Monday, June 26, 2017

Mornings with Maggie

Every morning, Maggie and I head out for a walk.  Most days we go early - between 6 and 7:30 AM - when there aren't a lot of people around for Maggie to meet.  She is getting more comfortable with those we meet often, especially those with gentle dogs, but still tries to head for home when encountering strangers.  It is baby steps with this timid girl - baby steps and lots of treats.

The nice thing about those early morning walks is the tranquility - the morning sun rising, the ocean gently splashing, the sea birds fishing, the first of the boats slipping out of the dock.  Most days I carry my camera - when I forget, I always regret it.  Like the day this week when Maggie and I sat on the beach watching an osprey hover like a helicopter, then dive, dive, dive and come up with a fish just a few hundred feet away.  But most days I carry it, and most days I see something that catches my eye, and that I catch with my lens.  Here's just a few of the images I captured this past week.

I can spend hours watching and photographing the herons as they fish in the outgoing tide.

And even the less glamorous seagull provides fodder for the photographer.  This gull dropped each clam in the shallows, presumably to rinse it off,  before flying it above the rocky beach where he dropped it to smash it open.

When the tide is a very low one, Mags and I can walk for quite a ways.  As we leave the seawalk and sand beach area and head around the point, we pass a barnacled and musselled old boat abandoned on the shore.  When I first moved here, in 2009, it was a nice cream coloured motorboat in which I would see the owners go fishing;  a couple of years later, it became abandoned and each year has disintegrated further. Now, its pieces are scattered all over the shore.

One morning, I watched  from the entrance to the sea walk as a man carried a canoe from the campground, along the berm, up the wharf and down the other side.  A few minutes later, he was joined by another person carrying the paddles.  I watched as they put the boat in the water, climbed in, and started to paddle away.  I turned away, and Maggie and I walked the short distance back to the park above the parking lot - perhaps a three minute walk at most - five if Maggie had to read her pee-mail enroute.  Imagine my surprise when I glanced back and saw the same man now carrying the canoe back along the wharf!  A leak?  A fight with his companion?  A change of heart?  He may not have gotten any exercise from paddling, but he sure did hauling that canoe both ways!

I'll wager a bet that I spent more time playing with the dozen or so photos I took of him, than he spent in the water.  I'm particularly partial to how this one turned out:

Man with a Red Canoe
Other days brought other interesting shots.  This fellow was jumping logs as he rounded up stray ones enroute to the log sort at nearby Shoal Islands:  

And there's a story behind this next shot.   Again, I had forgotten my camera. As Maggie and I sat on the rocks at the end of the berm, I looked back toward shore and saw the iconic seaside shot -  a line of white recreational vehicles broken only by one orange one and one turquoise one along the curve of the bay,  its reflection a mirror image in the glassy smooth water of a very high tide and a rising sun.  It was a photographer's dream and  I wanted that shot!  I decided I would take Mags home, grab the camera, drive to the end of the seawalk, and hustle back to this very same spot.  Alas, Maggie was not to be rushed, dilly-dallying all the way home.  By the time I got back to the rocks a half hour later, the sun had moved, the tide had receded, and the ferry was churning up water in the bay while other boats headed out to sea.  My perfect picture is not so perfect - it was "the one that got away".  

 There were, of course, other morning walks with beautiful reflections, but by the next day the trailers were gone - weekend campers migrating back to the hustle of the work-a-day world. Still, I always get pleasure from the images in water, like those at our marina:

And even when we look away from the water, there's beauty to be found.  This morning it was found in the long weeds and grasses that front a boarded up motel building at the start of the sea walk - a deer, heading down to the beach.  Deer are plentiful here - there's rarely a day I don't see a few - but this one had more curiosity than fear, and my cat-chasing dog seemed oblivious to his presence. (Note: Mags was in no danger:  the deer was lower than the seawalk and on the other side of the rails, and I was using a zoom lens some distance away to photograph him boldly approaching the rail to see what we were up to, while Maggie was leashed to my waist).  

And that's it for a week's worth of mornings with Maggie.  Y'all come back, y'hear?  July 1st will be my annual Canada Day blog - the best of my photos of the past 12 months, a tribute to this country I love. 

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