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, November 29, 2015

On a frosty morning ..

See it large here:


Because it needs to be seen large ;-)

A walk in the crisp morning air, along familiar trails with good company, what better way to spend a Saturday morning?

This old tree has seen and survived so many winters, you can see them all in his countenance.
That's why I love old tree's and Winter. 

"The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colors. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons". ~James Carlos Blake, Wildwood Boys

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Is that ... SNOW ??


The best camera is the one you have with you!
This is a shot of Ghost and Winter in the first snow early this morning.

Friends of ours were having to take their dog 'Ghost' to the humane society as they can no longer look after him. We asked if we could test drive him for the weekend  to see if he and Winter would get along.
Unfortunately this house belongs to Queen Bee Winter and she was having non of it :-(

So Tomorrow Ghost will be at the Guelph Humane Society awaiting new owners.
If you or someone you know is looking for a big dog Ghost is the most gentle of creatures and would make a great addition to your family.

Good luck Ghost I wish we could have kept you here ...

"I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that". ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Revisiting the Grinstone Marsh Trails ..


Despite the wind and threat of snow it was a great day for a walk along the Royal Botanical Gardens Grindstone Marsh trails.

Down in the valley and in the tree's the road noise all but disappeared along with the wind resulting in a pleasant walk.
Grant and I spent several hours wandering, then sat for a while watching and attempting to photograph the local wildlife that was arriving in droves for a handful of seeds.

Bird photography isn't easy, the damn things don't sit still for more than a fraction of a second.

Landscapes however are a different story ;-)

Upon our arrival I was struck by how green everything was, more like Spring than late Autumn.

The scene before me was a juxtaposition of bare tree's standing guard over the lush greenery giving an almost surreal aspect to the landscape.

"Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest,
I have seen You in the setting Sun
with Your long auburn tresses...
You sit upon Your throne and watch
the dying fires of the setting Sun
shine forth its final colors in the sky...
Lady Autumn, You are here at last..."

~Deirdre Akins

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fletchers Creek .. across the pit..

.. through the lens of my Fuji x100s

Some have said "it's a camera that doesn't get in the way".

Well the more I use it the less intrusive it becomes, take its black and white engine, combine it with its jpeg engine add a red filter (digitally) and here is the result ..


It was a morning of scudding clouds; sunshine one minute, shade the next and it was the clouds I wanted to capture.

"Spring's wakening bugle long is hushed,
Long dimm'd is Summer's splendour;
October yields her easel bright
To "black and white" November"!
~James Rigg, "November," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Autumn's Showcase ..


Autumn's colours are fading fast but there are still signs of it lingering on.

Yesterday while walking Winter along a local trail I spotted this maple stubbornly holding on to its leaves, framing the long dead teasel heads that will provide next years flowers..

As the wheel turns once more..

"Magnificent Autumn! He comes not like a pilgrim, clad in russet weeds. He comes not like a hermit, clad in gray. But he comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent.... The wind.... wafts to us the odor of forest leaves, that hang wilted on the dripping branches, or drop into the stream. Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out. Orange, yellow, and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue.... There is a melancholy and continual roar in the tops of the tall pines.... It is the funeral anthem of the dying year". 

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Algonquin ..

Some say it's my "spiritual home"..
They're probably right.

My last post was way back in June.

My photographic adventures have definitely taken a back seat until recently when I met up with my friends Grant and Cathy for curry at the Penny Whistle Pub.
It was then that they invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them in Algonquin and the plans were hatched.

We would be heading out on Thursday afternoon to beat the rush and spend four glorious days drinking tea, wandering, drinking tea, sitting, drinking tea, talking, drinking tea and taking photo's of the amazing colours around us.

How many years have Grant and I spent wandering the back country with only a tent and sleeping bag; but now we have the luxury of a trailer and real beds!

About 20 mins after we had pitched the trailer (is that the right phrase?) and snuggled into said beds, the heavens opened and it poured rain all night long but we were snug, dry and warm.. ahh thats the life!

One of my favourite images from the trip was pure chance, a couple of people were heading up the lake to their 'wilderness' campsites and had put their canoes in in preparation for the trip. Luckily I was there.

So here is the image, I call it 'Classic Algonquin' despite the green canoe well all canoes should be red right ?   :-)

Thanks Grant and Cathy for sharing your trip with me I needed it, but you knew that didn't you.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

A bunch of keys..


