Of Barns and Bluejays

A bluejay flew onto our back deck this morning; a gift. You hardly ever see a bluejay in our part of town.

I was taking a break from working on a proposal, having a coffee, my first day working from home this week, after an intensive four-day programme on evaluation, held downtown at Ryerson University by the Canadian Evaluation Society. And there it was – confident, assertive, with a round yellow globe in its open beak. An unripe cherry, maybe, from the cherry tree opposite, on the other side of the lane.

We are in the beginning of fall, although the weather has been warm; grey today, and cooler; raining lightly. You sense the world turning. Earth-bound, I watched as the bird flew away.

Here is my little flight from reality: another two barns, from the Prince Edward County Barn Quilt Trail.

Prince Edward County Barn Quilt Trails

Barns – preferably red, or collapsing, studies in contrast and texture – are a familiar trope: always an attraction to the holidaying photographer, often a foray into images that are hackneyed or sentimental. ‘The country,’ through the eyes of a city-dweller.

What then is the photographer to do, in Prince Edward County, which has photogenic barns aplenty?

Photograph barns on the PEC Barn Quilt Trail. Across the county, worthy locals are fixing painted quilt squares on boards to the sides of their barns, and marketing the ‘barn quilt trails’ as a local attraction.

There are some rather nice examples, so as and when I have time (I am still tied up with this darned proposal) I will post a couple, hopefully for your enjoyment. See this, not as urban sentimentality, but as sharing – and promoting – the pleasures of the county.

You can learn more about PEC’s barn quilt trails here, on this website.

 

Winter, Prince Edward County

(Hu)man cannot live by bread alone, nor can I survive only on writing proposals. My good deed for my soul is to have spent twenty minutes, before settling down to work this morning, working on an image.

Here it is: cousin to yesterday’s photo, a winter scene in Prince Edward County.

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Hiatus

For the rest of this week I will be working on a big project proposal; next week I will be attending a course at Ryerson, run by the Canadian Evaluation Society. Then back to the proposal, which is due in mid-October but will absorb a good deal of time from a team scattered across Spain and South Africa, not to mention yours truly in Canada.

It is likely, therefore, that normal blog service will be interrupted.

By way of apology (may the picture speak louder than words) here is a winter image from Prince Edward County. There will be more when I return.

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Seasonal contrasts, Prince Edward County

I wrote yesterday about Prince Edward County; I omitted to say that we love it in both summer and winter. In winter PEC is a veritable chocolate-box of Christmassy images (I know, getting a little sentimental here, but if you visited, you’d see what I mean) while summer is pure pastoral simplicity.

Here are two sets of contrasting images; each pair in both colour and black and white, and each reflecting a different season.

Which do you prefer?

The trees and the ferry route, incidentally, are from the area around Picton.

 

Sandbanks, Prince Edward County

About two or three hours to the east of us lies Prince Edward County, an ink-blot of inlets and bays, valleys and hills, joined by an isthmus to mainland Ontario. It is one of our favourite places in the province, more rural and bucolic than Niagara and quite a bit bigger. There are some excellent wineries (and a few not-s0-good ones), excellent restaurants, breweries, cheese makers, artists, charming small towns and little villages – all in all the perfect getaway, and somewhere I could happily live, if Rob would only agree to it.

How we would make a living, of course, god only knows, and Rob is a city gal after all, as she keeps on reminding me.

Ahem. Over the next week or two I hope to share a few images. You know, barns and things. Mouldering churchyards. Here, as a taster, is a picture of the Sandbanks, on the limit of Lake Ontario, one misty morning.

Sandbanks, Prince Edward County.jpg