Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Contrasts in Life

So many contrasts in life:
Complexity and simplicity,
Blue skies and grey days,
Winter and spring,
Warmth and cold.
Dualities everywhere.
And the experience of one
depends on our knowledge
of the other.
Life is not life
without death.
So why do we persist in seeing
black as the opposite of white?
Black and white is not a duality
it is a whole.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This is the side of an old red barn in Manitoba taken on a warm spring day when the mountains of snow were just beginning to melt.
I loved the faded red paint against the weathered grey wood...and yes, I did redden it up a little in phototshop because I really wanted to bring out the texture of those boards.
For more great shots of red visit Ruby Tuesday hosted by Marytheteach right here :

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadow meets stone
We have a pile of beautiful pebbles on our table and I was playing around with shadows and I ended up with this shot.
For more funky shadow shots visit Hey Harriets blog at :

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Out of focus isn't always bad

I know it's out of focus...and blurred...and maybe you can't tell exactly what you're looking at... but for me this photo captures a moment.
A dark, warm cave of a club on a cold winter night.
A glass of red wine.
Great music played with energy.
My head resting against the shoulder of the guy I've loved for ever.
And isn't that what life is like anyway?
It's a little blurred, a little hazy in the memory.
Often not perfect but somehow more interesting because of the imperfections.
I like how life keeps you guessing and then,
from time to time,
once in a while,
it serves up some moments that shine like gold in your memory.
Moments like this one.
P.S. It's a saxaphone! But you knew that...didn't you?

Taking My Chances

This afternoon,

which later tonight,
curled in a tight
mean fist,
just might
(right hook, left hook,)
punch out my lights,
stroke a sweet melody
(oh baby, my heart's on fire)
from these taut strings.

My body.
Your guitar.

Your tender voice
(so dark the night, baby hold me tight),
erodes my soul.

Renders me
more helpless
(softly my soul slips into yours)
than any blow

you'll ever
(dark night delight)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seeing red when commuting

I guess it's a feature of life in any big modern city - traffic line-ups at rush hour.

On a grey day, I snapped this shot during my commute home.

Red tail-lights in the sunset...or something like that!
For more great shots visit Ruby Tuesday
hosted by Marytheteach right here :

If not fossils...

I'm not eaxctly sure what these giant discs are meant to be. They are cast in bronze and adorn the wall of a local art museum. They are not fossils but since I think fossils are cool...then for me they are going to be fossils.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

I took this picture at a local art gallery. The shadows are spotlights. Once again, the guy looking at the artwork was too absorbed to notice me shooting his shadow.

To see more great Shadow Shots (better than mine!) then visit Harriet's Blog at:

The amazing things you can do with trays!

I took a simple shot of a pile of plastic trays at a local cafeteria.

The colours were great...

...and isn't it amazing what you can do with a pile of plastic trays.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Deer Hardly There

I took this shot on the west coast in October. This deer was in an apple orchard and barely visible untill he raised his head...the camoflauge was incredible.

When I played with the photo in Photoshop it was interesting to see how the deer's fur blended with the colour of the dry grass.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gotta canoe

This IS one of the things that defines Canadians!
And this photo was taken is in the middle of a big city...
if you're Canadian canoeing is somehow in your blood...
if you're Canadian, you'll canoe just about anywhere.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wild Blue Skies

This past weekend we had some more blue sky days.

This past weekend we had some more blue sky days.

On a bike ride down by the river I couldn't resist taking photographs against those skies.ays.

...and today I had time to play with the results!

I couldn't decide which of these three was my I posted them all!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wild Dancing Tables!

I guess these tables are not actually dancing...but they look as if they could!
They are at a local cafeteria in front of a wide curving window with huge mountain views.
On a sunny Sunday they glowed with cheerfulness!

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday is hosted by Marytheteach right here :

Every Tuesday there are beautiful photo's...with some cheerful red in them. Some have a lot of red...some have a very little. In my picture you get to play 'spot the red'...because it's a very little! I took this picture on a deserted West Coast beach last summer and I don't think I even noticed the little red lady at the time!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Like Some Shoes On a Wire - Sorry Leonard!

Steffe from Sweden asked me what's with the shoes on the wire on my Buster of a Blue Sky Day.
I didn't know they had a meaning so I asked around. Here's the answers I got:-

They're selling drugs somewhere near here.
It's gang territory.
Someone lost their virginity.
..or my favourite...
Someone didn't like their sneakers!

