Equinoxical

March 20, 2016 at 8:15 am (Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , )

It was almost Spring last week (or as the locals reminded me) it was our “first Spring” last week.

The 2016 Spring equinox was, for us, yesterday, March 19 at 10:30 p.m. CST.

But don’t break out the spring gear just yet. Though the equinox is the official start of spring, actual springtime weather varies by location.

This is a simple fact that we in Saskatchewan are reminded of every year. Our weather is very paradoxical.

Here is this week’s equinoxical weather in pictures.

On Monday, we were almost down to brown ground and budding trees. The Lake of Four Corners (from last week’s post) had become a Lake of Two Corners.

March 13 16 Corner Lake

On March 11th, though I could see no brown out front yet, my front steps were bare and dry. This tree had enough snow to reach out and smoosh into one giant snowball. Beware the Ents, my friends!

March 11 16 front yard

On March 14th, we were in the city which had been completely dry up to this point. On Tuesday, the city got a sciff (ie a small amount) of snow. Here snow sits lightly on the benches.

March 15 16 City bench

Back home, two hours north, they measured the new snow in inches. Enough snow that I would spend an hour shoveling when I got back home on Friday.

March 19 16 New Snow

This is Spring in Saskatchewan. Snow. Melt. Ice. Snow. Repeat.

March 19 16 Ice

The Spring Equinox has come and gone. It is time for the snow to go!

 

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Early State Of Mind

February 28, 2016 at 8:15 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Early mornings, when the weather is decent (cool, not too sunny), I like to walk out to the local cemeteries and take pictures. I find this activity calming and relaxing. The long walk to the cemetery stills me. The aloneness centers me within myself. It is a time for me to reflect and take many photos (over 300 the afternoon I spent in St. Andrews, Scotland).

SC_Cem01

This image is from a Saskatchewan (Canada) cemetery. You can tell it was early morning because of the shadows.

It was a pensive day.

I have not found any cemeteries near my new home to shoot photos in yet. I fear there will be none within walking distance as that is the norm here. There is, however, a park with a labyrinth to walk right on the edge of town. I plan to go walk there after the snow melts.

This is my early state of mind.

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Vibrant Winter

January 31, 2016 at 8:15 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , )

Peek of Sunlight

The weather has been too warm this week. It is the end of January in Saskatchewan and we should not be having plus temperatures. I hate this weather. I would rather be cold. I know how to dress and live with the cold.

I hate this January weather. I hate the ice it makes. I hate this incongruous weather. I hate the fact that January is too warm – it is misbehaving.

The only thing I like is the way the vibrant sun reflects so lovely off the snow!

Winters Sun

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Between

November 22, 2015 at 8:15 am (My City) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Daily Prompt: A Tale of Two Cities,

If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?

If I could teleport or have someone drive me, here are the two places I would choose. There is an eight to ten hours distance between the city I feel most comfortable in and the resort city that use to be a small town (I miss the small townness of it) where I spent many childhood summers with my dad and his family. In the summer I would take a bus between the two but in the winter the teleport idea would work best.

But how to divide the time: daily, weekly, monthly. It wouldn’t do to spend six months here and six months there as the climate is no better or worse depending on the seasons. Summer in the city is just as pleasing as summer in the mountains. Winter in the city is just as brisk as winter in the mountains. Spring is just as enchanting as is Fall spinning with colour.

Here is my city bursting full with Summer…

Broadway_Bridge

Here are my mountains in all their April (my birthday month) glory…

Canmore

I even enjoy the rainy, cloudy days!

Oh, but how to choose. Christmas in the city or solstice in the mountains?

And to choose to only live in these two places always. I couldn’t! I haven’t been to New York’s Broadway yet or San Francisco or the Yukon.

But if I had to choose, these are the two places that I would teleport between forever more.

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Photo Challenge: Symbol

July 12, 2015 at 10:55 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Photo Challenge: Symbol

large-librarysymbol

Do you know what this symbol represents? I do. It is my home, my third place, my heart. I fear I have known this symbol since birth if they had used that signage then. I am a reader. I have been a reader forever.

I am also a huge library user. Last year, I borrowed over 400 items (books, graphic novels, CDs, DVDs) from my local library. Even if I were rich, I could never afford to buy every thing that I want to read.

I love my library. They never look askew at the variety of items I borrow. Right now, I have out 2 picture books, 1 young adult novel, a non-fiction book about Rain, a ton of mysteries, a graphic novel, a fan-girl geek guide, and the Big Gay Ice Cream book.

I love all libraries. When I travel, like to Alaska last year, I like to visit at least one library. I still regret not popping into the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh when I walked past it. I didn’t go in because I was lost and stressed. If I had gone in I would have become less stressed and (probably) less lost!

