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Do you ever wish sometimes you could go back to a time in your life, perhaps in childhood, when the world was completely new, and every experience was a novelty? Meet Bella and Puddles. They are still so very new to this world, so this was their first day ever on the beach! They were quite tentative at first, not sure about all that soft deep sand and wide open space. Bella, dressed all in black, was the braver of the two, and she was the first to venture out, but as you will see in the above photos, she looked just a little bit terrified at first. But she got over it quickly, and in no time, was all over the map, exploring every nook and cranny. Sweet, tiny Puddles took a little longer to warm up to this new adventure, but perhaps as he watched Bella, he soon realized that this world exploration thing could be a whole lot of fun! He trembled and took baby steps, and then he found his feet. All four of them. He even climbed big logs and things. Here’s to stepping outside of comfort zones!

 

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It appears as though my easter egg hunt has already begun! They are not of the sugary or chocolate variety.. but can these count? I did hunt for them…. although, I won’t tell you where I found them. No birds were harmed in the making of this photograph. *wink* Although, a little boy was curious and observant as his mother let me borrow his beloved swing for a few minutes. And what a delicious swing.. it hangs from a tree in the corner of their yard, nestled right up against the sidewalk. It has been there so long, the lichen can’t tell the swing from the tree anymore!  It’s just sublime. The child in me wanted to run barefoot across their lawn and swing so high as to see over the treetops! There must be something in the spring air that infuses one with a sense of earthly delight and sweet nostalgia. And just wait until the lilacs come out…

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There’s this one little magnolia tree in Oak Bay that I visit every spring. It is remarkable because the tree itself is quite small… But the flowers that bloom, once they open completely, are almost the size of volleyballs! How can those wee, delicate branches hold up so much beauty?  This year, I was a little early… because last year I was a little late. Magnolias are a fleeting phenomenon, it seems. They bud and bloom into perfect exquisiteness and then they are gone in a matter of days. So it’s hard to time it just right, especially when I don’t live in the area. But I just can’t get over this tree. It’s one of those things I wait for all year and savour it all the more because it’s a once a year event… like tasting fresh berries in June, or spotting that first house to turn on the Christmas lights. Oh, and the baby lambs that leap and twist in the daffodil fields. And the insulating quiet of winter’s first snowfall. It’s a different kind of quiet, isn’t it?  … I could go on and on. There’s something reassuring about the cyclical nature of things, and the looking forward to those things that manifest in their own time. All is well in the world when this little tree expresses its love for spring. And once the petals fall, I know I will be back in twelve months to take it all in once again.

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  • Gyneth - I love magnolia blossoms!  Thanks Jaime, I needed a little reminder about the beauty of springtime renewal, and savouring the gifts of the season!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Beautiful colors, so soft. I had a magnolia bush in the yard where I grew up. I wonder if my parents still have it…ReplyCancel

  • Dawne - Beautiful shots and words honey…can’t figure out if your a better photographer or writer both  your talents leave me breathless….xxoooReplyCancel

 

Mozie is such a fun dog. He is so full of energy, and sometimes that energy gets him into trouble. He has been found in other people’s homes playing with their dogs… he even dug himself a dog-sized hole in his backyard. He has gone through many toys and chewed up leashes. To Mozie, its all good times. To his family.. well… he definitely keeps them on their toes! But they love him so much.. and so do I. Each week I look forward to seeing him, because he makes me happy. For many months,  I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to photograph him on the beach. We finally got together this past weekend, but yeah.. that high energy made for some challenges! Who doesn’t love a good challenge? Especially when it involves this guy? That face… one look and he’s got your heart!

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  • Gyneth Turner - Woof!  Mozie!  I would love to play on the beach with you – what a lovely boy!ReplyCancel

When the heaviness of world events start to cloud my moods, sometimes all I need to feel lighter is a little dog therapy. And that is just what I received this weekend in the shape of a sweet golden retriever named Chilli. I’d like to think that she was given that name because she’s so “chill”… or maybe I’m just taking a hint from the universe to just chill out myself and take in love in any form. And Chilli knows all about love. The moment I walked in the door, without knowing me, she rolled over on her back and looked at me with her soft puppy dog eyes as if to say “belly rub, please?”… She knows how to love, and she doesn’t see any reason why she wouldn’t receive it either. Goldens are like the dolphins of the dog kingdom… they have built-in smiles and such a gentle nature. Thank you, Chilli… for bringing me back to my happy place.

 

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I feel a constant pull… there is a place on this planet that draws me in like a very strong magnet. It’s always there, though sometimes I feel it more prominently than other times. I wander up to Long Beach any time I am given the opportunity…. but this time I went alone. I have never done that before. And now that I have experienced that kind of exquisite solitude, the pull has only become stronger. I know now that solo trips to Tofino will become a yearly ritual. I stood in the incoming tide until my boots filled with the sudden rush of seawater. I listened to the deep breathing of the breaking waves. I felt the thundering vibration of a large swell colliding with the rocky shoreline and inhaled the salty misty air. I was moved to tears as I felt the power of this place. As I took in the rugged beauty all around me, I felt at times that there was nowhere I would rather be than in that exact spot in place and time… my feet sinking deeper into the wet sand, my eye drawn to the way the winter sun illuminated the layers of rolling surf in a gentle glow. Although, the west coast in winter is anything but gentle. It’s my favourite place. It’s where a part of my soul stays behind and waits for my return. I came home only four days ago, and I’m already thinking about my next trip.

