Nadia Steede Mudge

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.  ~Ansel Adams

Tofino… and a toddler

Tofino is one of our favourite places in the whole world. It’s our place of relaxation, and our place to reconnect and chill out. Somehow we thought that bringing our darling 14-month old son wouldn’t change that zen vibe… we were very very wrong!

We had rented a one-bedroom suite and he slept in a playpen in our room. He’s used to sleeping in his own room, and it had been a while since he’d been in a hotel room with us, so we wondered how this would go. The first night he slept through but woke at 5am with a slight temperature: teething. The second day he sounded like he was waking at 5am but actually stayed asleep; I did not. At least i got to enjoy a few hours of watching the surf outside our window and enjoying coffee in silence.

The third, fourth and fifth night kind of run together. There was very little sleep and a lot of crying (some of mine, some of his), and it made for some short-tempered days. During daytime he pulled out this ear-piercing screech from his bag of tricks and used it constantly; when he was mad, sad, happy, or excited. We kept waiting for a knock at the door, complaining about the noise.

It wasn’t a relaxing trip at all, but there were some highlights. Our little boy was just starting to take his first steps before we left on our trip, and he used this time to practice his new skill. In the first days, he’d scream in excitement as he sumo-walked across the room, and by the end of the trip he was toodling around like it was no big deal. Meanwhile we would stop everything to watch like each time was the first time. And we got some great walks on the beach (in the rain, because it didn’t stop…ever).

We also got to stop at Wally Creek where there is a love-lock fence, and my romantic husband clicked on a lock he’d brought and etched with our initials.

At the end of the trip, while we drove home, we marvelled at how awful the trip had seemed (sleep deprivation will do that). A day later, at home, I couldn’t remember why it had seemed so bad. I remember only the moments that made it great: our baby’s early steps, his little hands in ours while we walked the beach, a lock of love on a chain-link fence, and one evening on the patio of our suite with wine and waves while cuddled under a blanket and catching up.

We’ll go back next year, confident of course that he’ll be so much better “this time”! Only time will tell…

Click on the image below to view my Tofino 2017 gallery.

 

 

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After a long hiatus…

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I posted on this blog. I have a good excuse, though….
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Declan joined our family on January 28, 2016 and he is the most amazing little boy (doesn’t every mother say that?). He’s the spitting image of his daddy, and though we didn’t get any smiles for the first 6 weeks or so, he’s full of smiles and giggles ever since.

We had planned to go to Tofino in March, baby in tow. Maybe that was a bit ambitious, but we figured he’d be pretty portable at just a few months old. Unfortunately, we had to cancel because I was still recovering from the c-section, and we’ve been anxious to go ever since.

When Phill had a trip to Nanaimo planned a few weeks ago, Declan and I went with him, and as a last-minute bonus we whipped over to Tofino for the weekend. It was so great to get our little man out on the beaches and listening to the thundering crash of giant, west coast waves.

While he rode in the sling, strapped to his daddy, I handed him a sand-covered seashell. We watched as he turned it over in his hand and inspected it closely… and then suddenly rubbed his eyes with the hand holding the shell and wiped sand all over his forehead and cheek. We totally should have seen that coming! No sand in the eye, but we left the rest of the seashells on the beach just the same. He can beachcomb next time, when he’s not inclined to put most of it in his mouth.

We’re back home now, but have some photos to keep the trip fresh in our minds. We don’t know when we’ll get back out there, but I suspect that the next time we go, Declan will be running across the beach and we’ll probably have trouble keeping up!

Click on the picture below to see more in the Tofino 2016 gallery.

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An October day

I recently had a birthday, on a beautiful October day, with clear skies and sunshineNAD_8023

I’m a lucky girl, to have a wonderful husband who took the day off to spend with me, and we made the most of it!

We started with coffee and a walk in Steveston, then headed north to the ferry terminal to catch a ride across to Bowen Island.NAD_8047

Bowen is one of my favourite places, especially in the fall. The air is crisp, the main street is quaint, and there are so many places to walk outside and enjoy the views.

We took along a little picnic lunch with cheese, grape tomatoes, and hummus, and found some amazing baguettes in the general store up the hill. After refreshment, we strolled in the sun and paused to watch the cove from a park bench on the boardwalk.