My ideal trip would be a tour of the world’s libraries. I’ve been a patron of at least half of the libraries in my province and have used one library in 3/4 of all the provinces in Canada. So, this is where I would start – visiting every library (public, private, special, university) in Canada and then moving on to the rest of the world.

I would need a list of how to translate the word library world-wide in every language possible. I tried to find such a list. I know this list exists. I saw it in a library book when I was in library school. After an hour sucked into the endless depths of the universe via Google, I cannot find the list. I wish my library was open on Sunday then I could just go find it in a book!

How long do you think this would take me? Keep in mind that my average library visit is usually two hours long. I think I might need another lifetime or two for this task.

If I start now, how long do you think it would take me to visit every library in the World? When I’m done, can I travel with the Doctor (please) to visit every past and future library also.

Sorry, no actual photo for this photo challenge. I have no car and the signage is on the road about a mile out (and I am not walking that far on this too, too hot day).

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On The Way

May 31, 2015 at 8:15 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Endless Sky

For most of my life this has been the view I see as I go on my way traveling here, there and everywhere. You think I would be sick and tired of it by now. However, the amazing truth is that no trip ever offers the same view even when I am traveling the same roads that I have traveled forever.

Unfortunately, my driving trips have never turned into anything like Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

September 29, 2013 at 8:25 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Mural

I was never the sort of person who wrote on walls. I was raised up to be perfect in my manners and decorum. It was too quiet a life. It is too quiet a life. I think, sometimes, you should break the rules (especially when you’re growing up and just learning who you want to be).  Otherwise, you get too scared to make good art.

The picture above is just part of an alley wall mural. I love the whole wall but it is impossible to get a picture without wires and light posts getting in the way and I have little Photoshop skills.

Do yourself good. Write on the walls!

Weekly photo challenge via The Daily Post.

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Snapshots of My Prairie Home

June 30, 2013 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today’s blog post’s musical soundtrack is Prairie Blues by Wilf Carter (very old timey music and my mother’s favourite performer); famous for his yodeling. Nobody seems to yodel anymore, do they?

I grew up in small-town Saskatchewan when the trains use to still run through them (the tracks use to run behind the grain elevators, across the highway and across from the high school). Afternoon classes would be interrupted by the train whistle and we all would turn to gaze out the window. It was best to snag a window seat before class started so that you could see the train coming before the whistle sounded. I wonder how many others in my class were dreaming of being elsewhere or vowing that one day they would take a train or the highway out of there.

I literally took the train out of Saskatchewan when I went back to school in Montreal. Three days on the train, carrying way too much stuff, half-excited and half-scared to finally being gone. I wasn’t the only Saskatchewanion on that train – I met a young woman heading east as well who had come from one town over. We bonded on the train but never ran into each other again in the big city.

The tracks are no longer there. They keep tearing them out and replacing them with a walking trail (coast to coast). I remember walking those tracks with my friends when I was in elementary school, stepping from rail to rail, never touching dirt. We didn’t have to worry about trains running over us as the track was only inches above the prairies and there were no train bridges to play dare-devil off of.

There were other places to be the dare devil off of. I had a friend who climbed the ladder on the grain elevator all the way to the top. I was too scared of heights to even reach up to the first rung. I still have no idea how she never got caught – she did it on a sleepy Sunday (of course) but it seemed, back then, that were a thousand pairs of eyes watching us and telling us what we couldn’t do.

We liked to play at the lumber yard as well; there were long, quiet, shelves to hide in and they were cool on a hot day and smelled like sawdust but we were always quickly chased off and told horror stories of rusty nails and tetanus shots.

On really hot days we walked out of town to go and explore the dump, or pick cat-tails at the slough or if we felt really ambitious we’d walk the seven miles to the lake (usually getting a ride before we were half way there). I didn’t walk to the lake often. I don’t handle heat well; even at seven I would faint from the heat and have to go in. Maybe that’s why I turned into such a bookworm – there were always cool caves to hide in inside where I could spend hours reading.

I also liked to go just across the tracks to pet the horses – I knew I’d never have my own horse as there were too expensive to keep and we were poor.

I miss horses. I use to love just leaning against them, feeling their breath and smelling horse and sweat and grass. I love the smell of grass after the rain or just after it’s been mowed. I miss just being quiet and staring into a horse’s endless, wise eyes. What do they see?

My prairie home is endless. There are trees there older then me, older then my parents – trees my grandparents planted to block the prairie wind. I’ve always wanted to put a hammock under that weeping willow (above) and bask in the quiet, with a calm breeze blowing, to spy on the neighbours and catch up on old-time gossip, both old and new.

