Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Glads

Glads

Each summer I buy glads almost every week. I love the variety of colours and the drama of these long stemmed beauties. It's a delight to watch as the blossoms open, climbing up the stalks until their height of glory. I nurture them, changing the water each day (I was advised to only put a couple of inches of water in the vase) and cut back the stems so they can drink profusely.

In addition to their beauty, they are a connection to my late mother. In later years, when they wintered in Florida, she would buy glads at the local market. As I carefully arrange them in my vase, I think of her and the blossoms put a smile on my face as I feel her warmth.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Preparation

Preparation

What would food be like without such tasty delights as onions, garlic and ginger. My spouse and I chopped, sliced and diced in preparation for a stir fry. Not seen here are the broccoli, oyster mushrooms, snow peas, peppers and chicken. A nice light meal to eat outside on a summer's evening.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sun Kissed Grapes

Sun Kissed Grapes by susanvg
Sun Kissed Grapes, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
I visited a Quebec vineyard, Vignoble Rivière du Chêne, - wine-making is a recent industry in Quebec. These grapes will find their way into presses later this year for the first step in the wine-making process.

Vineyard

The rows of a many varieties of grapes stretch out, each grape ripening at its own pace. One specialty wine made in this area is ice wine. The grapes are left on the vines and are harvested when there is a week of at least -8C temperatures. The resulting wine is quite sweet - a dessert wine. This vineyard produces many other kinds of wines.

Fermenting

This is the next step - the pressed grapes (liquid for the white wines, liquid plus skins and seeds for the red wines) go into these vats for fermentation.

The resulting wine then spends time in oak barrels to reach its final flavour. It was fun to see how this happens - fun to taste a variety of their wines.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Parked

Parked by susanvg
Parked, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Ah the indignity of it all. Atwater Market has instituted dog-parking. Where once they were welcome to stroll with their owners through the outdoor section of the market, now they are supposed to sit and watch the world go by them. One benefit is the number of passers-by who stop to pet or give a scratch.

"But where is my owner... and why has s/he left me here?"

Breakdancing at the old Forum

Breakdancing at the old Forum by susanvg
Breakdancing at the old Forum, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Some years back the old Montreal Forum, home of the Canadiens hockey team, was converted into, among other things, a multiplex movie theatre. Some reminders of the building's past use remain, including the recreation of centre ice. This area has now been taken over by break dancers who take turns dancing, demonstrating their moves and helping others learn. (I wrote about them once before.) As I watched from this high vantage point, I saw a few of them spinning on their heads. It's nice to see young people create their own learning and sharing space and to know they are welcome in this public place.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Butterflies

Butterflies 5 by susanvg
Butterflies 5, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Butterflies have been dancing in the garden, curtseying as they land on each flower. I have never seen as many as this year.

Butterflies 4

They flit from flower to flower, enjoying the sweet nectar, always looking for the next partner. They watch carefully for signs of danger. my moves provoked a flutter as they moved a little farther away.


Butterflies 3

Each flower enticed. What a visual treat!


Butterflies 2

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Unwinding

Unwinding by susanvg
Unwinding, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
We're into renovations - so many decisions from paint colours, to lighting to tiny details. Heads spinning we decided to unwind at a local bistro. After we arrived the rain poured down, but we were in a mellow haze - good food, wine and a delightful atmosphere. My view - a reflection of things in the restaurant as well as the outdoors - perhaps a metaphor for my inner thoughts as a I deal with the outward realities.

Where are you From

Where are you From by susanvg
Where are you From, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
I love to shop at Atwater Market. It is so much more personal than going to a supermarket. At each stall, each store, you start to develop a relationship with the merchants and you have an opportunity to talk about your purchases. With more awareness about freshness, genetically modified food, our carbon footprint, there is a quest for more local food. Now you even see these handmade signs pointing to produce from Quebec or other parts of Canada. Summer, the season of abundance, provides us with many local delights, but later in the year we will be back to relying on food shipped in from warmer climates.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Montreal Monsoon

Montreal Monsoon by susanvg
Montreal Monsoon, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photo: August 5, 2012

We have had a number of heavy storms this summer in between our many days of hot humid weather. Last Sunday was one of them. I was caught driving when visibility suddenly went to virtually nothing. (Don't worry - this photo was taken in a parking lot as we were stuck in the car waiting for the rain to subside). The heavy showers which came in a series did nothing to reduce the humidity. Once the sun came out, the evaporating water created a hot blanket. But cooler weather ahead...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Is it Art

Is it Art by susanvg
Is it Art, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
This installation is in place for the summer as part of the museums outdoor sculpture exhibit. As a result the street is closed to traffic. Is it art? What makes something art? I can't say it does anything for me. What about you?


Sculpture Garden

This piece can be found further up the street. I like its form and the spaces. I find it whimsical, playful... We appreciate art with our emotions, our eyes and our experiences.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I am Stumped

I am Stumped by susanvg
I am Stumped, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photo: July 29/12


A neighbour asked if he could trim a tree that was on my property and had branches over his. This is what he did! His reaction when I was upset was as astounding as what he did. So now I have to get someone to remove the stumps (yes - he cut another smaller tree, too) and have to get something planted to hide the mess.

They will be paying!