold Sunday afternoon in early October, instead of settling cozy at home, I was driving to the audition held in Oshawa. Smooth 40 minutes, as Google maps and my boyfriend promised, turned into the nerve-wracking long tiresome ride while I cursed myself for going all this way for bloody Charles Dickens.. And the play was cancelled just few days later, being replaced by another one where I did not fit in any way.
Yet no way I regret going there, as I discovered magical spot and I want to share its beauty with you. It was my first time in Oshawa region, and true to my traditional preferences, I decided to uncover its nature first for myself, and then the urbanite life (which I even did not get chance to admire). So then it was McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, filled with peaceful surroundings, marshes, few hundreds of trees’ & plants’ varieties, unusual sounds, dozen trails and freshness.
Judge for yourself. I arrived to the park closer to 6pm, not knowing that the rainstorm was on its way, however the whole park had that special light about it when the part of sky is blue but you sense tension in the air. I’m happy I found myself there exactly at that time, alone (I met only two people who were just leaving the park) and anxious, although I would not recommend
anybody going there solo as I did so late and just before the storm.
Anyway, as soon as you step onto the long path that is losing itself in some tall grass and bushes, the quite falls on you. Like a shadow. You might see only a strip of water (part bay, part lake), but then you begin to hear the wind which progresses in its noise level as you approach bayshore.
I was lucky to catch the last fall paints over the park.
The sky’s clouded with stormy features within few minutes..
Nice hidden spot for picnic time…
The area is a gem for birdwatchers, although I believe most of birds were on their way to a bit cozier and warmer places.
A tiny pine island which I labeled “one morose hedgehog on the water”.
And the best final surprise is revealing itself in the most unsuspected way.
The Bay in all its glory..
The enormous waves were crashing onto the beach with loud drumming noise– and the strong wind just contributed extra touch to the whole atmosphere of chaos and cacophony.
As I always like to experiment with black and white photography, here is my recent attempt at the bay — almost achieved the effect of silver grass:)
Together with pathlets,
Together with trees,
The soul is aspired, exulting, into the distances…
And waves of mountains, and a mirror of a bay,
And the quiet of the sky in the silent earth.
– Maximilian Voloshin ( he is one of my favourite Russian poets, philosopher and painter)
I have a secret beach that is not known to everybody. Well, to put it clearly, people pass by it but a seldom passerby will actually sneak into the beach itself and walk it through.
This secret beach exists only during winter season — as soon as May, no, even April, hits, this beach disappears. All its calamity, its boldness and whiteness is gone. Its silence is swept away along with its unwelcoming winds. Another beach, sunny and noisy, takes its place filling up the whole air with laughter, cries, running-jumping-bathing children and rows of lazily spread naked bodies.
I don’t really know why, but I prefer the first beach. Even though it is unwelcoming, especially in the freezing evenings, it holds some mystery and calming solitude. And even though I do prefer sun and sunshines gently stroke my face, I feel more welcomed and in a way comfortable on my secret beach…
Just another evening I glanced in the window of my apartment and, after seeing a beautiful clear crispy sky and realizing soon-would-be-moment of the beautiful sunset, rushed over to the Woodbine beach. Would make way even further to Scarborough Bluffs, but time was clicking.
So, 10 minutes before the official sunset, I parked the car, grabbed the camera and made my way into the blueish snowy beach..
The cracked path between parking was lit by setting golden sun. Incredible views, especially with reflections in water and snow.
Well, didn’t think I would last long in such freezing cold that eats you inside out. But somehow, more out of amazement before the nature tricks, I made it:)
As soon as you step on the crispy snow, the whole city moves away from your sight and — as if from your mind. It’s like pulling a blanket over the head, same perceptions. I hear nothing – except of furious waves and hight pitch of the tiny helicopter model making round after round in the air. Those two who had the remote control, were quite persistent in making it go round after round after round above their heads. And this persistent prrr-prrr-prrr.. This just added surreal touch to the otherwise empty beach.
Empty. I made my way all the way to the beach edge, to the splashing waves which, despite their heavy sound, did not appear accordingly large or in any way profound. The lake is coloured in this dark green cover, bringing vague nostalgia of the ocean.
The striking contrast of the colours and the whole state of nature — just minutes earlier the sky was still bright and played with gentle light pink feathers…
I am sure you have your own secret beach. Secret park. Or small trail. When you pass it by next time, take a time and sneak in. Nature is beautiful no matter season, no matter winds and urban presence nearby. I recently stumbled upon narrow trail literally within a city, going for 5 km. In the beginning it did not seem at all pleasant or interesting — however, it brought me unforgettable moments and discoveries. So take a time and step inside — you never know what mysteries this place will hold up that particular moment.
Last night, whole Toronto got covered with huge sparkly and sharp ice blanket. While for some (including me) it seemed beautiful and picturesque, however, for many this turned out to be a real disaster..
one of my favourite corners of the city, with Flatiron building.
but moreover, the city sinked into heavy smog..
Christmas decorations on the streets got carefully wrapped up in blistery ice.
The trees are strikingly beautiful but unfortunately, many did not last through the heavy burden and fell down, smashing cables and near-standing cars..
Not the best day to use bikes (or cars). Smashing rain soaked newspaper in ice, too.
You can say anything you want, but there’s nothing more beautiful than black and white photograph of ice.
I love spotting perfect geometrical shapes and forms in the environment — lines, symmetrical and asymmetrical natural designs.
Once, sipping a wine in a Niagara vineyard under harsh sunlight — one of those that make every photograph look so sharp and clean, almost unreal — beautiful ornaments came out of shadows and patio table..
Sometimes, even such ordinary environments like business centres, banks and government buildings offer interesting interior design concepts, which when recycled in photoshop can bring amazing abstracts.
And, finally, I cannot omit one of my favourite filter ‘toys’, whose prism creates new, texturing worlds of four moons and floating traffic lights … 🙂
When looking at this landscape with naked eye, it seemed merely beautiful– but I would not imagine the ways one photograph could transform it, sewing mirage out of the city landscape and the river bridges out of the bay line.. Or maybe the ship symbolizes that mirage, desirable optical phenomenon, while the city is forcing onto us its own reality.
..It does happen so often, when we tend to confuse and blend what is the real and what is something we desire to see, doesn’t it.
As soon as you step into desert, no matter its size and its flora& fauna numbers, you feel completely different vibe and atmosphere. As if you entered an unknown room and closed the door after yourself. You do not remember roads full with speeding cars nearby, tine towns scrambled around or the life as it is outside. You shut the door and you breathe different air, walk through different time and stand on different ground.
Although the place I hiked through, Joshua National Park, includes desert only partly (actually, parts of two desert, Mojave and Colorado one), it brought the same feeling.
The time almost stops there. You are blinded by bright sun, unbearable clean blue sky and light but guileful wind. Myriad Joshua Trees look like people’s shadows clinging onto the ground against stormy wind. And of course, the most of scenery is made of gigantic rock formations each having a nickname appropriate to the look and shape. Few times I had this feeling of dreaming, such unrealistic vision was in front of my eyes.
I always loved desert. Like mountains, the desert offers that pure loneliness and tranquility. It possesses (dangerous) beauty. It possesses silence.
Saint- Exupery, my favourite author-influencer of my childhood, so to say, had a striking connection with desert. “One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…”
Looking into the daylight blue sky, I see white plane crossing over the ghost-like white gigantic moon. Time blends into the silence.