observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Autumn Potpourri


It’s been busy for me lately though I felt I really should post something. The photography season for me is beginning to wind down since I do most of my work outdoors. I definitely do photo shoots indoors but, without a studio, winter tends to be a slower season for me. I’m busy creating some client-requested storyboards and collages, preparing some orders for submission to the printer, and doing the final edits on my latest photo shoot.

You’ll see that I’ve posted a beautiful image of a translucent Amur Maple leaf. This one was taken last autumn because this year, no sooner did the leaves begin to really colour up then the deep freeze came along with temperatures well below zero. Any leaves that didn’t turn colour are now solidly frozen and will fall on the first day the mercury rises above zero and a bit of wind races through this northern prairie.

Though I love autumn so much, it’s also a time when certain life expires. On my recent trip to Edmonton, as I always do, I visited the cemetery where my mother is laid to rest. It was cold and lonely. Several years ago at this same time of year, my husband and I were coping with the imminent death of our dog Jasper to cancer. He had been diagnosed in October and died a few days before Christmas. Now our Springer Spaniel Maggie is in the same stages. The other two dogs really diagnosed her before we knew: they had been intently sniffing at her and lately, their intent on her has escalated. Dogs, unlike humans, don’t feel sorry for themselves. Even when Jasper was dying of cancer, the day before he had still been out wanting his daily runs and barking at the squirrels. Maggie is the same. She looks forward to her 2 or 3 runs each day, still tries to hunt, but when she comes in she rests quietly. She’s seeking our attention which is unusual for her so she senses things are not right within. The cancer is spreading rapidly. We’re making her days as normal and comfortable as possible, avoiding negative energy. But when she begins to suffer, it will be time for us to do the right thing and allow her quietly to make her way to canine winter.

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” ~Gilda Radner

Diane is a lifestyle on-location photographer serving central and northern Alberta / BC. Visit Diane Schuller Photography to view her portfolio and for further information.

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Gayle - October 16, 2009 - 12:19 pm

Oh, Diane, I’m so sorry. That is such a beautiful photo of Maggie.

Jen - October 16, 2009 - 12:43 pm

Diane, I am so sorry to hear this also. She is a beautiful animal, and you have taken a wonderful photo of her.


Magic Cochin - October 16, 2009 - 3:58 pm

Oh, I’m so sorry to read about your beautiful dog (in that photo she looks so dignified and intelligent) but I’m also sure you’ll make her days as happy and comfortable as you possibly can.

Isn’t it interesting how animals can diagnose that something is wrong – not only in their own species but in us too. We’ve unlearnt so many skills as we’ve evolved.

Best wishes

sherri - October 17, 2009 - 12:31 am

When I viewed the leaf I thought how colorful an autumn you were having, only to be disappointed to read you aren’t. Then, seeing such a poised portrait I thought how intent and lovely, only to be so sad. Dogs don’t live long enough…

Roberta - October 17, 2009 - 11:19 am

Ahhh….this just breaks my heart. Hugs to you and the dogs Diane.

Toni - October 18, 2009 - 12:15 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your Maggie, Diane. Sherri is right, dogs don’t live nearly long enough. My heart goes out to you.

eileen - October 18, 2009 - 12:32 am

Oh dear, makes me teary … and she is so lovely. I too, agree with Sherri, dogs just don’t live long enough!

Marcie - October 18, 2009 - 1:00 pm

I’m so..so…so sorry. It is so hard to let your dog..and your love – go. Beautiful portrait..one you’ll hold on to and treasure forever!!!

Patti - October 18, 2009 - 6:48 pm

Diane I’m sorry to hear about Maggie. Like many others, I can relate to your situation having lost my Molly some years ago and recently one of my greys, Jack.
Dogs are amazing beings, spirits still willing even when their bodies can no longer cooperate. I hope Maggie slips gently and peacefully into the night when her time here comes to an end.

Puna - October 18, 2009 - 6:54 pm

Gorgeous leaf and even more gorgeous doggie.

Shelli - October 18, 2009 - 8:41 pm

I’m so sorry to hear this. We had a dog die three years ago, and it’s not easy. I know you’ve given her a great life. She’s beautiful. The maple leaf is beautiful too. Gosh, and I was thinking it was cold here. I’m spoiled that way.

Candace - October 25, 2009 - 2:30 pm

I’m so sorry about Maggie, Diane. She’s beautiful. I’ve gone through it many times with several cats so I know how difficult it is.

Eden - November 7, 2009 - 7:57 pm

Diane, I’m so sorry to hear about Maggie. I know you’ll make the most of your remaining time together, and she’ll live on in your heart.