There's some interesting information (and photo's) on these websites,0,7233589.story

And here's some more shoes drying out in the weekend's sunshine outside our neighbours house.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Funking Up Those Blue-Sky photos

So I took all those photo's in Kensington....and then I had fun playing with them!
You can see the some of the originals in the posting - Buster of a Blue Sky Day - here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Two shots this week, one taken outside in my local park where a group of birch trees cast their shadows on the snow.

And one taken inside at my local mall.
This patch of light made for some very effective shadows and people don't seem to mind you pointing your camera at their feet. This woman, busy texting, didn't notice me at all.

To see great Shadow Shots visit Harriet's Blog at:

A buster of a blue sky day.

Yesterday was a beautiful, blue-sky, gift of a day.
Alberta specializes in big blue skies and yesterday's was a buster.
I took a walk round the funky neighbourhood of Kensington and stopped for a while in one of my favourite cafes to sip coffee and watch the world go by.
Parts of the city are still wrapped in winter - like these bushes swathed in burlap against the intense cold we had up until a couple of weeks ago. These plants on the shady side of the street probably won't be unwrapped until May - we often get late frosts in May.
The May long weekend is the date that we are (unofficially) allowed to start gardening in this city! Before then you dice with the probable death of your precious seedlings at the hands of fierce winter storms.
But not being able to garden means that there's plenty of time to sit on benches in the sunshine and enjoy chatting with old friends while you watch the last of the river ice melt.
And as soon as there's warmth, a true Canadian's thoughts turn to the great outdoors.
There were plenty of big toys out from their winter hibernation today - urban toys like these bikes...
...and other toys better suited to the wilds - like this canoe.
I must have seen at least eight canoes strapped to cars today - the spring runoff from the mountains makes the rivers fun for confident canoeists right now. Blue Sky Days...I love them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The ducks are back!

Spring is here!
The ducks are back!

For the past five years this pair of ducks has turned up in our back yard in Spring. Sometimes they arrive ridiculously early in March. This year they are a little late -but nontheless welcome for that! They nest beside a pond just accross the way from us but the pond never has water before the May long weekend. Every winter the pond is emptied and then, in spring, the Fire Service guys come and fill it up...too much risk of it freezing before May.

These ducks hang around the neighbourhood wandering in and out of yards eating bird seed and waiting for the water. Some years we get big spring snowfalls, wet heavy snow that can be deep. When this happens the ducks waddle around up to their necks in the white stuff looking very surprised. Things always work out though and by June they are wandering down the pathways trailing a necklace of fluffy ducklings. They stop the traffic every time they cross the road from the pond to their residental neighbourhood hangout .
Welcome back guys!
It's good to see you again!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A last look back at winter (I hope!)

We finally got some real spring temperatures this week. It was 16c today. But reminders of winter are everywhere still. Drifts of snow linger in the shady parts of our yard - it will take at least a week more of these temperatures before it's all gone. The grass revealed by the retreating snow is brown and squashed-looking, tree branches are bare and I have yet to see a crocus or a snowdrop anywhere!
Before winter is finally vanquished, I thought I would just post a couple of pictures taken back in January when it really was cold.
.It was -40c and a week or so after Christmas the day I went for a meal at with friends at a great little cafe in a small town just outside the city. We stopped many times on the drive out to take pictures. The colours were dramatic but it was hard to hold the camera in those temperatures. When we finally made it to our destination we were ready to warm up with steaming bowls of soup. These horses didn't seem to mind the cold but I hope someone gave them some warm mash for their supper.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Black and Blue...and White

There are these trees, a line of them, just around the corner from my home. They stand on a little hump in the middle of a school field - silver birches and trees of a kind I don't know with a very dark bark. They're nice trees - welcome shade in the summer, graceful and pretty...but I don't notice them much anymore. Except, occasionally, on a blue sky day when the branches are bare of leaves (as they still are and probably will be until the beginning of May)and the sunlight catches the papery white back of the birch trees making them shine. Then, the contrast of dark and light branches against a bright blue sky makes me catch my breath.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Steed of steel

There is a tiny kids playground near our house.
The equipment is old and worn but very well loved.
One day this play area will probably be replaced. The old swings and climbing frame will be dug up and hauled out to be replaced by some amazing modern plastic and steel contraption. The new equipment might be more fun for the kids to play on...but I like the old playground just as it is. It has charater - just like this swinging horse.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Waiting for the Sun

It was sunny and warm yesterday for the first time in what seems like months.
Walking around the neighbourhood I began to notice chairs and benches...all of them obviously waiting for the sun. Waiting for the spring warmth to release them from their winter sleep, waiting for the snow to melt, and their wood to warm so that they become once again inviting places for folk to sit and contemplate life for a while.
Here's a few photos of those benches as they start to stir after their long winter hibernation.