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"

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mermaid Cove-Tobermory

Mermaid Cove-Tobermory
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

As the year draws to a close another winter getaway ends.
This year we were treated to the hospitality of our friend Doug who shared his new abode in Tobermory with us.

Having a common gathering, eating and relaxing space made such a difference. The food, tea, banter and an occasional wee dram made for relaxing evenings, even the scent of Raclette cheese didn't dampen our spirits actually it added to the ambiance. Luckily it didn't linger for more than a day ;-)

I'm sure that Patrick would join me in extending a hearty thank you to both Doug for playing the perfect host and to Lynn for letting him.

Doug, Lynn and Patrick
Thanks guys it was truly memorable.

"The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it." ~ Hubert H. Humphrey

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas everyone ..

and the photography gods smiled
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The wheel has turned once more, the darkest day is behind us.
From this day on the sun gets stronger as he begins his long journey Northwards.
Christ is born, let the world rejoice

To many this is a special time, be they Christian or Pagan, the one thread that binds all together is the wish for Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men.

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." ~ Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winters Morning-Blue Springs

Winters Morning-Blue Springs
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A freezing cold morning, the sun had not yet risen.
In fact it wouldn't rise today, just a lightening of the leaden sky as the snow began to fall. Of course we were out already racing the non existent dawn to get to the Blue Springs Trails
At -15c the snow was powder, the trails relatively unmarked, we noted that a coyote had passed this way sometime in the night, the odd squirrel and mouse tracks revealed the presence of some life in this frozen land.

Photography was hard this day, frozen fingers fumbling with tiny buttons on icy cold equipment a breath caused instant fog on the optical surfaces.

So why were we out there?

For the love of the craft
For the love of "being outdoors"
For the fellowship that may not warm the fingers but warmed the heart.
Indeed laughter echoed through the woods that morning conversation ebbed and flowed as images were taken quickly.

"All trails lead to Rome" said Doug.... No "all trails lead to OX and tea and croissants" said I as we started the homeward leg of the trail.

Soon the cold was forgotten we were back in downtown Guelph, sitting with tea, latte's and comfort food. More laughter, more chat as our toes returned to normal and our fingers thawed ...

Another great morning or as Doug (sort of) put it

"Being out in the woods, especially in winter makes you feel alive"

I think we all agreed with that.

"There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature." ~ Henry David Thoreau


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winters Grip I - Silvercreek Trails

Winters Grip I - Silvercreek Trails
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Another weekend, another walk in the woods..
Silvercreek Trails beckoned once again but we shouldn’t have worried there is so much to ‘see’ there.

We decided to follow a portion of a previously walked trail which joined a new-to-us trail for the return leg. The differences that a few yards make was amazing.
As we followed the first leg the scenery was shattered Dolomite, crevasses that were so deep that the light could not penetrate, tumbles of rocks, and worn steps made by many feet and weather over the years.
Across the valley the bare tree’s made a tapestry from textures.
When the trail split we took the left trail that looped back to our starting point.

Around us the tree’s creaked and complained, disturbed by the wind.
But no birds sang, no critters scampered across the leaf strewn floor. It was like the whole woods were holding its collective breath and waiting....

Here the forest floor was soft with fallen leaves, easy walking

At one point we heard voices and a stream of hikers came by, power walking along the trail. Not one of them stopped to look around. They saw nothing but the trail ahead and disappeared down it.
Some had ‘Bruce Trail’ emblems on their day packs I wondered if they were on a pilgrimage, hiking from one end to the other. Not to walk and enjoy but to walk a section, cross it off the list and move on.

Not my idea of a good time but ....

Once again the woods fell silent and we strolled on, stopping here and there to study a small stream, a clump of plants, a fallen tree or a mushroom.
All the important stuff

Finally we came back to the pond, the same pond that we have visited three times in the last few weeks but now it is covered in a thick layer of ice.

How did that happen so fast?
In the blink of an eye winter had appeared.

“What a severe yet master artist old Winter is.... No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel.” ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

Sunday, December 1, 2013

cockspur hawthorn - Arkell

cockspur hawthorn - Arkell
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

“In this twentieth century, to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to the earth, to allow the eyes to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf, is ‘ an unforgettable experience’ “
~ Frederick Franck,The Zen of Seeing

This week the quote is at the beginning ...

Thinking of Franck’s words, of this statement, made me realise why I cling to my Saturday mornings.
Modern life takes us away from what is important or maybe it is we who allow ourselves to be lured away, responding to the siren song of the times.

I know that I while I am part of the concrete, the noise, the hustle and bustle of modern life ... I am not whole.
Monday to Friday I pay the piper, the pound of flesh is demanded and grudgingly paid.

The anticipation begins around mid week and builds until Saturday morning when things change,

I walk the trails and the modern day world slowly melts into insignificance.

Out there surrounded by the sounds of the forest the sirens sing a different song, one that I give myself too gladly and in the giving I am freed once more
Out there, amongst the tree’s, feeling the wind and snow chill my face and fingers I am at my happiest.

Simple pleasures, the tree’s, whispering tales of what is coming, birdsong from the chickadee’s, the sound of something moving through the brush up ahead and finally catching a glimpse of a deer at the edge of a meadow.
We watch him as he watches us...

We spy a Northern Shrike that quietly sits on a branch, an elusive ghost visiting from the northern woods brings delight and answers the question 'what's wrong with the chickadees this morning?' as they call out a warning...

All this becomes important and it is why I cling to my Saturday mornings

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Into The Mystic - Limehouse

Into The Mystic - Limehouse
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Friendship ....

I have talked about this several times but once in a while something happens and reminds you of how important friendship is to us all.

