29 January 2009

Rooms with Views...

One of my favourite photographers in the world, David Perry, challenges me with every post and every photograph he shares. Tuesday, he took it one step further, challenging us to show him something of our gardens. Not perfect. Not pristine. Not even sun-shining.

I promised to do that today. And today was a grey, grey day. But I promised. So I walked from room to room with my camera, mostly from a couple of the upstairs windows, and let the camera see whatever it wanted to see. I had my zoom lens on initially, and left it on just to see what it would be like.

One discovery: the windows seriously need washing. Fog, rain, snow, sleet, wind, and salt-mist will do that to a window on the outside. Wood stove heat, flies and general living-life will create window-art inside. For the photo above, of clematis on the front arbour, I opened the front door. 

Then I went upstairs and took photos from the room directly above. That's ice in the bowl of Scotts Bay, with the tide half-in. Or half out. 

Further out in the water, no ice. Since we were at about half-tide, there wasn't much water screaming around Cape Split. When the tide is running, the riptide is around 8 knots. 

In the back yard, we have snow sculptures where the snow is mere inches deep in spots, and several feet deep in other areas. Petitpoint of bird feet under the rosebushes and birches. Tangle of grapevine with punctuation of teasels around the obelisk. 

The only real colour in the yard right now is the blue blue arbour in the back yard. Everything else is in shades of white or black, sepia or cream. The hollyhock sculpture is made from recycled oil drums. The horse hasn't been out in the pasture for over a week--there's ice under that snow, and that can be treacherous for a horse. 

Outside my office window, east: The big Catawbiense rhododendron acts as a thermometer, hauling its leaves down and rolling them tightly, offended by cold. In front of it, feeders on the metal hangers provide me with lots of views of birds feasting, and provide the cats with bird television, of course. 

South office window. Grey grey day, with just a momentary glimpse of an anemic sun, almost eclipsed by the blown glass orb hanging from the curtainrod. Normally, my office is washed with light if there's any sun at all, and cascades of rainbows from the crystal snowflakes. Today, the sky was exhausted, and so was the writer. 

Same window, different lens, straight out window and hoping the dirt on the glass won't show. Those marvelous spruces bound our land, act as huge moody windsocks, and brood in even the finest, fairest of weather. I love the spruces. I love our views, most days. 

Tonight, the weather is raging. Tomorrow, we may well be encased in crystal outside, and the views will have changed again. 


  1. Hey Jodi, wow, you put some serious work into this. Am I just imagining it, or is there some magnificent quiet to go along with the groovy views. I thought I could almost hear the silence, but I might be wrong. Love seeing the bay out there past the arbor, and the teasels w/vines and sculptures is a place I know I could get lost for hours with a camera. Still, my fave may be the three spruces. Thank you so much for playing, and playing so generously.

  2. You certainly have plenty of inspiration surrounding you Jodi. Those are beautiful photos, I especially liked the arbor's punch of blue against the blanket of snow. Sometimes I really enjoy those grey days. It's like glimpsing the landscape's true beauty, without all the dressing. Thanks for sharing.

  3. great words and moody pictures.

  4. Jodi, you have such lovely views out your windows. Of course the water would draw me most of the time. I do ike the blue arbour-such a cheery color even on a grey day. I'd love to see the hollyhock sculpture up close-looks very interesting.

    Hope you don't get too mauch ice, stay warm and stay safe.

  5. Jodi - This was a great challenge that David threw at us, So glad you took it up. It is interesting to simply see what you see, out side your windows

  6. This is an interesting exercise Jodi. It gives us a 360 view out your windows. I might try this myself. The first shot intrigues me the most because from where I sit in the living room I can see out the kitchen window almost the same view of my garden. I have thought about taking that photo many times. Maybe I will now.
    I hope you are iced in today.

  7. I think it is easy to tire of our own winter views, and it is hard to see any beauty in them. But yours look truly lovely to me; after all, it is not the view I see every day. Maybe that's one of the values of these blogs--it takes us to other views...

