Jonny Olsen, Photography Stories Page 1
Jonny Olsen, Menu
Jonny Olsen, Photography Menu

Photo Stories

         Everyday Wendnesday Jonny posts a new featured photo on facebook and writes a story about that photo. Here is a chronological order of the stories starting with the first featured photo that was posted on his facebook page on Jan 5, 2021.


PHOTO STORIES
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FEATURED
PHOTO


Featured Photo, Wednesday Jan 5, 2021

'Maison des Feuilles' by Jonny Olsen
'Maison des Feuilles' by Jonny Olsen

"There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf,
singing from every river, shimmering from every sky."

Photo 1: Maison des Feuilles
Number of Images Printed: 7
Title by: Nancy Peters
Quote by: Dejan Stojanovic
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 1, 2020

Potential of Beauty

        In late September of 2020 I was in Montreal teaching music at the Trafalgar School for Girls. The regular music teacher was on maternity leave and I was filling in for the substitute who would start in October. I was lucky enough to find an apartment to stay in for free, belonging to a friend of my good buddy Dayv Luciak who plays junk bass in my successful percussion band, Junkyard Symphony. And while the aparment was amazing, I soon discovered the parking situation was not. I decided to leave my car parked at the school for the duration of my stay in Montreal and instead, bike to work. It wasn't far, about a half an hour. It was on these bike rides that I discoverd the beautiful buildings of Montreal. The colours these buildings were painted were nothing I had ever seen on a building, and they facinated me. I decided I needed to take some photographs of these buildings for reference to my art work. Anyone who knows my art knows that bright colours are staple of all my art pieces.

        'Maison des Feullies' wasn't the first photo I took on that trip, but it was the first photo I posted that someone offered to purchase. Both Heather Sesame and Nancy Peters wanted the photo. I wasn't a photographer, and in point of fact, I wasn't even taking the pictures with a professional camera. I was using the small iphone 5 in my coat pocket. But after editing the photos to bring out the colours, the photographs took on a whole new life and people began to notice. I made a joke about becoming a photographer for real, but then something inside me clicked. Why not? What makes a good photographer? Is it someone who has a professional camera, or is it someone who takes great photos?

        I have enjoyed working in the live entertainment industry for my entire adult life, but the pandemic made it blatently clear that work in this field would not always be consistent. In my early twenties I had suplimented my income by selling art, and while I have continued to do so over the years, making a painting takes time. I felt I needed at least one more source of income. If two people wanted to buy my photos, maybe more would be interested. So I began to advertise on facebook. Sure enough, others wanted to buy my photos. And thus, I became a photographer.

        When I first encountered 'Maison des Feuilles', the house was not as bright and colourful as appears in the photo. But I saw the potential of colours in all the leaves and I just had to stop and take a picture. There are lots of houses covered with leaves in Montreal, so there was nothing particularily special about this particular house, except there was something indeed something special about it because it caught my attention, and I stoppped.

        I have since come to realize that it wasn't the leaves so much as the composition of the door at the center of a canvas of leaves that really struck me. It was as though this door was leading me to a completely different world. A young woman walked by me at the time and wondered why I was staring so intently at the house. She didn't appear to appreciate it's beauty as much as I did, as she just continued walking. Perhaps she was in a hurry. Perhaps she didn't care. Perhaps she had walked by that house a thousand times before. Whatever the case, it didn't mattered if she cared about the beauty of the house or not. I cared, and as a result, I took a picture. Now a new beautiful journey in my life has started, but best of all, many beatiful people have joined that journey with me.

Featured Photo, Wednesday Jan 13, 2021

'Step Step Semi-step' by Jonny Olsen
'Step Step Semi-step' by Jonny Olsen

"The way home is sometimes easy, yet other times difficult to access."

