Friday, February 26, 2010

gaudí pedrera barcelona

gaudí pedrera barcelona
Originally uploaded by campru
Watched a video of Gaudi's work today, and I don't think I'll see anything more amzing today. I love his organic forms, and the sense of fun that pervades much of his work, despite the fact that he was an ultra-religious ascetic. He manages to transcend that to reach a place where worship commingles with honouring your genius to the full.

Thanks to campru for the flickr post on creative commons of this beautiful photo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Without Even Leaving the House

I'm tied down with housework and cooking today, so haven't ventured into the wild world except to go grocery shopping....but that's another story.

As I spun on my office chair, I caught a flash of pearly light from the Paua shell which my dear friend, Diana, brought me from her New Zealand home. After waiting patiently for my camera battery to recharge, I was able to photograph it, though of course the light had changed by then. How Monet.

Here is a link to a video of paua, a type of abalone, in its natural habitat.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Animals Lying Prone

There's a theme to this day. A fisher, lying dead in the road, and still contriving to look fierce and burly. What wonderful paws. No picture of that because I was driving.

"My" horse, deciding that a good old roll in the sand ring was in order, WITH THE SADDLE STILL ON!. No picture of that, because I was too busy trying (and succeeding, luckily) to save the saddle.

Only in Canader, eh?

Dateline: February 15, 2010

Typical winter day in Canada. Two boys at a loose end, doing target shorts.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Miniature Fireworks Display

I had occasion to really look at some flowers today. Flowers are pretty and all, but on close inspection they are marvellous! How extravagant is this? They used way more material than necessary in the carnation, and it looks like they took pinking shears to the hem. It makes me wonder why (not that I mind at all). If you look really closely at the top one, you'll see that the pistil is blue. What gratuitous, yet subtle use of colour! I like the last one best. The black centre draws your eye, and as you stare at it, the fine brightly coloured structures (I'm guessing stamens) which surround it seem to move outward, like a mini-fireworks display!
We may take time to stop and smell the flowers, but how often do we actually take the time to look at a flower up close? I recommend it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back in the Days Before Blogging

At Book Club with a Difference today, one of our participants talked about The Cure for Death By Lightning, by Gail Anderson-Dargatz. She read this book twelve years ago, and was inspired to create a scrapbook like the one described in the opening passage of the book.

"The cure for death by lightning was handwritten in thick, messy blue ink in my mother's scrapbook, under the recipe for my father's favourite oatcakes: Dunk the dead by lightning in a cold water bath for two hours and if still dead, add vinegar and soak for an hour more."

Since reading the novel, our book club member, an artist by profession, has added daily to her scrapbooks whatever comes her way; a feather, an old newspaper clipping retrieved from a box, inspirations for art pieces, grandchildren's drawings, photographs, notes in her own hand about the doings of the day, the weather, whatever is going on in her world. Its a way of keeping track of things that might be lost or neglected otherwise and a way of sharing herself with her family, who enjoy looking at the books. She now has seven fat black albums full and continues to add more. She told us how one or two of us had even made it into her book! Like a blog, the scrapbook of the day gives a glimpse into a life with all its beauty, sorrow, and oddity. We were thrilled when she brought her first one for us to look at. And now you can see a page from it too.

A Horse of A Different Colour

This is Frankie. You don't usually see this colouration on such a big fella. From the side he looks like a Mercator projection.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


There was a Great Grey Owl sitting in a tree outside the library today. My mother was here at the time and had her trusty "l'il red camera" in hand. I've asked her to send me a picture.

Great Greys have beautiful dark eyes, and a very regal presence. And I love how silently they fly.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wonder of Wonders!

I can see the surface of my desk!
The sunset was pretty nice today, too.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Stop me if you've heard this one....In 2008, I went on a pilgrimage in Spain. It was a big deal for me and I talk about it a lot. One of the symbols of the Camino de Santiago is the pilgrim's scallop shell, and many pilgrims purchase one along the route to put on their pack or around their necks to proclaim their status. One of the few embellishments I took with me when I went was the first gift my husband gave me, about 30 years ago; which is this little shell necklace. You won't believe it, but it didn't even occur to me until I was sitting in a cafe in Santiago at the end of the journey that I had had my scallop shell all along.
The Pilgrimage route abounds with images of Santiago de Compostela, the patron saint of Spain,,_son_of_Zebedee
who in the guise of Santiago Peregrino (aka Pilgrim) carries with him the medieval equivalent of the hobo's spotted handkerchief on a stick, and his drinking gourd.The other day, I finally got around to throwing out the cactus that the kids had nurtured when small (Hint: cactus make a great botanical choice since they can survive without being watered for years--I kid you not). As I was pitching them in the garbage, I rescued this little Buddhist traveller who had decorated one of the cactus gardens, and noted with surprise his drinking gourd and hobo's pack. When we bought him at the dollar store, I didn't really pay any attention to him at all. He sat there, a pilgrim precursor, for 15 years until I finally woke up to his presence.
They say that wherever you go, there you are. I say, wherever you go, there you may have been already. Life (my life, anyway) has a tendency to be cyclical like that.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bush Telegraph

A great day for making tracks. But not very good for stealth. Everyone was represented. Mice, Squirrels, Turkeys, Grouse, Deer, Coyotes, Foxes, Dogs, People, Tracked Vehicles.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Once again, it was the email inbox which provided the day's oddity.

Sudbury, Ontario man on the snowy back deck, mush to mush with a big cow moose.

Only in Canada, eh?

This put me in mind of the many stories of interspecies friendship that I've seen lately. Vagrant hounds and lonely orangutans; lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!) cohabiting in a southern U.S. zoo, and so on. My favourite personal experience of this was one summer evening when we were out walking the bounds of our little northern village with our German Shepherd, Mishi.. The pink sky cast a glow over everything. It was like wearing rose-coloured glasses. The weathered fence posts, the daisies in the fields, even the page wire was gilded with fiery pink. As we walked past a field of young cattle, one curious little heifer put her wet nose through the fence and stretched out towards the dog. Mishi did the same. In the gilded light, the two noses touched. Then the dog put out her tongue and licked the glistening nose of the calf. The calf, surprised,started a little, but held her ground. We could hardly believe our eyes when that big rough cow tongue slurped the black wet nose of the dog. It was a magical moment.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I don't have a picture of the most amazing thing I saw today. It was this: just after lunch we watched a dog fox, with a huge black brush tail as long as himself, sitting on our back lawn as relaxed as he could be and having a good old scratch. He thought about throwing himself down for a roll, but changed direction mid-fall, and did a "Snoopy" bounce. Then he trotted over to the edge of the cliff and looked out over the lake for a few minutes before wandering off across the neighbour's yard. I love it when I get to look at the wild world in action like this. It feels like I've been given a gift!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mystery Objects

Galactic storms? Medical images?
Closeups of the "Witch Balls" hanging in the bathroom window, actually.

Monday, February 1, 2010


This dog has a problem with chewing herself. Is there a Doctor in the House? A Psychiatrist? Red Green? I guess duct tape really can do anything. Only duct tape can save her, because she respects this bandage cover. And its surprisingly easy to remove when its time to change the dressing. Unfortunately, she looks like some amateur started to build a dog robot, and then gave up. Function trumps form, people.