In April I took an early morning trip to the mountains to physically, emotionally and mentally decompress after eight-plus especially tough months of school and life. I had previously seen the Kananaskis (pronounced Kana-na-skiss) valley in the afternoon and late in the day, but never at dawn, so I got up at 5am, jumped in the car, and spent several amazing hours marvelling at Nature’s handiwork. I took my camera with me and took some pictures. I remember driving along, around a bend and up a hill, and seeing this:
I put together a slideshow of that day’s trip in case you’d like to see it. To view it on YouTube just click here.
After a sort of medical event at the end of May I started to get the itch to take pictures again and I went to the Drumheller area with my very talented sister (Dorothy) and took a few like this:
But it was this little guy who inevitably shifted my paradigms. His name is Rusty and he came along at the end of June, instantly brightening up the house and distracting everyone in it from all their stresses and strains.
Rusty has become a very big deal around here (though we obviously don’t tell him this), and he’s very photogenic, so here are a few more of him to finish my little synopsis of a most eventful year.
Happy New Year everybody!
Here’s a mountainous treat for you for Christmas Day.
I hope you are enjoying your day with friends and family. Go easy on the turkey (save some for tomorrow, I mean), and go heavy on the love, laughter and Christmas joy. Take all the happiness you can handle, and spread it around.
It’s -23C today in Calgary, and whichever way you slice it that’s freakin’ cold.
So, stowed all snug and warm with the pooch in my basement office, I started thinking about this again: Scottsdale, Arizona – the Canadian Mecca, the second of God’s great waiting rooms.
I love the palm trees, the arboreal sculpture, the manicured lawns, the deep, lush greens, the deep-scrubbed clean that seems to pervade everything – and all smack-dab in the middle of the desert!
I’m in school again in just over a week so Scottsdale isn’t an option for me this year, but ooh, just you wait: someday I’ll be back there again, and I’ll have so much fun it’ll make your hair stand up!
Everything’s big at the Grand Canyon. Even this little sparrow, or finch, or whatever it is seemed much bigger than its brothers and sisters.
I watched it for quite a while (I couldn’t see the Grand Canyon, could I?). I watched as it ogled a particularly tasty-looking poodle (if it had lips it would have licked them, I’m sure), but those damned people were too close, so the poor thing had to go hungry.
After a while he turned and gave me a look of disdain, then hopped once, twice, and dove headlong off the parapet, disappearing into the mist forever.
This sweeping panorama is in southern Arizona; if I remember correctly we were on our way to Yuma when I grabbed this January moment.
I like how some of the image’s focal lines seem to read left-to-right across the scene, yet at the same time they all – mountains, power lines, roads and yellow markings – converge on a single point which we can’t even see, to the left of the image.
It’s views like this which remind me how small we are.
It’s the story of my life right now that I’m not free to go anywhere or see anything. I’m in school, you see – in university – and the time of year which I, as a Canadian, would absolutely love to hit the road (winter) just happens to be the same time of year when they schedule the majority of my classes. This leaves me chained to my desk and my responsibilities when quite frankly I would far rather be sitting by the pool, sipping mint julep and admiring the handiwork of the gardening-type person who painstakingly, almost religiously, certainly fastidiously carved these two fine-looking specimens.
Looks like sculpture, doesn’t it? It’s the Phoenician again, in Scottsdale.
I wish, oh how I wish.
I had a couple of moments – okay, twenty-seven minutes – at the bus stop last week when the temperature had warmed all the way up to minus-14. I turned around (stomping my frozen feet and banging my gloved frozen hands together, while cursing and mumbling to myself) and saw the Sun climbing up high (at least 27 degrees from level) into the sky, sending its rays at me through these trees.
I pulled out my iPhone (sorry, that’s all I had with me) and, with hands exposed, heroically snapped this shot.
I like it. It says frozen, frigid, miserable, dangerous, and freakin’ cold.
Yet it is beautiful in its own way.
This is another from my trip to the Grand Canyon – yes, it’s out there somewhere. This turret is standing straight up in the mist, romantically positioned right over the canyon. It was dull and grey and cold that day, but the picture always makes me think of an old gothic novel or a famous romance I once read – Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.
I hope you enjoy.