The afternoon passed really quickly, and before long, the ferry was pulling into the terminal. We decided to get in line and catch this one home, instead of waiting another hour for the next boat, which would land us in the midst of rush hour traffic.

We weren’t ready to home, though, so we detoured to Granville Island. The place was crowded! Packs of private school kids roamed the allies, still dressed in their uniforms, and cars circled the island looking for the best parking spots.
Inside the market, people were buying ingredients for dinner, and it was tough to maneuver around everyone.

Heading back to the car was a slower walk than when we’d left it, as I was tuckered right out. We’d planned to go out for dinner, but now just going home to some comfy clothes and stripping off my shoes and socks seemed like a better idea.
Lucky for me, my husband is a chef, so he whipped up a fabulous dinner and we watched a funny movie.

By 10pm, we were both starting to doze off in front of the tv; a sure sign of a full and awesome day!

It was the perfect way to celebrate another year in the books, and start the new year off in a great way.

Click on the photo below for more pics.

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Brazilian artists have transformed the cement silos at Granville Island’s Ocean Concrete.

 

 

BC Okanagan 2015

It’s been a while since I had anything to post… it’s been a while since I even got out with my camera!

Life has been a bit crazy lately, and it hasn’t left a lot of time for shooting, but now that I’ve picked it up again, i’m itching to find more to photograph.

I finally got an opportunity this October when we headed back out to the BC Okanagan for our annual wine tasting trip.NAD_7896
This year was a little different for me… at 6.5 months pregnant, I wasn’t able to sample the wine, but my husband sipped for the both of us and brought home some bottles that I’ll look forward to trying after the baby arrives.

I also wasn’t planning on starting the trip off with the autumn cold that everyone’s passing around, but we can’t control these things… Everyone was very patient with me as I coughed and blew my nose through the Naramata Bench and down into Oliver.

But, i did bring my camera, and while I didn’t get as creative as I had hoped (foggy head), it was nice to re-aquaint myself with my Nikon.

Click on the photo below to see more pics.

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I need your help choosing a photo…

I need your help choosing a photo to be considered for an exhibition.

A good friend told me about a call for artists and encouraged me to “Go for it!”
So here I am, agonizing over which photo to submit, framed, for consideration.

I can’t decide!  I need your help, pretty please 🙂

If you could take a look at what I’ve narrowed it down to, and then vote in the poll below them, I would really really appreciate it! You can click on the images to enlarge them.

Thank you so much!

Nadia

Surfing Tofino

Surfing Tofino

Low Tide

Low Tide

Love

Love

Sockeye Opening

Sockeye Opening

Freighter in the Fog

Freighter in the Fog

Fog

Fogged in

Cox Bay Sunset

Cox Bay Sunset

Under Way

Under Way

Tofino 2015

Ahhhh… Tofino.  I love that little surfing town. It was a favourite escape for us years ago, and after a long time away, we went back again last year for our 15th wedding anniversary. This past week, we went again for our 16th.

Within a day, I feel the knots in my shoulders unwind, and the stress leak out through my bare toes as we walk the beach.

It’s a funny thing… I don’t normally like beaches; crowded, soft sand that is hard to walk in, the sent of sunscreen and music blasting with competing noise… But Tofino beaches in March are a different thing. They are mostly hard-packed sand, beat at and compressed by centuries of crashing waves. There are no beach blankets or sunbathers, just die-hard surfers dressed head to toe in neoprene, trying to catch the best waves. I love the sound of roaring ocean, and the gifts of shells and round stones each tide tosses up on the beach.

I also have no desire to surf, but found myself captivated by the surfers we watched. We watched for hours, as dozens of surfers bobbed in the waves or slid down the crests. I think you’ll see some of this fascination in my pictures.

So, another Tofino getaway is behind us, and we have fond memories to keep us going until we return, hopefully, next year.

Of course, we also have a few photos to keep those memories fresh 🙂

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October!

October is usually a busy month for us, but somehow we forget that in the year between Octobers, and when it comes around again we’re surprised by all the activities we have going on!

This year we were particularly lucky to have fantastic weather, as summer had started for us a bit late and extended itself into autumn.

I was nervous about when the impending rain would finally come, as we had our trip to BC’s Okanagan coming up, where we planned to spend a few days wine touring.  Dashing between wineries would be much more enjoyable in the sun, than in the rain, don’t you think?
As it turned out, we had nothing to worry about!  There were a few rain sprinkles, but then the cloud would pass and out came the sun again.