Yesterday was a typical Saturday, that meant being out of the door long before sunrise. A meet up at the usual spot but this time it was different, this time Doug was home and not at the cottage.

The Three Amigo's rode again ...

It was a great morning, we planned to revisit Limehouse (near Rockwood ON). A place of great natural beauty and part of the Bruce Trail system.
Patrick had never been so that made it even more special.

We walked the trails to 'Hole in the Wall' and became lost in details , shattered rocks, fallen tree's, some old, some new. Then the snow came and the landscape was transformed.
I ask you is there anything better than a walk in the woods on a snowy day with close friends who share the same mindset?

I don't think so.

Afterwards we retired to our usual spot, OX in downtown Guelph. Although it has been "found" by the students and laptops abound. We were still able to find a spot to sit, drink tea and other "frothy coffee" drinks and munch on forbidden fruit. That would be croissants and butter tarts (for some of us)

The conversation drifted around and around from serious to whimsical and back again. We talked of anything and everything and laughed a lot.

At one point Doug remarked how much he misses these times and we all agreed.
Good times, good food and great company.

And all is right with the world.

At least for a little while.

"Friendship is a sheltering tree". ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Downstream - Hilton Trails

Downstream - Hilton Trails
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Saturday morning dawned bright and cold, quite a change from the past few weekends. This meant being in place for dawn that meant an early start, a really early start.

We arrived at our chosen trailhead in the gray/blue light of predawn., kitted up and headed down the trail.

There were three this time and Andrew yawned his way through the woods. Still he was awake enough to think ... His comment "being out at dawn is like sunset only I have the rest of the day ahead of me" made me smile.

We walked until something caught our attention, that tiny voice that said 'look here' and we stopped, barely a kilometer along the trail but covering a prescribed distance is not the object, its the journey and if we only walk a hundred meters and something finds us then so be it.

For me it was a slight clearing, a stream of blue juxtaposed with the warm tones of Autumn, the sun beginning to paint the forest floor with golden light.

Yes this was the spot for me, for all of us really but each one sought out his own muse as our breath hung in the air and Jack Frost nipped at our fingers.

Magic, pure magic. ...

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. ~ Napoleon Hill

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Returning - Cranberry Bog Trail

Returning- Cranberry Bog Trail
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The days shorten, the wind has an 'edge' to it now.
Dark clouds replace the white of summer and the Trembling Aspen whisper of what is to come.
Fall in Ontario, not only has it arrived it is deeply encamped and prepares the way for the arrival of winter as the wheel turns once more.

Many people begin their hibernation at this time but for those who venture out there is a clarity to the air, a freshness that was not there before.

The woods smell not only of fallen leaves but pine, balsam and spruce scent the air
The squirrels race around gathering food and forgetting where half of it is hidden.
Fewer birds sing now as the land prepares itself for a long sleep
And the snows begin to fall....

What a great time to be alive.

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~ William Shakespeare

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rhythm of the Rain-Silvercreek Trails

Rhythm of the Rain-Silvercreek Trails
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Once more unto the breach dear friends...
Yes another rainy weekend in Southern Ontario.

Out on the sodden trails again, same place, same rain., same feelings, different company.

If you look, listen and wait the opportunities present themselves. It took 2 hours to walk about half a mile. But that half a mile was filled with potential.
When everything is wet a whole new world opens up, colours intensify, contrast increases, shape, form, and textures become more evident and you know black and white season is upon us.

But you have to put yourself in the right frame of mind.

Forget the rain trickling down your neck, the spattered glasses and lenses and open your mind to what is before you. Listen with your eyes and see with your ears ...

"And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell, and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being." ~ Black Elk, Lakota

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wet and Wild

Yesterday was a dark and stormy day, but I ventured out anyway. You see, when people ask how I manage to get the images I get, the answer is you have to put yourself in the place and time when they appear. Because "In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary". ~Aaron Rose

If that time is in the pouring rain then so be it.

But it's not all about the photography, sometimes it's just being out there. A time away a time to tune out the roar and listen for the silence. I have talked many times about this because I need it, we all need it but some don't go find it and live their lives in the turmoil of 'modern living'

I cannot, even on a day like yesterday

You see there is no 'bad' weather just poor preparation . Yesterday was all about rain gear, from hat to boots, waterproof everything.

Proper dress means that you can enjoy the day.

In the woods on a day such as yesterday there is a peace. The rain falls softly here onto the leaf strewn ground, sometimes fast staccato bursts other times a gentle pitter patter while high above the wind moans.
Not many animals or birds venture out but the occasional chirp or rustling makes you aware of their presence. We are never truly alone.

Standing by the pond, sheltered by the tree's I watch as the sleet, driven by the wind dances across the water. A constant, yet changing pattern dictated by the whims of the wind. I go closer and watch as fallen leaves are pushed from the lee of the shore out into the maelstrom.

It sure beats TV!

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."
~John Ruskin

Monday, October 21, 2013

Guelph Studio Tour .. We made it !!

It was a long, tiring weekend.

Seven of us, all members of the Guelph Photographers Guild, put on a show at the Guelph Studio Tour.  

We were at Dublin St Church where we cleared the Hallman Room and set up our booths.
At 7:00 pm the doors were officially opened and the crowds rushed in...
well OK the crowds trickled in in one's and two's ...

We had about 20 visitors all with positive responses to our work with 2 sales made on opening night ! 
A good start

We knew Saturday would be a killer.
On your feet from 10:00-6:00 in a stuffy, hot room.

But I lost count, early on, of the number of visitors we had. A constant stream sometimes 
overwhelming, sometimes ones and two's with very few breaks.

Not that I am complaining.

We all made sales, some more than others. Ken certainly rose to the occasion on his first time as part of the tour, chatting to everyone who came near and sold 3 images by the end of the day 

In between selling Stephen was busy giving info and direction to prospective Guild members.

