Originally from Northern England, Alan Norsworthy has been a photographer since the late 1960's.

He moved to Canada in 1973 and has made Guelph Ontario his home for the last 24 years.

" I remember visiting the CN Tower in the early 70's and the guide said that as far as you could see in any direction is the best farmland in Canada. That comment echoes down the years as I watch subdivisions eat up the landscape."

The area around Guelph offers up a plethora of rural images which Alan captures with his artistic vision. His work covers everything from macro photographs of flowers, sweeping landscapes, historic buildings and old abandoned farms in both colour and Black and White.

"This is where I find my inspiration, I have a need to show people the beauty I see as I walk the woods and fields of Southern Ontario"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brewing Heavy Weather

Brewing Heavy Weather
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

My friend Doug and I took a journey North on Friday. The Bruce Peninsula holds so much promise at any time of year but in the winter it's almost prehistoric. I love it !

During the planning I thought I would show Doug some of the lighthouses that dot the rugged shoreline. Our first stop was Cape Croker where we hoped to catch the sunrise.

No sunrise but we were greeted with howling winds and horizontal snowfall but hey, dress for the conditions and its invigorating.

As I walked the shore and kept looking back at the lighthouse I began thinking of all the lighthouses and in turn the keepers of those lights who down the centuries have protected the sailors with a steady beacon that shows the way home.

A couple of thoughts:

No one will ever know how many lives have been saved by the many lighthouses that dot the dangerous coastal waters of this world. Yet today, most of these towers stand dark and uninhabited, victims of progress. Sensitive sounding devices have taken over the function of these sentinels in warning ships off the shoals.

It cannot be denied that such modern instruments are an improvement. They “see” danger ahead, even in fog so thick that the most powerful lighthouse beam would not be visible for more than a few hundred feet. Yet even people who have never viewed an actual lighthouse seem to be saddened by the closing of this romantic chapter in the history of the men who go down to the sea in ships.

The main reason for this regret is easy to understand. It is the passing of the human element in this story of man’s struggle against the forces of nature. The lighthouse keeper was a legend – and with good reason. Now buried in the yellowing files of old newspapers are many accounts of heroism on the part of these men who put duty before personal safety, often at the cost of their own lives.

A machine can do its “duty”, of course, but it is only man who possesses the divine spark which carries him to heights “above and beyond” the call of duty. And those who occupied these lonely outposts had to have this quality in full measure. Theirs was not only a dangerous life, but a lonely one, unrewarding in material comforts.

Today it may seem trivial to give even passing thought to something which has outlived its usefulness. But the lighthouse was much more than just a pile of mortar and brick. It was a beacon which radiated the love of man for God – through his love and concern for his fellow man. ~ Author Unknown

and, if you are still reading ..

The LIGHTHOUSE by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea and on its outer point, some miles away

the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry, a pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides, upheaving, break unheard along its base,

A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides in the white lip of tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright, through the deep purple of the twilight air,

Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light with strange, uneartly splendor in the glare!

No one alone; from each projecting cape and perilous reef along the oceans verge,

Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape, holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,

Wading far out among the rocks and sands, the night-O'er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return bending and bowin o'er the billowy swells,

And ever joyful, as they see it burn, they wave their silent welcomes and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails gleam for a moment only in the blaze,

And eager faces, as the light unveils, gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child, on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink;

And when returning from adventures wild, he saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same year after year, through all the silent night

Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame, shines on that inextinguishable light!

It seems the ocean to is bosom clasp the rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace

It sees the wild winds lift in their grasp, and hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm smites it with all the scourges of rain,

And steadily against its solid form press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din of wings and winds and solitary cries,

Blinded and maddened by the light within, dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock, still grasping in his hand the fire of love,

it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock, but hails the mariner with words of love.

"Sail on!" it says, "sail on, ye stately ships! And with your floating bridge the ocean span;

Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse, Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!"

So today's image is dedicated to sailors everywhere and to those who have guided them safely home.

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