Top Ten Rank: 8
Photo 2: Step Step Semi-step
Number of Images Printed: 1
Title by: Don Wright and Karen Taylor
Quote by: Juanita Zavala Mendoza
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 2, 20

Journey through Life

        It was early in the morning when I took this photo, and it was just at the top of the hill that I had to ride up everyday to get to the girl's high school that I was working at, so I was glad to have a break when I saw the photo opportunity of the piano. This piano is an advertisement, for a piano repair shop called 'Piano Montreal'. It immediately grabbed my attention once I saw it, partly because I loved the artsy idea of using piano parts to create an advertisment, but I also love to play piano. It's not something that I do often, it's a hobby that comes and goes, but once I get into playing piano, I stick with it for a long while until I have composed several new songs, and then I take a break, sometimes for several years. It is a very interesting relationship that I have with the piano. To me it's like a special vacation spot you go to on occasion to just kick back and forget about the world.

        I immediately liked Don and Karen's title for this one because the notes on a piano are very much like our journey through life. Sometimes life moves quickly, step by step, but other times not so much; semi-step. One occasionally wonders if our lives are songs being played for Gods in the sky. After a while, when we come back to the things we love, that is our chorus.

Featured Photo, Wednesday Jan 20, 2021

 'Have a Seat' by Jonny Olsen
 'Have a Seat' by Jonny Olsen

"When we look at ourselves there are things we cannot see.
So then we must ask, why are they looking at me?"

Photo 3: Have a Seat
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Laura Durno
Quote by: Jonny Olsen Gina Olsen
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 3, 2020

Look at Ourselves

        When I first saw this photo opportunity I immediately saw Pac Man chasing three ghosts, the ghosts being the windows. When I posted the photo on Facebook for the Photo Title Challenge I thought for sure someone else would see Pac Man chasing three ghosts, but no one did. I don't usually prompt people about what to say because I want to see how they view the photo without any bias. In the end I chose Laura's title of 'Have a Seat' because it does look like the Pac Man creature is wanting someone to sit there, as you would invite a friend for dinner. This being the day of Joe Biden's inauguration, perhaps President Biden is the guest. Let's hope he is the guest and not the main course.

        What I like most about this picture is the collection of industrial windows. If there had been more time in the day I would have ventured further into this Piano Montreal courtyard and got a picture of one of the windows up close, but the morning was slipping away and I had to get to work. I eventually got the industrial picture I wanted at the RCA Building later that week with 'Windows to the Soul', a photo that incidentally turned out to be one of my best pictures, so one could say that 'Have a Seat' was an important stop in my photographic journey. Although, when I look back now, I wonder if I should have actually gone and had a seat.

        The quote "When we look at ourselves there are things we cannot see. So then we musk ask, why are they looking at me?" came from Gina's title entry of 'Why are They Looking at Me?'. It made me think that people must often see something different in ourselves than we do. Some of it may be bad, yet some of it may be good. Regardless, we could definitely benefit from understanding what others see in ourselves. So 'Have a Seat', and listen to what others have to say.

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Jan 27, 2021

'Time to Buy a Leaf Blower' by Jonny Olsen
'Time to Buy a Leaf Blower' by Jonny Olsen

"The world is full of sisters and brothers.
But some of us here are not like the others."

Photo 4: Time to Buy a Leaf Blower
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Gavin Hay
Quote by: Jonny Olsen and Laura Durno
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 4,2020

Not like the Others

        "The world is full of sisters and brothers.
But some of us here are not like the others." - Jonny Olsen and Laura Durno.

        This photo opportunity was pretty obvious the moment I passed the house. Being a big fan of windows, I definitely liked this house, especially the large windowed doors. But more obviously, you rarely see a house painted entirely blue which is why I had to stop. This blue house made me think the house was feeling sad. In my Facebook Photo Title Challenge there were a lot of titles put forth that had the word blue in them and some references to sadness, but I chose Gavin's title 'Time to Buy a Leaf Blower' because it made me think of a possible solution to sadness. Sometimes we just have to blow away the blues so brighter colours can come in.