Sunday was a little easier, the doors opened at 11:00 am. And after a short lull people flocked in, some returned to make purchases previously viewed on Friday or Saturday. Others dropped in after church all seemed genuinely interested in our displays with many encouraging comments. Sales would have been better but ...
I look upon these things as a networking opportunity and gave out about 60-70 cards and directed several people to Stephen who talked to them about Guild Membership.
By 4:00 pm the crowds dwindling,and the last hour was difficult. 
Tired and sore from standing all weekend it was hard to keep focused with no one in the room but we 
made it through and started to talk of next year when we can do it all over again....

"Seventy percent of success in life is showing up". ~Woody Allen

Monday, October 14, 2013


Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

How long do you stand and wait?

Minutes, seconds, hours, months?

You, yes you laddie (tip of the hat to Pink Floyd and 'The Wall), call yourself a photographer ? When all you do is drive by, have a quick look at a scene, maybe fire off a shot or two and be on your way?

Photography is an art of patience, sometimes we forget that just because we record that fleeting moment in an instant doesn't mean that we did not have to wait for that moment to arrive.

A case in point..

On Saturday morning we stole a few hours to drive the back roads looking for fog.

Having found a suitable location we waited, recording a few images yes but waiting. You see we were after the sunrise, that one moment when it crested the tree's and began to flood the valley with light. Several images were taken as the moment came and went.

But that isn't all, you see we also wait to see what else happens, not only in this one spot but in this local area.
Maybe not for today but for how a future sunrise will affect the scene. For tomorrow is different from today but the information is stored away for another time and we will be back to stand and wait in expectation. Waiting for the moment that we envisage to (hopefully) materialise.

My friend Patrick has taught me that and constantly reminds me.
I think it has made me a better observer therefore a better photographer.

Patience ...

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Hard Week

It has been a rough couple of weeks. 
A death in the family made for some emotionally charged times.. 

On September 24 my Father-in-Law of over 25 years, Frank was finally released from his long battle with cancer. He had been cared for at home by my Mother-in-Law Doris for as long as she could manage. His final days were at Carpenter House Hospice in Burlington. 
Throughout this time his spirit was unbroken as witnessed by us all .. 

No complaints, no regrets just a simple statement which summed up the man; 

" I am truly blessed to have had such a wonderful family" 

I hope I can have that sort of dignity and strength of character. 

At his Memorial I was asked to read a poem, it serves as my quote for this week; 

"When I come to the end of the road 
And the sun has set on me 
I want no rites in a gloom filled room 
Why cry for a soul set free? 
Miss me a little - but not too long 
And not with your head bowed low 
Remember the love that we once shared 
Miss me -but let me go 
This is journey we all must make 
And each must go alone 
It's all a part of the Master's plan 
A step on the road to home 
When you are alone and sick at heart 
Go to the friends you know 
And bury your sorrow in doing good deeds 
Miss me - but let me go." 

` Author unknown 

He will be sorely missed by us all

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Softly comes the morning-Silvercreek woods

Softly comes the morning-Silvercreek woods
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The woods, I can never get enough of the time I spend there. It doesn’t have to be far they just have to ‘be’.
Saturday morning began with an early start, on the road at 6:15am and off to the Silvercreek Trails. It was just as well we started early as the old bridge road was closed. They were repairing the approach to the bridge and ‘renewing’ the bridge itself..
‘Renewing’ meant ‘replacing’ and although they were trying I don’t think the place will ever be the same.
Locals we spoke to either refused to go and look or suspected the same as I. The old bridge was gone, to be replaced by a replica.
But at least it isn’t one of those concrete slab monstrosities that are functional yet soulless
I digress, back to the woods ...

All week long we have had fog and it did last until Saturday. Except not in the woods but the call of the falls and the singing of the brook upstream from the falls was a siren song not to be denied. Too much time was spent here and by the time we emerged the fog was gone.
However for a very brief moment the fog tried to filter in through the tree’s and for that moment the magic unfolded. My photo of the week is my attempt at recreating what I saw, felt and heard.
A colour image did not nearly convey all that but the honesty of Black and White, with a hint of sepia did.

Yes we may have tarried too long and missed most of what we were originally seeking but ,as often happens, it was replaced by something more meaningful.
An image of tree’s slowly melting into the mist...

‘There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough to pay attention to the story.” ~Linda Hogan

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Asters and Fencepost

Asters and Fencepost
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Is everyone turning to art?

I was talking to a fellow photographer yesterday and the subject of painting came up. Once more the truth emerged, "yes I have a box full of paints and brushes that have sat unused for many years...."

It seems that every week I find a frustrated artist amongst my fellow photographers.

So why did they put down the brush and pencil?
And why years later do they begin to explore these other mediums of expression?

I don't have the answer, not even for myself. My box(es) of paints, pencils, pens
et al have sat ignored for almost fifteen years. but recently their siren song was becoming too much to ignore.
I dusted off the books and boxes went back through my sketch books reliving times when the kids were young and the world was different and I began taking those tentative steps again.

Recently I spoke of the tangible 'feelings' of beginning a new sketch / drawing.
A beginning that is so foreign to the world of photography.
No matter how we approach our hobby it is still mechanical, cold even and completed in an instant.
Creating a drawing/painting/sketch is different, it takes time and a greater degree of involvement and concentration this in itself is an escape.

Is this what we 'frustrated artists' are looking for as we begin to explore or re-discover the simpler process of putting pen to paper,?
An escape?

One friend began this journey having never sketched anything, ever.
He didn't think he could draw but that didn't stop the creative urge.