    Anyway, thanks for the photos, Jodi!

  8. A beautiful if austere view Jodi. Still loads of snow, I see. Here we are having another bout of frost, which is great as it comes with clear blue skies.

    BTW you forgot to mention the paw and noseprints on the windows. ;-)

  9. Jodi, what beautiful views you have. I can understand how you feel about the snow but to us that rarely see it, these pictures are glorious. I would like to see the same view in spring or summer, it would be totally different.

    Thank you Sylvia (England)

  10. Ummm, I’m embarrassed to say I thought the Hollyhock sculpture was real to begin with…. I was wondering how in the world it was blooming.:-)--Randy

  11. Jodi,

    As I read your words I was drawn into your world...I could see the frozen bay, the sculptural forms of snow covered plants, the blue arbor popped in the neutral landscape, I could see the evergreen windsocks in the landscape and I could feel that cold as you were standing in the doorway...It's time to go inside and finish my coffee where it is warm. Jodi, your world is beautiful, but, impossible for this middle southerner to grasp what it must actually feel like...I do know that day after day of rain and gray skies weighs heavy on my spirit.


  12. Your views of your snow covered landscape surely would trump my deciduous winter window views. Beautiful pictures of the bay!

    I enjoyed the potato chip comment you left yesterday!

  13. Jodi, you have some marvelous views, especially of the lake. I wonder when you are writing, do the views inspire you or do you find yourself gazing out the windows far too often? I know I'd be tempted to do the latter.

    I hope the storms pass you by; I've had about all I can take of "lovely" snow and ice this winter!

  14. I love your views too. So pretty! That blue blue arbor and hollyhock sculpture are way cool.

  15. You are fortunate to be surrounded by awesome beauty, Jodi. Great view outside your office window but drawn to water (grew up on Saginaw Bay ~ Lake Huron), I especially love photogenic Scotts Bay ~ I can feel the raw wind and taste the salt.

  16. Jodi:
    Oh to have the views that are afforded to you on a daily basis! Such beautiful vistas- to have the bay, and be afforded a different view from every direction! This has inspired me to travel to the East coast when time and money affords..... thanks for being so generous and sharing this slice of heaven with all of us! Stay warm and safe!

  17. Scotts Bay (Scots? Scot's? Scott's?) is unarguably one of the most beautiful spots on God's green earth, and definitely one of my favorites in Nova Scotia. I grew up on the same westerly shore and I think the views are unparalleled. :)

    Your photos are all lovely, Jodi, your views are amazing, and I LOVE that blue arbor! You couldn't have chosen a better color, for all seasons. (I submitted my links in comments on David's blog.)

  18. Your garden has the size and scope to use the word view in its full sense, Jodi - what scenes of hills, water and trees!
    Thanks for playing - I'm happy to look at the snow through your window.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  19. Your views are beautiful. Glad I discovered your blog as my favorite 3 things are also books, gardening and cats. I look forward to visiting often.

  20. Hi Jodi

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog I really appreciate it.
    You have almost the same kind of wheater, but not any storm so I hope it past away quickly.

    May I link to your blog?I´ll put it my bloglist.


    Gunilla in Sweden

  21. Wonderful, Jodi. The views, the photography, the writing-everything! Despite it's mystique, I know how those cold, gray days can wear on one's mood and spirit; it's a beautiful view from your home, yet I understand how stark it can be. I lived in Maine growing up, and we had picture windows both upstairs and down, on the side of the house facing the bay. If the sun was not out, and it was foggy (which it usually was, being right on the bay), it could feel desolate. Sometimes that isn't so bad...but sometimes, looking at that amazing blue arbor is probably just what you need to lift your spirits!!!
    Wow, what a gorgeous place to live;)

  22. Hi Jodi, that was just like being in the house with you looking out. The view of the wild sea always amazes me. It must be in your blood.


  23. Jodi, your views are spectacular! I can see why you wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

    I'm very frustrated with my window views, right now. Our builder put in defective windows and just about everyone of them is getting a film between the glass. We are going to have to have them replaced.


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