Camera in hand

Hi,  I’m new and improved and getting even better ….. at photography, that is.  Last night was my first lesson in “Basic Digital Camera”.  I’m taking a short course offered by  Peggy deWitt, an awarding winning photographer, well-known in the Picton area.  She gently lead me into a new world of discovery. Up until last night I was just a “point-and-shoot” kind of gal.  No more.   I now can rotate the mode dial  and select all sorts of options. Ask me about  flash settings,  ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  I have a lot more to learn and the quality of my pictures might take a dip before they get better, but please be patient while I practice, experiment and learn. 

This morning with camera in hand, I headed out to capture nature’s bounty.   I walked over to my neighbour’s property.  Gary has the best stuff in the category of  unusual things harvesting.  

This is a picture of Gary’s wonderful old butternut tree.  Look at those majestic low limbs reaching out.  This is a fabulous tree. 

Butternut Tree

Unfortunately 90% of Ontario’s butternut trees have a fungal disease or canker.  There is no known cure.  We  must appreciate these old beauties while they are still standing.  

This tree produced an abundance of fruit this year.    Gary gathers the sticky oval fruits up and puts them into a cement mixer for several hours.   (no kidding)  

After rolling around the fleshy covering is worn off and  the edible nut is left.  

The butternut is very similar to the black walnut except it has one pointed end and jagged ridges.   

This is a black walnut tree and a very large black walnut.

Black Walnut

Black Walnut

Since moving here in May, I have learned about the different types of chestnut trees.  For instance, most people in Toronto are familar with the Horse Chestnut.  These nuts are inedible for humans.


Horse Chestnuts

My neighbour grows nut trees for consumption.  His chestnuts are a hybrid mix of American Chestnut and Chinese Chestnut.  Their large spiney fruits look like sea urchins.   These nuts are the type that get roasted and are very edible.  

This is a hazel nut

Tepin peppers.  Warning:  very hot!

This is the fruit of the strange tomatillos.  It is similar in size and texture to a tomato and used in Latin American preserves.  They grow with a paper-like husk around them. 

I grew these ground cherries in my garden.  They are similar to a cherry tomato but with a strange kind of pineapple-like taste.  Like the tomatillos they too have a husk that turns brown at harvest.  People add sugar and make pies and jams out of ground cherries.  

Ground cherry

It was a strange year.  The extreme draught caused some plants to drop their blossoms early, or not flower at all, while other plants thrived.   Can you imagine what life would be like if we had to survive on nuts, ground cherries, tomatillos and tipens alone?

About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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4 Responses to Camera in hand

  1. Great pictures! It has been a weird year for growing around here, too. We had 6 foot tomato plants and 2 inch carrots. Gorgeous zinnias and miniaturized chrysanthemums. I’m really hoping for a serious winter here, so that everything “re-sets”.

  2. Donna says:

    Beautiful pictures Diane – enjoy your photography course. The course will only enhance your already knack for seeing nature through the lense of your camera.

  3. Rev. Marilyn says:

    Ahhh! That’s more like the Diane I love. You are already wonderful at taking interesting photos. Your growing knowledge will make for even more interesting photos. Looking forward to seeing the results. click away.

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