Another has begun exploring watercolour (arguably the most difficult of mediums) as an outlet for his creativity. In his words "photography is getting complicated"

Maybe that's it, maybe we are seeking a simpler avenue of expression. After all the neolithic caveman felt the need to express himself and record the world around him. This creative need, runs deep and for some, cannot be denied. No matter the medium we choose it makes us who we are, it completes us, it sets us free.

"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit". ~John Updike

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bewitched II

Bewitched II
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I had a Discussion yesterday:


That all invasive, never ending racket that surrounds us, day in, day out.
And how some are immune or at least have learned to ignore it the latter being more truthful I think.

Unfortunately I cannot ignore it I wish it were that easy but there is a place where 'the noise' recedes and and other more favourable noise comes to the fore.

Yesterday I stood in the Fall woods listening to the noise but
this noise was a welcome noise

This noise was natural
This noise soothes
This noise opens the mind, clears the senses and allows the muses to visit
This noise .....

... The wind high in the Fall tree's, speaking of things to come.
In its rustling there are whispers of winter winds and soft snowy days

... The brook sings with laughter and babbles off to join other brooks that will join rivers and they will head back to the sea.
And as it goes it tells tales of what was. Tales of spring when it was released from Winters icy grip and was allowed to flow, unfettered once again.

... The lowly Chickadee sings his song, a different song from the one he sings in the Spring when his world is full of promise and easy days.

.. The Blue Jay calls out a warning that nothing is permanent and the woods are changing once again.

... The squirrel clattering through the tree's and across the leaf covered ground searching, ever searching for he knows what is coming and his industry reminds me to prepare.

All this noise washes away the man made noise that fills our ears and minds. The roar of traffic is still there but is muffled beyond recognition, Mother Nature has control here and she will not let 'man' interfere.

And if you stand, silently and let her song come to you maybe, just maybe you will learn something of yourself and the world around you....

.... "It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts." ~K.T. Jong

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The wheel turns, and Autumn is upon us, the ending of another cycle of the year.
Not only for the plants but also for one of us.

The wheel of life is coming full circle for one special person, a person whom I have looked up to and respected for almost 30 years.

Frank is my Father-in-Law and I consider myself lucky to have known such a man for so long.
Yes it’s hard to watch him slowly succumb to cancer but I find strength in the knowing that he will live on in the hearts and minds of those who know him; his family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

Yes I know it comes to us all eventually and I hope that I can be remembered for the same reasons as I will remember Frank.

Some may think it premature to talk this way ‘before’ but he and I have had ‘the’ conversations he knows how I feel about him and more importantly I know he knows.
And in the knowing I find peace and comfort .
I hope that he feels the same.

To you I say if you have not had the conversations with your loved ones do it, do it now.

They are not easy but you too will know and they will know that you know....

“The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.”
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Signs of fall Trilogy

Signs of fall Trilogy
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I must admit I am quite enjoying my return to my sketch books and pencils.

There is something relaxing in just sitting quietly and taking in the scenery, pencil in hand, paper at the ready, waiting for inspiration.

So different from the time I take to survey a scene to photograph it.
The very action of photographing is so fast, whereas the act of drawing is without doubt the antithesis of the photographic process.

This morning I sat in the Japanese Garden at the U of G, feeling the breeze, listening to the water splashing and tumbling over the rocks in the reflecting pool and staring at a section of the Zen Garden.
Something had caught my eye, something was calling.

The photograph took a split second and that was something that used to be satisfying enough, just a split second, ‘click’ and I would be on my way.

Not this time ...
This time I reached into my bag for my sketch book and pencils. In the doing, somehow my senses became heightened ...
The smell of the wood as I sharpened my pencil,
The sound of the paper as I opened the book.
The anticipation of that first stroke, the graphite trail ...

The sketch took many minutes, tens of minutes actually and this was infinitely more satisfying but why?

I thought about this afterwards and I think it is in the doing, the time it takes, the thought, the concentration, the preparation.
I think the very act of taking more time to create something is satisfying and the longer it takes the more satisfying the endeavour.

Savouring the time spent is probably a good way of expressing it.

And I look forward to doing it again because ....

”Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn”. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Arteest

The Arteest
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

There is a spot in my closet where a long forgotten collection of paper, books, pens and brushes reside. It’s been about 20 years since I have listened to their whispers.

“We are here, come take us down from this shelf, rediscover the simple pleasures we can bring....”

Recently the call became more insistent, harder to ignore. It did not help that a friend was exploring the world of sketching to try to improve his vision and take his photography to the next level.
Discussions over tea were no longer only about photography they were about pens, papers, methods and techniques.

So the books came down off the shelf, the pencils sharpened, the first furtive strokes on a blank piece of paper were taken.
Slowly the muscles of my hand remembered and the lines became more sure.

This weekend as I packed my photo gear for an outing, I packed pencils and a sketchbook.
Would I use them?
Well time would tell...

Doug provided the spark as he bravely put down his camera and found a spot overlooking the falls at Everton and took out his sketchpad.

I knew where I wanted to sit long before I arrived at this place, down by the outflow where there is a nice cedar stretching for the sun as it grows out of what seems like bare rock.

The pencils were chosen, a brand new sketchbook opened and time stopped...

I don’t know how long I sat there, listening to the water, the birds, the breeze and drawing all of it.
Doug was no help he was in his own world, Patrick was the same albeit with a camera.

Eventually, with a cold foot (it was in the river) and a numb bum from sitting on a rock too long I rejoined my companions for tea and chatter.

What a day, what a place, what a journey back in time to relive the simple joy of doing nothing ....