It was a rainy day …
So says the Pizzaville ad ;-)

Actually it has been a rainy weekend and as I write this I am drying off after a 2 mile walk with Winter, sitting by the patio door listening to the rain on the leaves and the odd call from the birds.

Quite peaceful really and in the words of Longfellow:

The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain”. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I was away on business for most of the week so the artistic / photographic output has been almost non-existent.
However I did manage a couple of sketches, I find it interesting if not amazing how a mundane object like a bunch of keys can take on a life of its own on paper.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It was a rainy day ... again.


A rainy weekend and no one around.

One of those weekends where you find a comfy chair and a good book and a dog (optional).

The grass did not get yesterday and it doesn't look like it will be cut today either …
Still there is always another book to be read or maybe a bit of artwork to be produced.

The one shown here was yesterdays effort.

First though it is time to pay the piper... chores around the house.... maybe.

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?” ~Erma Bombeck

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Saturday Morning ...


My time, time to wander a trail, a street, a path strewn with woodland detritus, a sidewalk or just sit and catch up with friends.

This Saturday morning was a bit of everything, I met up with Doug in downtown Guelph and we decided to walk wherever our fancy took us, all the time nattering about this and that, catching up, making plans etc.

Before long several hours had passed and we found ourselves at the Farmers Market wandering, people watching and buying a few things.

Then back to the cars to unload our goodies and camera's then on to OX for tea.
Just tea .. no more goodies as we had stuffed ourselves on the walk back from the market!

Even so just tea, talk and camaraderie, what a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Friendship is a sheltering tree”. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Do you see what I see ?


Yesterday began with a typical day in Ontario, hot and humid but on the horizon storm clouds were brewing.
I met with a friend for tea and munchies and as we left the cafe the weather was upon us. With an eye on the sky I hurried back to the car barely in time as the heavens opened.
I don't know how well Patrick fared.

That onrush of rain was the harbinger of what was to come, since then and overnight we have had rain, rain, and more rain.
The parched ground has has a long soak, one what we badly needed and I get a reprise from the sweltering heat, at the time of writing it is a cool 8c, much better!

Of course Winter (the dog) wanted to go for a walk.

After donning rain proof hat, jacket and boots off we went. As we walked I began to wonder, do others see what I see?

A newly opened poppy resplendent in it's crimson colours reached for the rain which bejeweled it's petals with fecund tears.

A goldfinch brilliant yellow against the rain soaked bark and foliage of the tree who's own colours are intensified by the rain.

My world is alive with saturated colours, everything more vibrant but it also becoming smaller as distance was hidden in a veil of mist.

And the soft sounds of falling rain becomes the backdrop to all of this.

Do you see it or do you sit inside and watch TV and miss one of the greatest shows Mother Nature can provide?

Maybe you should go outside and see the show and risk getting a little wet .

“I am sure it is a great mistake always to know enough to go in when it rains. One may keep snug and dry by such knowledge, but one misses a world of loveliness”. ~Adeline Knapp

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Loooong Weekend

It's that time of year again.
"The long weekend"
May 24”,
May two four” .... Whatever.. 
Despite the plethora of names it usually means a lot of work... digging, sweeping, ripping up and tearing down, planting, grass cutting, fertilizing and in general wearing oneself out just in time to go back to work.!
Many people enjoy this spring ritual... Don't ask me why because I am not one of them nor am I a gardener.
Oh don't get me wrong I love being outside but I'm usually to be found sitting in the shade, as I am now mostly with a good book and a cool drink listening to the spring chorus and watching the aerial dogfights between boy birds and girl birds. ....

The above section was written earlier this morning before the piper demanded his due and who has now been paid with a pound of sweat.

A section of fence that didn't winter too well has been rebuilt and the gate has been fixed. Much to the other winter's consternation, she watched and I suspect took notes as I worked. The moment I was finished she was there, checking out the workmanship for that fatal flaw that means a way of escape..

There is one but don't tell her...

