It was my first time at a tattoo parlor and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The person I was photographing was patient as I rattled away with a string of impromptu questions.
We talked about some of her older tattoos. Most of them were some sort of a compromise/understanding between what she wanted and the artist.
She was getting some work done on her thighs. An open cage with birds flying free. I asked her the reasoning behind it.
“I know a lot of people who battle mental health issues but what I’ve realized is that you can’t really help them until you’ve found your own center.”
Gordon Campbell is a friend of mine.
I’ve been meaning to photograph him for a while and we finally coordinated this.
The full photo set.
Gordon and one of his besties, Greg, run Seldom Fools Apiculture. Derived from the saying, “Great minds think alike; Fools seldom differ.”
Capped brood, worker bees, drone bees, larvae and … honey!
Honey drips folks.
I ate the honey that is sticking on the side and it was DELICIOUS.
Drone bees are generally longer and are unfertilized eggs. As a result all drone bees are male. All worker bees are females. Interesting tidbit.
Queen bee, drone bee and worker bee. There isn’t a tier to this system.
In a natural hive up to 10-15% of the bees can be drone bees. Although no one knows yet the purpose behind these drones. The lifecycle of the bees is very short with the worker bees living for somewhere between 6 weeks to 4 months depending on the season and subsist on sugar. (Possibly why their lifespan is so short)
The worker bees essentially work themselves to death while the Queen Bee lives for three to five years.
“Are you allergic to bees?”, Gord’s dad asked.
“I guess we’ll find out.”, I responded.
“Effectively we fell in love with the little darlings. You could watch them for hours. The honey is just an added perk.”
“It is all about the collective.”, Gord was telling me as we walked towards the hive. It all began in 2008, although thoughts of beekeeping had occurred to him before.
“The first year we don’t take anything from the hive.”, lots of questions and lots of data. Nectar is about 95% moisture while honey is < 17% water.
In the winter, the hive that I photographed will shrink from around 50,000 bees to 10,000 bees which will huddle together for warmth with the Queen Bee in the center.
The Queen Bee is distinguished by the others due to her size and reproductive organs which are a result of the Royal Jelly which she eats. Besides her size she also releases pheromones which identify her as the Queen. The Queen flies and mates once in her lifetime, collecting enough sperm to last her entire lifetime.
The process is rather democratic though because if a Queen is “not up to snuff”, the hive will raise four or five, which will kill each other until one survives to battle the current Queen’s. A process of supersession.
Seldom Fools is different from the other beekeepers and bee farms as their honey is made without any chemical treatments. The honey after being collected from the frames is not pasteurized but doesn’t use chemicals such as Formic and Oxaalic acids, which are chemicals that organic farms may use.
“We decided long ago that if we had to wear respirators and use chemicals, then it wasn’t going to be worth it. We didn’t find out till later that others considered this to be impossible.”
All about the collective.
There was also a trampoline.
My friend Loreena is currently taking a year off on an adventure. I decided to visit the organic farm that she grew up on before she set off for 214 days. She grew up near a town called Cobden which is about 250 km north of Kingston.
I was planning on biking there and back.
This tweet changed things.
Twitter helped me get a ride there. Woo!
Jana casually nudged me towards reconsidering biking back since they were going to be driving back so I ended up not taking my bike. I only had biking shorts + PJs for the time I was there. Bear this in mind as you read further and see these photos.
The conversation and company was great.
I reached the Dobsons around 9ish pm on Thursday where we were beckoned towards the house by Dorothy with her flashlight.
Grant sleeps around sunset until sunrise so I didn’t see him till the next morning.
A black Labrador named Mussey who was rather affectionate.
I cannot put into words or images of the magic of this place.
A flowering moment.
Butterflies move slower when refrigerated.
Many many layers.
Through the grapevine.
“I’ll get their mail for them.”
Totes my goats.
5 days old and rather tiny!
Swing and Treehouse rungs.
Have you ever met a stranger or been to a strange place that instantly seemed familiar? You felt like it had been waiting for you to arrive?
It reminds me of the scene from Big Fish when Ewan McGregor arrives to the town of Spectre and they tell him that they’ve been waiting for him.
That is how the experience felt.
You can spend your entire life looking for something like this.
Cities are great. Paul Graham wrote a wonderful essay about them.
But the real magic is happening in the fringes and on the farms, the countryside where you have noise but of a different kind that lets you hear your own thoughts. One of the most wonderful people I don’t know, Jonathan Harris, wrote about city ideas and natural ideas.
When I stop moving, I’m going to start growing my own food.
The key to ethical agriculture, I think (in my limited knowledge), is knowing your farmers.
Where does the food on your plate come from?
Thanks Jana and Jay for the ride there and back! If Frodo had you both as friends, the LOTR trilogy would’ve been much much shorter.
Grant, Dorothy and Loreena Dobson for their hospitality and tolerance of all my questions, my presence, my camera and for sharing wonderland.
Announcing the beginning of the PE tag.
I’m planning on having several in-depth explorations of different subjects.
I go to Queen’s University.
I’m a student in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.
We’ve got some of the coolest and oldest traditions.
On more than one occasion, especially during this week, students wish they were us.
So how do you go from looking like this:
Let’s find out.
This is no iron ring ceremony.
So I don’t mind sharing.
But the actual experience of Frosh week, along with the upper years purpling up is not something photos can quite capture. But here goes!
I was invited by a few friends.
It’s called gentian.
I know the word has gent in it, but ladies use it too.
(Though it tough to tell them apart after haha)
(Our chains are like garlands of flowers.)
Thanks for inviting me over, peeps!
His name is Hugh. He’ll have a purple hue soon.
A picture of Charlene and myself.
No big deal, nothing great in the background I know.
It’s all about the stuff in these vials!
Check me out!
Funky, huh? Most definitely.
Waiting on her friends to finish up, Bonnie, Sci’ 14 watches on.
It was a cold day.
The end result is amazing.
Which is not to say that you don’t have fun along the way.
(This actually happened, yes. No, they didn’t need prompts.)
… and my own favorite:
Engineering students are crazy.
But that’s why they’re so close.
That’s why they dream big, hairy dreams.
Sometime in my life, shit happens.
Great stuff, no one thought possible.
Tragic stuff, that everyone thought was the worst.
I like to believe it all starts here.
ps. I’ll throw up more photos here.