Who married who? Why? Whose baby is that? Who loved whom? Who married who? I want to know all the secrets.

The Prairies are endless. I always felt like I could stand at any outside corner with the town to my back and see forever – see the past, the present and the future all in one breath.

I could stand there and watch the storm come in, the clouds turning dark, lightening flashing and still make it safe back home (it I wanted to) before the rain pelted down!

I could stand there and dream under the clear night sky wishing on every falling star – wishing to be gone; wishing for the clear, crisp mountain air and the sound of the stream filling up after it had been dry all winter.

Home – so tempting, so elusive.

Where is home? When will I be home?

Maple Leaf

Happy Canada Day…

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Is it Art or is it Nature?

May 6, 2012 at 8:15 am (My City) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I was walking home from class on Monday and looked up. I actually looked at the trees lining the street a block from Victoria School, perhaps because something colourful appeared in the corner of my eye.

It was a bird’s nest and right then and there I made a mental note to myself to take my camera on Tuesday morning so that I could take some pictures.

It was then (Tuesday morning) that I noticed it was not one nest in one tree on Broadway but many nests in many trees from Five Corners to Oskayak  High School.

I wondered what this was all about.

I postulated that this was a Victoria School project; something to do with nature & Spring & birds.

Some of the nests were very bright like this pink & yellow bowl shaped nest.

They appeared to be made out of yarn.

I wondered if this was another form of yarnbombing; some local trees had been dressed up in scarves this last winter.

Perhaps a Bluebird family would like this blue nest for their home.

Or perhaps it could become a cradle for some baby blue robin eggs.

Isn’t it amazing what you might find when you look up.

You might see nests. You might see spirals. You might see beads.

And, on occasion, you might see birds.

Or bees.

Or squirrels.

Or a pink feather blowing gently in the breeze.

Though not today, today it is raining.

It has rained most of this week.

I have been carrying my umbrella.

I was glad I was carrying an umbrella.

Not just because it protected me from the rain.

But also because I could use it to reach the nests.

Most of the nests were way up high; I couldn’t reach them even when I stood on tippy-toes.

I wanted to see one up close.

I wanted to hold it in my hands.

I wanted to see what the nests were made of.

If the nests were made of yarn, the birds could pick them apart and use the material to augment their nest building.

Instead of dull brown nests we would see nests infused with colour.

This time of year, I like to put out strands of my hair for the birds to use in their nest building.

Hair and yarn makes their nests warm, cozy, bright and colourful.

I couldn’t knock a nest off with my umbrella.

It looks like my curiosity would never be satisfied.

But then, on Saturday, I was at the grocery store and saw that there was a nest that I could reach and untie from the tree.

The nest I liberated from the tree is made of wire, perhaps like this one (scroll to the bottom).

When I got home and did a quick web search.

The nests are Art and a school project by Monique Martin.

Here are pictures of the tree installation and the exhibit.

I liked the nests better when I thought they were made of yarn.

Yarn nests could be re-purposed by nature – the birds could pick them apart and they would eventually decompose.

Wire nests are just Art.

Yarn nests would have been both Art and Nature.

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Bear in the City – Beware!

April 22, 2012 at 8:15 am (Fun, My City) (, , , , , , , , )

Not far from where I are there is a bear.

Not a brown bear or a grizzly bear.

I’ve lived close enough to the wilderness to know not to get too close to an actual living, breathing bear.

Unlike Kathy, who blogs from Lake Superior, I don’t get to see much wildlife here in the city.

My bear is greyish black with expressive glass eyes and over-looks a very busy street.

S/he is never bored as there is always so much to watch for and look at.

S/he enjoys dressing up.

The house she guards probably has children living in it as the front windows are an ever-changing art gallery.

The Bear Song

(Music here)

The other day I met a bear,
Up in the woods a way up there!

He looked at me

(He looked at me)

I looked at him

(I looked at him)

He sized up me

(He sized up me)

I sized up him

Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear,
Where have you been?
Over the mountains –
Such things I’ve seen!

Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear,
What have you done?
Eaten blueberries
Made ripe by the sun.

Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear,
What have you found?
Ice-cold spring water
Deep from the ground.

Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear,
What do you dream?
Sweet tasting salmon
Swimming upstream.

Grizzly Bear, Grizzly Bear,
Where do you creep?
Into my dark cave
Alone, let me sleep!

Teddy Bear’s Picnic Song

If you go out in the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You’d better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.


The Bear Went Over the Mountain

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To see what he could see.

And what do you think he saw?
And what do you think he saw?

The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see.

Big paws,
Big black nose,
Stubby tail,
And growl he goes.

What is he?
Well, who knows?
He sleeps all winter
When it snows.

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