So that's it for today, debt paid, the back lawn can wait until tomorrow and I am writing this on my laptop under the newly erected gazebo enjoying a iced (green) tea 
Have a great weekend everyone …

"Your hair may be brushed, but your mind's untidy.
You've had about seven hours of sleep since Friday.
No wonder you feel that lost sensation.
You're sunk from a riot of relaxation".
~Ogden Nash, about weekends

*For those in different lands who do not celebrate Queen Victoria's Birthday (that is what the May long weekend is) Please don't ask me to explain why Queen Victoria's Birthday, which is May 25th became the excuse for a long weekend in the colonies but it is on May 18 this year... ask a politician  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Once more around ..


"Wondering what others think of your photography, stifles your creativity".. part of a conversation with Doug where I decided to 'shoot for me'. this usually means black and white 
 You can read the blog post that started me thinking here....

It was a result of this article by Canadian photographer Darren Wiggett

You might know or maybe not that I have been in the photographic doldrums for months now, nary a shutter pressed, definitely no prints made in what seemed like an endless struggle...

Well recently a few things have happened;

Primarily I had a blank wall at the gallery which is due to open today!

Two printers have gone virtually unused, something that is not good for printers so I had to print 'something'

A comment from my friend Doug a few weeks back about getting back to basics .

All of these started to gnaw at me and culminated/gelled in the moment I read the above articles.

Then the light went on or should I say “back on”.

I had been walking the same path, trying to please others, worrying about how others felt about my work, instead of just doing it for me.

So what you see here is that one small step back to the basics, which to me means black and white photography it's what I love so that's where I will start ….

Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom”. ~Buddha

and a very Happy Mothers Day to all our Mom's both here and 'there' .. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

29 ...

29 Years ….

Today is our 29th Anniversary and I ask myself where did the time go?

I am ashamed to say that I have forgotten so much of what has happened over the years but I will always remember that when we met I was broken and Cathy, with patience and a gentle hand, fixed me.

 I don't know what she saw in me all those years ago but it is because of her I was able to become who I am and for that I will be forever grateful.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”.  ~Marcel Proust

Sunday, April 26, 2015

All my life's a circle ..


As Harry Chapin said/sang:

All my life's a circle”

Yesterday part of it went full circle, back 7 years to the start of a friendship and the start of a long walk.

It was Doug who suggested gong back to the beginning; first that meant a stop at the local Tim's.

Fortified with tea and treats we headed up to Elora to wander the gorge trails, then find a place for more tea and conversation.

With friends you slip into these times like slipping into an old glove, they just fit, no struggle no thinking involved it just happens.

It was supposed to be a photo outing but ended up more as a walk and talk outing but that's OK we enjoyed ourselves and more importantly for me it broke me free of the chains of recent months where everything seems to have been sidelined...

So it is fitting that my “Photo of the Week” be a black and white study, after all it is where I began..

So for my quotation I turn to Rumi ..

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love”.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The man from Bell..

No “Photo of the Week” this week not much of anything really, I have been out of commission.

So just a story to fill the void.

During the week we had a phone call, ostensibly from Bell. 
We have noticed that you are having trouble with your internet connection” -Said the man from Bell

Have I?” -said I

Yes our servers indicate your modem drops the connection quite frequently”-Said the man from Bell

Okaaay”-said I

This went on for several minutes and I was dubious to say the least, but I went along with it, don't ask why, the man from Bell set up a service call and said goodbye.

I looked up Bell's technical support number and called them, expecting a scam but no they really had called and there really was a problem, go figure Bell being proactive!

AND they answered the phone within seconds not minutes or hours !

So fast forward to yesterday, the man from Bell showed up and spent most of the afternoon testing stuff, rewiring outside, adding new stuff, tearing out old stuff and running wiring into the house.

He left after about 3 hours, and about 2 minutes later he was back, “I was just looking at the test results and I am not happy with what I see” - Said the man from Bell

So more ripping, tearing, rewiring and generally fiddling about (it's now supper time!) and he was satisfied.
So off he went, leaving me with a whole new view of Bell Canada.

His parting words were “ We realise that there is a lot of competition out there now and we want to hold on to our customers, so this new project, 'Project Eagle' is helping us find problems before they become problems.”

Well who would have thought !

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Joy of Seeing ..


I was thinking about a quote from a friend this last week and realised it does sum me up.

"I think you are a man who can find interest and pleasure and be in the moment, so you only need to take Winter for a walk……the rest of us have to go to Europe.”

