On and Over the Hills

"Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll be able to see farther." ~ Thomas Carlyle

I Might Be Versatile, but more likely just Impulsive

I have recently had the honour of being nominated by two admired blogging friends, Bob Zeller and Michael Lam for a ‘Versatile Blogger’ award. I thank you both for thinking of me.

There are rules to the acceptance of this award and I honestly didn’t think I would follow through, since I want this blog to be more about my photography and my experiences with that in particular. However, I decided that perhaps I could adapt the idea somewhat and incorporate the two.

These are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who honored you and give a link to their blog.
  2. Tell 7 random facts about yourself.
  3. Pass the award to 15 new-found bloggers.
  4. Contact each blogger onto whom you pass the award and let them know.
  5. Let the giver of the award know you accept it or not.

So here are the “7 random facts”, illustrated.

One. If given the choice, I prefer the warm lustre of gold to the cold sheen of silver.

All Things Must Pass

Two. Someday I hope that process will become instinctive and content will be intuitive.

Tunnel Vision Colour Version

Three. The enmeshed narratives in abandoned ruins enchant me and simultaneously check me with a humbling sense of intrusion.

They had a nice little east-facing porch

Four. I see no difference between the manipulation of “truth” in a photograph and the careful composition of a painting unless there is a claim made for documentary veracity.

Once Upon a Morning

Five. I once spent a magical year in Australia but discovered I missed the domineering shove of northern seasons in an elemental way. The cycle that transforms nature orbits also within: the seasonal rhythms of adapted routines and habitude, annually reborn and affectionately received.


Six. As I sit at my computer desk with technology all around me, carpet under my feet and natural gas fueled central heating keeping the spring chill away, I cling, like to a cherished memory, to a dream of living self-sufficiently, naturally, with no more impact on nature than the bear leaves in his winter den.

Pinned in the air

Seven. I will have been married for 35 years this July, have 2 sons and 3 granddaughters, and work full-time as a school librarian. On the surface, this may not seem to be related to photography, but it is a huge factor in my journey. My priorities are always at war with one another and time spent on ‘art’ has always felt like self-indulgence. It is difficult to get into the ‘zone’ of creativity, to have the luxury of truly loosing myself, but when I do, it feels like a gift from Old Man Time.

Happy New Year from the Great White North

Now for the 15 blogs. I have chosen blogs for this award that have not recently received this recognition that I know of, like Bob and Michael linked above, and Holly, who awarded Bob. (I am beginning to feel that I am part of a community here.) Even still, choosing 15 was really tough. I read a lot of blogs, but as some of you know, I am very irregular and over the years, since before I learned I could ‘follow’ blogs, I have probably lost track of more than I now know. To help me weed down to 15, I have not included bloggers whose focus is primarily commercial, although there are many very admirable bloggers struggling to make a living from it. I have also skipped blogs by multiple photographers for, I think,obvious reasons given the nature of this award. I have chosen ones that primarily feature creative writing and the writer’s own photography. (That left out one of my all-time favourite daily reads TYWKIWDBI, a clean and classy collection of fascinating miscellanea from around the Internet.) Sorry, I had to slip that in.

If ‘versatile’ as the award is titled, means adaptable, changeable or variable, I have perhaps broken the rules. I admire the bloggers on this list for reasons other than the versatility of the authors. Some of these are very specialized, but as a person that spreads herself far too thinly sometimes, I admire strength of focus very much. A few I have just discovered and some of these have no idea who I am, as I do not comment as often as I probably should. (I just hope they don’t think this is spam.) 🙂

So in alphabetical order (I am a librarian after all), I am pleased to have a chance to recommend the following blogs to those passing by here.

Alex Mody is just an incredibly talented young landscape and nature photographer from British Columbia and he has great stories to tell of his photography adventures.

Amy-Lynn‘s blog is one of the first I discovered once I realized I could ‘get-to-know’ other bloggers in the way that I have. Informed and perceptive, Amy-Lynn shares her sensitive observations of the nature around her in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia.

I only just today discovered Aubrey’s Blog and immediately fell in love. A unique mind, fabulous imagination and lyrical writing style combine to make a visit to this arts and history focused blog a delightful holiday in spirit.

Cait is also a keen observer of nature and very adept with the macro lens. She shares large and tiny wonders around her farmhouse in Ontario.

Dan Jurak knows light. With a daily routine of rising before daylight and searching out stunning beauty close to home, he teaches us all that there truly is beauty everywhere, just not necessarily every-when.

Fish to Fry is a new blog I’ve only recently discovered. Although the anonymous writer describes herself as cantankerous, this blog is nevertheless full of subtle humour and beautiful photographs from Alaska.

