I like this picture for all the usual reasons: the colouring is warm, yet fresh, and I always love how lines of perspective draw to a point in the distance. But I like it more because it says patience to me.
Here these soldiers of the forest wait, dormant, for a friendlier season. They wait for the chance to re-awaken, to embrace a new, warmer world. They wait because they have to, and they do it with all the courage and patience they can muster, in keeping with their station in life.
Alright, maybe I’m being a little bit romantic about this – after all, they are only trees. But when I see this kind of thing I am always struck by a sense of relationship – of the connection between objects and lives, between people and the world, and between people and other people.
There’s a cohesion in everything expressed in this picture. A sense of place and belonging, and understanding.
A sense of time.
Water Valley, Alberta, February 24th, 2013.
With the Sun low in the western sky the Altus cloud deck – dry, but looking thick with rain – is an almost menacing presence in the east, but contrasting sharply with the bruise-black sky was this dormant, buzz-cut of a farmer’s hay field. I found the disparate colours impossible to resist, especially with the small runnel of old snow in the foreground.
Oh, and lest ye worry – while it truly looks like spring has arrived here, we get our heaviest snows in Alberta in March and April, so I’m sure this idyllic scene won’t last.
We’re not done with winter yet.
This is a quaint little tourist stop on the Arizonan dusty trail – nothing fancy, just a small town reminiscent of the Wild West with lots of implements of husbandry all over the place.
I’ve been there a couple of times – so I suppose it has some allure.
Some say that Old Man Winter is a real nice guy. Those people like skiing and skating and making snowmen.
Some say he’s a real S.O.B. – those people like fireplaces and liqueurs and warm TVs.
Some say he’s just doing his job and shouldn’t be unduly chastised – after all, nobody ever says thank you, do they?
When I was at the Kananaskis Lodge recently I took my camera with me and went for a short walk along the escarpment. Emphasis here is on the short because O.M.W. was in fine fettle that day.
This was one picture I managed to get despite the cold. A wild sky, a setting Sun, long shadows, and a sharp, biting wind that you can almost see.
It makes me feel cold just to look at it.
Take a Canuck out of his element – the frozen north, the deep freeze, the dirty and the dangerous – and throw him unexpectedly into this kind of wild and woolly terrain and you’re likely to face serious problems. Like where to find a Timmy’s, where to build a rink, where they sell real beer and how to find a drift of snow to store it in.
Of course, the winter obsession will soon pass. The Arizona sky, mesmerizing to a Canuck as a steak is to a wild animal – is glorious and unexpected in January or February – a singularly odd thing when all you usually see is grey and white. The thinking soon changes from obsession to laissez-faire, and soon enough the presence of natural monuments like this one – jagged outcrops not covered with snow – overwhelms all those frozen memories from the north country.
As they say in Arizona: “It’s all good.”
I like this photograph – and not because I am a warmth-starved Canuck in the middle of a long Canadian winter. I like it because it speaks to me.
Oh I know, that’s a cop-out.
Let’s see, why does it speak to me?
I like the blue sky – the warm, azure expanse overarching the desert scene.
I like the deep, black road with fresh, yellow paint – how it rolls invitingly into the distance – into the future – as if the mystery is only moments away from being solved.
I like the hillsides which are so unlike anything a Canuck like me usually sees – the cactii, the red and brown rocks which radiate warmth to the surrounding air.
I have always loved the role of perspective in photos – near stretching way out into far, creating an urgent, almost palpable desire to explore.
Yes. I think that’s why it speaks to me.