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