The Final Sunrise
Saying goodbye to the Fortress of Moderate Solitude for another season. The last weekend is always the hardest.
This first long exposure image in both color and black and white, is very appropriate, I think. I stepped in for only part of the exposure, so the sunrise is seeping through my form, as a though part of my spirit is blending with the lake. 
That blending sums up how I feel about this place. From the moment we saw the resort, I was captivated by the location. Cresting the hill on Villiers Line, Rice Lake was a panoramic view. Before we set foot on the resort or in a cottage, we knew we had found a special place.
Over the past 9 seasons, the Kawarthas - and Rice Lake in particular - have become an inseparable part of me. I hope also, over these seasons of sharing photographs, that you have come to see this and to appreciate this amazing part of Ontario through my lens.
The region has given back to me in many ways beyond the experience of owning a cottage. Visually, of course; so much of my recent photographic work has revolved around (and evolved from) this place.
As important - if not more so - I was given an outlet and a reason to begin printing my work again, thanks to the Spark Photo Festival, Elmhirst’s Resort, The Reclaimed Garden Company and two art communities, Spirit of the Hills and the Kawartha Lakes Art Council.  Bellmere Winds, the resort our cottage is situated on, displays several of my resort-focused images in their sales centre and pro shop.
Thanks to these business and organizations, I’ve been able to share my work with the community and also sell work to locals and visitors.
I am so thankful for all these opportunities, and grateful to the complete strangers who have felt my work worth a place on their walls.
So, the endless summer has come to an end for another year. As I write this, I think of the haunting, mournful call of a common loon on the lake, the chirps and squawks of chipmunks and red squirrels as they forage for the coming winter, the tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker and the musical notes from several robins. 
The final weekend is the best and worst time to be at the #fortressofmoderatesolitude. It’s so peaceful; many cottagers have already closed up. It’s also stressful; making sure you have packed up absolutely everything that must leave the cottage (especially food sources and anything that could freeze). It’s a time of memories and a time of more than a little sadness, but also a time of gratitude for the time spent here. We know how fortunate we are to be able to own this little piece of paradise. 
So, while I am sad to leave this place for another season, I can enthusiastically say “Cheers!” To the cottage season that was, full of beauty and magic and restoration of mind and soul.
Thank you all for viewing, liking and commenting on my work over the cottage season. I do really appreciate it.

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