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  • Kathryn - Incredibly special, I felt every ounce of this post.ReplyCancel

  • Dawne - Beautiful shots honey…I think the crow (first one is my fav…but not sure) i can hear the surf on the Wickaninnish open Ocean shot.. row of sand dollars very sweet and the lone sandpiper…..love it all. Good work for the show too.  xoxoReplyCancel

This is my beautiful cousin Halley and her magnificent best friend, Havoc. He’s actually not as much Great Dane as he is a small horse. But despite his name, he’s actually quite remarkable. Graceful even. Halley brought him up to spend Christmas with us at the old ski chalet, and even though the main floor was usually crowded with people and tables and other various pieces of furniture, I watched as he seemed to glide right through it all without knocking a single thing over. He’s a big dog who seems to know where he is in space… and he handles tight spaces with surprising ease! He even ventured under the Christmas tree a few times to find an alternate route through the chaos.. and not one ornament fell from that tree! Even more remarkable… he was at nose level with the appie and food table, and though I know he was tempted to steal a quick bite, he never touched a morsel! I don’t know, Halley… he doesn’t seem to raise havoc.. he raises a lot of eyebrows though, I bet. When he is around me, I can’t seem to take my eyes off of him. He’s just so huge! Huge and graceful. And patient with us as we Christmassed him up for photos.

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It was a Christmas my family will never forget… although most of us would prefer to forget it. The setting was so perfect… a rustic old ski chalet in the mountains, nestled amongst towering firs and deep snow. A winter wonderland. A most magical Christmas setting. We all arrived in the evening, and came together with such love.. hugs and laughter and togetherness. On the first day, many took a trip up the ski hill to ride the slopes while I stayed back and worked on a project. I knitted a tiny scarf, and made a little toque and set out with my cousin Halley to make a mini snowman. I took pictures of the sugar frosted beauty around me, as well as a few pics of my sweet little snow-nymph nieces. All was well.. until later that evening. One by one, seemingly by the hour, my family members started falling ill with a violent and aggressive flu… within 24 hours, almost everyone was down. All night, the house was like an angry bee hive… it felt surreal as I listened with angst behind my closed door. Those who didn’t get it that first night, were hit the following day with a lesser form of the bug. I was one of those lucky few who had only mild symptoms. But I have to say, even though it was hard to watch my loved ones in such a vulnerable state, there was beauty in the madness. One incredible person, (we all know who you are, Z) who had already dealt with this bug, stayed up all night and took such loving care of everyone.. moving from room to room giving fluids and medicine and comfort to anyone who needed it. He didn’t sleep a wink that night, and went so far as to help get my frail grandmother out of that house in the wee hours of the morning to protect her from the storm. In the end, 26 out of 29 people experienced some form of this flu. Thank goodness, it was a 24 hour bug, and by Christmas night, most were up and back to their cheery selves. It was beautiful to see everyone come together again, hugging each other, checking in to make sure everyone was ok, sharing stories of their ordeal. We weren’t going to let a bug take away everything… we closed the night with a fun round of secret santa, and let off fireworks in the cold clear night sky. We left the next day a little battle-weary, but with a deeper awareness of how much love and caring there is amongst us. So perhaps we might like to forget some of the ugly parts… but I think we will still hold close the beauty of being together.

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  • Lisa - Oh goodness! Trust you to find a positive side to a challenging situation. All the best for 2017!ReplyCancel

blog-mosaic

 

Maybe a scarf or hat isn’t a natural thing for a dog to wear, but maybe on this day, Bella was happy to have a little extra warmth. Maybe dogs that live on the west coast are similar to their human friends here who just aren’t accustomed to colder temperatures! Victoria is a pretty green place most of the time… So I was thrilled to be able to create pictures for my Christmas post with real snow as my backdrop!  And what a beautiful dog… her name suits her… and so does the colour red. I’m so happy that she was willing to stand with her paws in the snow and let me take some festive pictures of her. I will be spending the holidays in the mountains with my family where the snow is plenty and the wifi is scarce. Perfect. Just the way it should be. I wish you a most beautiful Christmas with your loved ones nearby, and may laughter and love fill your days in abundance. I’ll see you on the other side!

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  • Gyneth - Bella – you are a Beauty, as your name implies!  Jaime, once again you have captured some magic with your lens.ReplyCancel

 

Her name used to be Boots. Pretty little white feet, she has. But when her humans adopted her, she was so shy that she would hide all the time, so they changed her name to Heidi Boots. Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever? And I was prepared to photograph her in stealth mode… quietly, and from a safe distance so that she wouldn’t be afraid of me. But this gentle creature was more curious about my camera than I expected, and she loved to pose for me! Every few minutes, she would change her pose.. her favourite was the upside down pose, on her back, looking back at my lens. It’s as though she has done this modelling thing before… She was a natural. We did kind of work in stealth mode though… these pictures are a secret Christmas gift for Heidi Boot’s owner. We confiscated a key and came in when she wasn’t home.. and we encouraged this sweet kitty with a tantalizing can of salmon… which may or may not have left a suspicious scent in the house after we left. I hope we didn’t blow our cover!!

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