Awakening: images from a day in Prince Edward County

Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County

After posting a daily photo journal on Flickr for more than seven months in 2008 I seemed to burn out for one reason, and then another. Over the next few years I often took photos but did not process or share them. I have shared many on this blog since it began in 2011, but photography has often been secondary to the topic of discussion.

A landscape photography course with Rob Stimpson​ in 2013 reawakened my interest. The purchase of a good macro lens opened new vistas in 2015. However, I had difficulty doing photography during an episode of depression in 2015/16.

On one stage of the path to recovery I consciously chose not to take my camera on walks. Photography can provide ecstatic distraction. However, at times the camera impedes a naked, mystical, personal experience of nature I had been missing. The past 14 months have grounded me in a deeper sense of meaning and purpose that was previously lacking.

Abandoned farmhouse, Prince Edward County

This journey has included recovering a spark for creative writing that eluded me for the past decade. Since last year, much of my writing has focused inwardly out of necessity as I become more confident in my writing process, and what matters to me.

This practice in turn has encouraged me to use photography more often in recording experiences, inspirations, and simple beauty. I have begun posting photos more regularly on Flickr again.

I would also like to recover some images and memories that have lain hidden for a few years. Two evenings ago I reviewed a number of photos taken in Prince Edward County on October 25, 2011, a date and place chosen completely arbitrarily. I fell in love during that first visit to The County, which juts into Lake Ontario.

Prince Edward County shoreline

The only photo I ever posted on Flickr from that first day’s shoot was the one above, a bit of rocky shoreline somewhere around Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. I took many photos that day. Apparently the others failed to inspire me at the time. However, I have learned a trick or two about processing in the past seven years. I saw potential in many other images. The five here plus two more also worthy of posting to Flickr come from that single solitary day.

During later trips to Prince Edward County I found an idea for a writing assignment in 2013 about a bed and breakfast. However, I have never blogged about it until now.

Self-portrait, Prince Edward County, 2011

The self-portrait above has a story attached. It was a fine day but windy and chilly. Moments after I took the photo, the wind snatched the beloved Outback hat I had bought during a road trip across Northern Ontario in 2010. It landed in the harbour, too far from the dock for me to reach with any implement at hand. It was off season and there was no one else around. The water was too cold and deep for me to go in. I found a stick long enough to try sweeping a current that would drag the hat toward me, to no avail. The wind seemed to carry it closer to shore. Then a current drifted it toward Lake Ontario again.

I must have spent an hour trying to retrieve the hat, but in the end I gave up. I wonder what became of it. I was not able to replace it until August 2016, when I purchased another Outback hat at Kingston Sheepdog Trials.

I still have many unprocessed photos from the intervening years. I will try to process more of them as time allows and see what stories they recall.

Henderson House, Prince Edward County

3 thoughts on “Awakening: images from a day in Prince Edward County

  1. Hi! The universe just served me your blog…it started because of a frolicking pair of ground squirrels in my backyard, an ensuing Google image search trying to confirm that what I identified WERE actual ground squirrels…and somehow an image from your blog caught my eye. I read a few and really connected with them in the here & now of how I’ve been feeling today, in a post-layoff haze, dancing around diving back into my writing in the most perplexing way.

    The lost hat in an old photo. (I had a lost ladybug wind-up toy as a child, and I still kinda miss it in a metaphorical way.)

    The story about mindfulness and depression. I want to say thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to share, because those posts really resonated with me.

    Carry on, Friend

    1. Hi Julianne, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I’m glad you found a connection in my writing. For me it has become a fine balance of knowing when to write for myself so I can heal and when to share my thoughts in the hope that others will benefit, too. So it means a lot to hear that the mindfulness story resonated for you.
      Coincidentally, I spent a few days in Winnipeg last month and saw some ground squirrels at Assiniboine Park. I think it was only the second time in my life I’ve seen them. Here in Ontario we have their larger and uglier cousin, the groundhog.
      Thank you for visiting.

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