        The quote "The world is full of of sisters and brothers. But some of us here are not like the others." is something I put together from Laura's title which was 'Not like the Others'. This house was different because it was blue. But that's okay, It's good to be different, and let's face it many of us are.

        The first photo I took was 'Maison des Feuilles', a beautiful house covered in multi-coloured leaves, which is how I envision a healthy life. A house covered in dead leaves is also beautiful. We all have leaves covering our houses at some point, and while it's nice to let those leaves linger for a while, there definitely comes a time when you need to get out the rake. And if the rake doesn't work, then it's 'Time to Buy a Leaf Blower'.

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Feb 3, 2021

'Cheery Cheer-up' by Jonny Olsen
'Cheery Cheer-up' by Jonny Olsen

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."

Photo 5: Cherry Cheer-up
Number of Images Printed: 2
Title by: Rod Olsen
Quote by: Mark Twain
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 5, 2020

Pink Park

        "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." - Mark Twain.

        I was definitely cheered up when I passed by this fun pink park in Montreal's downtown core, and I am certain this was the purpose of the park's creators, to cheer people up. Sadly there was no one in the park at the time but me. It was early in the morning and during a pandemic, so it was not odd that it was empty, but at the same time I wondered why no one was sitting on any of the picnic tables. It looked like such a fun place to sit! I didn't sit on any of the picnic tables, but I did sit on a concrete ledge across from the park so that I could study it and decide which would be the best angle to take a picture. I eventually stood up on the ledge and took my picture and I began to edit it right away. I wanted to see what the colours would be like once I boosted them. I was not disappointed. I didn't have to boost the colours much as they were already so vibrant. I only brightened the contrast a little.

        As it has been for everyone, 2020 was a tough year. In March the pandemic hit and my Junkyard Symphony gigs were reduced to a trickle. In April, my best friend and band mate died in a fire, along with his parents and his little dog. In June I got terribly sick for several days, likely with Covid. The tests were negative but it was certainly the worst fever I have ever experienced in my life. Then later in the year my dad fell ill with blood cancer. We were forced to sell his house, his car, put all his belonging in storage and move him into Long Term Care. Consequently, I have been in need of a little cheering up.

         My dad is the one who named this picture, so following his title and taking a page from Mark Twain's books, I decided that cheering up others would be the best way to cheer myself up. So as tradition dictates I have been out in the backyard busily building snow slides for my son. Hopefully lock down measures will relax soon and his friends and some neighbours will get to join in the fun too. We obviously won't be able to have a big party like we usually do, but hopefully we can have one family over at a time. We'll wear masks, stay at a safe distance, and thankfully we will be outside where we can soak in some good ol' Vitamin D. And while it will be cold, and the pandemic will still be around, I am certain the fun will cheer us up!

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Feb 10, 2021

'Domus Aurea' by Jonny Olsen
'Domus Aurea' by Jonny Olsen

"The Sun does not realize how wonderful it is until after a room is made."

Photo 7: Domus Aurea
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Nancy Peters
Quote by: Louis Kahn
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 6, 2020

Golden House

        "The Sun does not realise how wonderful it is until after a room is made." - Louis Kahn.

        What I take from this quote is that we really don't appreciate something until we don't have it anymore. The pandemic has taken much from us. How nice it would be just to be in a room with all our friends or even just to go to the gym and swim a few laps in the pool! When this pandemic is gone we are certainly going to start appreciating all the little things that we once took for granted. And that might not be a bad thing!

