Friday, February 17, 2017

Focus on Farming First With These Unbelievable Collections of Thousands of Agriculture Photos

Yesterday was Canada's Agriculture Day. Given that this wide, open country is home to some of the richest and most diverse agriculture worldwide, taking time to showcase the industry is a wonderful idea.

Celebrating the farming life in February might seem a tad incongruous. Yet, it's the perfect time for reflection, which is what this day's all about.

While most fields lie fallow under soft blankets of winter white, while rural roads are quiet with fewer tractors, combines and wagons travelling farm to farm, while livestock huddles in the warmth of barns and coops rather than open pastures, we wander grocery aisles in search of fresh produce, great cuts of meat and whole grains. If you don't know that everything you're seeking is because of the people who work the land and raise the animals, then it's time to think about that.

Living as I do in a rural community, my neighbours and I have a front-row seat to the activity that takes place each spring in fields and gardens. We watch the first tilling of the soil, rich black earth churned to the top. We travel behind and around the sudden influx of gigantic machinery on our backroads and along our highways. We monitor the crops and live by such adages as "knee-high by the fourth of July", an observance on the corn's progress.

There is a good reason to celebrate agriculture. We do it very well in the late fall and early autumn here. A neighbouring community annually hosts a homey, but huge, homage to country living of yesteryear with its Thresher Reunion and Steam Show on the weekend following Labour Day. Thousands come out to see the big machines that once toured the communities with crews to get the work done. There is a gigantic craft sale, and an antique car and tractor show. Demonstrations range from the archaic — belt-setting — to the entertaining — bag tying and log sawing.

Then there are the plowing matches, both local and international, held before the end of the month. From the Queen of the Furrow contest to competitions on the field, from displays to entertainment these events are much-anticipated happenings, attended not just by country folk but urbanites too.

Of course, no rural community would be anything without its fall fair. Though changing lifestyles have seen many of these struggle to survive, in the true spirit of coming together that is synonymous with a rural community, they always manage to wrap up with their sights aimed fiercely on the next year.

Why? Because around here agriculture matters. Those of use living in rural communities have a complete and total knowledge of the importance of agriculture and the dedication to its continued role. However, while we immerse ourselves in the activities of farm life during the spring, summer and autumn, come winter we perhaps can use a reminder of what the efforts during those days do for us. As noted earlier, Canada has a rich and diverse agricultural industry. Yesterday,  we took time to celebrate that.

Agriculture More Than Ever lists 10 reasons why:

• 2.3 million Canadian work in agriculture
• Canada sells over $50 billion in agricultural exports
• 98% are family operation
• It contributes over $100 billion to Canada's GDP each year
• Farmers are proud environmentalists
• Follow recognized codes of practice for the care and handling of animals
• Innovations
• Canada ranks number one in global food safety performance
• Study proves Canadian agriculture is a trusted industry
•Agriculture is a passion and way of life

With all of this in mind, it seemed appropriate that today's photo collections will pay tribute to agriculture and the people who bring us our daily bread — not just in Canada but all around the world:




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Prepare for Spring With These 2 Spectacular Clipart Collections

It's there. I can feel it.

Stepping outside this morning, the first thing I noticed was blue sky and sunshine. It's been a really long time this dark, dreary winter since that bit of brightness broke through.

Squinting gladly, I tipped my face towards the heavens and let the brilliance wash over me before turning to set out. It was then I noticed that this day was far removed from a typical deep February frigidity. With no breeze and the glowing rays of that cool winter sun, the slightly below freezing temperatures had a quality we are all eager to experience.  Spring is in the air.

Maybe this time, I thought,  that silly groundhog got it right and we are going to enjoy that promised early end to winter.  It can't come soon enough for me.

There are, of course, people who make the most of the ice and snow,  who aren't bothered by the cold and chill, who find the stark white beautiful, who, with a if-you-can't-beat-it-join-it attitude, turn the barren landscape into a playground for skiing, snowshoeing, etc.

For years I pretended I was among them. I rode along behind my hubby as he piloted our snowmobile across groomed trails. We flew, it was kind of fun. Until it wasn't. I don't know when it happened, but suddenly the adrenaline rush of speeding over the fluff, the beauty of the icing-topped bare branches of woodlots, were diminished by the chill that seeped into the bones and failed to leave for hours after finding my way into warmth.

So it is spring that excites me. Rain might sprinkle down upon me in the warming months, but when that season shines it's perfection. April showers clear the detritus of winter, washing away the drab greys and browns of muck and mire. Then May blooms —  a month of rebirth and awakening that beckons us outside into a land transformed. Grass greens, flowers springing from rich soil.

And that sun! Warming with each passing day it chases away the last vestiges of fatigue, depression, aches and pains.  It has everything we love without the mugginess and bugs of summer.

During those months, signs of spring are everywhere — above, below and around us. Until then, I eagerly watch for that first robin sighting, a visual confirmation that while there might be snow again, it's days are most assuredly numbered. From that point on, every moment outside is spent ever watchful for more and more and more.

As we prepare for the season of revival and rejuvenation, we plan our spring projects and promotions. Obviously the perfect graphics will be needed to inspire people out of their hibernation before winter has completely left us. There are plenty of spring illustrations to be found online that are guaranteed to enhance your work and deliver the message that while there might still be snow on the ground, spring is in the air. You really can feel it.

From budding blooms and flowering trees to Easter and April showers, you can find it all in these sensational collections:



Find something for every type of project at this terrific website. The vast inventory of web-ready and vector graphics, as well as photos, fonts, sounds and animations make this the world's number one royalty-free clipart subscription site.

Thousands of spring illustrations can be found among the impressive inventory of 13 million on this popular subscription website for royalty-free clipart.