Heather is a professional naturalist living on Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. She shares her knowledge and discoveries with a teacher’s deceptive simplicity and illustrates them with her beautiful original photographic art.

Jill is from Western Australia. If you go there now you’ll see some beautiful images of welcome rain drops on beautiful garden flowers.

John is an artist that I’ve come to admire through his Flickr postings. His fairly new blog explores process and concepts in photographic art.

Julian Hoffman is a writer living beside the Prespa Lakes in northern Greece. I admire his writing so much I feel unequal to the task of describing it to you. His descriptions are poetic and vivid, and his accompanying images impart an enduring sense of place.

I laugh and cry with Lynda as her new life on the “farmlet” in Alabama presents her with joys and challenges beyond anything I’ve every experienced.

Paul Zizka is a professional photographer and adventurer whose blog is an adventure in itself. I find myself vicariously exploring the Rockies with him and dream of producing such spellbinding images.

Roberta is a fellow Albertan who works in pictorialist photography. Her dedication to her art and unique vision is inspiring.

Rosekate is a self-proclaimed dreamer and idealist from Bucharest, and she is also a very good photographer.

Shelly has taken on the daunting challenge of recording her life in Georgia (U.S.) with a photo each day. Not just any snapshots, either. Her images are artistic and skillful, and always accompanied with entertaining and often informative descriptions.

I recently ‘met’ Sybil through Amy-Lynn (above). With a wonderful sense of humour and detailed photographs, she conveys her love for her home in Nova Scotia.

Tobias is a very creative photographer from Germany. His unique eye is always inspiring.

Hmmm. I see now there are 17. Oh well, there’s nothing there I can bring myself to take away. So 17 it is.

I do not give this award with any expectations. It was actually quite a daunting task to complete these lists, taking up much of my Sunday. (I must get that laundry done now.) If the recipients do not feel inclined to continue this chain-letter-like project, I do not want them to feel compelled to do so. Just know that I, for one, admire your work.

If you do, however decide to ‘play’, please take the award with you by saving the image or its location to post in your own “acceptance speech”.

24 comments on “I Might Be Versatile, but more likely just Impulsive

  1. flandrumhill
    April 11, 2011

    Thank you for thinking of me Cindy 🙂 I’m keen to check out the other bloggers you’ve listed.

    The cloth held in place by that clothespin looks like it’s dancing in the wind. My mom told me that she’d often express herself in the way she’d hang clothes on the line. She’d create patterns with the clothing and when the task was done, the line was a work of art. With five children, she certainly spent a lot of time doing laundry. Creative people always manage to find a way to express themselves 🙂 So glad you’ve found a medium that can be shared with those of us from far and away.

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      I love that story, Amy-Lynn. There is something very zen-like about hanging out the washing. It would be interesting to explore how busy people find outlets for their creativity.

  2. Rose
    April 11, 2011

    Oh my Lord, I am so honored that you thought about me! Thank you very much for this surprise, it made my day! Love the photos, amazing insight and the stories behind them are so beautiful! Stay creative, stay inspired!

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      You’re welcome, Rose. And thank you for the compliment and thoughtful wish.

  3. tms
    April 11, 2011

    you really caught me off guard! I feel honoured, and I do not know what to say but:
    Thank you!
    And thank you for sharing these inspiring blogs; I already looked around, and I’ll be back!

    • tms
      April 11, 2011

      …ah, and I almost forgot: You did find a graet way of combining the sven facts with what this blog is really about.

      • missusk76
        April 13, 2011

        One of the reasons I decided to do this was to share some of the other inspiring blogs I’ve come across since I began blogging. The world has just become smaller in a very positive way. I truly appreciate seeing how you experience your world, so you are most welcome. I thank you for that and for your compliment.

  4. julianhoffman
    April 11, 2011

    Cindy, I’m deeply honoured that you chose my blog and for the very humbling words that you use to describe it. Thank you.

    But I’d also like to agree with Tobias above, that you have turned a post about awards into an extremely fascinating piece in your own inimitable and engaging style. I love the images you’ve chosen to illustrate seven aspects of yourself that read like brief prose poems, hanging wonderfully suspended in the air. As always, a delight to read and with ideas that will resurface.

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      If only I had your gift for language, I might have done justice to the recommendation. As it is I just hope many more come to visit your blog and escape for a while into your magical prose and images.

      It wasn’t has difficult as I had first thought to illustrate my ‘seven random facts’. Everything about a person has an influence on their artistic endeavours, I suppose – internal and external. They are themes somewhat, aren’t they? Perhaps they will resurface.

