Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In Westmount Park

In Westmount Park by susanvg
In Westmount Park, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photo: May 28, 2013

I'm living near a park now. I walk through it often on my way to various places. I love the way it is divided up into more intimate areas, with many benches so you can just sit and enjoy the many large trees. You see people of all ages there - the youngest ones enjoying the playground and the oldest ones taking advantage of the benches.

On my walk through I saw older teens tossing footballs around while others strummed on guitars. Mothers pushed strollers. There were people with books enjoying a quiet place to read and still others stretched out in a sunny spot, soaking up the warmth of the sun. Everyone finds a space for themselves in nature. These oases are so important in cities.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Coffee Window

Coffee Window by susanvg
Coffee Window, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
This tiny coffee shop lives under a staircase. Window service only - I did not try their wares, but I cannot imagine working in such a small space all day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dandelions

Dandelions by susanvg
Dandelions, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
It's hard to look at dandelions and think weeds. They pop up haphazardly, shining their sunny faces. I think their disposition should be admired - bright and happy yet strong enough to withstand the most persistent gardener who attempts to rid their lawn for good of these invaders. Their seeds scatter ready to pop up anew in unexpected places. Persistent even in adversity!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lilacs

Lilacs by susanvg
Lilacs, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Some may not think of the cemetery as a great place to walk, but I have learned that it is an ideal place for walking. In Montreal, we have a large cemetery on the top of Mount Royal, divided up by religion and separated by fences. Small roads and paths meander through the rows of stones with many trees offering homes for the birds and animals that live on the mountain. Today I wandered with a friend in the Protestant section.

Blossoms in the Cemetery

The many flowering trees are in full bloom. Their heavy scent hangs in the air.

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And everywhere you can hear the birds singing.  Each part of the cemetery has its own personality, reflecting the denominations of the people buried there. Huge monuments announce the resting places of the wealthy while tiny monuments cover the graves of young babies.


Stones and Shadows

The identical stones of the military graves stand, honouring those who lost their lives in the wars that Canada has fought.

Flowering Crab Apple Tree

What a peaceful place for a walk. Others, too, were out with cameras, walking dogs and enjoying the sunny spring day.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trillium Time

Trillium by susanvg
Trillium, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
There is something special about walking in the woods at trillium time. The forest floor is blanketed with these perky flowers.

Trillium Time

It is another of spring's ephemeral offerings. Soon the flowers will disappear for another year.

White Trilliums

For years I was oblivious to these magic moments, but once I fell under their annual spell, I have made a point to go walking in the woods to catch their brief appearance.

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Sadly some trilliums did not grow this year. About a week ago there was a fire on Summit Park. The underbrush was very dry and a fire started (a carelessly thrown cigarette? ) which scorched the ground and damaged some trees. It could have been much worse, but the firefighters were able to stop it fairly quickly. This is breeding time for many birds. I hope they were not too disturbed by this event. These urban oases are such important places.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Water Pipe Repairs

Water Pipe Repairs by susanvg
Water Pipe Repairs, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
This has been my view from my balcony. The city is putting a valve in to be able to control water pressure better in the area. The noise of machines working as been a constant. And Friday, the water was switched off all day so the old pipe could be removed and the new section and valve could be put in place.

Getting the New into Place

We filled pitchers, bowls, the bath and buckets to prepare. I know, some will think "firstworldproblem" - but we are used to having water available for cooking, washing and flushing. It was an inconvenience, not a disaster. Now we have to wait for the machines to come back to close this in so the pipes will once again be a hidden mystery under our city.

A Week of Hot Weather

A Week of Hot Weather by susanvg
A Week of Hot Weather, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photos: May 8, 2013

A week of hot weather has pushed spring into overdrive. You can almost see things grow before your eyes.

Tulips

Gardens rush to send out a riot of spring flowers.

Flowering Trees are in Full Bloom

The flowering trees are at their height, laden with blossoms. Travelling through the city, I keep stopping to admire the many shades from deep pinks to whites. The air is scented with lilacs. This season passes through quickly, settling into the more permanent languor of summer. Each spring delight must be cherished in its moment of glory.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Forsythia

Forsythia by susanvg
Forsythia, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
Photos: May 3, 2013

Spring is truly wondrous. Each day the changes are visible, with leaves popping out where the day before there were just bare branches. It has been a warm week with temperatures over 20C (68F) and growth is rapid.

The Leaves are Filling In

The trees are covered with the first lacy growth. It won't be long before the leaves are full. Colours change from the bright greens to a deeper shade as the leaves settle in for the season.

Lacy Trees

The shadows cast grow thicker providing coolness. Our spring is short as we quickly jump into some weeks of summer-like temperatures. People quickly pull out shorts and sandals and the outdoor cafes are full. Winter is long and we know how to take advantage of these warm, sunny days.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Sharing

Book Sharing by susanvg
Book Sharing, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
This converted newspaper box has books inside - free for the taking. The idea is that you can take one, drop one off and hopefully meet someone near the box with whom you can discuss the book. It is a free - self-serve library. You can learn more here.

I've been buying more and more books digitally - one of the drawbacks is it is hard to share.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

First Growth

First Growth by susanvg
First Growth, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.
 Photos: April 29, 2013

Nothing quite soothes the soul like a walk in nature. A friend and I went to Centre écologique Fernand-Seguin. Spring is taking hold with the early flowers pushing past the drying leaves.

Trout Lily

Trout lilies are one of the first to grow their sunny faces shyly looking down. All around we could hear the calls of birds.

Chickadee

Chickadees flitted nearby. They do not seem to be afraid of people.

Red Trillium

There were many trillium leaves poking up, but only a few red flowers have opened up. Their scarcity made each one a treasure.

Rotting

My camera helps me focus, to see things I might otherwise overlook.