Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
It was a delightful afternoon of music and dance from New France. With the exception of one piece, there is evidence that the music played in the concert was played and enjoyed in the early to mid 18th Century in New France (now the province of Quebec). Manuscripts of the pieces, many by French composers, others composed here, were found among the belongings of some of the early settlers.
Life was not easy for the early colonists who braved cold winters and other hardships. But they did have music, both secular and sacred as well as dance to take their minds off any difficulties. The wealthier settlers enjoyed balls and other entertainment, much as they would have in France.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Emily Carr was born in 1871. She certainly didn't follow tradition. A painter, a writer and a non-conformist, she is known best for her paintings of British Columbia, particularly those done in the Kwakiutl villages. You can learn more about her here. If you search for images on Google you will find many examples of her work as well as photographs of the artist herself.
Joe Fafard is a contemporary artist. I have photographed a cow he did, which lies near the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. The cow has recently been moved around the corner and now lies on grass. Learn more about Joe Fafard here.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Walking, I heard a singing tree. Its branches were full of a chorus of birds. Their voices sang of the sunshine whose rays still spread some warmth. Cold weather is coming, but the birds just enjoyed the moment.... as did I.
Still no real snow. And I'm angry. The Harper Government puts economy before everything. Short term solutions for long term disaster. They have backed out of the Kyoto Accord, try to say that the tar sands are not only ethical but environmentally OK. It is an embarrassement to be Canadian.
November was unseasonably warm. December has been unseasonably warm. And this is no longer an anomaly. We have had several of the warmest years in a century just in the last decade. The climate IS changing, whether Harper wants to acknowledge it or not. And we all have to do something to pull in the reins before massive flooding leads to economic hardships in many parts of the world, before climate change leads to drought in other parts of the world. There was a time that Canada led, not just followed. Canada could be an example to others. Instead - if the US isn't on board we won't be either.
Sure, I want people to have jobs. But we have to start thinking longer term than the next quarter of the year. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Let your MPs know you are not happy.
Friday, December 16, 2011
There was a house here. In fact, I knew the people who lived here. I'm amazed that people would buy a house only to demolish it and build anew. I understand renovating; I understand adding on. But to pay the price for a property only to totally demolish is astonishing to me.
We'll see what appears, how it fits in with the neighbourhood. I can't help but feel a little piece of history is missing. I like the fact that my house has been lived in by others. I hope the next buyers will value some of the little touches I leave behind and then put their mark on it. Houses carry history.
I walked past Centaur Theatre on my way to dinner in a restaurant. I have photographed it in the day time. It has a very different feel from a night time shot. This year I have been going to the plays. Next up: In Absentia by Morris Panych. Although the acting has been good in the last two plays I saw, I did not find the plays very satisfying. But in Montreal, it is important to support English theatre.
Monday, December 12, 2011
My Christmas cacti have been good to me, flowering one after another so I can appreciate each plant's blooms.
My summer garden bloomed in profusion - it was the mass of colour I appreciated. But indoors I treasure each flower. Such detail to examine and marvel over the myriad of patterns flowers can take.
I am tempted by the flowers I see for sale. Like an insect, I am attracted by their colours; they lure me in. Can one ever have too many flowers in a home? I don't think I have yet reached that limit!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I never seem to have the right camera or right lens to share the scene I am seeing. I guess that is a major difference between me, the casual hobby photographer and the professionals. They check for nature's phenomena - times of sunrises and sunsets, times of moon rise. I just happen upon these things unprepared.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The government of Quebec wants to start its own gun registry and wants the records for Quebec owned guns. The Harper government wants to destroy all the records, which the tax payers have paid for. This government does not represent me.
We will remember the women who were killed and will, in their names, continue to fight for the conditions that prevent violence to women.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
This downy woodpecker, visible without the foliage was flitting from branch to branch, foraging. He was pecking at the smaller branches so the rap-tapping was quiet.
I love the way the bare branches open up the view, making buildings and the river visible. It's an ever-changing place with our many seasons.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
It's funny to think how these footprints may be interpreted far in the future. Now we study dinosaur footprints. What will these squirrel prints tell future archeologists?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
At this time of year, he faces the Ogilvy's Christmas window - a long-standing tradition. It is full of animated Steiff animals - a whimsical scene. You can learn more about the history of the window here.
and more here.
link to YouTube video that shows them in action along with Spoonman.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Recently it was in the news as the borough was looking at cutting the adult division of the library to save money. It got a last minute reprieve, but citizens of the area are working to ensure it stays open.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
More and more has been written lately about music being so essential to life. In fact, in one article I read it said that music may have come before speech. I know, for me, music has played many roles in my life. I have gone to music for solace, for joy, for relaxation, for stimulation and it has never disappointed me.
Musicians (other than those few pop stars) have a tough time. Instruments like this are very expensive to buy and expensive to keep. While sports figures get sponsors, advertising contracts to pay for their equipment, musicians are self-financed and their earnings are nothing like what a sports player earns.
I would hate to see Charles wear a company scarf to advertise a sponsor, but there has to be a way to make it possible for more musicians to have fine instruments. I had a chance to hear this viole played and it has a beautiful rich sound.
Shakespeare said, " Is it not strange that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?"
This viola da gamba will speak for its players, communicating in ways mere words could never express.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
They nourish my soul as I revel in their quirky shapes and bright colours. I particularly love it when plants re-flower. It's like winning an award for keeping them. But each year I get seduced by yet another flowering plant. Not a big price to pay to chase away the November blues. Who knows which one it will be this year...
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Not so many years ago we simply didn't have access to the information, the virtual relationships, the virtual conferences, the many ways of connecting and learning. My computer really leads to the pot of gold.
The Global Education Conference is taking place this week. I managed to participate in a few sessions. It is amazing what I can access from my home at no cost - a pot of golden ideas, and gems to ponder and share.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
It sparkles at night. There is something special about walking at night. We could hear sounds - the ducks quacking, the swoosh of their wings as they took flight, but could only see shadows.
Our "mountain" offers something for everyone - even the solitude of an evening stroll.
November - that month when all turns grey. I sometimes feel we are all being pulled into a vortex of shorter and shorter days and more darkness. I fight November blahs each year - trying to focus on positives.
Photography pulls me outside to notice all the beauty - even as the world around me goes dormant. I find even when I don't have my camera handy, or can't get to it while I drive, I notice so much more. What some people call a dull drive turns interesting as I imagine the photographs I could have taken.
Walking, we passed a house with many bird houses. The woman there told us she decorates for the birds, placing berry laden branches around so they will have sustenance on cold days.
And always the geese, whose haunting cries fill the air as they gather in ever larger flocks flying south. Nature exhibits such strength and resilience. It sets my mind wondering about so many things.
Photography makes me look, it makes me see in new ways and it makes me appreciate the many things around me. It opens my eyes.
Monday, November 14, 2011
You can look up the golden hour here.
The clocks have changed with the sun coming up earlier in the morning, but setting too early in the evening. I'm preparing for winter. I rose early to get the first appointment at the garage to have my snow tires put on my car. No snow in the forecast, but I'm treating this like an umbrella. If you have an umbrella with you, it doesn't seem to rain. Maybe my snow tires will stave off the snow ;-)
Monday, November 7, 2011
These feathery grasses drop their dried up seeds to wait out the winter. Promises for a new season.
Each day more flocks of geese fly over, their constantly honking calling to others to join them. I wonder how long geese live and how many trips like this they take.
The sun sinks down and we head home. A chill is in the air as the darkness settles in.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Night time temperatures drop below freezing. Autumn is waning.