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

  • Welcome to my photo journal

    Living on Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada Diane loves the scent of forests and rain, the rhythms of the sea, and holds discoveries and stories in high regard.

    Where mornings begin with a drum roll! --Diane M Schuller

    Updated on random Mondays ... simply an online journal of an ordinary life. Come on in to enjoy a breath of West Coast air.

    half taken breaths and planting

    with life as short
    as a half taken breath,
    don’t plant anything
    but love

    ~ rumi

    Been busy planting more perennials, taking far too many photos of my garden, and keeping busy with Newcomer’s, lunches with friends, and all that delightful jazz. I haven’t forgotten that I promised to post more here and to share some of the fun things I’ve been up to. To be honest, it’s gathering up and organizing the photos to accompany those posts that seem to keep me from getting-to-it!

    We’re trying to pick out tile for the backsplash in our kitchen. You’d think that would be so easy yet it’s turning out to be time consuming and even a bit frustrating. Having a very small kitchen and a real busy countertop are hampering our decision-making (why would someone pick such a busy pattern is beyond me but of course they likely loved it). Seems we love the pretty tiles with a bit of sparkle or jazz to them but with the contraints we have, a plain one would work best — we’re both not really wanting plain. I’ll keep you posted on that one too.

    For those who are interested in how I took this photo of the dogwood in our backyard, visit my Flickr page for a brief description of what I did to get this. It looks like it was past midnight but really it was just after the sun had gone down. You can see some of the green leaves if you look closely to the background.

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    Sherry at Still and All - June 28, 2013 - 8:44 am

    Well done with the dogwood. I will have to give that method a try. Thanks for sharing it! We had the same problem with the backsplash a few years ago when we had moved in here. The counter was granite and full of veining – very busy. The former folks had chosen a travertine that was almost as busy — didn’t work at all. We had to replace it when we changed the cabinets so we went with a large subway tile in one of the colours from the granite with a coordinating grout. So happy we went simple. It provides depth and richness but does not compete with anything. The wall colour also coordinates so the eye slides all over easily. I love subway tile! Well it’s off to Toronto for a bit of cultural stim. And hopefully some photos! Let us know what you decide…

    […] Dogwood by Diane Schuller […]

    Kelly @ JAX does design - June 30, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    Love the flower 🙂 I know what you mean about getting pictures for blog posts organized. That’s always the longest part for me.

    Have you posted any pictures of your kitchen? Years ago, a designer I met said that she always treats the backsplash as the jewel in the room. It’s the one element that really catches your eye, so make it special!

    Happy Canada Day Diane!

    Candace - July 14, 2013 - 10:12 pm

    It’s gorgeously lush against the dark background.

    Pretty maids all in a row

    … hanging out in my garden.

    Sure I know I haven’t been hanging out here much but there is such a wonderful life out there … can you forgive me for not hanging out online these days?)

    PS: Yes, I did promise to post some updates and, like the rain or the bugs in my garden, more shall trickle in but I simply couldn’t resist sharing this wee bit of my garden with you.

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    Candace - June 22, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    They look like tiny little jewels in the color photo.

    lisa - June 23, 2013 - 10:43 am

    These are really wonderful, Diane.
    I truly cannot decide which I like better. 🙂
    Happy Sunday to you!

    Van Isle 360

    Yet again, I’ve slipped in keeping posts current. In the next few days I hope to post at least two short ones to show you a few things I’ve been up to. Back on June 9th we got together at the home of one of our neighbours, along with several others they had invited, to watch the second leg of the 2013 Van Isle 360. This sailboat race, as the name suggests is done in several legs with contestants racing around our island. “The Van Isle 360 runs every other year on the odd year and attracts some of the top sailors in the Pacific Northwest.”

    It was a bit chilly that morning with a strong wind so the conditions were ideal for the racers. I was surprised to see that many of the crew members sit on the edge of the boat with legs dangling over the sides — I imagine that was to keep it from keeling over the other way! When we watched them through the binoculars the crew members all seemed quite at ease with that situation.

    If you’re interested in seeing all the photos I took that morning, visit my Dropbox link where all the thumbnails will appear: click on the first photo to view it at a decent size and simply use your right arrow key to see the rest of the images. You’ll see that I was also quite smitten with their woodpile so took photos of it as well! Enjoy.


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    Susan - June 19, 2013 - 9:38 am

    My neighbour was planning to sail in this. I must catch up with him and see how it went.

    lisa - June 19, 2013 - 11:39 am

    Diane, these are beautiful.
    I would love to be on one of those boats! 🙂

    Sherry at Still and All - June 19, 2013 - 4:44 pm

    What fantastic shots! What an incredible location for a sailboat race and how lovely to be able to watch from a friend’s place. I would have been in my glory. Thanks so much for your sweet comment on Still and All. Glad you have been living life for real rather than vicariously. Me too. We have that in common! Cheers, my friend.

    dinahmow - June 20, 2013 - 4:13 am

    Beautiful, Diane. The perfect first-coffee drool!