“When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?" ~Howard Ikemoto

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Slash Dot

Slash Dot
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Yesterday I went walking the trails with my friend Patrick.
Fighting off the mosquitoes yet again and looking forward to the open spaces where they were less aggressive.
A new trail for Patrick but not for me. It is somewhat daunting introducing someone to a new trail, you never know how they will react to it.
I shouldn’t have worried, I mean who can resist old cedars, ferns, sunlight slanting through the woods and a river close by? With photographic opportunities galore and the quiet peace of the woods.

I need those times, to leave the world of man behind and re-enter the other world, the one so many have forgotten about.
Here I find myself and the work-a-day world slips into the background, cares forgotten.
I may only be away for an hour or two but it is enough to keep me going until Wednesday when I start to plan again, ‘where to next weekend’? is the eternal question...
Yes a short walk in the woods especially with friends is enough for this world weary traveler.

We all should take the time to enjoy the little things, to find pleasure in finding those little things ...

"To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace". ~Milan Kundera

Monday, August 5, 2013

Spotlights in the woods-Valens

Spotlights in the woods-Valens
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Vacation time is over, time to go back to work.
Recently we bought a trailer and this last week we headed for the great outdoors, in deepest darkest Puslinch.
We fought many battles against the swarming hoards of mosquitoes, listened as the distant thunder drew ever closer, heralding the arrival of yet another downpour, torrential rain hammering on the roof of our little ‘home away from home’.
Several times I thought of our friends in a nearby campsite, they were in a tent...

Our week was interrupted by family matters and doctors visits but all-in-all we had a great relaxing time. I even pulled out my old sketch pad and pencils after 20 years ofof neglect.
We are home now and it seems like we fall back into the routine all so easily but we are different somehow, we had the time to catch up with each other, to reconnect, to do simple things like taking a walk with no destination in mind, yes sometimes in the rain.

I can’t wait to do it again.

If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn't slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn't you know? ~Rumi

Sunday, July 21, 2013

You will be Assimilated - Grape Ivy Study

You will be Assimilated - Grape Ivy Study
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

“God is in the details”
~ Mies van der Rohe

This phrase should have come from a photographer, not an architect. However Mies van der Rohe was a stickler for detail, concerned about everything. For example he designed the plaque, the wording and the font for the Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto, talk about details!

What he meant was, whatever you choose to do it should be done thoroughly.

More common is the phrase “The Devil is in the details” meaning, ignore the details at your peril.

So how does this affect what we as photographers produce?
I am on a journey to free and open up my mind to the opportunities of an ever flowing, ever changing world.

To become a Flâneur.

The literal translation is a person who is a "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", or "loafer" but which later became a description for an artist-poet.

We need to relax;
Forget about how much time we have available on any given day.
Forget about work
Forget about the weather
Forget about where you are going or what you hope you will find when you arrive.

If we go about our hobby / profession worrying about the details concentrating on one thing we miss the myriad of possibilities that float by, unseen and unheeded. We have blinkered ourselves.

So try this; don’t go out with a specific destination or subject in mind go out with the intention of letting the subject come to you.

Yesterday was one such day, a threatening sky and rain soaked trails caused us to change venues at the last minute, an easy decision when you are a “Flaneur”.

Not so easy if you have set your sights on a particular place, time or subject.

We chose the Arboretum over the open fields simply because the paths were dryer and there was shelter close by in case the weather turned against us nothing to do with photography. Once there we strolled the trails, it didn’t take long for a subject to find us.
Not the wind and rain swept vista’s but the tiny world of macro or close up photography. Rain on leaves, snails, insects, dragonflies, the way plants grow and climb.
There, in the details we had our subjects ...

They found us, we were simply receptive and open minded

So what did I learn from this?

As photographers we need to journey with an open mind but be aware that the details of what you choose to photograph can make or break the image be it a panoramic vista or a tendril of a plant.

So there you have it, one minute I say “forget about the details and wander” and in the next breath “don’t forget about the details”!

Well yes, let me explain;

As you wander with your open mind receptive to a subject, do not blinker your thoughts with details, let it all flow slowly by and be aware of possibilities.
However when the moment comes and your subject appears then the details become important ....

........ see? God may be in the details but the Devil is in the timing....

Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~Rumi

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Yesterday I went in search of 'Yellow Fields' the canola is in flower...

But words from the "Tao of Photography" by Phillippe Gross and S.I Shapiro kept rattling around in my head.

Several times I hit the brakes and went back to something I had seen. No not yellow fields, they could wait, this moment was fleeting and I had to investigate or lose it for ever...

I am beginning to understand just how much I stifle myself in pursuit of my craft by trying to set a goal. By 'visualising' what I want to photograph I am blinkered, focused only on one thing and in becoming focused I lose sight of all the rest.

Yes by all means set a destination for the day but don't allow that to be the focus of your day, allow yourself to be distracted and respond to those distractions. Yes I am learning to free my mind, beginning to understand....

" Great understanding is broad and unhurried;
little understanding is cramped and busy"
  - Chaung-tzu

" My pictures are never pre-visualised or planned. I feel strongly that pictures must come from contact with things at the time and place of taking. At such times, I rely on intuitive, perceptual responses to guide me, using reason only after the final print is made to accept or reject the results of my work".
  - Wynne Bullock

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Broken Dreams-Talbot Trail

Broken Dreams-Talbot Trail
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Old, forgotten, abandoned houses and farms, even entire towns!

Over the years I have spent a lot of time wandering around these treasures and the same thoughts creep into my conscious mind:

What happened here?
Where did the people go?

To me, abandoned places are like landlocked Marie Celeste’s.
Some fully furnished, food in the cupboard .. never open a fridge or a freezer though..

Beds still with sheets, Books and reading glasses, dishes in the kitchen, newspapers and calendars from long ago everything is there except the people.

