Carrying on a fine Tradition


On a recent arrival home from some time away, one of the first things I noticed was an arrangement of decorative seasonal gourds on the dining room table. Miss Z was following in my footsteps, discovering the joys of the local market and had brought home a colourful harvest for the family to share. Each one is unique and riotous in its markings, much like our tribe, and worthy of joining the painterly edits that I have been amassing over the last few years.

This particular edit brought to mind a post about the etiquette of food photography where the ongoing conversations in the comments had led to much reflection on how I wound up with so many shots of ordinary fruit and veg in my own archives.

Twenty odd years ago as my son and I were zooming up a street, I saw a kid outside of his garage selling large canvases of close-ups of the most magnificent mangoes and plums, odd veg and seafood in the most brilliant colours and rendered in an energetic impressionist style. It was just that flash of something extraordinary that made me pull up the car and go and have a look – I should have bought them right then and there, but could ill afford it and so I went to visit his other works in a few cafes and a gallery, later looked for his stuff online, googled them years after and always regretted not having deprived myself of something else to have been able to look upon that luscious fruit every day.

It marked me in much the same way that Wayne Thiebaud had an influence on how I see the ordinary. It is that driving need to tell the story of the very basic stuff of life, the things that go unnoticed, the colours and shapes we ignore in the busyness of it all – that is what keeps me taking food photos. Photography is all about the way we transform what we see so that we can give others a glimpse and get them thinking, remembering, wondering, engaging and even taking part in keeping the creative process dynamic.

So yes, I do take pictures of my food: I can revel in them at will, remember exactly what I was thinking or doing, ascribe circumstance or tradition, have them stand out as markers in that timeline of life. They are mine… and now they are yours.

Out of the Earth comes my Pleasure


An acquaintance has a keen eye for produce (among other things) and has been kind enough to encourage my painterly treatment of his photographs. What thrills me the most is that we seem to see the natural in much the same way. This bounty of turnips could not be any more glorious for their story of early mornings, simpler times, hands pulling the harvest from the dark fragrant soil to send to market. When the divine took a brush to this humble vegetable, it was for us to look upon such things with renewed wonder and breathe in with gratitude the overlooked beauty that surrounds us.


painterly mushrooms, lettuce and cabbage

An acquaintance’s photograph of some veg from their garden a few weeks back got the foodie in me salivating for a collaboration. He was kind enough to agree – just wish I had been able to get a taste of the resulting stew.

Share something tasty with someone you love – even better, share with a stranger.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Harvest – Week 2


here and there

Summer is gone. The air has changed bringing that tinge of frost to darker mornings and earlier nights. In the city, we judge how far into the season we are by the bend of wilted perennials and the gradations of leafy colour quickening along the avenues.  Nature seems to keep pace with the rhythm of the urban environment, never stopping to take a breath or ease into the season but leaping headlong in some frenetic rush to finish autumn before the snows come. The romantic in us longs to be out in the country, tromping about in big boots and woolly scarves, kicking around the edge of new-mown fields or just sitting on a fence taking in the glory of it all but we must content ourselves with more virtual views for the moment.

October reminds us it is time to make sure we are set for the duration, to check that all the plans we laid in spring, all the projects dreamed about on sunny afternoons and languid August nights, are in place and ready to be realized. It is as much about reflecting on what has been accomplished as it is to looking forward in hope, setting larger goals and taking the first steps towards the new. Like this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme – Harvest – we reap what we have sown.

Last week, Across the Bored asked – “How do you see harvest at this time of year?” – Pumpkins sweet and squash to eat, family near,the holiday blear, pilgrims and the past or things that don’t last, falling leaves or the hopes we retrieve … We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Harvest


couldn’t have asked for anything more

This non-season always finds Across the Bored in a transitional frame of mind – we balk at putting on socks and practical shoes (or even hose and stilettoes for that matter) for it would mean summer is truly over and we have given ourselves over to autumn, brief precursor of long winter. Here in the Great White North, Thanksgiving comes unnaturally early leaving those of us who have not yet fully acclimatized scrambling for fall fare to put on the table when we would much rather just throw something on the BBQ and soak up the last of the sun’s feeble rays. Trips to the countryside to see the foliage look doubtful if the leaves piling up in our backyard are any indicator, so we must content ourselves with what the local farmers have brought to market to satisfy those seasonal urges.

Although blessed by the bounty the land brings us when you live in a climate like ours, no, we are not thankful that the freedom of hot August days are long gone. Now we have to hunker down, put up, store away, make sure that there is enough of everything to span those months when the possibility of no electricity or heat surrounded by six feet of snow are much more of a reality than any television show. Everyone around us seems off-balance, suddenly reminded that there is much to do before December’s clarion call of familial duty and forced cheerfulness – so throw in one long weekend, a turkey, too many carbohydrates and a few vices of choice and you have a recipe for interesting times.

Did our ancestors feel the same way? Did our French forebears complain about having to go out and shoot one more grouse because ma tante had decided that she was going to grace them with her presence after all? Did our First Nations brethren grumble that it really wasn’t the best time of year for Still Water and his brood to stay for a few days? Did our English and Irish pioneers rue the day they left green pastures and a good cup of tea as they looked out into the wilderness? Perhaps, and like this week’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge, they also may have been comforted by their new world’s rich – Harvest – one that, in essence, has not changed a whole lot over the course of a few centuries.

“How do you see harvest at this time of year?” – Pumpkins sweet and squash to eat, family near,the holiday blear, pilgrims and the past or things that don’t last, falling leaves or the hopes we retrieve …

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.


Travel theme: Foliage

One stretch away from dessert

Who knew photo challenges could be addictive? By Saturday night, we were wondering whether the universe had left us out of the loop and put out a wordpress query asking as much. Lo and behold, an answer did come out of the ether from Ailsa at Where’s my backpack? kindly inviting Across the Bored to participate in her challenge – Travel theme: Foliage.

In our part of the world fall foliage is a big deal – one can see gorgeous examples hanging over every street corner, maples and oak fanning glorious like peacocks on parade.  Central Canada and the Northeast Kingdom of the US have become an autumn tourist destination, with both the curious and well-acquainted making the trek to see just how vividly nature shows her colours.

In our backyard, we are surrounded by cedars, juniper, evergreens and an odd assortment of overgrown flowering bushes; the towering hundred year old maple will only turn long after many of its brethren are quite bare and so the bounty is of a different sort. Juicy pears and raspberries that have been here longer than anyone remembers are our harvest – just in time for thanksgiving.