Friday, July 27, 2012

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Dinner with my daughter at Les Enfants Terribles. The salad made with heirloom tomatoes and watermelon was a delight - with tastes and textures that were surprising. What looks like young mozarella is actually a sorbet made with celery root. There were crunchy surprises including the green sprigs.

Crazy Salad

This was my salad - grilled chicken with watercress, mango and peanuts and an explosion of I am not sure what. Very tasty!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow

Lily and Snapdragon by susanvg
Lily and Snapdragon, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
In full summer, many of my perennials have reached their peak. I sneak a few annuals in to fill the holes. Here is a sampling from my garden.

Orange Lily

Bee on Rudbeckia

Lots of pollen for the bees. They are busy in my garden.


These are in a hanging basket.

Yellow flowers

I don't know what these are, but their sunny faces pop up each summer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Rain by susanvg
Rain, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
There has been little rain after a winter of little snowfall, leaving water levels very low. A heavy shower washed the city, watering the flowers. While it helped the gardens, it only slightly contributed to the water we need to replenish our rivers.

Finally some Rain

Monday, July 16, 2012

In a sunbeam

In a sunbeam by susanvg
In a sunbeam, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
My cat sometimes appears to be less than brilliant. He walks out of a room into another and then meows because no one is there. But my daughter claims that his mind is really scheming about much more important things.

Does not compute

He has recently shown his "genius" when working with computers. He loves to sit on or near them as they give off heat (at least that is my interpretation). However, he has been known to press just the right keys to produce interesting results. On this occasion he managed to cause all the icons to grow larger. He frequently launches programs on my spouse's computer as his little paws leap from the desk to the computer to the warm lap. My daughter claims he once launched VoiceOver which caused her computer to talk to her. Does he plot and plan these diabolical tricks? Or is he just trying to tell us that contact with cats is far better than contact with computers?

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Clavichord by susanvg
Clavichord, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Last week I drove this instrument and its owner home from CAMMAC. The instrument is a clavichord, an early keyboard instrument. It has a very quiet sound and was often used as a practice instrument as it would not be heard in concert except in very intimate rooms. I have heard it in concert - it is VERY quiet.

Close-up of Clavichord

Here you can see a closer view. The strings are hit by a brass mallet as the key is depressed. You can learn more about it via the Encyclopedia Britannica.

You can hear it here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Small Ensemble Group

My Small Ensemble Group by susanvg
My Small Ensemble Group, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Student concerts at CAMMAC take place on Saturday. My small ensemble group worked on a piece by Schickhardt. (I'm the shortest in the picture) Here we are getting ready to play. It's interesting to see how adrenalin takes hold. Performing is not the same as just playing together.

Comedia Dell'Arte

This year's concert included some Comedi dell'Arte. It's quite amazing what people accomplish in one week.

Playing for the Dancers

Most of the concert takes place in the concert hall, but the dance class performed outdoors to music by this group of teachers.

Small ensembles and large, if they wish, may perform. In addition, there is a children's concert in the afternoon with singing, dancing, and instrumental music. Such fun!

More photos on Flickr

Baroque Dance

Baroque Dance by susanvg
Baroque Dance, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
I know I have written before about concerts at CAMMAC, but it is impossible to over emphasize the incredibly high level of the music - and dance. It is delightful to see the combination of seasoned performers along with those just starting out on their careers.

In the mornings, we have the privilege of being coached by these fine musicians, as we play in idyllic places - studios in the woods, a studio jutting over the water...

Studio in the Woods          Olivier 

The days are long, but go by in a blur. Now that I am home, I need to absorb all that went on in classes. Buoyed by the inspiration of the week, I'll be back to practising.

In a Blur

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

By Lake MacDonald

By Lake MacDonald by susanvg
By Lake MacDonald, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Music plus nature. Add a lake and delightful people. Stir up with a large dollop of humour and see what happens! This is an addictive mixture that keeps me going back year after year to CAMMAC.

The Dance Band

English country dancing on Monday evening was accompanied by a live "band". These are top notch musicians whose concerts I attend throughout the year. It's fun to see them jamming together.

Dance Suite - Sweet

Tuesday night's cabaret is a combination of serious music, fun and is an opportunity to see people perform. Olivier Brault, a spectacular baroque violinist (concert master of Apollo's Fire and frequent player with Montreal based groups), treated us to a suite of dances that he composed, based on a French Canadian tune. Others treated us to songs, drumming, and instrumental pieces.

More photos from 2012 CAMMAC: Early Music Week can be found on Flickr.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Pollinating by susanvg
Pollinating, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
 Photos: June 28 in René Levesque Park

The bees are busy, flitting from flower to flower taking pollen baths as the search for nectar. On a walk recently we saw many bees hard at work.


Flowers are abundant along the shore. Some are obviously planted; others are wild and have taken root where they will.

Seed Burst

Even the occasional butterfly was visiting from flower to flower

Butterfly Landing

The David Suzuki Foundation ran a 30X30 challenge - spend 30 minutes every day (for 30 days) in nature. While I don't always manage it daily, I do know that a walk, away from city streets is balm for the soul.