Is it one’s imagination that runs away or are there still occupants in some of these places? Well sometimes they are there not in human form but their essence, their spirit remains. Sometimes only in a barely tangible form, sometimes more so.

If walls could talk what stories would they tell?
Standing quietly sometimes there are whispers, but the whole story is never clear.

In the end all there is left is a sadness, an emptiness.
Lost hopes and dreams lie scattered amongst the detritus of lives hard lived but we cannot hear them, these stories are gone along with the occupants.

Even more sad is the knowing that the bulldozers await. They will come to tear out the remaining soul and erase forever the memory of these places so we can replace them with yet another mall ...

They civilize what's pretty
By puttin' up a city
Where nothin' that's
Pretty can grow....
They civilize left
They civilize right
Till nothing is left
Till nothing is right
~Alan Jay Lerner, "The First Thing You Know," Paint Your Wagon, 1969

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Standing Tall-Niska Trail

Standing Tall-Niska Trail
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

These days when I walk the trails I find myself being drawn to the words of the North American elders.

They understood this planet we call home

They revered all things

They found peace and harmony out there.

When the first explorers arrived they found “a pristine untouched wilderness”. Little did they know it had been inhabited for thousands of years by the “Indian”.and as Bill Mason reflected..

"So the first white man arrives in North America and he looks out over the land and he calls it a pristine untouched wilderness. That's got to be the greatest compliment that anyone could pay to the native peoples that had lived here for thousands of years....and it's still possible to catch a glimpse of what that wilderness used to be..... and I think that the best way to do that is in a canoe, the most beautiful and functional craft ever created.", Bill Mason - from the film "Waterwalker"

So as I walk I think of these things. All things are connected, all things have a life, a spirit and we are part of that whole.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~ Chief Seattle'

As I sit and watch the news, flooding, tornadoes, storms that seem to be getting bigger and stronger by the day, I wonder at what we have done. Mother Nature will only tolerate so much before she protects herself ....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

This morning I went on journey, I walked one thousand Kilometers in the company of hundreds, traveled back in time a thousand years all without leaving the house.

Let me explain..

On the advice of a friend I 'googled' Peter Coffman and discovered not only photographs but a place.

A place where only the pilgrims and the seekers go. Its not a place per se because it encompasses many, many places and 2 countries its the long walk, the “Camino de Santiago”


I found music there interwoven with the words and photographs.

The music was written, played and recorded along the trail by Oliver Schroer. He played in small churches and cathedrals alike wherever the spirit moved him. (pardon the pun)

Hauntingly beautiful music as only a lone fiddle can make.

As Peter says …

“ The violin sings, the stones sing back. The notes and the space embrace as if they have been waiting for this meeting all their lives. The man stops playing, but the notes keep going, unwilling to give this moment up.”


They are the sounds of a journey, a pilgrimage yes but not necessarily a search for god but a search for oneself

On the morning of July 3rd, 2008, after a long battle with leukemia, Oliver Schroer passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto.

As my friend said “why is it that the good people die young” I ask myself the same question....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Having had a bit of a hiatus as my wife recovers from her surgery I stole a bit of 'me time' this weekend and went for a walk with friends.
The weatherman was threatening rain and the mosquitoes were out in force but we went anyway. 

A late change of venue saw us walking the trails along the Eramosa River here in Guelph. Stopping and starting, lagging behind, moving on, as something caught our attention but lots of banter and laughter along the way.
As Patrick commented "Seeing the sight in all its reality and then your image! Incredible fun of how we all interpret things differently, see things (how) others see things". When I took the photograph my comment to Patrick was "that one is destined for black and white" ...

This exposure to the scene and seeing the final result as others see makes every outing a learning experience and begs the thought 'where was I when he did/saw that'? It makes us look or should I say 'feel' more intently.

I have been reading a great deal recently of what I would call the Zen of photography, feeling instead of seeing, opening one's mind to the possibilities and waiting for the moment to arrive before pressing the shutter.

This way of seeing was first introduced to me in a workshop put on by Doug Wilson in Killarney/LaCloche last fall. Its amazing how those seeds he planted are growing into a new way of seeing, a new way of photographing the world...

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. ~Ansel Adams

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Marsh Light - Burns Conservation Area

Marsh Light - Burns Conservation Area
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

This last week I have rode the roller coaster of emotional turmoil, my wife Cathy underwent Open Heart surgery to repair some damage.

Having to give up everything you hold dear into the hands of strangers is one of the most frightening things I have ever done.
“Blind trust” is an easy concept to grasp but not so easy to do but thankfully everything worked out.
Hiding my fears from Cathy so as not to make her own fears worse was almost as difficult.

I would like to take a moment to say ‘Thank You’ to Dr Ash and the whole team at St.Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener for your skills, patience and dedication to helping to make this week bearable.
Dr Ash’s skill is truly amazing yet he caries the responsibilities of his trade with such a casual aire, a true gentleman.

Taking another moment to tell our family and friends who have been by our sides unobtrusively this week,sending silent wishes and healing thoughts our way.
Know that all of you helped and know that I realise that we are truly blessed, and grateful.

In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration:—feelings, too,
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love....
~William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ancient Grove - Burns Conservation Area

Ancient Grove - Burns Conservation Area
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I have had a few conversations this week concerning patience. I don’t mean ‘road rage’ kind of patience I mean the patience to produce a better photograph.

It started with a comment about my recent trip to Algonquin. On the Saturday morningPatrick asked if we could stay a while in an area I had shown him.
We were there all day..

My comment was made to fellow photographer Gregg and he asked if I had read the article “The Art of Patience” by Jil Ashton-Leigh

You can find it here:


I got me thinking about how little time we devote to understanding and getting to know an area.

