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Ravens

This is the third post related to my trip to Ireland. Ravens played a big part of what I will remember about the country. Thank you to artists and photographers whose work I am re-posting here to show the strength and beauty of raven.

I’d have never chosen a bird for a totem or guardian animal. I appreciate birds but I was never drawn to them in any special way. Then, in the last four years I started to notice birds of every size. I love to watch for bald eagles, white pelicans, blue herons, sandhill cranes and more recently, ravens.

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Their sheer size, intense blue-black plumage and intelligence intrigue me. They are one of very few birds that stays in this northern region year-round and so I suppose I notice them more here in my remote surroundings because friends are few and far between but wildlife is constant. A raven in a snowscape that can last seven months of the year is hard to miss!

Jasper Fall Wildlife Workshop with John Marriott

At least one or two love to fly by low over the backyard and tease my dogs. I can trick my Dane into racing around if I imitate a raven call, which is pretty funny to see.

I often see them gliding in perfect synchronicity in the sky above the house, hardly having to flap. They grab hold of an unseen wind current and steer on it much the same way I can guide myself on a wave in a canoe.

Synchronicity

In the west of Ireland while hiking, they were everywhere and very active. For the first time I saw them rolling in air, grabbing at each others talons and playing with one another. In one case, six ravens engaged in a remarkable, aerial acrobatic display.

Flying Common Ravens, Corvus corax

While descending Brother O’Shea’s Gully on Carrauntoohil, I had an ethereal experience that involved six ravens in a mystical setting that I have yet to be able to articulate in any way that remotely expresses the fullness of the event. For the first time in my life I am seriously considering getting a tattoo as a way to honour the memory because words are failing me.

I have been researching myths and legends, symbolism and natural history of the corvid known as the common raven. The more I read the greater respect and intrigue I have for the Trickster, Thought, Memory, Distance Healer, Courier of Magic, the colour of the void where all Creativity exists.

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Raven is held in high esteem in several cultures including Celtic, Norse and West Coast First Nations.

Huggin and Munnin

I have included some of the images from tattoos that already exist related to raven in those traditions as a place to start dreaming from for my own potential body art piece. One example is simply geometric design which I also really like and would like to incorporate somehow in order to “hide” other symbols in the art. I have often doodled similar style designs on scraps of paper with pen since I was a kid. Somehow it will all evolve into a piece of art that I might want to ink somewhere on my skin.

 

 

4d0c4fd0cf9d8f270a16efb81e17dfecRaven Feather Tattoos Meaning 1

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Raven 2

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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I ‘Heart’ Hags

This is the second post about my trip to Ireland and a bit about awesome women. We visited the Hag’s Head and walked the Hag’s Ladder. I kind of love the word and think I won’t mind reclaiming it so I can be called one! It sounds kind of rugged and tough.

Side note – I can’t figure out where to put my apostrophe on the word women’s, womens’, womens so forgive the creative use of punctuation.

So I sign up for activities all the time – sports leagues, workshops, trips – where, in addition to trying something that interests me, I figure I’ll

  • meet potential new friends my age and
  • maybe even meet “him,” the guy I might spend the rest of my journey with.

And yet, without fail, I somehow end up on teams and in groups full of married fathers and elder women. It’s the strangest thing!

So I actually had a good laugh when I met my tour group in Ireland and the guide was a married father of three and the participants were three women between the ages of 65 and 80. OF COURSE that’s who my group was!!

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But you know, I wasn’t disappointed and I love them all. I figure there’s something I must be needing to learn from all of these spoken-for men and great mentor-women who I’ve been meeting over the years. If the only lesson is to have fun and live in the moment, mission accomplished!

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The thing about fantabulous married men is that they’re safe because they’re off limits. I can get straight to enjoying their friendship and forget myself. There’s no fretting about trying to look good or assessing the wardrobe every morning or wasting time on trying to flirt, which I’m notoriously bad at anyway. The activity becomes about the shared event and not about the potential of the relationship.

But I want to talk about women in this post more than anything.

Women studies was brand new to the university I went to. I believe I was in the inaugural Womens’ Studies 100 course at the University of Regina in the early 1990s and a good friend of mine was the Women’s Centre co-ordinator at the University of Manitoba during our U-years. I started to learn about womens herstory and the rights movement. It felt like I was hearing our collective stories for the first time instead of only the myths, legends and heroics of white, colonial men that were taught in grade school. Who knew Laura Secord was more than a place to buy chocolates at the mall!? It was refreshing to see the world through the eyes of women who had come before me and to better understand my own context in the world via their lives.

I thoroughly enjoy talking to women older than myself because whether they realize it or not, whether they identify with having been a part of a rapidly changing culture for women and womens’ rights or not, I can see their place in it through what they tell me about how they have lived compared to how I’m able to live today.

