The Black & Red Swan

The Black & Red Swan

Hello friends,

Todays post is about an amazing swan we saw while touring around the United Kingdom.

The day started off touring around like most days do when you’re in a new place. It was mid-afternoon at this point and it was a bit chilly and windy! We were walking around in a residential neighbourhood and looking at all the old mansion houses – there were a lot of them! haha

Eventually we came across this really cool house. Not a stone mansion like we have been seeing, but probably my favourite house yet. It looked like a house out of the hobbit movies with a thick straw roof!

It intrigued us so we went up to it. The backyard/side of house was full of thicker brush jutting out in all different directions. We saw that there was a pond in the backyard and there was movement in it! We kept trying to poke our heads over the fence and between the fence to see what was back there. That’s when we spotted the swans. There was a couple white ones but then this black beauty appeared.

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This swan was the most gorgeous swan I have ever seen. Beautiful black feathers with a bright red beak. When it rustled its feathers and raised its wings, lush bright white feathers were revealed. This somehow amazed me even more. Such a beautiful animal.

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It was hard getting any clear pictures because the brush was so thick, but I tried my best haha because my mom fell in love with this little guy. All she kept saying was “take a picture take a picture” and I replied with “I’m trying!” haha it was a comedy show to see.

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Have you guys ever seen a swan that looks like this? Or one that isn’t white in colour? I would love to know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #7

Picture of the Week #7

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!ย ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

So this weeks picture is not one I have recently taken. It is actually from last fall when in lived in Calgary, AB! I have been very busy lately and haven’t had much time to get out to take new pictures; also, the pretty leaves of fall are almost all gone! The prime fall time leaf pictures have left and now it all just looks barren. Its getting me excited for frost pictures and then snow!

I hope you enjoy this flash back to Calgary and its beautiful fall season. I miss the views you could see of the city!

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Is fall almost over where you live or are the beautiful colourful leaves still out?

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Until next time,

xoxo

Exploring Haunted Houses at Saunders Farm!

Exploring Haunted Houses at Saunders Farm!

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about what I did this past weekend! It was full of fun Halloween festivities – the best kind of festivities at this time of year!

Friday morning I bought tickets for my boyfriend and I to go to Saunders Farm the following night. He had gone there years ago when he was younger and has been talking about it since we moved to Ottawa – so I knew we had to go! To be honest, I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I have only ever been to something like this once when I was in grade 7 with my best friend at the time. It was in Fort McMurray, so it was a lot smaller then Saunders Farm!

Since we arrived at the farm I could see there were so many things to do! Even though I bought night tickets, I made my boyfriend come early because I wanted to do the mazes haha like a little kid. I have no shame – they were the best part in my opinion! They had lots of mazes to pick from too. They ranged from ones for little kids to a very intense, hard, and long one! We ended up having to sneak through a hole to get out because the mazes were closing and we couldn’t find our way out! haha

They also had playgrounds for kids and a massive bouncy thing in the ground for them to jump on – it looked like lots of fun!

The sunset was also beautiful on Saturday night. The colours became more vibrant and intense as it set.

We left the mazes and headed to the scary stuff! The lines were huge so we only had the chance to do 2 things before I was completely frozen because it was around 0 degrees Celcius and we were outside for 3 hours! The first one we went through was called The Coven Witch Trail – it was almost dark by the time we got in and to be honest it was scary. It would have been even better if we had waited until it was fully dark out, but like I said the lines only kept getting longer! The second we went through was called The Barn of Terror. The first one we went through ended right by the entrance to this one so we decided to wait. The line did not look long at first….

As we walked past the hedges and get into the real line we see how long it is. After about 10 minutes of waiting we hit a sign that says 30 minute wait from here. I thought … okay I can do 30 minutes. It ended up being a 1.5 hour wait! Barley moving and freezing because we weren’t moving around. This is what killed my mood – if they know its going to be that long of a wait at least don’t lie on the sign! Anyways, I found The Barn of Terror a bit disappointing in the scare factor, but the makeup and decorations were amazing!

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Once we finished up at the barn, I was frozen! We ended up grabbing some hot chocolate, to warm up my hands, and a few homemade treats to go! As soon as we got in the car, which we forgot where we parked it so finding it was an adventure in itself, we cranked the heat and headed home!

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The next day, Sunday, was pumpkin carving day! I talked my boyfriend into buying a pumpkin when we went grocery shopping – I coaxed him by saying I would cook up the pumpkin seeds! It took us a while to pick out what we wanted to carve into it. Eventually we decided to google pumpkin carving ideas and we came upon a Harry Potter one. We felt like we were in one of the Harry Potter movies while going through those mazes made of hedges, so we thought it was a good fit! And now because I am an artist (LOL) I drew it out. I got to carve the scar and mouth while the boy claimed the eyes.