In this fast paced world where instant gratification has become the norm it is all to easy to fall into the trap. I think that we have such a small amount of time available to us to pursue our hobby that we try to make the most of it by capturing everything of interest. Instead of dedicating the time we have on producing the best image we can.

To do that we have to understand our subject and that takes patience.

Slow down, sit, think and observe. Watch the shadows and light play across the landscape before you. Try to understand what you are looking at and try to figure out what attracted you to the scene in the first place.

Last Fall I took a workshop with Doug Wilson, it is only now that I am really starting to understand what he was saying and it is the same thing, have the patience to let the land speak to you.

Only then pick up the camera.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Forest Floor Detail - Arboretum

Forest Floor Detail - Arboretum
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I have struggled to put thoughts into words this weekend.

This morning I remember yesterday and I think of the pleasure of the company of a few like minded friends as we wandered in the woods seeking the wildflowers of spring.

To make the time to laugh and talk of simple things.

To kneel or lay in the soft humus and tilth that once were leaves and plants and breath in the fragrance and care not about dirty knee’s

I thank them for helping me unwind, I thank them for letting me be me and in return give them, and you, a poem by Lewis Carroll:

Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898.

I love the stillness of the wood:
I love the music of the rill:
I love to couch in pensive mood
Upon some silent hill.
Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees,
The silver-crested ripples pass;
And, like a mimic brook, the breeze
Whispers among the grass.
Here from the world I win release,
Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude,
Break in to mar the holy peace
Of this great solitude.
Here may the silent tears I weep
Lull the vexed spirit into rest,
As infants sob themselves to sleep
Upon a mother's breast.
But when the bitter hour is gone,
And the keen throbbing pangs are still,
Oh, sweetest then to couch alone
Upon some silent hill!
To live in joys that once have been,
To put the cold world out of sight,
And deck life's drear and barren scene
With hues of rainbow-light.
For what to man the gift of breath,
If sorrow be his lot below;
If all the day that ends in death
Be dark with clouds of woe?
Shall the poor transport of an hour
Repay long years of sore distress;
The fragrance of a lonely flower
Make glad the wilderness?
Ye golden hours of Life's young spring,
Of innocence, of love and truth!
Bright, beyond all imagining,
Thou fairy-dream of youth!
I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer-day

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Most people who know me know that Spring is not my most favourite time of year.
Yet it does hold its attractions; Yesterday was one of those days when the air was warm, the breeze cool enough to be comfortable and the woods filled with the sounds of bird song and the scent of wildflowers.

Hard to resist ... luckily I had arranged to visit my friend Grant at his new home not far from here.
His new home lay a mere 50 yards away from endless trails and endless possibilities (and endless blackflies but they were a mere inconvenience and quickly ignored). because the woods were covered with carpets of trillium, pillows of bloodroot and trout lilies, the air filled with sweet scents that made you breath deep.

It was almost enough to make me forget that Spring is not my favourite time.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the seasons as they change. Each one brings it’s own special statement and spring is quite a magical time for as the earth thaws green sprouts work their way upwards towards the warming sun and burst into a riot of colours and fragrance. Time is short for them and they must fulfil their destiny quickly before the tree’s leaf out and cover the forest floor in shade.
A scant few weeks and it’s all over but while it’s here opportunities for photographs abound so you will find me with dirt covered knees as I crawl around with my face in the dirt and happy..

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest”.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mother Natures Fury - Ragged Falls

Mother Natures Fury - Ragged Falls
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I just returned from Algonquin my Spring reunion with this incredible place.

Once more Mother Nature showed her true power.
We are puny in comparison:

Roads washed away leaving people stranded on the wrong end of Opeongo Road, streams and rivers raging, and winter still clinging in the quiet sheltered corners of the woods.

Patrick and I spent a day above the washed out beaver dam near Opeongo Rd and Hwy 60. A couple of years ago this was a series of lakes but no more. Returning to the area over recent years I have been able to witness just how quickly Mother Nature, if left to her own devices, repairs and replenishes a devastated area.
The grasses are back offering a thick luxurious covering to replace the cloying mud of recent years and Bulrushes are sprouting.

At the end of the day we we witnessed a beginning, a young beaver was making its way up the shallow meandering creek that fed this area before the beavers arrived the first time. I look forward to seeing their efforts at rebuilding.

On Sunday morning we visited Ragged Falls before heading home.

You could hear the roar of the water from the parking lot and that’s half a Km away. A sign of things to come...

In my wildest expectations I didn’t think it would be like this, Thousands of gallons per minute swept not only over the falls as the approach was flooded by about four of five feet of water and a second falls were born down the rocky ledges that was once a way down by foot.
The table (viewing section of natural rock was an island as water, deep and fast raced by, the noise was overwhelming and overpowering. What had been gentle cascades were now raging rapids with haystacks climbing about the now submerged rocks, noise everywhere

What a sight ...

Say, care-worn man,
Whom Duty chains within the city walls,
Amid the toiling crowd, how grateful plays
The fresh wind o'er thy sickly brow, when free
To tread the springy turf,— to hear the trees
Communing with the gales,—to catch the voice
Of waters, gushing from their rocky womb,
And singing as they wander...
Spring-hours will come again, and feelings rise
With dewy freshness o'er thy wither'd heart.
~Robert Montgomery, "Beautiful Influences," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell 1829

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blue Springs - Textures III

Blue Springs - Textures III
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

“I am a photographer”

Today we had our first meeting of the season at my local gallery. Beryl asked everyone to introduce themselves for the benefit of the new members, I, sitting to her left was first up;

“My name is Alan Norsworthy and I am a photographer” said I.

On down the table we went, each stating their name and what they do and what medium they work in.

There are four or five photographers represented by the gallery not one of them spoke of being a photographer, I found that profoundly interesting.