        This lovely building was at the bottom of the hill on the street where Trafalgar School for Girls was located, so I had to pass by this building every morning. I had to walk up the hill instead of ride my bicycle because the hill was way too steep to ride and it was in front of this building where I would get off my bicycle and start to walk. I always stopped to look at this building for several seconds before I moved on, partly to catch my breath but mostly just to admire the building's beautiful attributes; eventually later in the week when the sun was just right, I took a picture of it. I loved the beautiful yellows in the bricks, but what I liked most was the spiral staircase in the corner. The staircase is fantastically artistic and true to the style of Montreal. A building doesn't need an outside staircase in the front, but most houses in downtown Montreal have them, so why not a building? The bikes resting on the bike racks were a special bonus as I like to include 'ordinary' objects in my pictures. I put that adjective in quotes because someday we may not see these objects as ordinary. One day when bikes are gone and the roads are consumed by cars, we may learn to appreciate bicycles even more.

         I loved Nancy's title for this building right away. 'Domus Aurea' means 'Golden House'. I was pretty sure that was what it meant when I first saw her answer, but I admit, I googled it just to make sure. The reason I like this title is because our house is something ordinary that we often take for granted, but what would happen if we lost our house? What if it burnt down, or what if we could no longer afford the mortgage payments? More importantly, what if the people in that house were suddenly no longer there? Our house is where we spend most of our time so let's appreciate all those little things that make a house a home, and realize those are the things that are golden!

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Feb 17, 2021

'Garden Stairs' by Jonny Olsen
'Garden Stairs' by Jonny Olsen

"The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly."

Photo 8: Garden Stairs
Number of Images Printed: 3
Title by: Ross Long
Quote by: William Wordsworth
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 9, 2020

Lifting us up

        "The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly." - William Wordsworth.

        There are probably 50 more Montreal pics that I haven’t posted, and at least 2 or 3 of this particular block of houses with stairs and flowers. And they are all really good. The trouble is that each new picture posted takes a little steam away from previous pictures posted so it’s always a delicate balance trying to figure out which ones will make it through.

        ‘Garden Stairs’, however was an easy choice. There were lots of colours, lots of stairs and lots of pretty flowers; that is why it fell within the first 10 pictures I posted. Ross’ title for this photo was also a 'no brainer'. In the photo there is a garden and there are stairs. It’s a simple and concise title, yet at the same time there is some complex imagery that can be drawn from those two words being put together. Stairs lift us up, as do a gardens. It's hard to walk through a garden and feel sad.

        In my twenties I grew a large natural garden in our backyard, inspired by the natural garden that was surrounding the Environmental Studies building at Waterloo, the university I attended. I thought our natural garden was beautiful. There were so many wonderful species; it was a smorgasbord of delight. A natural garden is one in which you don't manipulate what's growing, you just let grow whatever comes naturally and see what you get. Sometimes the sweetest flower or plant isn't always the most obvious one. Occasionally our soul needs the same treatment. Society, conformity and unrealistic expectations can stifle the growth of our soul. One might argue that the best thing for our spirit is to just let whatever is natural come out.

        Our neighbour disagreed with that philosophy. There was no fence between our properties so my natural garden was in plain view of his beautifully manicured/ pesticide covered lawn. After about two months he called the city and made us cut down our natural garden. He said there were too many large insects buzzing around the garden which he felt threatened the well being of his family. Would a tended garden bring fewer insects? I was upset, but I cut down our natural garden...and a bit of my soul was cut down that day too.


Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Feb 24, 2021

'Green Soul' by Jonny Olsen
'Green Soul' by Jonny Olsen

"Life beats down and crushes the soul
and art reminds you that you have one."

Photo 9: Green Soul
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Heather Sesame
Quote by: Stella Adler
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 10, 2020

Soul of an Artist

        "Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one." - Stella Adler.

        2020 was a tough year for the arts. My own job with Junkyard Symphony was greatly diminished, although I do credit the Canadian government for creating the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit to help people like myself. It's one of the reasons I started doing photography. I felt that I needed to use that money to develop a new branch of my artistic career that could eventually become another viable source of income. So you can thank the government for all these wonderful photos.

