Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lupin Love

Article published in the South Shore Breaker - July 6, 2016 - Lupin Love
Whether you want to call me a "come from away" or a "here by choice", the fact is that I wasnt born in Nova Scotia. After living here for eight years, I am still a relative newcomer. If you were born here, you take lots of things for granted that I find charming. Whether youre a newcomer, or a tourist, I guarantee that you love the month of June because that means that lupins are blooming. If youve lived here all your life, you may take them for granted or consider them weeds. I just consider them gorgeous.

When we lived in Ontario and vacationed in Cape Breton, I purchased many packets of lupin seeds but I never was able to get them to grow. However, in Ontario they are blessed with ditches filled with orange daylilies...something you dont often see here.

When we moved to an acreage in Nova Scotia, one of my goals was to have our fields filled with wild lupins. I worked for several years and finally got them growing in our garden. Much to my chagrin, after several summers the lupins self seeded all over our gardens and I slaved away trying to get them under control. I wasnt so thrilled about them in the garden after that. Instead of sowing seeds, I was pulling seedlings. Isnt life ironic? Sometimes its best when our prayers go unanswered. I think theres a Garth Brooks song about that.
But I still love to see fields of lupins. Recently, some members of the Bridgewater Photo Club headed out on a field trip over towards the Fundy Shore. Five cars filled with eager photographers headed out on the journey. The car I was in had three other photo club members, lots of camaraderie and laughter. Despite information on the cars GPS and a paper map that told us there was a through road, we came across a "road closed" sign and found ourselves doubling back and covering the same ground. At this point, we were so far behind the others that we became a one car field trip instead of a five car convoy and our outing became more leisurely. We made a few stops, had a great lunch by the shore, and captured some wonderful images. One of the great things about travelling with other photographers is that no one thinks its strange to take pictures of rusty chains, or coiled ropes, or any weird thing that you might find. I did capture all of those things on our trip, but one of my favourites of the day...you guessed it...was a photo of some lupins with the Fundy in the background.

Lupins in Halls Harbour, overlooking the Bay of Fundy
Almost home towards the end of the day, we passed a lupin field that was a photographers dream. I couldnt stop thinking about it so two days later I was up and out the door at 6:30 in the morning, determined to find the field and capture an image. No car filled with laughing friends this time, just me and my coffee and my camera. I was stopped along the way by a rooster and his brood of hens who decided to stand their ground in the middle of the road, changing the joke about "why did the chicken cross the road?" to "why are the chickens standing in the road?" I mused about my past life when morning commutes had me travelling on 6 or 8 lane roads to get to work. Thank goodness those days are over and my biggest problem is facing down some chickens. The field was further away than I remembered but I eventually reached my destination. The next challenge was how to capture the beauty of all those lupins into a one dimensional image. I tried a few things and a few different angles but when I got home my computer showed me that Ill need to keep practicing. I did manage to get the rising sun into a starburst behind some lupins, which I was happy about.
early morning lupins in Maplewood, Lunenburg County
My lupin mission was accomplished, so I toodled down some backroads towards home and stopped at a field in Barss Corner to photograph some cows that were standing near the fence. I approached them slowly and talked to them in a gentle voice so I didnt spook them. It turns out that cows are good listeners. Maybe I should send my husband for some lessons!
contented cows and good listeners!
Back into the car, it occurred to me that this was the second time in less than two weeks that I was travelling the backroads near where we used to live. Could I be missing the country more than I thought? I was feeling thankful that living in Bridgewater meant I could have the best of both worlds....easy access to the shore and beautiful beaches that I love, as well as just a quick trip inland to get my country fix.

Just a day after my solo excursion to the country in search of the lupin field, I was in the car just minutes from home and spotted a field just covered with them. Sometimes the best places for photographs are in your own backyard, so to speak. But thats a focus for another day.

1 comment:

sybil said...

Sigh ... this CFA loves Lupins too. And I spell it without the "e". I always think that would be "loo-pine" ... lol

Your photos are lovely Sara.

Have you a lot of wild Roses in your neck of the woods ? I can't get over the scent as I drive down country roads.

If you enjoy flower photography we really have to go to Tangled Garden ...