While I love to travel,
to see,
to explore,
to learn
to know

She is right; I don't have to go very far and it is oh so true, I can find pleasure in the most benign of things.

Several weeks ago I picked some fallen Milkweed; old, stark, weather beaten though they are I keep returning to them and draw and paint them trying to capture their essence.
Fascinated by their structure.
And while doing this I wonder just how many people walk right by them and if they think of them at all they regard them as 'weeds' ..

Oh but here on my desk they are beginning to reawaken, the few remaining seeds are opening, and deploying their little parachutes, waiting for a breeze to send them off on their journey, fulfilling the promise.

I see this happening before my eyes and wait for the story to unfold...

"The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Just once more ..


.. could also be "an ode to my dog" ...

Instead of a 'photo of the week' I went back to November of last year when I was able to catch Winter sleeping on the couch.

Snow !
I don't know who was more excited Winter or me.

One more time we were able to walk in a chill morning with snow underfoot, the trails silent except for Winters panting, my huffing and puffing and the occasional bird making himself known.

Through the trails, across the school yard to the pond; following the stream back around. It was then that I heard it, I think Winter did too but chose to ignore it, that unmistakable plaintiff cry of the Kildeer and then there they were, a pair circling above.
A welcome sight but another harbinger of Spring.

A Spring that we had forgotten about on this delightful winter morning...

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that”. ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Milkweed and Spring


Birds are arriving daily, the tree's and yards are coming alive with their song but winter hangs on. However, as the sun climbs higher in the sky it's strength increasing daily, it is a futile battle Spring is coming and nothing will stop it.

I walked the woods and for several weeks I have been looking at the Milkweed, their stalks brittle and gray, their pods almost empty, their job done, as the seeds are scattered on the winds.
Still there is an eloquent beauty just as in the old tree's that I love so much.

.”The sun has come out... and the air is vivid with spring light”. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A brief history lesson ..

One of the advantages of painting over photography is you don't have to be there to record an image”!

I put this as an intro to a painting I did this week, the scene was of the Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria; one of the most spectacular places in what is one of the most unbelievably beautiful regions of Britain and one of my favourites.

This circle stands atop a plateau surrounded by some of the highest and ancient Cumbrian peaks; alone with nothing but the wind and the ravens for company.

Thought to have been constructed in 3200bc (5000 years ago) it is one of the oldest circles in Europe.

As I mentioned the surrounding peaks are some of the highest in England; 
Helvellyn standing at almost 950 m (3100 ft)

Skiddaw a close second at at 931 m (3,054 ft)

Blencathra, also known as Saddleback, with six separate fell tops, of which the highest is the 868-metre (2,848 ft) Hallsfell Top.(at the centre of the painting).

However they don't look that high, that is because the plateau on which the circle stands is already at 213m (700ft) above sea level

Here endeth the history lesson ;-)

Happy Spring Equinox / Eostre

One of the deepest impulses in man is the impulse to record, - to scratch a drawing on a tusk or keep a diary, to collect sagas and heap cairns. This instinct as to the enduring value of the past is, one might say, the very basis of civilization. ~John Jay Chapman, Memories and Milestones

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It was one of those days ...

No photo of the week this week but there is a drawing of the week ...

Everyone is watching, looking keen eyed at the landscape and waiting impatiently for Spring to arrive.

Walking the trails with Winter (the dog) this morning you can hear it in the chirping chorus, you can see it in the green sprouts uncovered by the receding snows but you can't feel it in the wind!
Here winter (the season) still reigns supreme, her icy fingers play around the the openings of your jacket, probing for an opening to send shivers down your spine...

At this time of year the promise of Spring has yet to be fulfilled as Winter hangs on in the shady places and everything waits and watches.

"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 8, 2015

I want my hour back !

My blog is normally entitled “Photo of the Week”

These past few weeks my images have been produced at a much slower rate. Where once they were made in a fraction of a second now they are made in the fraction of a day.

Which brings me to today's rant...

I want my hour back!

Last night I had one of the best nights sleep I have had for quite a while. I awake refreshed at 6:30, that's late for me.
It was even later when I realised it was now 7:30 …

Morning is my time I love every minute of it and while I slept someone stole an hour.