    Shirley LeMay - June 20, 2013 - 10:16 am

    What a wonderful day of sailboat watching. I am always amazed how the crew keeps the boat from tipping over. And the various knots they tie! Such beauty in these captures.

    Candace - June 22, 2013 - 10:39 pm

    Something so romantic about sailboats. In the 80s, I used to sail a lot…but never in a location like this. Beautiful shots.

    words, marvelous words, and rain too

    “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” ~Aristotle

    “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” ~Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

    {bee on rhododendron, above}

    {busy bee blurred in background, above}

    April Rain Song

    Let the rain kiss you
    Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
    Let the rain sing you a lullaby
    The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
    The rain makes running pools in the gutter
    The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
    And I love the rain.

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    Candace - May 31, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    They’re gorgeous, they look like they should be in a magazine promoting nature. I love the first one with the postcard texture. I hope you received my postcard, I sent a couple others at the same time and I know they received them but they were in the US.

    Michele at Sweet Leaf - June 1, 2013 - 4:31 am

    Beautiful garden pics, Diane. I love the quotes you added. And that Unwanted book looks really good, too. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Gabriele - June 1, 2013 - 7:06 am

    My garden is wildly green and damp. I can watch it grow. If the sun would come out i’m afraid there would be a riot out there. Your pictures show the whole beautiful story of my garden, too.

    Sherry at Still and All - June 1, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    It’s raining heavily as I read your wonderful blog and I’m happy for my garden. We’re so very far behind you it’s not funny! I adore the rich colours and beautiful shapes of your flowers and I hope to see some of mine at some point this summer! There is not much to photograph these days of that nature…Your blog is a sight for sore eyes, Diane!

    Susan - June 3, 2013 - 8:29 am

    I’ve been complaining about the rain this week. Thanks for getting my perspective back on track with the Langston Hughes poem. It looks like I may have a garden by August, until then my garden is growing in my dreams.

    lisa - June 3, 2013 - 10:52 am

    What a beautiful post and images, Diane.
    Truly the magic of spring.

    Susan - June 10, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    What a coincidence Diane, I just posted some rain pics and the exact same poem today! Great minds think alike. :). These images are exquisite! Nice that we won’t have to water the gardens for a bit!

    the fallen

    I’ve always loved how flower petals look when they have fallen, particularly when they pool like these have done.

    I’ve been taking a few photos lately so I’ll share some in the next few days — and will even include flower petals still on their respective plants! How does your garden grow?

    “Softly and still it grows and grows, petal by petal, leaf by leaf.” ~~ Susan Coolidge

    “It’s at the edge of a petal that love awaits.” ~~William Carlos Williams


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    lisa - May 30, 2013 - 5:55 pm

    Our garden took a bit of a beating last night, with some very bad storms, but today the sun came out, and by the end of the day, things were looking better. I actually love seeing all the petals on the ground, especially from the cherry trees. So beautiful, and so are these photographs, Diane.

    Wishing you a wonderful evening!

    Sherry - May 31, 2013 - 5:20 pm

    Beautiful images, Diane! Love the rich colours. We just planted our garden and, for the first time, I am growing flowers for cutting. I’ll let you know how I make out with the holihocks. Thanks again for sharing them!

    Susan - June 10, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    I love seeing all this glorious color both on the plants and off! Magnificent!

    This is just to say

    One of my favourite poets is William Carlos Williams and one of my all-time favourite poems is his, “This is just to say”. It’s a favourite of millions or billions of others. Here’s a copy of the poem with my own ‘poem’ beneath his ‘talking back to it’ and using his as a model.

    This is Just to Say


    I have eaten

    the plums

    that were in

    the icebox


    and which

    you were probably


    for breakfast


    Forgive me

    they were delicious

    so sweet

    and so cold

    ~ ~ ~


    This is Just to Say


    I have finally laughed

    right out loud

    expressing joy

    without you here


    and knowing

    you always said

    to me

    be happy


    Forgive me

    I tried to return in time

    to hold your hand

    in your hour of death.


    Still missing you Mom.

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    Sheila Marie Delgado - May 13, 2013 - 11:49 am

    Lovely Diane…

    Susan - May 13, 2013 - 5:53 pm


    Sherry - May 14, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    Oh my goodness, Diane. That got me right in the gut. So simple, so powerful, so deeply felt.

    dana - May 19, 2013 - 4:08 am

    absolutely beautiful & powerful.

    lisa - May 19, 2013 - 5:09 am

    This brought some very big tears, Diane.
    It is truly so beautifully written.
    I love my mom almost 13 years ago now, and there is not a day that goes by, that I don’t miss her.

    Andrea - May 20, 2013 - 4:50 pm

    I got your postcard. Thanks so much. You will probably get mine at the end of this week or beginning of next. Let me know when you do! Nice poem and photo!

    Ms. S - May 22, 2013 - 10:01 pm

    Beautifully said and such an evocative photo. Hope you are well. 🙂


    andrea - September 3, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    I have tried to return a thousand times to hold Adam’s hand in his hour of death.