        ‘Green Soul’ is a scene from a building at McGill university. It was on my route to the Trafalgar School for Girls therefore I had to pass by the lovely McGill buildings every day. This courtyard was especially interesting to me. I got off my bicycle and ran up into the courtyard to get the picture, and while I should have gotten back to my unlocked bicycle sooner to make sure that no one had stolen it, I lingered in the courtyard for a while longer just to soak in it's beauty.

        Heather's title for this photo was perfect. I think of the colour green as representing life, and my soul certainly came alive upon standing in this green courtyard. I wondered how many people had gathered there over the years to sit and socialize. It was completely empty at the time I was in it, but to be fair, the university was closed due to the pandemic. None the less, I certainly felt a warm connection to this place. It almost made me want to go back to university.

        Hopefully 2021 brings a better year full of arts. How nice it would be to go to a live concert again and be around people, or even just hang out a local pub and watch a solo musician perform in the corner. Here's hoping our souls stay green!


Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Mar 3, 2021

'Tardis 2020: Rhapsody in a Blue Funk' by Jonny Olsen
'Tardis 2020: Rhapsody in a Blue Funk' by Jonny Olsen

"The things we need are often a lot.
But to make life simpler, find Jonny on the Spot."

Photo 10: Tardis 2020: Rhapsody in a Blue Funk
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Joanna Brown, Cindy Scott Paquette, James Stark and Henk Kuchlein
Quote by: Jonny Olsen and Doug Bonfield
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 11, 2020

Jonny on the Spot

        "The things we need are often a lot. But to make life simpler, find Jonny on the Spot." - Jonny Olsen and Doug Bonfield.

        I was waiting in busy Montreal traffic that afternoon when it occurred to me it was time for a pit stop. The only problem was that the cars were barely moving and the next gas station was, well I didn't know where the next gas station was because I was still relatively unfamiliar with the streets of Montreal. After about 20 uncomfortable minutes I came to a city park and figured that there probably were some public washrooms, so I parked my car, tried to pay, but it wouldn't read my credit card. I decided to risk it and not pay. I began my search for the public washrooms. Eventually I after some hurried scrambling I found them, but they were closed due to Covid. No problem. It was a park. There were lots of trees. Except I couldn't find a single clump of trees, just single trees everywhere as far as the eye could see, which meant no safe place to relieve one's self away from the inquisitive eyes of the many park goers, such as that class of school children playing soccer in the field or the multitudes of dog walkers on the paths. There was literally no place to hide.

        Eventually I turned the corner of a local high school and that's when I saw it, an awkwardly placed blue box standing out amongst all the green. I could see no construction site, yet there was this fantastic blue box. I could care less about the style or the purpose of this box's existence. I was extremely happy to see that awkward blue box. Hopefully it wasn't locked. To my relief it was open, and unoccupied! I think I heard church bells ringing as I opened the door. It was probably in my head. Regardless I had almost been at the point where I was would have had to pretend to fall in the man made/ no swimming lake, and do my business there. Thanks to the awkward blue box, I didn't have to do that. It was the best number 1 that I had in a long time.

        While my biggest worry had been taken care of, there was still one worry left...the unpaid parking. I had been away from the car for about 15 minutes at that point and I was concerned that I might get a parking ticket, and who knew how much that would be? Rules and regulations in Montreal regarding vehicles are monumentally different than those of Ottawa. You only have to drive there for 10 minutes to figure that out. I thought about running back, but at that point I was just too exhausted so I took my time. I was just happy not to have had to jump in the lake. To my delight when I got back to the car, there was no ticket. Success!

        Using the TARDIS to jump ahead to present day, I had my own little adventure with various hoops to jump through this morning in an attempt to get vaccinated for Covid. That's a story I will save for when this week's photo is featured, but regardless to say, in this Time And Relative Dimension In Space... I feel huge relief right now!