I mean what is the point? I know during the war years it gave the farmers more light to get crops in etc. etc. but now? All it does is disrupt peoples lives ( look at the accident statistics) all because some dimwitted politicians think they are 'extending' the period of daylight.
Well lets look at that for a minute.
If a day was a piece of string, and you cut an hours worth off one end and tie it on the other end it's still the same length!

Only a politician could think or try to make us think that the day was actually longer...


"Methinks I see the wanton hours flee,
And as they pass, turn back and laugh at me".
~George Villiers

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What do the birds see that we don't see?

What do the birds see that we don't see?

First, this is not a new photograph, it was taken several weeks ago but my photography has been slacking off in recent weeks as other things come to the fore, like my rediscovering the joy of painting..

Last week was hectic, as far as work was concerned but I did manage a few short walks. The one thing I noticed was the woods are louder …. birdsong.

I mentioned this recently that there were more birds but they were quite silent as if they were waiting. Well this last week whatever they were waiting for arrived because they are silent no longer!

I notice the strength of the sun increasing, there is a warmth to it now along with weak glow. I guess the birds feel it more than we do, after all they are out in the cold all the time.

That gentle increase in warmth that is barely noticeable to us is enough for them to start celebrating Springs arrival.

Another Winter endured and for most survived.

Truly something worth singing about …

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song”. ~Chinese Proverb

Sunday, February 22, 2015

all to soon ..

All to soon winter draws to a close..

Not that long ago -13c wound have been bone chilling, but yesterday the temperature rose to a balmy -13c and it felt like Spring!

For a time I was downtown with friends but when I got home I was restless, luckily so was the dog ;-)
So with a lighter jacket and thinner gloves, Winter (our dog, pictured above), Brit and I went for a walk in the local woods.

I was surprised to see flocks of birds in the bare tree's, maybe just mourning doves and sparrows but they were there.
The twittering of the sparrows and the call of the chickadee's added to the silence, the crunch of our boots on the snow added the backdrop.

The day felt lighter somehow and the gently falling snow made for a picture perfect scene.

Yes Spring may only be a month away but its days like this that make me want to delay Springs arrival, just for a while longer..

A small bird twitters on a leafless spray,
Across the snow-waste breaks a gleam of gold:
What token can I give my friend to-day
But February blossoms, pure and cold?

Frail gifts from Nature's half-reluctant hand...
I see the signs of spring about the land...
These chill snowdrops, fresh from wintry bowers,
Are the forerunners of a world of flowers”.
~Sarah Doudney, "Snowdrops (Consolation)," c.1881

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Its all in your mind...


At this time of year, some, well most, people look out of the window, listen to the weather report, shudder and turn up the heat a notch.

Not me, after taking Winter for her morning walk I decided it was a beautiful morning and I wanted to get out on my own for a while.
So I wrapped myself up and headed for one of my favourite spots, the U of G Arboretum.

On this wonderful winters day I had the parking lot to myself, the trails covered in fresh snow, only marked by the off bunny track.
The woods echoed with bird song and the only other sounds were the crunching of the snow and my breathing .
I made two laps of the trails just 'because'.
My excuse was that Whyndam Arts Supply wasn't open yet so I may as well walk some more...
In reality I was just having too good a time, eventually my jacket was unzipped and my gloves were in my pocket and I walked with a stupid grin on my face as my breath formed clouds in front of me.

As the morning wore on I did meet a few like minded individuals but mostly I was alone with my thoughts.

What a great morning to be alive...

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same”. ~Francesca Reigler

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Forest Bathing"


Forest Bathing..”


Forest Bathing” or what later became “Forest Therapy”:

"The purpose of forest therapy is to provide preventive medical effects by relieving stress and recovering the immune system [diminished]by stress,"
Yoshifumi Miyazaki of Chiba University explained. As Japan's leading scholar on forest medicine, he's carried out studies across the country. The results show forest bathing can significantly lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, along with blood pressure and heart rate.
Other research points out that walking in the woods can boost the body's immune system by increasing anti-cancer proteins and enhancing the so-called natural killer activity of certain cells.

Ah so that's why a walk in the woods invigorates, replenishes and rejuvenates me!
I always knew that but apparently it's not just me and there is evidence.

Maybe doctors should prescribe “a walk in the woods, take once daily and repeat”

No the major drug companies won't get rich(er) but you will.
Richer in body, mind and spirit.

The whole article is here:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage