Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Bit of Ottawa


 Photos: September 25, 2015

We spent a few days in Ottawa, mainly to see people, but we walked and saw some sights, too. I like the openness of Parliament Hill. Despite the tragic shooting last fall, it is still a place where people can walk and enjoy.

  Women are Persons

New to me was this monument by Barbara Patterson (it was unveiled in 2000, but I guess I have never walked past it before):  "Women are Persons"  It commemorates  five Alberta women, the Famous Five (Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards who fought to have women recognized as persons.   You can learn more about it here.

Detail of Women are Persons

This is a one of the figures in the monument. I think I would be toasting the victory with more than a cup of tea!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stratford Ontario


Photos: August 18-20, 2015

My daughter and I went to Stratford, a charming city in Southern Ontario, where the Stratford Festival has been offering amazing theatre since 1953. While the theatre was the main reason for our visit (we saw 6 plays in 3 days), a visit to Stratford is no complete without a stroll along the water. Water fowl abound. Swans, many of which are quite tame and will actually eat from your hand are the iconic bird.

The Chase

They are still somewhat territorial among each other, but more so when they are nesting.

Public Piano

There are also a number of public pianos - this one sported a swan motif.

Amid the Feathers

Ducks are everywhere along the banks - eating, sleeping, preening, bathing and quacking.


It is always fun to see them shaking off the water as they dunk and preen.

Water Lilies

On the approach to the Festival Theatre there is a beautiful garden, complete with some water flowers. I can never resist photographing them.

I highly recommend the theatre at Stratford. This season there are 13 productions - actors take on roles in more than one. There are 4 theatres and in addition, there are lectures, concerts, tours of the costume warehouse, backstage tours... and, of course, walking along the water.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Day in Val David


I love pottery, so a visit to 1001 Pots is always a treat. I managed to resist most of the creations, though I did leave with one new mug.

Then off for a walk. There is a long park  (le parc linéaire: le petit train du nord)- it was once a railway line, connecting the villages of the Laurentians. Now walkers and cyclists use it in the mild months. In the winter is is used by cross-country skiers. I was finally out with my DSLR camera and stopped frequently to admire the flora.


Raspberries hung from the low bushes. I left them for someone else to pick. I have been enjoying my fill from the market. Such a great time of year for local produce!


I'm not sure what kind of flower this is, but it grew in abundance. Nearby were many milkweed - good to know the monarchs will have places to lay their eggs.

White Flower

Another unidentified flower grew low to the ground near the edge of the gravel road. Its delicacy spoke to me.

By the Water

I changed my gaze from looking close to looking wide. We have had enough rain this summer to keep everything lush and green.

Green on Green

Green on green. The sunlight danced on the leaves, calling attention to the beauty around me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Festival Montréal Baroque

Ensemble Caprice

Looking back to the end of June... Festival Montréal Baroque.

A highlight of my year is always the Montreal Baroque Festival - a few days of frenzied concert-going with friends - friends from Toronto and friends of the many musicians who teach at CAMMAC. The directors, Susie Napper and Matthias Maute, always plan a wide array of interesting concerts.

From the Recipe Book

From France - Ensemble Fuoco e Cenere, who treated us to a musical and alimentary feast - a concert full of humour and charm. 

Food for All

And delectable morsels to sample after the concert.


Concerts held in unusual spaces - even early in the morning. This was a concert of medieval music, built around the themes found in Rabelais' novels.

Musical Colours

Or music accompanied by painting according to theories proposed at the time of Telemann.

Musical Discoveries from Como

Concerts that feature bright, young talent along with more seasoned musicians...


Watching the masters and marvelling at the up and coming.

In Motion

And then it was over -the magic dissolving for another year. This event always launches my summer.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Moments

Looking in the Water

Time seems to have slipped through my fingers this summer. Life is like that sometimes. Time sometimes speeds along and then it seems to fall into a morass. It takes me time to adjust to the lack of schedule of summer... no concerts, no work, no courses, just endless time to fill up. Sometimes I fill it well (I've been working my way through a music theory text) and other times hours pass with not much accomplished. Some weeks I walk a lot - my fitbit registers my many steps. Then the heat of summer settles in and I cocoon in my air conditioned home.

Public Piano

My walks take me all over the city. Here I passed people enjoying a cooler summer day, lingering and enjoying the outdoor space. An impromptu performance on a public piano - summer moments.


You never know who (or what) you will meet - opportunities for conversation starters! This fellow drew a crowd.


Or just times for inner dialogue.

Summer Theatre

Time for summer theatre - life moves outdoors at a leisurely pace in the summer. Even a few raindrops don't deter the majority of the audience.

August has crept up and I feel the pressure of filling up these next weeks productively... books to read before the autumn schedule imposes constraints, people to see, music to play... And get my camera out more to observe and stop and enjoy these summer moments.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Looking Around

Shadows and Reflections

Photos: June 14, 2015

I went to see the murals, but there was so much more to see! I always like to look at architecture, to see the details, the way buildings have character. This one also had  interesting angles, reflections and shadows - so much to catch my eye. I converted it to black and white - below is the colour version - which do you prefer?

It was a colourful day with a perfect blue sky and brightly coloured wares trying to catch your attention.

Have a Seat

Chairs, clothing, and the aromas of street food cooking! A feast for the senses.

Arms Behind Your Back

And people watching...This woman walked purposefully down the street, her arms behind her back. I couldn't resist the juxtaposition of this man, arms behind his back, but in much more modern attire.

Front Door

Doors, gardens and more invite a stop and stare through the camera lens. I must take time to explore other areas of my city.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mural Festival 2015

Mural I

Photos: June 14, 2015

This is the third year that Montreal is holding a mural festival. St. Laurent, one of our major arteries has been closed for 11 days for several blocks with a combination muralfest, street festival and Fringe Festival. Some of the murals from previous years are still visible; others have been painted over.

Mural II

It's fun to see the many different styles. Many seem to favour the slightly macabre. Sunday, the day of my walk, was the last day of the festival so most of the murals had been completed.

Working on the Mural

We did come across this work in progress. In the background is another mural.

Mural IV

Social commentary, abstract, cartoon - every style can be found as you walk the neighbourhood.

Mural III

These are just a few of the many - it is a delight to tour the area.

Now if those graffiti ego trippers would leave these murals alone... No tagging, please!