  5. Sybil
    April 11, 2011

    Cindy, I am honored to receive your award. I want to thank the awards committee, all those who voted for me, God, my friend Amy-Lynn for inspiring me, mom and dad who had sex and made me and then imbued me with a sense of humour, wonder and openness to the world around me, the CBC for informing me, Nova Scotia for welcoming me, Ontario for driving me away (thanks to BSL), the woods for being nearby, the ocean for rolling on, blah, blah, more words, as unaccustomed as I am to giving speeches, more words … droning on …

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      [Wild Applause]
      You crack me up, Sybil! I thank you for bring me my first chuckle of the morning.

  6. Bob Zeller
    April 11, 2011

    Cindy, I was apprehensive at first about following up on the award thingee, but when i got that from Holly, I didn’t want to appear un-appreciative. But I am glad I did because I discovered some great blogs that I would like to pursue, such as the ones on your list.

    But these photos of yours. Wowee!! Fantastic! That old house just blew me away as did the fabric blowing on the clothes line. i love what you did with the horses image. They all would win in an art show.

    Photographers Forum Magazine is currently running their annual spring contest. I would absolutely love to see you enter a couple of those. You ought to check it out. Nothing to lose except a couple of bucks or so. 🙂

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      Hi Bob. I felt that way too – didn’t want to disappoint you guys, but my first reaction was that I couldn’t possibly make it interesting. I did like the idea of the shout-outs. Of course I’ve since remembered and come across more that I would like to share, but I’m thinking that I might incorportate more recommendations into my posts.

      Thanks for your specific compliments and for suggesting the contest. I’ve never felt that I could compete, especially since my pictures are all made for the backlit monitor and I haven’t experimented much with printing. Maybe I’ll give this one a try though.

      • Bob Zeller
        April 13, 2011

        Just a note. For their contest, it doesn’t involve any printing. You just upload your digital image to them. And if they look that great on the monitor, they will certainly look good to them. Your work, Cindy, is far above what most of the entrants are. There is no doubt in my mind that two or three of the ones in this post, would be at the least, finalists.

        Good luck!!

  7. aubrey
    April 11, 2011

    Thank you for including me in your honorable list – there is much food for thought here!

    And, being a big of a ruin myself, I must say that I agree whole-heartedly with fact #3. I remember visiting Dover castle, and wandering about so enthralled, that I became completely lost in its ancient hallways.

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the ancient places, history is so short in most places I’ve been. However the sensation of past lives and experiences is so palpable when I enter any abandoned dwelling I can only imagine how hundreds of souls might amplify that feeling. I would love to have that chance someday. Thank you for your comment and you are very welcome to the recommendation, I am thrilled to have discovered your blog.

  8. farmhouse stories
    April 11, 2011

    I’m honored to be included in this list, too, Cindy. Thank you very much for thinking of my site as you created this post and for the kind words. It has been a pleasure to explore your artful work over the past few months. In this post, I especially love the abandoned house, but it’s hard to pick just one, they all stand on their own so beautifully. I’m looking forward to checking out the blogs that are new to me. Many thanks!

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      I’m just thrilled to have this chance to recommend your blog and the others, Cait. Thank you for so much for your continued friendship and for the compliments here.

  9. Alex Mody
    April 12, 2011

    Thank you very much for the shout out! That was very nice of you.

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      You are so welcome, Alex. I am amazed at your talent and glad that I have the opportunity to show others.

  10. photosbymartina
    April 12, 2011

    Cindy, congratulations on a well deserved award. I like how you illustrated your facts, well done. Lovely images. I will check out those you mentioned. It’s interesting that you too have raised boys. Mine are very young, my photo hobby and writing keeps me sane. All the best to you and your award! Your posts are always ones I admire for the photos and stories told.

    • missusk76
      April 13, 2011

      Martina, I am chagrinned. Your blog should have been on this list. My biggest fear when I compiled this list was that I would miss someone whose blog fits the criteria that I set out for myself. I very much enjoy your sensitive observations and poetic descriptions. I hope others will click through to your blog from here.

      Raising my sons was the most fulfilling and enlightening thing I have ever done with my life. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with them until they went to school and I can honestly say I enjoyed it all. I am proud of how they have grown up and love them deeply still, but I miss the little ones full of wonder that I will never see again. The time went by so quickly. I know you are enjoying your boys and am glad for you and them.

  11. John
    April 29, 2011

    You are really cranking out some pretty sweet stuff here dear girl. Keep up the great work. btw….thanks for the award. l:)

    • missusk76
      April 30, 2011

      Your comment means a lot to me, John. Thanks very much. I’m eagerly watching for your next post.

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2011 by in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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