Photo challenge day 1: Resolution

Happy New Year!

I have chosen to take part in a 31-day photo challenge which I discovered via the blog, Fourtuitous.com. Starting off 2013 with a photo every day sounds like a fun idea to me!

Day 1: Resolution.

My resolution for 2013 is to get outside and go places. I want to spend more time outside, exploring the world, and less time sitting behind the steering wheel of my car.

Resolution: to get outside and go places

Resolution: to get outside and go places

I used the photo-editing website, picfull.com, to have some fun with applying filters to my photo.

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‘Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

There are many poems which capture the atmosphere of this time of year but none better, in my opinion, than Ode to Autumn by John Keats. A lot of the poetry about this season is filled with laments, sadness and descriptions of harsh October winds but Keats’s poem is rich with the comforting imagery of a bountiful autumn, ripening the fruits and filling the air with the lingering fragrance of summer.

Autumn, season of mists…

English Autumn by Jiri Hodan

…and mellow fruitfulness


Public domain image source: Yellow Grain by Petr Kratochvil

ODE TO AUTUMN

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Fall In Laurel Highlands by Jim Lillicotch

February weekend

I took this picture last Saturday, on a cold morning when the hazy mist was lying low over the hills and the orange tinge to the clouds heralded the arrival of snow. It’s by no means a spectacular photo but I like it because it reminds me of a watercolor painting, with the silhouetted trees in the distance and the soft outlines of the landscape.

February

 

Reasons why I want to move to Maine…

Maybe the title of this post should really be ‘reasons why I want to visit Maine’. It is a state which I have never visited, but it has caught my imagination and I have a dream of living in Maine…. Oh yes, The Pine Tree State is where my mind wanders when I should be doing other things, like paperwork and chores.

The natural beauty and scenery of Maine is spectacular. The landscape varies, from mountains to rocky cliffs to wilderness to beaches. And Maine hosts 281 miles of the Appalachian trail. The northern terminus of the trail is Katahdin: the highest mountain in the state of Maine. The mountain was named by the Penobscot Indians and its name means ‘The Greatest Mountain’.

There are thirty-two state parks in Maine and one of these is Acadia National Park:

Acadia Park, Maine (public domain image)

Public domain image: A Look Through The Trees by Shari Weinsheimer.

Maine is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and water is a prominent feature in the landscape of the state — shipbuilding was an important part of the state’s economy in centuries past. There are many pretty harbours scattered around the coast as well as the iconic lighthouses which a lot of people associate with Maine.

Camden Harbor, Maine (image copyright Back Road Journal)

Photo © Karen at Back Road Journal.

I love the traditional white clapboard houses with windows looking out on the ocean.

Old clapboard house (public domain image)

Public domain image: Old House by David Wagner

And the beautiful lakes:

Long Lake, Maine – image copyright Back Road Journal

Photo © Karen at Back Road Journal.

Maine is also home to lots of wildlife and native species. Moose is the state animal:

A female moose (public domain image)

Public domain image: Female Moose by Charles Rondeau.

As well as moose, Maine is the residence of much cuter animals:

Chipmunk (image copyright Back Road Journal)

Photo © Karen at Back Road Journal.

And the state bird is the pretty songbird, the Black-capped Chickadee.

Maine’s state bird: Black-capped Chickadee (public domain image)

Public domain image from: Black-Capped Chickadee by John Witherspoon.

Chipmunks and chickadees, black bear, beaver, coyotes, lynx, seals, puffins, whitetail deer, moose… Maine is filled with nature and beauty.

The state is diverse and that appeals to me. There are quaint little towns which have a quintessentially New England flavor and then there are state parks which are rugged, wild and perfect for hiking.

“In Maine
we are glad to be part of a land
that remains so beautiful under its green skin
of woods and open fields, that is glitteringly
bordered by thousands of miles
of breaking waves, and that is lovely,
too, with an unbroken tradition
of concerns, with the kind, enduring grace
of its neighborliness.”

(Excerpt from Neighborliness by Kate Barnes. Source: Poets of Maine).

It is a very special place and I long to visit. In the mean time, I will dream.

With thanks to Karen from the wonderful blog, Back Road Journal, for giving me permission to use her photographs of Maine in this post.

What I would rather be doing now

All my plans for today went out the window this morning when I had to sort out my car insurance which meant that for most of the day, I was on the phone or the internet. In one word: stressful!

 What I would rather be doing now is enjoying the glorious October weather and watching the sun rise like this:

October dawn

And breathe in the air of misty October mornings:

Morning

And then watch the gorgeous colors as the sun goes down:

Sunset

It’s started getting darker and the nights are really lengthening now as we head towards winter.