Canary Song

come closer
walk between flames
between the lines
rustle petals and leaves
let the colours fill your eyes
pale the thoughts within
fade the world outside
find another existence
on the back of the wind
dance to the sea’s distant roar
to the song of canaries nearby
life can be vibrant
soft as velvet, intricate
in this ever-shifting light

African Tulip (Flame of the Forest) Study 1, Canary Islands, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

African Tulip Study 2, Canary Islands, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

African Tulip Study 3, Canary Islands, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Hibiscus Study 1, Canary Islands, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Hibiscus Study 2, Canary Islands, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

 

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Consistent Inspiration

My inspiration comes from nature, from travelling, from the briefest of flashes that call to me, saying “There is something here. Can you see?”

It is everywhere I look, in the crook of a tree, in the angles of dilapidated human history, in every scent I stop to notice, in the sounds of voices and birds and water.

My muse is life – the broad blue sky, cityscapes and landscapes, the undulating waves, stretches of jewel-green woven with ochre, breeze-blown flowers, hidden cobbled ways.

My muse is life, in all its forms. And I return to her many faces time and time again.

St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

I have many similar pictures of churches and cathedrals in Budapest, from all over Ireland, from Mexico.

At the Walls of St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Cobbled back streets fascinate me, and I have pictures like this one from France, Italy and Dublin.

Sailboats on Lake Leman, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

I am drawn to water. I have similar pictures of Lake Ontario, the Ottawa River, Muskoka, Mexico, and places I no longer recall.

Lake View, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Lake View, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

This could be the bench at the lookout in Gatineau Park.

On Golden Lake, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

On Golden Lake, Geneva, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

I took similar pictures in my teenage years of the Muskoka Lakes, and in my twenties, I took pictures of the Killarney Lakes in Ireland which resemble this view as well.

Fresh memories of France

It’s been a few years, but my memories of France are of the freshness, the natural bounty, the depth of colour.

Sunflower field, France, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Sunflower field, France, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Angers Market, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Angers Market, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Angers Market 2, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Angers Produce, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Fresh Salt, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

Fresh Salt, Copyright Silverleaf 2015

King Protea: my reward for climbing Table Mountain

I climbed Table Mountain on my last weekend in South Africa, this past April. Throughout my month-long vacation, the mountain seemed an ever-present force of nature, one of a number of items on my to-do list for that trip of a lifetime. Toward the end of the holiday, I started to despair that I would run out of time, that I wouldn’t get to see the promised views, that I would miss that momentous experience.

On the day we set out, it was rainy and foggy and I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic, but it was my last chance and I wasn’t about to pass it up. From Kirstenbosch Gardens, the towering rocks shaped like a Medieval castle seemed too far away, up too steep an incline. I could’t imagine myself actually being up there.

I didn’t think about that, though. Instead, I focused on the beauty around me and the fact that I was there, climbing Table Mountain; that I was touching that ancient landform. With every step, I thought about the history around me, the red earth underfoot, the sweet air, the view I hoped I would have when I reached the top.

Once I got going, I enjoyed the climb and it was over much faster than I had expected.

As I prepared to descend again, the mist burned off and the clouds lifted. The view – of the Flats spreading out to Muizenberg and False Bay, and of the distant mountains and Silvermine Nature Reserve – was truly impressive.

My greatest reward, however, was this one, perfect King Protea just beginning to bloom.

It was early Fall and there weren’t a lot of flowers, though the mountainside was green and the damp, cool air refreshing – but the rarity of flowers made this perfect blossom that much more special. And how fitting, as the King Protea is the quintessential flower of this beautiful corner of the world.

Protea on Table Mountain, Copyright Silverleaf 2014

King Protea on Table Mountain, Copyright Silverleaf 2014