Of course, I brought my camera with me — wine tasting is only half the fun — and took a few pics.  Click on the photo here to see more.

Perseus Winery

Perseus Winery

We raced home on the Sunday, prepped and cleaned, then cooked all day Monday and hosted our family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Good thing I took a few days off to recover!
The next day we took a field trip out to Fort Langley, which I hadn’t been to since I was a kid.  If you haven’t been, you should really check it out.  They have interpreters dressed in period clothing who tell you a little about the place, and a lot about our Province’s history. You can almost imagine what it might have been like back in the early 1800’s.

Fort Langley through the glass

Fort Langley through the glass

And then we finally ended the day in our favourite little town, Steveston.  The businesses all have scarecrows out front, with their own themed spins on the classic, and it was an awesome evening to wander a little and check them all out.

Scarecrow outside of Pieces shop

Scarecrow outside of Pieces shop

We’re halfway through the month…. what else will it bring?

A Sunday in Ladner and Steveston

A few Sundays ago, we were in town instead of out on the water in our boat, and thought we’d take advantage of the beautiful late summer day to explore Westham Island in Ladner.

I’d been told about Westham Island Herb Farm, and wanted to see it for myself.  Plus, I thought it might be a nice opportunity to take along my camera… something I haven’t been feeling very inspired by until lately.

So we headed out to Westham Island and it was awesome!  Herbs, produce, fresh honey, and flowers!  They didn’t have fresh garlic yet, but will in a few weeks, so we’ll be back. For photos, click here.

We left Westham Island along the ancient one-lane swing bridge and thought we’d visit some friends up the road, not knowing if anyone would be there, as the evening was coming on.

It turns out that there was a one-day Fraser River sockeye fishery that day (they’re commercial fisherman), and so they were busy catching, cleaning and selling salmon!  We had a great visit, saw some of the action, and came away with a fish for dinner.

The salmon opening was due to close at 8pm that night, so camera still in hand, we headed out to Steveston where we arrived in time to see a ton of fisherman out on the water, and some already heading in.  The sun was setting, and many boats were fishing right up until the very last minute. The sockeye run is only large enough for commercial fishing every four years, so there was a lot of excitement in the air as everyone tried to catch their share. Click on the photo below to see more.

It was a busy day, and a great day… we had no initial plans, and were surprised where each hour led us to next!

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Wisteria

My parents have a magnificent Wisteria vine growing around their carport and into the backyard.  I’ve loved it since I was a little girl, and always looked forward to that time in late spring when the purple buds would finally form and drape from their vines, releasing their scent.

I’ve often wished that we had planted one when we moved to our townhouse, but now we’ll need to be here another 20 years before we can get the kind of show my parents have every year… and besides, where would we put it that the strata would approve of?  Vines tend to take on a life of their own; They can be guided, but the strong, woody vine will ultimately decide where it wants to be.  Kind of like people, I guess 😉

Click on the pic to see more!

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Tofino

My husband and I celebrated 15 years of marriage at the beginning of this March.  We’ve certainly had our ups and downs, and have come out stronger than the way we went in.

To celebrate, we took a trip to Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Tofino was a spot we visited before we were dating, even, and still just friends… and then we visited again while we were dating, and yet again for our first anniversary.  Many years have passed since then, and this was our first trip back.  It was AMAZING!

We hiked, we walked, we drank wine, Phill surfed, we read on the deck over the breaking waves….. and despite the cold cold ocean, I shed the shoes and walked barefoot on the beach and in the water.  We passed someone on the beach who was buttoned up with hiking boots, long pants, winter coat, scarf, and toque.  “How’s the temperature?” he asked….. “Not warm, I’ll tell you that much!” I answered back.  But it was awesome.

I took photo after photo… and you’ll have to forgive some of the repetition in the photos I’m about to share with you.  I couldn’t stop taking shots of the two sunsets we had… and there are others that are similar, but I just couldn’t decide amongst them.  So I’m putting them all up!

Phill, thank you for an amazing vacation.  I love you more than the day we married, and I’m a lucky, lucky girl to be with you ♥

Click on the underlined link here for photos:  Tofino pics