One of my many photographic joys in the last five years has been exploring textures, especially close-ups of everyday items that morph into beautiful abstracts. This was certainly the case when I spent a pleasant March afternoon exploring Potter’s Creek Conservation Area on the Bay of Quinte, just west of Wallbridge-Loyalist Road. Its tree trunks, funguses, leafless branches, and water features were a smorgasbord of textures, muted colours, and remarkable beauty.
Potter’s Creek Conservation Area is one of those community treasures that is hidden in plain sight. It’s easy to speed by on busy Highway 2 and not notice that, fifty years ago, far-sighted Quinte leaders set aside the former Potter family farm and orchard for a conservation area. Five decades later, its true value as a place of respite and rejuvenation is still not fully appreciated. It is one of my favourite spots for exploring the parade of seasonal changes. No matter how many times I visit, it always rewards me with something new.
One of the great strengths of Potter’s Creek is what it is NOT: it isn’t a location of stunning views or ‘WOW!’ scenery. Its joys, instead, are quieter and more subtle. It rewards close inspection and slow-paced wandering. It invites my camera to observe carefully and mindfully – and to always take a second, third, and fourth look to record its intricacies, delicacies, and fragilities. The more intensely I look, the more I see – and the more abstract the photographs become. That’s the ‘WOW!’ factor for me.
I made all these photos on Thursday, March 19, 2020. It was during the early days of our country’s response to COVID-19, and I didn’t give much thought to the advisability of sharing – safely – a public space with a few other people who were hiking, walking dogs, and simply getting outside with their families. ‘Social Distancing’ had just started to embed itself in our collective consciousness. If I do visit Potter’s Creek again during the current pandemic, I will do so much more cautiously. As the spring growth season truly takes hold, I would love to record the process – but only if I’m there mostly by myself.
In the meantime, enjoy these photos from Potter’s Creek!
Larry Tayler Photography
Belleville, Ontario, Canada