Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The colours are starting. They are never as vibrant in the city as in the countryside. This year, in particular, I find them mainly muted, with leaves drying up before they really show their usual flashy fall foliage.
A walk around the mountain is never complete without a stop at the lookout to see the view. When the distant mountains are visible, I know we are breathing fairly clean air!
Facing west, you can see out to the silver ribbon of a river. As we go about our daily routines, it is easy to forget that Montreal is on an island. It is not everywhere that we get views of the river. Yet that is such an important part of why the city was established here in the days when ship travel was the most important form of transportation.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Although I don't manage to take photos every day, my eyes have been trained to see differently. I notice things I never would have noticed before. And I have learned from my many online fellow photographers. I usually tend to look for beauty, though it may even be the beauty in decaying plants. Mikecogh has shown me through his photos, that the underside of life is also interesting. He photographs rusty items, back alleys (along with lots of more picturesque shots) and finds ways to make them intriguing.
I liked the strong lines I found here as well as the shadows. I'll have to go looking some more for the grittier aspects of my city.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
No matter how stressed I am, a walk in nature seems to calm me. With the beginning of a work year (I live on the educational calendar), renovations and much more, a walk was just what I needed.
Near the parking lot, these grasses swayed in the wind. They grow tall enough to hide the cars.
We walked down to see the river. There is something calming about watching the water. The sun was dancing on the water.
The duck seen at the top of this post made quite a display as it spread out its feathers.
Here it is in another pose. Funny how this kind of walk slows down my gait as I stop to notice life around me. It may not be good for my heart (in cardio terms) but it is oh so good for my heart. David Suzuki talks about how important it is to spend time in nature.
The colours, the sounds all contribute to a sense of well-being. Time for me to get out again!
Monday, September 17, 2012
I have written about this group, Flute Alors! before.
The musicians as individuals and as a group have been winning accolades in music competitions and for their concerts. The concert at the recorder festival was no exception. To add a little spice, the concert was billed as audience choice. We voted on a choice of two options of pieces for two parts of the concert and pulled names from a hat for two other pieces as to which musician played which line. It certainly keeps them on their toes.
Each of these players possess a dazzling technique (my fingers wish they could move that fast) as well as a facility with a variety of musical styles. I have subscribed to their Montreal series so will be treated to more of their musical offerings over the year. Their website will tell you a little more about them. And for a musical treat
A promotional video for their CD, Kaleidoscope (in French)
and one more
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Each year, as part of the Montreal Recorder Festival, there are some events which take place here. The building, once a clinic as you can see by the writing at the top, is now the home of Jeunesses Musicales. As we were early for the concert, we decided to stroll in the neighbourhood.
Most homes are small, sharing a wall with the next home. But each finds a way to stand out from the others. This strip of homes appealed with its change of colours.
It was a very dry summer. The sidewalks are starting to be littered with fallen leaves, many drying out and falling before they have had a chance to change colours. They crunch underfoot. There are many homes with interesting architecture dating back over 100 years.
They need some loving care to keep them in good condition. A delightful place to walk!
Monday, September 3, 2012
A friend and I went out to Parc-nature du Bois-de-l'Île-Bizard. Part of the path is a boardwalk over a swamp. Each time we go out we see different wildlife. Last time we were lucky to see beaver. This time we were treated to watching a green heron, which didn't seem at all perturbed that we were very close by.
The air was still with perfect reflections.
Beaver have dammed the area creating swamps out of marshes. The result - dead trees that stand as testament to drier times. However, the water level was very low - there has been very little rain this summer.
The sun beat down. Turtles took advantage of the heat to bask on logs. There are two kinds of turtles in the park: snapping turtles and painted turtles.
No beavers to be seen this time. We'll have to go back and see if they deign to let us see them.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
A perfect day for a walk around Summit Park. The wild growth is going to seed, moving into autumn mode. The air was clear, September air, a hint at cooler temperatures.
There is still more ripening to come. There won't be frost for a while.
Summer lingers in the flowers. Nature doesn't follow our calendar. Change of month does not translate to immediate change in weather. I've been in education most of my life. The end of August is a change of seasons for me but nature takes its time.
A walk around Summit Park always means taking time to stop at the lookout, to view the city from this vantage point. Finding the beauty in the man made structures - blending with nature.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
This old tree has been trying to find space in the sidewalk. Its roots have curled into themselves. It fights for space with the concrete walk, the underground pipes and the pavement on the road. And yet it still thrives. I often marvel at how nature finds its way, with weeds growing in the tiniest cracks and trees taking root on their own wherever they can. We need to treasure our trees - nature's natural air conditioners as their shade cools and their breath gives us the oxygen we need.