Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Slowly the snow is retreating. The sun's rays feel warmer, but still not warm enough to enjoy a leisurely sit outdoors. These benches watch the wading pool, filled with mini snow hills. Spring will come.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Try to sell?
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The CEGEP is partly located in what was once a religious building - the mother house for a sect of nuns. However, most of the interior of the building has been totally stripped of any past architectural details. Florescent lights glare over nondescript hallways which branch out like a maze. Lighting was a challenge for our photographs as was finding backgrounds of interest. Too bad students have to spend their days in such lifeless surroundings.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Cold nights, warmer days - perfect for collecting the sap from maple trees. We passed this small stand of maples as we drove through the countryside near Casselman. Most commercial maple syrup makers use tubes that bring the sap to the sugar shack for cooking. Here the trees have been tapped in the traditional way - spigots and buckets. There is nothing quite like the aroma of sap being boiled down. Maple syrup, maple toffee on fresh snow, maple sugar - all have a heavenly taste.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The teachers go off each week with a new pile of books to share in their classrooms. The books in this collection are well used.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Since Friday, Basil has spent more time on my lap than usual. He still is making the rounds of the house to find the sunny spots, eats his food and waits patiently by the dinner table in case there is anything to scavenge. I know he is missing his buddy. In the meantime he is getting lots of attention and love.
Should that be true, he was looking down on a concert of music by his son, C.P.E. Bach whose music has echoes of his father's, but in a very different style. A young harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahanis directed the orchestra from the harpsichord and then played incredibly.
Learn about him here.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The next day we had him put down. My daughter and I held him and cried. The loss of this animal was very painful. Yet on the other side of the world, in Japan, chaos and devastation of great enormity happened and I did not cry for them. We just can't relate in the same way when we do not have the personal connections. I don't mean to say I am not horrified by the devastation and tremendous loss of life. It's just that it is still too enormous to comprehend.
My heart goes out to all the people of Japan whose lives have changed in a split second.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It looks pretty, but the ice weighs heavy on the branches. Snow and wind compound the problem. Falling branches caused sporadic power outages - including at the restaurant where we had breakfast.
By evening the tree branches were bending low.
And Sunday morning's snow and wind whipped the branches around. Walking, driving - all challenges.
You may have to look carefully to see the buildings behind these trees.
Monday, March 7, 2011
A snowy, rainy, slushy, freezing rain day in Quebec City - but the weather did not dampen my enthusiasm for the architecture. Much of old Quebec has been preserved and their are strict rules as to what can be done to buildings. Some date as far back as the 1600s (Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608).
The Catholic Church wielded a lot of power over the people of Quebec for many years. Churches are prominent in all parts of the city.
Quebec is one of the snowiest cities on the planet. Many homes have steeply sloping roofs, but snow still accumulates. It is not unusual to see ladders set up for the roof cleaners. In milder weather, walk far from the houses as snow and ice can drop unexpectedly.
Gabled windows are a common architectural feature in Old Quebec.
The houses are often made of stone. Everything looks so solid.
In daylight, the physical shadows disappeared, but the layers of time remain. Many things happen in one place over time. Imagine the astonishment if these figures of the past could see the present.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
What kind of art don't I appreciate?! I think I am a bit of a culture junkie. Music is my passion - playing, going to concerts - especially baroque and renaissance music. I love to go to the theatre (not possible to photograph today). I am lucky to have a collection of art, mainly inherited from my parents. But pottery has a special place in my life, because it is both art and utilitarian. I love to use handmade pieces to serve food. My plants look even nicer when they sit in handmade pots.
Ballet, modern dance, theatre, music, art, museums - can't think of better ways to touch the soul.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
With longer shutter speeds, I seemed to be creating ghosts. Can you see all the skaters?
My panning shots give a very different feel.
Not sure I'll want to use these techniques a lot, but it was an interesting exercice. Freezing fingers seems to be part of this course as the exercice requires multiple images at different shutter speeds. Oh - the pain as the fingers thaw. I need to find a pair of hunter's mitts (they are gloves with a mitten top that can flip off).
Anyone out there read The Lacuna? I would love to hear your thoughts.
A landmark in Montreal is the cross on Mount Royal. At night it is lit up. It commemorates the cross the Jacques Cartier was said to have erected when he first came to Montreal Island. Here it just seems to be part of the forest.
As I have written before, Montreal was once a very Catholic city and churches and religious symbols were everywhere. The province is now quite secular and Montreal, in particular is quite pluralistic. These religious remnants of the past remain entrenched. I don't like to erase history, so I don't mind this structure. I am more uncomfortable with crosses that remain in public buildings including the National Assembly as well as in many non-denominational schools.