The Garden in Black and White

Flowers in black and white. A different way to view our natural world. Seeing form over color. An artistic way to interpret our gardens. Seeing things differently, that is what photography should be about. http://www.debra-hunter.com Photography by Debra Hunter Red Deer, Alberta and Pender Island, BC, Canada . . . . Ads belong to WordPress

via The Garden in Black and White — Debra Hunter – Canadian photography, art and handmade

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Summer Weekends – Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

The summers of 2015 and 2016 have been interesting for us, after years of spending every weekend at the cabin, we have now been challenged with learning how to reinvent how we “do” summer. Years of being on auto-pilot of going to the cabin Friday night, hanging out or hiking, then back home Sunday afternoon or evening, have been replaced with “What should we do this weekend?”.

We have discovered staying in the city isn’t an option; you can only go to the pool, walk on the city trails, or go shopping so many times…..plus that is what we do during the week, we want weekends to be different. So this summer has been THE summer of weekend road trips.

The weekend road trips are probably part to blame for this blog being so quiet. Half the time we are in areas with no cell phone service, and when we return home the hundreds of pictures taken are too daunting to go through to get a blog post up before we are off on another road trip.

The scale of the road trips has also been elevated, and have even been going into BC for the day (4.5-5 hour drive each way). Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Golden, Field and hiking areas near Calgary and Canmore have become our weekend backyard. That’s a pretty stunning “backyard” of world class scenery!

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

This weekend we opted for Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. We have driven past the entrance to this park dozens of times and have never stopped. In all that time we had never realized how stunning this area was.

The trail, a family friendly 2.3 km loop, spends the first part of the trail skirting alongside creeks and waterfalls. It is literally one fairy tale waterfall after another. Wildflowers dot the sides of the trails at low levels until you start a gentle and short climb up to a lovely view point. The trail then takes the hiker through a treed area rich with mushrooms and fungi until you come to the final descent.

Walking the trail in this direction means that you do not start the hike with a straight uphill, but rather a pleasant and gradual climb.

I have many more images of the hike to share in the future, but for now, a few more waterfalls……..

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta Canada

Directions to the park can be found by clicking HERE. A great spot to check out if you are in Central or Southern Alberta (Canada).

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Photography by Debra Hunter
http://www.debra-hunter.com

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Backyard Visitor

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Walking into the backyard this afternoon we encountered a surprise, a little porcupine. Our little visitor was happily feasting on the plants in our flowerbeds. As the weather closed in and it started to rain, he moved in close to the house sheltering out of the rain.  He seemed pretty comfortable in the backyard, perhaps he has been there all spring and summer without us noticing him.

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Photography by Debra Hunter

http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com

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Path Side Wonders – Wapta Falls, BC, Canada

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This spring we have spent our fair share of time exploring the mountain parks of Alberta and British Columbia. Our family is finally at the stage where everyone is able to hike, and excited about it too. Last weekend we explored the area around Golden, BC, and on the return trip stopped for an enjoyable hike to Wapta Falls.

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As there had been quite a bit of rain, the sides of the path were lush with flowers and mushrooms. Admittedly, the constant stopping left my family standing and waiting (perhaps arms crossed and toes tapping by our oldest two!), while I crawled around for mushroom pictures.

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The younger three got in the spirit of looking at the wildflowers. This did however lead to a discussion where my eight year old just would not accept that the beautiful flower she had discovered was a dandelion. She was certain it was a rare wildflower (her siblings also chimed in that what she had found was a dandelion which certainly didn’t help matters!).

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Now there is an amusing story from the day we did this hike. My husband and I were certain we had both walked to Wapta Falls a few years ago, we were sure of it. We were so sure of it we described the walk to tourists parked next to us; we had also read the distance, time and elevation gain the night before so we passed on that information. I remembered it being a grey drizzly day. As we walked along the path I thought something was “different”, but I wasn’t about to say anything. We get to the first lookout and at that point my husband and I are saying the hike and falls are different than we remember. By the time we hit the base of the falls we both looked at each other and said “We’ve never been here before!”. And then we twigged. We were thinking Sunwapta Falls……..in Jasper National Park…..we were only a couple of national parks out. Then, we had to come clean with the kids.

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The view from the bottom of the falls was quite lovely. The forest wildflowers gave way to Indian Paintbrush, one of my favorites. We stopped and admired the falls for a while, made a quick sketch, and then returned down the path we had just walked.

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Photography by Debra Hunter

http://www.debra-hunter.com

http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com

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Rosehips

rosehips

Tonight I am sifting through images taken recently looking for painting inspiration. I always feel it is easier to paint seasonally, but white on white on grey just isn’t captivating me at the moment. Perhaps the bright red of rosehips will hold my interest, but I’m not quite sure. Are rosehips painting material or just interesting when photographed? Time to have a think.

Photography by Debra Hunter

www.debra-hunter.com

www.handmade-canada.com

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The Iced Lake

sylvan lake, alberta, canada

On Sunday we decided to go for a winter lakeside walk. It has been ages since I have ventured to the lakefront at Sylvan Lake, which is a bit odd seeing it is only 20 km from home. I think the fact that the lake is so busy in the summer had kept Sylvan Lake off our list of destinations. Winter, however, provided a much more relaxed setting of fairly empty sidewalks, easy to find parking, and still a rather pretty lake.

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The trees were quite eye catching as they twisted framing in the lake.

sylvan lake, alberta, canada

The straight horizon highlights a large expanse of ice. A few were brave enough to tackle the lake on skates, but the ice shacks for fishing have yet to appear for the winter.

sylvan lake, alberta, canada

And of course one last picture of trees. Perhaps they will be inspiration for a future painting.

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Photography by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com
www.handmade-canada.com

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Winter in the Park (and back to proper blogging)

I thought it was time to get back to proper blogging. Blogging that is just for enjoyment. Looking back the loss of the cabin derailed blogging for over a year. In all honesty the concept of photography as fun had also disappeared, all wrapped up in one horrible experience (or three if you count the two written off vehicles as well).

For the last couple of weeks I have felt it was time to turn things around. It was time to again shoot some landscapes and nature. It started out as reference images for painting, and then I realized shooting for shooting’s sake was starting to be fun again. So two weeks and hundreds of images later perhaps I am back on track.

Below is a teeny selection of a walk through the park by our home, literally 5 very cold minutes of shooting. And I am back to my first love, black and white, which again feels a positive move. Hopefully this is the step forward to a more positive blog. I hope you enjoy the black and whites.

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