Find Judy at the PADDYE MANN STUDIO, 156 MacFarlane Street, Pakenham

Judy McGrath – photographer of our cover image – is a great lover of the unique historical, five span stone bridge (there is no other bridge like it in North America!) in Pakenham, and since she lives a stone’s throw away, she delights in capturing the ever-changing moments of its beauty throughout the year. She is most at home in her Pakenham garden, creating different habitats for birds, frogs, bees, butterflies, chipmunks and the like, and growing plants for the Pakenham Horticulture flower shows.  “The garden provides a wonderful palette for the camera, as well as to my delight, occasional wedding photos – even for strangers!”

Contact Judy at

In Judy’s words: I grew up in northern California.  My Dad was an educator, painter and even as a teenager, a photographer who provided me with a great role model and lots of encouragement.

Mostly self-taught, with a workshop and professional advice here and there, the places I’ve lived have been enormously inspirational — the Redwoods, the enchanting Pacific coast of California and Vancouver Island, the rugged environs of the Atlantic coast in Newfoundland and Labrador, nine years on Canada’s third ocean in the Arctic, before retiring to the historic village of Pakenham in the diverse and beautiful Ottawa Valley.

In each of those places, I worked in the arts and craft development, did photography, and, while in the Arctic, published “Dyes from Lichen and Plants, a Canadian Dyer’s Guide”, which was based on six years of research into natural dyes with Arctic plants and lichen with exciting results like a rare blue, rich purple, and a green that was actually fluorescent.

My favourite maple memory:

Watching an Algonquin man boil down maple sap in a hollowed out log using hot stones moved from a fire by a deer antler.  It is a time consuming method, but amazingly simple and effective.  I love to cook and bake with maple syrup — ham, carrots, sweet potato, gingerbread, ice cream topping….to name a few.   In fact, I haven’t yet met a maple droplet I didn’t love!