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.

    Spring, north of 55


    Rhubarb the size of a quarter, just as it begins to emerge in spring.

    Rhubarb the size of a quarter, just as it begins to emerge in spring.

    Whew! That flu or whatever it was that hit me had me down for nearly a week. Nasty. I’ve never had that kind of flu before!


    As many of you know living up here north of 55, spring comes much later than it does for most of you. This past weekend, a few things finally began to emerge. Spring is finally springing to life! My favourite spring emergence: the tightly curled leaves of the rhubarb. They begin about the size of a quarter, so tightly curled and wavy like miniature wax canyons and in no time flat they’ll be the giants in my garden. The lilac buds are filling up and I can see somebody coming to life in there. Grass is beginning to peek through last year’s thatch. My 9 pairs of tree swallows have returned and are already beginning to gather up grasses and old feathers to build their nests. Catkins on a few of the poplars are beginning to emerge and so are the pussywillows. Each of these photos were taken today north of 55.


    "found"  Copyright © Diane M. Schuller. All Rights Reserved.

    "found" Copyright © Diane M. Schuller. All Rights Reserved.


    I still have a lot of work to do to prepare for the re-launch of my photography website. You’ll be the first to get the news. My hope is that I’ll have it ready for Friday but two elements have had an impact on that goal: my illness plus all the problems I have encountered with the building process. Just like the hardy plants that forge through the earth at this time of year, I too am forging ahead soon to unfurl. Love that word: unfurl. 🙂

    Don’t you love the smell of clothes dried on the line? Oh man, that has to be one of life’s sweet ordinary delights for sure!

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    A Fresh Start

    Some of you, rightfully so, have convinced me to come clean about this mysterious news I mentioned yesterday. It’s all about a fresh start.


    I will be re-launching my website with a whole new look! I’m so excited about the vastly improved online presence! It will be a welcoming space where I can proudly display my work. If I had more time this week, I would have had it up by week’s end but other commitments plus an upcoming few days out-of-town are keeping me from completing the new look. This is an important step for me and it feels so invigorating. You all will be the first to know — I’ll announce the official re-launch next week. I promise it will be special!

    In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to move my logo onto a transparent background — if I don’t figure out how to do that, I may have to re-launch my site without my logo. UPDATE: Thanks to some instructions on eHow, I managed to fix that problem. Also, I am VERY sick with the flu so I’ll be out of communication for a while.

    I mentioned that I’ll be out-of-town so I won’t be online from Thursday afternoon until Monday. I’ll be driving to Edmonton and while there I’m giving a writing workshop at a conference, arranging to have some furniture delivered, my granddaughter’s birthday, checking in with a potential client, and several other to-do’s. A busy few days once I get there.


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    Taking Flight

    “She kept asking if the stories were true. I kept asking her if it mattered. We finally gave up. She was looking for a place to stand, and I wanted a place to fly.” ~ Brian Andreas, Story People.

    story people quote (fly)


    I’ve begun to take flight. There is an excitement in the air, plenty to anticipate, my spirits are high. Next week there will be news to share.

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    Getting in Close

    close up of fence post

    Today Shutter Sister Karen Walrond has a post titled “Up Close and Personal”. She talks about how she (like me) is not so fond of roses yet loves the beauty of other flowers. Her husband asked her to plant roses in their garden and now that one of them is in bloom, she photographed it up close. She talks of how she’s shocked at its beauty when looked at up close.

    I love lilies. Copyright © Diane M. Schuller. All Rights Reserved.

    I love lilies. Copyright © Diane M. Schuller. All Rights Reserved.

    beauty found within a single cell of a chain link fence. Copyright © Diane M. Schuller. All Rights Reserved.

    beauty found within a single cell of a chain link fence. Copyright © Diane M. Schuller. All Rights Reserved.


    My Friday offerings are a response to her question, “…show me some everyday things that stun you with their beauty up close.” May you look at everything up close today and this weekend and may you find beauty in the most unexpected places.

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    […] I sometimes drool when I see images taken with a macro lens and often get a case of macro-envy. I don’t have a macro lens and likely won’t get one for a very long time in the future. In the meantime, I’m […]


    The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

    img_0013img_0013-2The top one was desaturated with some copper tones and some soft blurring added. The bottom one is a simple black and white conversion (though I always play with the blacks, the clarity, point curve and such) — after fiddling this is my black and white version. Do you have any preferences for which processing you prefer on this sister portrait?

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    Earth Day: 365 days of the Year

    Today is Earth Day around the globe. Being responsible stewards for the environment is not a one-day event; living responsibly every day is how we really make a difference.

    “This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” ~Chief Seattle

    The environment column I write for one of the local newspapers goes online a week after it appears in the newspaper. For a list of some of my recent columns dedicated to making a difference to the environment, with a focus on simple everyday changes, visit the Everyday Earth Wise archives index. Perhaps you will find some small way you can make a big difference — in your life and to the environment. If each of us makes an effort to make small changes, each of these small changes add up to make big changes. Consider talking to your children and your grandchildren about the environment and being responsible stewards. Help them grow a garden this year, learn to compost, and go for walks in nature. If we teach them now, they grow up learning the important habits of a responsible earth steward. Although it’s best to get outside with them, visit Eco-Kids Canada or Eco-Kids (World) for some great online resources and teaching tools. I’ve listed a few books below for you or the kids but there are many more available at your local library or bookstore. Turn a new leaf starting today!

    Before you head off to take some green action, here are links to two of my archived environmental columns. Please note that the newspaper does take these down after a time so if you find either or both of these helpful, I’d recommend printing it out. Here are tips on Repurposing Around the Home and a Do-it-Yourself Eco-Clean Kit. Print them out and put them to use — you’ll be surprised how easy it is to be green and how much money you will save too.

    Earth Day is (also) for the Dogs.


    Earth Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays)

    The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time

    Everything Kids’ Environment Book: Learn how you can help the environment-by getting involved at school, at home, or at play (Everything Kids Series)

    Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home

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