Monochrome Madness 2-17 – Beautiful BC and a Graduation

I’m home again!! I hope you all have had a wonderful week and weekend.

I will have to catch up with you all as my Sony laptop (Vaio) gave out on me while I was gone and I find cell phones a pain except for the most cursory of texts. Let’s take a break from technology and breathe the outdoors!! How did we ever communicate before social media!!? :D

Here is my entry to Leanne Cole’s MM 2-17 on images starting with the letter K as the theme. Please visit her blog for all the great submissions.

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Koi in The Japanese Gardens in Penticton

It was a wonderful but short trip and a time of passage!

My niece in her gorgeous dress and a beautiful grad ceremony. I thought it was Oscar Night!!

Small towns often have lovely traditions like the Graduation Parade every June, down the main street of Penticton where everyone gathers and shouts “well done” as the graduates drive by! My nephew is the red ninja driving his sister in the pickup truck.

The Graduation Parade

Here are a few random shots 

I tried to do some long exposure shots without a tripod, balancing my camera on the bridge railing for the creek shots!

And here are few random facts:

British Columbia was the last province of Canada to be colonized and in the 1800’s was the equivalent of the American wild west.  Billy Miner also known as the Grey Fox became famous after moving his operation from the U.S. to British Columbia, continuing his career as a train and stage coach robber.

Many wealthy families sent their errant sons overseas to find their fortune in BC and many did just that, sometimes marrying first nations women and giving their names to places, towns and rivers.

Hedley outside of Penticton- a frontier mining town

Hedley outside of Penticton- a former frontier mining town

Penticton is a resort destination for sun seekers. The climate is hot and dry in the summer and crisply cold in winter with snow cloaked mountains. The Okanagan is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream in both summer and winter.

The two lakes are large and deep enough for the Ogopogo to hide and only be glimpsed from time to time- just enough to keep the legend alive.

In spite of it’s small size Penticton is full of great ethnic restaurants. Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese etc call the Okanagan home along with the Similkameen first nations peoples.

The Graduation ceremony was attended by first nations drummers and singers and the address given in both English and Similkameen.

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Vineyards of the Okanagan

Vineyards, orchards and horse and even ostrich ranches fill the surrounding hills and valleys.

Bonus –

coloured version

coloured version of joyful

May God bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true, and may you stay forever young!

Monochrome Madness 2-16 – and Dragonfly Summer

Here is my submission to Leanne Cole‘s magnificent Monochrome Madness 2-16 . Visit her site for a beautiful and varied gallery.

This will be my last post till next week. I will be away from WordPress for a few days visiting my brother in the interior of British Columbia where it is hot  believe it or not- 40 Celsius this weekend for those who think of Canada as cold!! I’m not looking forward to the heat but I’m going for my niece’s graduation.

The Okanagan is one of the fine meeting places of the winds! It is a beautiful orchard and vineyard country (BC wines have come into their own), of rolling hills and mountains, and of valleys with fish filled rivers running through them. It is the land of lakes and the legendary Ogopogo – a cousin to Nessie.  I hope I’m able to bring back a few good images of the beast.

Meanwhile here is the Mount Doug area of Victoria, a peaceful pond and the light in the lotus – om mane padme hum.

lily pond

One morning I went to a place beyond dawn.
A source of sweetness that flows
and is never less. I have been shown
a beauty that would confuse both worlds- Rumi

home of the fierce Dragonfly Squadron Circus

I find that my canon zoom lens images aren’t very crisp ( 75-300mm and the 55-250 is worse), but with a few photoshop tweaks I was not unhappy with these.

Okanagan Country ( taken a few years back and a stitch)

Lake countryab

One Four Challenge – June week four

The final edit and farewell to my Greyfriar’s Bobby for Robyn Gosby’s  One Four Challenge, week four, where we are editing one photo four different ways over four weeks – a bit of a struggle after last week’s postcard enthusiasts. Oh well, here goes! Not too difficult with a wall texture layer and a few tweaks of brush work, multi lens and a slight distortion.

bobbywall Bobby grafitti art –  on a very old three paneled wall – (looks vaguely Pompeiish and Canis Fidelis)

Goodnight Dear Bobby

you can watch this heart wringer on youtube along with many other old Disney family films

All edits

Morning of a fawn

After the rain last night it was a beautiful June morning in the garden. I think I’m getting the hang of the macro lens as I am thrilled again by the drops of water on the Gerbera this morning. You can see the garden reflected in them.

gerberaAA

Walk me out in the Morning Dew– by The Grateful Dead, for all you old hippies and the support group ACOH (adult children of hippies)- a delightful book by Willow Yamauchi of Vancouver, BC

morning dew
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One Four Challenge June -Week 3

Do check out Robyn Gosby’s One Four Challenge and all the great submissions.

