A Way of Seeing

Sunrise over Sidney Island

We made an early morning airport run yesterday. Fog lay in thick bands on the fields. Wisps trailed in the air. I wished for my camera and time to stop. On the way home, I saw the fiery sun burning through and pulled over to watch. I managed one inadequate IPhone photo. 

In the evening I took a stroll through Butchart Gardens, not planning to take photos. I don't want to be someone who looks merely for photo opportunities and misses the richness of life. Tourist watching is so interesting. Some wander along the pathways going snap, snap, snap everywhere without taking the time to really look. 

Surely there's a way to both appreciate the moment and capture a slice of it via photography. I found myself pulling out my phone frequently. The dahlias are amazing and full of bees of various kinds. Here is one blossom with two busy creatures making the most of these sunny days.

No matter the season, there is always something to admire at the gardens. In the Japanese Garden I often notice the contrasting colours and textures that provide interest without a lot of colour. And then the pop of red in the bridge. So lovely.

A swirl of languages rises up from the garden walkways. I love to hear them and can tell from the tone of voice and the gestures what each one finds amazing here. The love of beauty is universal, a common trait to us all. I think it would be wonderful if world leaders would take the time to stop the plotting, stop the politicizing, stop the warmongering and just appreciate the beauty of diversity.

I indulged in another little day dream as I strolled along. I thought of you, my readers, many of whom have blogs I visit regularly. "Wouldn't it be wonderful," thought I, "to have a meet up here?" We could visit with the flowers and each other, and then enjoy tea in the old family home, chatting over tea and scones as long shadows fall.

Wishing you all a most lovely day.


  1. I have been talking to myself lately about taking photos. I am so drawn to capture what I see but sometimes, as you say, it's all you do. I've always taken photos, as my mother did, and when I do forget my camera there is something wonderfully freeing about it!

    Lovely phone photos!

  2. I wish we bloggers could get together in that garden especially today when it's been so wet and cold here in UK! I do agree with you about looking for photo opportunities but I also think that seeing such beauty and taking a photo is making me look more closely and see more beauty. It's a hard one to get the balance right on.

  3. That iPhone camera is doing a more than adequate job from where I stand. Your wish for peace is one reasonable people share. But let us think of lovely things...a gathering there would be most pleasant.

  4. Oh yes...that would be so nice to meet at the gardens. I like what you said about enjoying what we are seeing instead of just clicking away...
    Your photos are beautiful. That first one is stunning. I like the light in the second one.

  5. Let me know if you ever organize a flowery bloggy convocation! I love your bees-on-zinnia photo - now that my lavender is done I'm glad I have a few zinnias around for the bees.

  6. So many lovely images in your last few posts -- and I agree with Vee, the iPhone camerawork is impressive!

  7. I would love to meet-up. Let me know if you ever arrange it and I'll do my best.

  8. I wonder sometimes about the balance in picture taking and just "being." I feel more of a need to "be" with people and try to put my camera away after a reasonable time. With nature, however, the lens causes me to see differently and more deeply. I see things I may not have noticed.

    A meet-up at Butchart Gardens...leisurely strolls, lingering over tea and scones, chatting to our hearts' content...for that I'd put away my camera! Such a lovely dream!

  9. There are many times that I come back from an excursion and am shocked at how few photos I had taken. I always wish I had taken more! But I stop a lot and admire the scenery without a camera plastered to my face.

    I envy you living near that national treasure of a garden. I fondly remember my visit to it in 1995 - a long, long time ago. I would love to see it again and participate in a "meet up!"

  10. P.S. I enjoyed your beautiful photos, as always!

  11. Wow, these are beautiful photos. I love the one of the colourful zinnias. I would so enjoy a lovely visit there with you and other bloggers who enjoy gardens, flowers and tea. It would be delightful. Have a great week! Pam

  12. What a beautiful place. That curved walk and blue flowers - delphiniums? I've found that since I've started taking photos, I tend to notice more - and to see more detail in things - even when I don't have my camera with me.