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Mar 10, 2021

'Minecraft Pig' by Jonny Olsen
'Minecraft Pig' by Jonny Olsen

"True beauty is humour. It's all the things that make us laugh
just like the range of imagery in this plain photograph."

Photo 11: Minecraft Pig
Number of Images Printed: 1
Title by: Gina Olsen
Quote by: Jonny Olsen and John Aughey
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 15, 2020

True Beauty

        "True beauty is humour. It's all the things that make us laugh
just like the range of imagery in this plain photograph." - Jonny Olsen and John Aughey.

        I was sitting in my car waiting for my daughter to get off school when I noticed this kitchen stove sitting oddly in the middle of someone's front lawn. It was awkwardly placed, for it was not quite near enough to the curb to be clearly designated as garbage and it was definitely not near enough to the front door to be designated as something that is about to be brought inside. I should also footnote that it was garbage day. It was as if the people throwing it out felt bad they were throwing it out so they just placed it on their front lawn nearish the curb. If the garbage collectors happen to mistake the stove for garbage then..."oh well". The stove was probably still fully functional, just old, out of style and not needed anymore. I had no doubt that inside was a brand new fancy stove already installed.

        I took a picture of the stove because we have all been that family. Some may be less ashamed than others of tossing away a perfectly functioning item, but we have all done it. I am also into shapes and designs and there were tons of interesting shapes and designs on the back of the stove. I must admit however that I didn't see the face until my daughter mentioned it when she got in the car and looked at the picture I had been editing. "It looks like the Minecraft Pig" she said immediately. I couldn't help but laugh. Soon after, I posted the picture on Facebook for the Photo Title Challenge, and while there were many good entries, I knew none were going to beat Gina's 'Minecraft Pig'. Sure enough she won.

        Nobody has purchased this picture yet, and I am pretty sure the one image I printed for my daughter and gave to her for Christmas is tucked away in a closet somewhere. A photo of an old stove, especially the back, is not immediately thought of as beautiful despite the pretty trees and colourful leaves that surround it. But Gina's title made me laugh and that moment that we shared in the car laughing about it was beautiful. Sometimes those special moments can be rare, especially with all the stresses we have to deal with these days. So you may not see this picture of the back of a stove hanging in a law office or the national gallery. But some day when I am living in one room in an assisted care facility as my dad is right now, this picture is going to be hanging on my wall across from my bed so that I will see it everyday when I wake up. And I'll have a good chuckle. And the Minecraft Pig... is going to be big!


Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Mar 17, 2021

'Musical Mushroom Mountain' by Jonny Olsen
'Musical Mushroom Mountain' by Jonny Olsen

"Work engulfs us in summer's surrender,
so take 5, like dozers, in autumnal splendor."

Photo 12: Musical Mushroom Mountain
Number of Images Printed: 7
Title by: Jay Watts and Joanna Brown
Quote by: Jonny Olsen and Jennifer Larkin
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 17, 2020

Dozers in Autumnal Splendor

        "Work engulfs us in summer's surrender, so take 5, like dozers, in autumnal splendor." - Jonny Olsen and Jennifer Larkin.

        Sometimes it's nice to take a break form everything and just relax in the serenity of the outdoors. I had heard about Morris Island Conservation Area several times in that month, and in my entire lifetime of living in the Ottawa area I had never heard it mentioned once before, so I thought it was perhaps fate that I should go visit this place. I brought my wife and kids and my father and we enjoyed the peaceful walk in the woods among all the islands. Morris Island is situated along the Ottawa River just a hop skip and a jump upriver from Fitzroy Harbour. It's an absolutely beautiful place and I couldn't believe that I had never been to this conservation area before, and even more mystified that I had only recently just heard about it.