The pumpkin seeds I roasted were cinnamon brown sugar flavour. To create this master piece you have too:

  1. Pick out seeds & clean them.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a bowl. Then mix in 1.5 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  4. Toss the seeds in the mixture and then spread them out on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Place sheet in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Taking out to flip (or stir around) half way.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet – then eat!

The recipe is so simple and they turned out delicious! Its perfect for a first timer like me!

All in all, we had a great festive weekend. Ending with the best sweet treat ever for this time of year!

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Sorry for the quality of the pictures by the way, they were taken on the iphone!

Have you done anything Halloween related yet this year? Have you been to a haunted house or carved pumpkins?! Let me know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #6

Picture of the Week #6

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!ย ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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This picture was taken at the Carleton University Butterfly Exhibit. It was hot, humid and over crowded in there with the little butterflies – but it was also a school assignment so I had to go! haha I don’t enjoy seeing animals trapped like this, I prefer observing them in nature. However, I thought I would post one of the few good pictures I got from this experience since it taught me how to shoot over peoples heads while being rammed into by little kids running around.

Tip: high shutter speed is ket when dealing with little kids in a small room!

Have you ever been to a butterfly exhibit? If so, did you enjoy it? If not, would you like to go see one?

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Until next time,

xoxo

Autumn in Ottawa 2018

Autumn in Ottawa 2018

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


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Todays post is mostly based around the pictures you’ll see! Fall is quickly coming to an end here in Canada so I have been snooping around everywhere in Ottawa to try and find the best fall pictures.

Ontario has beautiful fall colours:

* Red

*Orange

*Yellow

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The places I have found to be stunning my first autumn in Ottawa, ON are:

*Major’s Hill Park

*Hog’s Back Park

*Mer Bleue Conservation Area

Out of those three I feel like Hog’s Back has been my favourite. I think I have gone back three times just to play around with my camera settings – its so relaxing to me. I completely lose track of time.

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Two things I love are being submerged in nature and taking pictures. I find fall weather is the perfect time to do these two things. Its not too hot or cold yet and the colours are so vibrant. Like yes don’t get me wrong I love the vibrant greens in the summer, but there is just something about the beautiful fall colours that grabs my attention.

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I kind of blame my mom for my love of fall colours. She always talks about mustard yellow and burgundy, which are now probably two of my favourite colours to find in nature as well as wear! haha But one of my favourite colours that will never change is a beautiful teal blue ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways, enough talk about colours haha just enjoy the pictures!

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The leaves are quickly falling off the trees here. Soon we will be left with large brown twigs until the beautiful blanket of snow covers everything. I wish fall lasted longer – always have. However, we hit our first morning of below zero weather today and I would be lying if I said it didn’t get me thinking about Christmas already! I know I know, too soon!!

Do you have vibrant fall colours where you live? Let me know in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #5

Picture of the Week #5

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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In photography class we have been playing around with aperture, ISO and shutter speed. In class I use the little camera they gave me because I already carry around so many bags and things that I don’t want my good one to get knocked around in class. However, now on my own time I love playing around with my camera settings. I use to really just stick to the basic pre made functions. Now I love to explore.

Wednesday morning was the first time I attempted a slow shutter speed water picture. I love how they look and am hoping to improve lots with taking them! Definitely a must for these types of pictures is a tripod!

I was meaning to spend about 20 minutes here and then go to the gym because I had lots to do, but I ended up playing around in Hog’s Back Park for an hour and a half! whoops!

As I improve and learn tricks about this style of photography I will definitely share them with you guys! Have you ever shot in with a slow shutter speed setting? Do you enjoy this style of water pictures or do you prefer to see the individual water droplet movements?

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Until next time,

xoxo

Thankful

Thankful

Hello Friends,

I know all of you aren’t Canadian, but this past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. This day is a time to share with your friends and family and remember how grateful you are for everything you have in life. Even if you don’t have much.

This year I am thankful for:

  • my family & friends
  • new adventures I was able to experience
  • life changes that are making me grow as an individual
  • my  health & overall wellbeing
  • my brain, which is becoming more impulsive and allowing me to get out of my comfort zone

What are you thankful for? โ™ฅ

Even though you probably think of everything you are grateful for each day subconsciously, it is important to bring these thoughts into reality every now and then. I find if they sit there in the back of your brain and never get said to anyone they become less present in your everyday thoughts. I have been attempting to practice being more thankful in life instead of just being critical and too harsh on everything that is not perfect at the moment. You won’t look back and think that you were wishing for something else in this moment, you will look back and remember all of the memories and people you were grateful to have in your life and the ones who made the most positive impact on your life.

