Saturday, May 7, 2011

Time to Launch...

Just 13 months ago, I mothballed my suits and high heels to slip into something more comfortable, casual and weatherproof for my retirement. I began writing this blog as a way of helping me to frame my activities. Work has a way of shaping a need for order in ones life. However, retirement has afforded me the opportunity to create order without chaos. It has been a very busy year for me.

When I set out on this journey, I knew that I wanted to watch birds, take pictures and garden.  I also knew that I was going to have to learn a lot as went along because I have no expertise in any of these areas. Day by day, I began by opening my eyes to things around me that seemed to have escaped my appreciation for way too many years.

Rigged out with only a basic camera, no knowledge of birds whatsoever, ultra basic knowledge of my camera, no knowledge of photo software and a bare garden, I had to adopt a "learn-
as-I go" mentality.

Who knew that the learning process would be so much fun or so predominant in the first year. (That, of course, is good for the brain cells.)

During the year, I took the time to explore the Avalon Peninsula and try to capture some of the essence of the area with my camera. My eyes began to see anew as I saw for the first time the majesty of whales breaching the blue waters, the amazing scenery of Newfoundland and the historic significance of the coastline communities.

I attended events that commemorate this province's history and was totally entertained and enthralled by the spirit of Newfoundland.  My camera has now become more important than my purse. I wouldn't leave home without it, for fear that I might lose an opportunity to be a historian in my small and unique way by documenting as many moments as possible.

My interests have added a multifaceted sparkle to every trip I make outside of my house. Example: Many people go to Cape Spear to walk, gaze out to sea and feel a part of something bigger. With my interest in birds and photography, my regular trips to Cape Spear also have an added element of excitement and surprise as I never know what bird I might see along the way or at the point. Who knows which way the lighting will affect the structures and the landscape or what clouds will dot the sky. It is all a mystery and a wonder.

 Some times I just happen upon a sight that is so unexpected and charming
that I shamelessly point my camera in someones yard and start shooting. Images of yesteryear are treasures today.

A trip to Trinity Bay before high season  was a real unexpected pleasure. Before the houses are opened for the summer, there is a quiet, a stillness that calms the soul. City living offers a lot but there is nothing to compare with the peace and calm of an outport. It's like the lungs fill up with pure oxygen for the first time and fill the mind and body with a total sense of well-being. You can't get that in a bottle.

And then, of course, there are all of the birds. I have now seen 168 species of birds in Newfoundland...all different and all special. I had no idea that there were so many different kinds of birds. Birdwatching has a way of stopping time and enforcing calm. It is really the birds that have taken me to all of the places that I visited throughout the year. All of the rest was a real unexpected bonus.

All of this calls for a celebration! Late today, I will launch my new web site where I present some of my best pictures and offer a line of greeting note cards for sale. I invite you to visit it often as I will continue to update that site as well as this one.

The Birdhouse and Binocular Shop on Duckworth Street will carry a line of my note cards as of June 1, 2011.

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