And because I love to travel-

Postcards from the Edge Fridge

Greyfriar’s Wee Bobby (best seen on attachment page)

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” J.Billings

Process:
This week I added layers ( called Fine art Grunge in photoshop) and the transform and skew tool to give a sense of depth and perspective as the card flies over from Scotland.

Tales of the Tuatha chapter 37 & 38 – The End of the Journey

Finally! I’ve had this sitting around for awhile, reluctant to post.  I found it hard to say goodbye to my lovely Niamh and Bran! At some point I will have to revise the disjointedness as I never knew where I was going with it until close to the end!! Basically they were stories that told themselves to me! Forgive the length and artistic liberty but here are the last two chapters- so grab a coffee- or a draught.

The Spring

world in a rain drop

Dawn began to bathe her radiant limbs in the spring as Niamh removed her shoes and outer garments. Taking a deep breath she dove into the depths to look for the last dream. Everything seemed to churn into slow motion as she descended into the shadows.  A few beams of light danced a jig on the weeds below and a salmon swam up to her before darting away. The dream caught the refraction of light and seemed to pulse with the rhythm of a heartbeat. She picked it up but as she tried to ascend a heaviness began to pull at her. She struggled and the air from her lungs exploded into a stream of silver bubbles.   As the waters swirled around her the salmon appeared again. It was then that she realized what was weighing her down. It was her dreams. She had not noticed how heavy and onerous they had become and now she was drowning in them!  She opened the pouch tied around her waist and let them flow out. She thought she saw the salmon swallowing them. Opening her fist she let the last dream go. As she began to lose consciousness a hand reached through the water.

When she opened her eyes someone was kneeling beside her.  The water that filled her eyes and nose turned into rivulets that ran like tears down her face and into the ground. As her vision cleared she saw a young man with coal black curls gazing down at her. He had a quiver of arrows and a bow by his side and his eyes were as deep as the sacred spring with flecks of bright salmon swimming in them. In an instant everything came together and she suddenly knew everything! He was the rider on the road- and  it was he who in sorrow had thrown the dream away!  Something that had been as splendidly woven as a dew threaded spiderweb had become unraveled and she knew he had been looking for her. Had she also been looking for him?

But in that moment of strange magic, between the folds of time, he seemed not to know her or have any recollection of the dream. It was as though he was seeing her for the first time. “What is your name?” she finally asked.  “I am Oisin, son of  Fionn MacCumhail,” he answered proudly “ I was following the red deer when I came upon this place and I think I have found something far more than I could have ever imagined!”

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The wind from the South by the Chieftains

The Journey’s End

fairyspring3

He opened his hand.  “Is this what you are looking for?” he asked. In his palm lay the dream. What had been thrown away was now recovered.  Inside the shining crystal sphere she saw herself and Oisin beside the spring and she could also see a gate at the edge of the clearing. She hesitated and then gently closed his hand. “No longer“, she replied  “You have retrieved it and now it is yours.” He opened his hand again and looked at the gift with an innocent and awed reverence. “Perhaps neither of us may lay claim to it my lady,” he said, “Perhaps it lays claim to us,”  and  he smiled. It was a smile like Bran’s and it warmed her heart. “I never thought there could be anything so beautiful.”  he said softly, but he was looking at her.

Suddenly her perception shifted and she knew she was inside the dream looking out.  In that center of stillness she watched as a powerful gust of wind stirred  through the surrounding trees.  She saw the face of the Morrigan fade into the shadowy bracken. The red stag was Bran who bowed his crowned head before retreating into the dark forest. This was the end of her journey! The quest, her memories and her dreams melted away into the morning mists and flowed backward to the place she began. She recognized the familiar path back home.

I am Niamh of the Tuatha,” she heard herself say, “and if you have courage to come with me to the mound, my father will happily welcome you!”  She rose up and held out her hand. He took it willingly and together they walked toward the open gate.

And so began a dream of their own.

gate to tir-na-noglanterns2lightsig

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Background: For any who do not know the legend and story of Oisin (Ossian in Scottish)  you can find many interpretations and tellings of the tale. This is just my own fable told from another perspective, that of Niamh. It is said Oisin himself was the son of a great chieftain and a fairy. While out hunting he came across the beautiful sidhe, Niamh, and fell in love. He went back with her to the land of enchantment, Tir-na-nog, where they danced and feasted every night and lived happily. As happy as he was, at some point he became homesick for his friends and family and wanted to see them one last time. Niamh begged him not to go back but he was determined, so she gave him a horse and told him he must not dismount or set his foot down on the ground for if he did he would never be able to return.  Back in the land of his birth he could not find his family or any of the familiar places and when the girth on his saddle broke he fell and accidentally set his foot down. At that moment the spell was broken and he became a very old man. He had not known that he had been away for more than 300 years.  It is said that St.Patrick found and baptized him after hearing his story.  Some tales state that Oisin did say that he would rather spend one day in fairyland than an eternity in heaven.

Salmon is associated with wisdom in Celtic myth