        The mushrooms growing on a stump was an obvious choice for a photograph. I loved obvious composition of a stump covered in mushrooms, the myriad of colours, from the reds of leaves to the green on the moss growing on the stump, and lastly the odd shape of the puffball mushrooms that looked liked they were singing. It was for this reason I added Jay's entry of 'Musical Mountain' into the title. Joanna later came in with 'Mushroom Mountain' and I decided to combine the two to make 'Musical Mushroom Mountain'. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of alliteration, and the title sounded liked it could be an attraction a Disney Land. To me, Morris Island Conservation Area was turning out to be a natural Disney Land full of many magical wonders.

        My friends Mary Gellner and Daniel Menard bought the first print of the photograph, on a 16 x 20 canvas and they gave it as a birthday gift to a mutual friend ours, Ronny Vader who is a big connoisseur of all things natural, especially mushrooms. I texted Mary yesterday to see what Ronny had thought of the photo and she said that he loved it, which made me happy. It's nice to know that these photos are serving some kind of purpose. Making people happy is the best kind of job one can have, which is why I got into the field of art and entertainment.

        Speaking of entertainment, one of my favorite TV shows as a kid was Fraggle Rock, and when Jennifer mentioned the mushrooms looked liked dozers (the cute little construction guys with round faces that are friends of the fraggles) I immediately laughed. Then I decided to make a quote of it. Her full title was 'Dozers in Autumnal Splendor' and I was almost going to use that title for the photo. But I have decided to save it for the title of this story. While it's not yet autumn, and in fact it's barely even spring, I feel a wave of seasonal splendor coming on. Just as the snow melts away, and leaves fall and fade away, let's hope the virus does too. And all of us dozers who have been mushrooming in lockdown atop our magical mountains, can finally come out and play.

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Mar 24, 2021

'Gateway Guardian' by Jonny Olsen

GATEWAY GUARDIAN

Morris Island
Oct 17, 2020
3:21pm


"Thorns and stings and those such things,
just make stronger our angel wings."

Photo 13: Gateway Guardian
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Cindy Scott Paquette and Sandra Fraser
Quote by: Emme Woodhull
Posted and Named on Facebook: Oct 18, 2020

Spirit of the Lake

        "Thorns and stings and those such things, just make stronger our angel wings." - Emme Woodhull.

        This odd log sitting peacefully in the shallows of a lake was far off the path when I saw it. I had to trudge through heavy underbrush getting scratches from twigs in order to reach the spot where I could take a picture. Additionally, I could tell that my family was getting a little annoyed that my picture taking was constantly holding up their afternoon hike. But sometimes the best things in life aren't found sitting along the easy path and getting this picture was well worth it. What drew me to the spot was the interesting looking shape of the log and it's reflection. The two together looked like some kind of water spider protecting the lake and it's opening to the river, which is why I chose a combination of Cindy's 'Serene Gateway' and Sandra's 'Trolling the Waters' to make the title of 'Gateway Guardian'. The presence of this guardian made me think that there must have been something special in the lake to deserve such dutiful protection. There was indeed something special in the lake...a beautiful spirit.

        Ross's entry of 'Spirit of the Lake' was the runner up title for this photograph which is why I chose it for the title of this story. We are always debating whether animals have spirits, but one also wonders if other creations such as lake and rivers have spirits too. What connects us to places? It is the geography, the vegetation, the weather, the view, or is it the spirit? Maybe it's all those things combined. We all have our favourite places to be and sometimes it's hard to describe what it is we like about that place, we just know we feel comfortable there. Could it be possible that we feel a certain connection to the spirit of a place?

        What's your favourite place? My favourite place to be is in my backyard, playing soccer with my son, badminton with my wife and daughter, cooking steaks on the grill and sitting down to a summer eve's dinner with the whole family including my mom and dad, at the table under our pine tree. And I especially like spending many a winter hour building snow slides in the backyard. I can say without a doubt that my backyard has a spirit, a very kindred spirit to whom I feel a very powerful connection, which is why I enjoy spending so much time back there. If ever I feel stress, I find a reason to go to the backyard and the stress soon goes away. My backyard even has a name, I call it 'The Backyard Elbow Room', named after another place to which I had once been greatly connected. But that's a whole other story.....