  13. Oh yes, that would be wonderful! I wonder if we could do it without cameras? I like how you described the scene on the path ...
    "A swirl of languages rises up from the garden walkways. I love to hear them and can tell from the tone of voice and the gestures what each one finds amazing here. The love of beauty is universal, a common trait to us all."

  14. We must meet up there one day. It is one of my all time favorite places for tea. When I am snapping photos after I snap I put the camera down and just stand and smile a bit. Butchart is so beautiful. The sunrise was gorgeous too.

  15. A sure sign that autumn is on it's way, morning fog on the water. Lovely sunrise shot! Butchart Gardens is such a lovely spot to meet friends and people watch, I think you should forward your world peace plan to a few folks around the world!

  16. What a glorious place to visit...I think I'll put it on my bucket list, Lorrie! Thanks for sharing your walk & I'm impressed with the photos you managed to capture.

    I'd like to know the exact name of the "point & shoot Nikon" camera that died on you, as I've always thought your pictures were wonderful. I have a bulky Nikon D90 that I love to use around the house, but I'd love to have a decent LITTLE one to keep in my purse/car.

  17. Such a wonderful idea! And yes, best to try and find a balance between seeing and what I have come to think of more and more as "stealing." ;)

  18. Hi Lorrie,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post. What marvelous photos you have shared with us. I always drink in the beauty of the shot I'm about to take. One must take the time to enjoy the object of their camera's view too. We have been to Vancouver several times because our son lives out there but we have never seen the Gardens. If we ever go again, we will have to get him to take us there. Meeting up with my blogger friends for tea there would be a dream come true! Thank you for sharing and for your visit. Have a beautiful day.


  19. Butchart Gardens is one of my most favourite places to visit. You've given me a sigh of delight in seeing what it's looking like this summer. Beautiful, as always.

    Couldn't say which pic would be my fav today... all are exquisite, iPhone camera or not!

    I so agree it gets too easy to slip into doing things for blog fodder or sitting with the camera taking pics of the food as it gets cold, instead of eating it. And enjoying the moments.

    There must be a gentle balance somewhere.


  20. It would indeed be lovely to meet ones favourite bloggers in a beautiful garden somewhere.

    The problem is we’d probably find too much to talk about to look around us at the beauty of the flowers. A bit like the snappers and their infernal need to capture without seeing.

    I love that curved walk although regimented beds are not usually what I go for.

  21. Yes it would be wonderful to meet up with fellow bloggers and enjoy time together. This place looks fabulous. I love flowers and have always dreamed of visiting these gardens. Maybe someday. In the meantime I sure enjoyed your wonderful photos.

  22. So beautiful! Now you have me longing for a stroll about Minter Gardens.

  23. Beautiful photos, Lorrie, accompanied by lovely words, as usual. Oh, how I'd love to visit these wonderful gardens; how inspiring they are! The zinnias are so pretty, each one, a perfect specimen of its kind, while the Japanese gardens evoke a sense of quiet creativity, their many shades of green woven into one another. Yes, how exciting it would be, indeed, to meet fellow bloggers and enjoy a lovely tea in serene surroundings!


  24. My favorite is the red bridge just peeking out amidst the greenery.

  25. Such lovely gardens - I adore the zinnias. Everything is fabulous. I agree about only taking photos and not enjoying the moment - although sometimes the moment for me is the act of finding a "perfect" shot. I like the broader view away from a camera lens and the close up of a macro. There are indeed so many ways of seeing nature and it thrills me when I see others enjoying the beauty. Thanks for sharing your walks among the gardens this year.

    I have stopped taking photos at quilt shows - it seemed that all I did was focus on what would be a great shot and often missed the beauty of the whole scene, so now I just wander about and enjoy the atmosphere - but I still can't resist nature photos.

  26. Well said Lorrie.
    I'm an armchair admirer of the Butchart Garden, however I would love to take a stroll through with camera in hand to capture their mass plantings.
    The 'Monet' style bridge peeping through the trees is a lovely sight!

    We are approaching our general political elections - which have been full of a "dirty politics" campaign against the current government. It's sickening.... Have you heard of Kim Dotcom?

  27. Breathtakingly beautiful pictures.


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