Saturday, April 30, 2011
I've started yet another afghan - this one is done in strips. It should keep me going for a while - but the weather is warming up so hopefully this will be done by the autumn when it will come in handy. Psst - don't tell anyone - it's for my daughter.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Yet it has found a new purpose, simply decorative. We live in a throwaway society wanting ever more and discarding the "old" Electronics become out of date long before they stop working, yet we think nothing of replacing them. At the time this wheel was made, belongings were precious. Old string was reused, clothing recut and remade or the fabric could be sewn into a quilt making new from old.
I am a techie - I can't say I always live by those principles, but I am trying to move more to a simpler life where less is more. It's the only way this planet will keep on rolling.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
You can enjoy a delightful rendition of the song A Frog Went a-Courting from the National Film Board here
Sunday, April 24, 2011
When Europeans first settled this area, they had to portage around the rapids to travel further up the St. Lawrence River. Fur traders left from Lachine, past the rapids. Later the Lachine Canal was built and still later, the St. Lawrence Seaway which allowed large ships to bypass the rapids and through a series of locks get all the way to the Great Lakes. Some hardy souls kayak in the rapids, but I am content to simply admire them. The force of the water is impressive as it hits the underwater rocks.
Yet on land all is tranquil - a great place for birds, large and small to feel right at home. In the cove protected by this spit of land, the tranquil waters are home to many water fowl as well as mink and beaver.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I am always pleased when old buildings take on new purposes. This former fire station has been converted into a historical museum, recounting the history of Montreal from its beginnings when Jacques Cartier first arrived until now. Told through maps, pictures and some delightful text, I learned more about my city. It was interesting to see old photographs or artwork juxtaposed with present day photographs. Cities constantly evolve.
Definitely worth the modest admission price.
One of our early spring flowers are the scylla. They spread where they please, popping up in unexpected places. Here they carpet the lawn. In other places, single flowers stand defiantly where they will. When they die off, a simple mowing of the lawn removes all traces, yet each year they grow again, reminding us of their invincibility.
Earth Day - the day to celebrate our blue planet - let's hope that it is as invincible as these blue flowers as man continues to treat it with disrespect. When will the politicians wake up to the fact that short term economic gain without thought to the environment can have devastating effects on our planet. We are selling out our children's futures.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
It takes much loving care to nurture these trees into this size and these shapes. Many of the bonsais in Montreal are only available for viewing from May to October. I'll have to make another visit to see more of the collection.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
So delicate, their thin legs perch while they reach into the flowers, imbibing the nectar. Some flap their wings so they seem a blur as they drink. Others seem to perch.
The sun was streaming into the greenhouse giving plenty of warm spots to stop and soak it in.
Huge moths, hatching from cocoons, spread their wings and flew off.
These and more butterfly photographs can be found here.
With much difficult news from around the world, we need to find our oases of peace and tranquility. This was certainly one of them, even with the multitude of people who were also enjoying the experience.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
The air was crisp; fingers objecting to the constant exposure as I tried to capture the scene. Gloves are still a necessity.
The branches slowly take on colour, willows turning chartreuse and some bushes blushing red. They are getting ready to send out leaves. Some trees have flowered - not the flashy flowers yet - the modest browns and downy buds.
Each day new signs as the lawns begin to turn green and flowers send up shoots. But it's the birds that really let us know spring has arrived.
New life begins as they set up nests and hunt for food in this newly thawed landscape.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Electricity is such an important part of our lives. here in Quebec most of our power comes from hydro-electricity, from rivers that have been dammed. Although less polluting than coal-fired plants and less dangerous than nuclear plants, nothing has zero imprint on the environment. Even wind turbines have an impact, killing birds and bats. So what is the solution? We have to learn to turn off what we don't need, to rely less on electronics for our amusement. I am not suggesting giving up these things, as I type this on an electronic device and then plan to enjoy the posts of others. Just use less that's the challenge.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Some foods mean so much more than just what they are. I occasionally buy sour cherries because of childhood memories. My mother immigrated to Canada as a child. In those days people tried to fit in, to assimilate. They changed their names to sound more Canadian and only spoke their mother tongue at home. But food was one thing they hung on to from their homelands. Although my grandparents died when I was very young (by the time I was five), I still have a vivid memory of sitting in their kitchen and eating sour cherries.
I bought these and will probably leave them on the pantry shelf for a while, just to catch a glimpse of them when I open the pantry door and have those early memories play on my mind. Once opened, I will savour the taste as it conjures up people long gone from my life. Taste and smells are powerful reminders of past experiences.
Warmer weather has brought people out. Cafes have put their tables outside and the benches in parks have started to be occupied. I passed a person sitting and chatting on the phone, another reading a newspaper and another just enjoying the feeling of warmth from the sun. Here in Montreal, it's day by day - but on the sunny ones, people take advantage of every bit of warmth the sun can send.
Sitting at Place Royale, and now part of Pointe-à-Callière Museum, an archaeology museum, this was once the Customs House for the Port of Montreal. From the museum site "This building, designed by architect John Ostell, dates back to 1836–1837 and originally housed Montréal’s first Custom House (its name means “the Old Custom House”). It was expanded in 1881."
I love the layers of history you see from here, the art deco building peeking up from behind, the outline of an old stone structure on the newer brick building. Thankfully we have preserved some of our heritage. Buildings have been lost to fire and to the wreckers ball to be replaced by the next generation of architecture. I think of what the people of the past must have lived and endured as I walk here on a sunny April day.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I had my car in for repairs and they always wash the outside when they are finished. Its shiny surface reflected the surroundings. I like the way it distorts the image, wrapping around the contours of the car.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I find it amazing that before the snow has all melted, new growth begins. These lilies seem anxious to reach the sunshine. Despite this, weather switches moment to moment with a short period of sleet falling yesterday followed by brilliant sunshine. The vagaries of April.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
To me, a robin is a symbol of spring. Spotting the first robin is a sure-fire sign that spring has arrived. They have made their way to Casselman. Their chirpy songs can be heard as they settle in to their northern homes. They can be spotted on many lawns, checking out the dry grass for newly uncovered sources of food. It's spring!
Friday, April 1, 2011
On Wednesday, I watched a man on a long yellow ladder working on wires attached to a pole behind my house. On Thursday, a Bell truck parked in front of my house and this orange clad man spent time in the basket of the crane, working on wires in front. I have not had problems, so I am not sure what they were fixing.
Daily Shoot: Make a photograph dominated by the color orange today.