Was it because we photographers think of ourselves as second class citizens when in the company of 'true' artists?

Do we have an inferiority complex that stops us from standing up and admitting to the world that we are photographers we are and proud of it !

I know I don't. Maybe it's because I can, if I choose to, paint and draw, so really I do feel that I am amongst my peers but I still wonder why ....

So the next time you have to stand up and admit that you are a photographer remember the words of one of the masters of our craft

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man. ~Edward Steichen

Sunday, April 14, 2013

After The Storm - Forsythia

After The Storm - Forsythia
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Spring is supposed to be here but no-one told winter ….

At the end of the week we had a tremendous winter storm, as it passed everything was coated in a thick sheet of ice.
Ever since I can remember I have loved storms, howling gales, lashing rain and crashing seas were all part of my childhood and when a storm brews on the horizon I am taken back to those times.

Nothing beats a good storm …..

For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously. ~George Gissing, "Winter," The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, 1903

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Morning Glory

Morning Glory
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The wheel turns and once again another winter is almost over, to many it is a delight to see it go but not to me.
Winter is my time, I enjoy the cold far more than I ‘enjoy’ the heat of summer, tolerate is probably a better word.
However the wheel turns and nothing can stop it.
So I look to the spring as I look to all the seasons with pleasure and awe.

It’s the change that inspires, the knowledge that something new is coming.

It’s my amazement in seeing things come to life after months of slumber in the frozen earth.

It’s hearing the birds again after months of silence and the woods are filling with their song.

It’s hearing the rivers and streams sing their own song as they are freed from winters icy grip and continue their journey to the sea.

It’s seeing the drab grays and browns of late winter giving way to the greens of spring.

Once more the world comes alive and the promise is fulfilled as the tiniest bird and the largest creatures all rejoice in their survival and begin to construct their nests and dens for a new generation to come.

Every day that passes the sun gains strength but for now the wind is still cold, as a reminder …

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's a Small World - Lichen I

It's a Small World - Lichen I
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

To me, photography is more than a hobby, it is a release, a teacher and a giver of those things lost.

Let me explain; photography has been a part of my life , to a greater or lesser degree, for close to 50 years now. Sometimes it rose to the surface at other times if sat quietly in the background as life, children and mortgages demanded my time and energy. Now that the children are grown, the mortgage gone, life takes on a new chapter.Yes we still have our trials and tribulations and it's not all milk and honey but I do have (or find) the time to think, to ponder and to look back.
One of the things that I have been thinking about is how, as we grow, we lose the ability to play as a child plays. As we grow to be adults the cost of that growing is that the time of innocence is lost. As the years pass by we see so much, experience so much that the grand adventure of living and growing has become tiresome and mundane.
Photography gave it all back to me, it opened not only my eyes but my mind and in that reawakening let me become as a child again to see the world as the wondrous thing that it is.

Yesterday three grown men crawled around in the mud puddles and across the half frozen earth looking for things that most adults never even consider let alone go out in search of. We were hunting lichens, in a macro world no bigger than a dime we found pleasure, excitement, a joy in discovery and camaraderie.

We were as children again.

It was photography that brought us together and gave us back the opportunity to play and explore. People walking by saw the intricate set up's and smiled, waved a greeting and carried on their way. No embarrassment on our part, us 'grown men' playing in the dirt, no pitying looks from those who passed by. Well they may have thought us daft but no one shook their heads, no one laughed at us. Even if they had should it have mattered? Children do not look for approval in their games they just go ahead and do what they need to do. We needed to crawl around in the dirt, so we did.

It is important for us as adults to discover or should I say re-discover that sense of adventure, that freedom to do such silly thing s without fear of condemnation from complete strangers or indeed our peers.

Photography gave me that freedom, freedom to poke around in the dirt, to study a puddle looking for tadpoles, watch the birds gather nesting materials and it allows me to do nothing at all except listen to the sounds of the natural world as she once again wakens from her long slumber that is Winter.

Photography gave me all that and more.

My wish for you on this Easter Sunday is that you too find that vehicle that will allow you to "Find the child within "

If only for today.

A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. ~Rachel Carson

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Earth Hour - Orion Nebula

Earth Hour - Orion Nebula
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

So, how did you spend Earth Hour?

The antibiotics are working their magic and I am slowly getting over whatever it was that knocked me flat for several days, weeks?
After what seems like forever I felt that I was up for a walk so I joined up with Doug and Patrick for a leisurely stroll along a section of Arkell Road.Not exactly the most quiet of places due to the constant traffic but there were a myriad of interesting features along the roadside and in the gently rolling fields beyond.
Yes, a leisurely stroll was just fine and I appreciate that my companions had put my health ahead of an adventure.

Despite my concerns about an evening excursion to ‘hunt comets’ I went anyway, which made for a long day on my first day back ‘in the fold’.
Pan-STARRS was our quarry but unfortunately the clouds would not co-operate and hugged the horizon hiding the comet from view.
However looking up we had spectacular views even if the moon was up and shining brightly.

All that know me know that I am not a night person, ‘early to bed and early to rise’ that’s me but there is something to be said for walking abroad in the country with only the moonlight to show the way and listening to the night ...

This image is of the Orion Nebula, taken with my D300 and Nikkor 400 f/3,5.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

For most of my life I was a "cat person", then a dog came into my life and everything changed.

16 years of devotion, wanting nothing in return but a good scratch of that itchy spot they cannot reach. That and a walk or a treat now and again.

We should be so selfless.

Now he is gone, but not really, for every time I see a dog I think of him and I smile.
He will be beside me always "Man's best friend" doesn't really tell the whole story, not even close, maybe it should be more like .....

Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.

~George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog"