October 2015

There’s been a lot of coverage in the media this week of 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s official residence. Did you know that the history of 24 Sussex Drive is linked directly with Watson’s Mill here in Manotick?

Watson's Mill

The mill was built in 1860 by partners Moss Kent Dickinson and Joseph Currier. Shortly after it was built, Joseph Currier met his second bride-to-be, Anne Crosby, in Lake George, New York. She had never been to Manotick, and after their January 1861 wedding and month-long honeymoon, he brought her home to celebrate the Mill’s first year of operation. The very day she arrived, tragedy struck: as she was ascending the stairs to the second floor of the mill, her long, hooped crinoline got caught one of the turbines powered by the river, and she was flung against a support post and killed instantly. They say her spirit still haunts the mill.

Currier never set foot in the Mill nor Manotick again. He went on to become a Member of Parliament, and eight years later married his third wife, the granddaughter of Philemon Wright. He commissioned a house be built for her as a wedding gift, and called it Gorffwysfa, Welsh for “place of rest.” The address? 24 Sussex Drive.


Ever since we moved to Manotick, one of our favourite family traditions has been our autumn trip to Miller’s Farm to pick our Halloween pumpkins. I don’t know whether it’s the October light or the fact that the boys genuinely love the excursion, but there are always fun photos to be found.

I particularly like this one: which one is the jack-o-lantern with the gap-toothed smile?

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He’s almost as tall as his dad, and can carry his own (ridiculously large) pumpkin.

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They’re still pretty patient about posing for me. And cute, to boot!

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We interrupt this post for a flashback to 2011:

302:365 The boys in the Pumpkin House

Oh my goodness! Just a few changes in four years, right? Sigh. Some things don’t change, though. The boys went to play parkour on the hay bales while I entertained myself taking photos of not-them with my fish-eye lens.

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And since I’m searching the archives, here’s another pumpkin trio — from 2009!

271:365 The cutest pumpkins in the patch

I am grateful to have such sweet boys to indulge me, for family traditions, and for this blog to archive my memories and share them with you. 🙂


Photo(s) of the day: Autumn abstracts

by DaniGirl on October 24, 2015 · 1 comment

in Photo of the Day

Although one never really gets tired of taking photographs of beautiful autumn leaves, sometimes it’s good to find new ways to approach them and stretch one’s creativity. I took these photos with a slow shutter while moving my camera slightly (or not so slightly) so the autumn trees are intentionally blurred and rendered somewhat abstract.

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I happen to be a reasonably literal person without formal art training, so it’s hard for me to evaluate what makes an abstract painting work. I can tell you that they have elements that most photography books will tell you are pleasing: repetition of pattern, rhythm, motion. The colours and tones are pleasing. In two of the three, it’s quite clear that you’re seeing an abstraction of trees, and it’s not hard to guess with the third what you are seeing.

autumn abstract

Still, I’m not sure. Are these good? I think they’re interesting, at least. If they made you pause for a second and study them, wonder about them, then that’s good, right? But what story do they tell?

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Hmm. Art. The more I know, the more I feel like I have so much left to learn. What do you think?

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Really, do I need to say anything more?

Morning on the Rideau River in autumn

Oh autumn, you are so brief, and so blazingly beautiful…


A few days ago, I posted a beautiful (if I do say so!) image of autumn leaves reflected in my end of the Rideau River, up near Watson’s Mill. Here’s a shot of the downtown end of the river, or more specifically, the Rideau Canal.

Autumn on the Rideau Canal

Golden and amazing, right? It’s like a parting gift from summer, bidding us adieu until the yellows of April’s flowers.

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Even though I’m a hopeless romantic and love everything about weddings, I don’t photograph too many of them. Weddings, especially big weddings, are terribly intimitading – long, elaborate and stressful affairs that tend to go on long into the night. However, when Matt and Jasmine asked me to take pictures at their courthouse wedding, I was charmed and intrigued. They simply wanted someone to capture the ceremony and a few candid photos afterward, and asked me simply “to get the stuff that you think is amazing and beautiful.”

How could I resist an offer like that? Things that are amazing and beautiful are my very favourite things to photograph. Here’s a little taste of their day:

M and J got married!

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M and J got married!-3

This is J.He’s Matt and Jasmine’s son and he wasn’t feeling too well, so he’s looking a little peaked. Is he not adorable, though?

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There were shots of the kiss, but I personally love a wedding that seals the deal with a high five.

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What, you don’t have pictures of you playing in the leaves in your wedding finery? I thought that’s why people got married in October!

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I just had a feeling when I first heard from Matt and Jasmine that they would be a fun couple to work with, and I was totally right.

M and J got married!-12

Short and sweet, with family and friends and sunshine and autumn leaves – what a perfect wedding. It was truly an honour to be a part of your day, Matt and Jasmine, and I wish you and your beautiful family years of joy and laughter together.


Photo of the day: A rainbow over the Rideau Canal

16 October 2015 Life in Ottawa

It’s dark this time of year when I leave for work, but light creeps into the sky as I make my way downtown. On this particular morning, I had a feeling that sunrise would be spectacular – even before the sun broke the horizon, I was intrigued by the textures of the clouds that mostly […]

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Big announcement: Holiday Photo Mini-Sessions!

14 October 2015 Mothership Photography

I am so excited! After years of contemplating holiday mini-sessions, I’m finally organized enough and out ahead of the season enough to be able to offer them. This is going to be so fun! Fun, right? These photo sessions will be perfect for families looking for quick and fun portraits for holiday cards and seasonal […]

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Photo of the day: Watson’s Mill in autumn splendor

14 October 2015 Photo of the Day

I have a lot of photos of Watson’s Mill in Manotick. No really – a LOT! And yet, this might be my favouritest one yet: Bright autumn colours, brilliant cyan sky, calm reflections on the Rideau River, and all those converging diagonal lines drawing your eye right back to the beautiful mill. I don’t think […]

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Photo of the day: Thanksgiving trio

12 October 2015 Ah, me boys

I have a lot to be thankful for, not least of which is the fact that I can occasionally still talk these guys into posing for my camera. We took a Thanksgiving wander (calling it a hike would be a bit of an overstatement) through the trails at the Lime Kiln to feed the chickadees. […]

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