No one cares if you are a few dollars richer or have accomplished a certain list you have for yourself. Your family just loves you and wants you to be happy. Its about time that we all try to spread more love and joy into everyones lives rather then negativity and competition. I guess in saying this, I am thankful that by nature I am not an extremely competitive person.

I hope you all reflect on what you are thankful for today and every other day of your life. Feel free to share them in the comments below to brighten peoples days  ๐Ÿ™‚

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Peaceful afternoon walk in Hog’s Back Park in Ottawa, ON.

If you are Canadian I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. If you’re not Canadian, when do you celebrate Thanksgiving or do you celebrate it at all?!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #4

Picture of the Week #4

Hello friends,

If you didnโ€™t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want!ย ๐Ÿ™‚ย https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ย 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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I love fall – however I love all the seasons. Growing up in Northern Alberta we had summer for a few months, fall for a day, then winter for 9 months, then spring for a day and repeat. As I moved around Canada I have fallen in love with actually being able to appreciate every season for what it brings. With fall comes the amazing colours that I was deprived of as a child. I only ever saw green, yellow and then brown. The red and orange leaves make me all giddy like I am a little kid. I swear every time I drive by leaves that look like this I want to get out and snap a pic – I may just have to start bringing my camera everywhere I go!

Whats your favourite season? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Until next time,

xoxo

Social Media – A Highlight Reel

Social Media – A Highlight Reel

Lets be honest…

Do your social media pages portray your real life … because I know mine sure don’t.

Everything looks perfect from the outsiders perspective, which can be harmful especially to the younger generation being raised in this social media craze. Now by no means am I saying that I am old, but I did grow up without a cell phone and I was only allowed to use our large desktop computer for my Garfield typing game – oh and thanks to that game and my mom I can type pretty darn good.

I feel like not enough people, including myself, share what is really going on in their lives. We don’t need to share it all, but I feel like we should be able to post some of the harder times and difficult things we overcome without feeling like we are going to be judged by everyone saying that we are just “seeking attention”.

This post came to my mind as I was scrolling through the photos of my best friends wedding that took place this past weekend. In all of the pictures I look relatively happy – even the ones of me with tears in my eyes are happy tears and you can tell that just from the picture. However, a picture I do not have is one of my having an anxiety attack in front of everyone before giving my speech.

Being in the bridal party, you normally sit in a long table at the front of everyone else for dinner. In our case we were actually elevated on a stage, which was decorated beautifully. As soon as I sat down I could not eat. I kept trying too because I did not want to be rude, but I had to stop because if I took one more bite I would throw up. Literally blow salmon chunks on the bride … yup.

I could not control myself and I began bawling with massive tear drops – I kid you not they were the size of large rain drops falling from my eyes. I could not hear anything my best friend was saying to me, nor the bridesmaid to my other side. Life was a blur in that moment and all I could think about was trying to breath. I remember saying to my best friend “Do not follow me to the bathroom, I don’t want to puke on your pretty dress”. I have no clue who was looking at me or what they were thinking. I felt as if I had blacked out; I am surprised I made it down the stairs.

Once I got to the bathroom it took me a while to collect myself – well at least I think it did I can’t remember. When I came out my boyfriend was there because he has seen my anxiety attack face before and knew what was happening. I felt so stupid at the time because I literally could not do anything to stop it and it was all because of a speech I had to say. Not even that I had to say it because she told me I didn’t have to, but I wanted too.

Even afterwards as I was saying the speech tears were welling up in my eyes and my throat was catching. Did everyone there know I was coming down from an attack? No. Is it something I shared with everyone? No.

Why? Because I felt embarrassed.

We should not have to feel embarrassed about things we go through no matter how stupid they may seem to someone who doesn’t understand them. I feel like if we share more about our struggles we can help spread awareness about what someone may be going through and not be so quick to judge.

Anyways, the point of this little post was to say don’t believe everything that you see. If you look at my social media pages I look happy, but behind some smiles there is another side that the viewer does not see. I am sure there are some exceptions, however I feel like most peoples social media is a highlight reel.

Well, these are my late night thoughts for you all today. I should be in bed right now, but I couldn’t help but write. I hope this post enlightened you about the struggles of some and hopefully you can feel like you know more about me. I love connecting with my little family on here. This is not a pity post by any means, just something that has been on my mind for a while that I felt like is very necessary to share in this ever technology consuming world we now live in โค

Until next time,

xoxo