Story Title by: Ross Long

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Mar 31, 2021

 'Lovely, Dark and Deep' by Jonny Olsen
 'Lovely, Dark and Deep' by Jonny Olsen

"Forests may be gorgeous but there is nothing more alive
than a tree that learns how to grow in a cemetery."

Photo 14: Lovely, Dark and Deep
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Sally Olsen
Quote by: Andrea Gibson
Named on Facebook: Oct 19, 2020

What Lies Beyond

        "Forests may be gorgeous but there is nothing more alive than a tree that learns how to grow in a cemetery." - Andrea Gibson.

        I noticed this pond's beauty from the very moment I saw it. Like the 'Gateway Guardian', this photo opportunity was a ways off the trail but good pictures are worth the trouble it takes to get them. Most great things in life don't come easy. Perhaps it's the effort itself that makes them great. I took several pictures of this pond and some of them might even be better than this one, yet this is the one that I used, partly because it was the first of all the photos and secondly because of the time stamp, 3:41 pm. If you know me, then you know that 41 has become an everyday occurrence. There isn’t a single day that goes by where I don’t see it on a clock at least three to five times. I walk into rooms and see it, I wake up and see it. It's on the clock when and I arrive home and leave home. It's everywhere, everyday. Those are incredible odds. It is said that if you are looking for something then you are going to see it often. But let's be clear, you won't see it every day. I've tried it with other numbers. It did it with 19 because 19 is everywhere these days due to Covid-19. In a 4 month experiment I saw 19 on average once or twice a week and then I went two months without even seeing it once. But 41 comes every day. It's been than way since December of 2018 when I woke up Christmas morning at 5:41 am.

        I don’t know what the 41 phenomenon is all about and beleive me I have heard all the theories. I only know that whatever it is, it is lovely, dark and deep. Last night my son was in my spot in bed beside my wife. He comes into our room every night and sleeps on the floor. Anxiety due to the pandemic is likely the cause, so we let him sleep near us. This night I let him have my spot and I took his bed instead. It was too soft so I went downstairs to sleep on the couch. The couch was moderately comfortable but I didn't sleep well at all. I tossed and turned all night. Eventually I looked at the clock to see how much longer I would have to endure sleeplessness. It was 2:41 in the morning. Still lots of time to go. Consequently, next week's featured photo is 'Miles to go before I Sleep' and the time stamp is 6:41 pm. As I walked into the kitchen this morning to grab my coffee I was contemplating if I should even post this story. I've learned this subject makes people incredibly uncomfortable. As I opened the door to the microwave the time was 8:41 am. So here it is.

        One of Cindy's entries for this photo was 'What Lies Beyond'. I was going to choose this as the title to the forest pond photo, however I decided to save it for the title of the featured photo story instead as this topic is something that deserves much discussion. Trying to figure out what lies beyond is one of the greatest questions in life. Every religion is born from this question. What lies beyond? Is it Heaven? Is it that other place that no likes to mention? Is it nothing? One common belief is that light is a main element of the afterlife. "Go toward the light!" Yet perhaps what lies beyond is darkness. It's an interesting question and it brings forth many more. That's why I chose my mom's title 'Lovely, Dark and Deep' taken from a Robert Frost poem. These questions are too deep and too dark to answer. But also, like the tree that learns to grow in a cemetery... they are lovely.

Jonny Olsen Featured Photo, Wednesday Apr 7, 2021

'Miles to go Before I Sleep' by Jonny Olsen
'Miles to go Before I Sleep' by Jonny Olsen

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
And I have miles to go before I sleep."

Photo 15: Miles to go Before I Sleep
Number of Images Printed: 0
Title by: Heather Ross McManus
Quote by: Robert Frost
Named on Facebook: Oct 20, 2020

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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