Sharon and Shannon 2014-09-16

Women are strong. Period! Whether they were stay-at-home moms, working-outside-the-home moms, single moms, women without children due to choice or circumstance, married women, single women, divorced or widowed women, lesbian, straight or otherwise women … if you take time to talk to women and listen to the stories of their lives to date and the dreams they still have for their futures, there is such great stuff there.

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The more mentor-women I meet along the way, the prouder I am to be a gal and their courage gives me courage to continue to live my life without letting outside judgement affect the choices I make.

Sharon Cliff Top 2014-09-16

Now that I’m in my 40s, I am also discovering the wisdom and fantasticness of young women.

On the second week of my trip in Ireland our group acquired a 26-year-old Swiss woman. She reminded me a lot of the young women that I work with at home who seem so confident and comfortable in their equality with men that I think the idea that womens rights would be anything unique or distinct is foreign. For them, there are simply human rights and everyone’s story is important so the notion that they are equal to men doesn’t register as something that needs to be articulated.

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That worldview is pretty cool to consider. To think that there might be a few societies where young women don’t see a need to be considered separately because of their gender in order to protect their place in the world economically, professionally or personally is wild!

I imagine not all young women feel this way. Do young aboriginal women and women of colour feel the same way? Do immigrant women feel that way? I know not all young women the world over experience equality. I am thankful that the young women I interact with seem free of the concerns that plagued and arrested the development of the generations of women who came before them.

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I feel as though I am in the bridge generation. Gen X is the age group that directly inherited the benefits that came from the tireless work and struggle of our mothers, aunts and grandmothers and so we are keenly aware of and grateful for what we have, nor do we take those hard-earned rights and responsibilities lightly.

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However, like younger women, we live lives that are liberated because we were told that we could be and do anything we set our minds to. So technically we share much in common with young women who seem to breeze through life knowing the world is theirs to triumph.

Granted, as Gen Xers who have been in the work force for 20-odd years, we have periodically come up against old values and systems and have had to wait or are still waiting in the wings until certain someones retire and make room for change.

But young women in their 20s? Sky’s the limit! For real and that is exciting.

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Though the Swiss gal on our trip has girlfriends that are choosing what might be labeled old-fashioned roles and ways of living compared to her choice to live single, economically independent and travelling the world, the thing that seemed poignant was that they have all of the choices without any of the stigma. No judgement from their peers, their parents or their partners; at least none based on the fact that they are making those choices as women.

I made similar choices to my Swiss pal as a young adult and had to defend them. People around me still feared for my future because I walked the road less taken. We were all still learning how to embrace that hard-won equality by women past and experience the positive outcomes that were dreamed about but yet unproven.

Selfie 2014-09-16

Thankfully, as the years go by and my girlfriends and I all succeed in the various paths we’ve chosen, and as young women carry on confidently doing the same without thinking too hard (if at all) about how their gender plays into decision making, I am only more profoundly in awe of elder women. Whether they bucked the traditional, predetermined roles society laid out before them or not, they all added to the foundation that cradled each consecutive generation of girls and boys that has led to the freer world we live in today.

But that’s enough deep thinking for one day. Let’s not forget my opening statement that if the lesson learned from great mentor-women is to live in the moment and have fun …

The gals in my group tour of Ireland never skimped on desserts after supper, napped when they were tired, laughed loudly when something struck them funny and kept the Irish whiskey flowing back in their room in the evenings.

Fun?

Mission accomplished.

Joan and Margy 2014-09-16  The Burren 2014-09-20

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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The Stand Outs in our lives

This is the first entry about my trip to Ireland. I met some incredible people. I’ll start with the mountain leader – a fella who knows and loves the hills almost as much as his three children and wife.

If we’re lucky and looking out for them, a handful of people will stand out along the way and touch our lives. Like trail way-markers on the mountain, they let you know you’re on the right path and being true to who you are, or they illuminate the fact that you’re not being true to yourself and help guide you back.

A person walked into my world recently, like an inukshuk at a fork in the road, and became one of those stand outs.

I signed up for a 15-day hiking tour of Ireland in September and the mountain leader was exceptional. But it was more than that he knew every flower and plant including their historical or medicinal purposes and it was more than his knowledge of local history and folklore and it was more than his technical skill in leading us around the hills and mountains that affected me.

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I discovered a bit of a kindred spirit around whom I didn’t feel like an oddity or too quirky. I returned to the playful, unguarded, living in the now, confident person I used to be when paddling for days on end in the wilderness as a youngster. Laughter came easily and silence wasn’t a burden.

Before leading me down a mountain top goat trail that dropped off into oblivion he said, “Do you trust me?” and without fail I knew that I did. It was no big deal because it felt like we’d known each other an eternity in which he’d earned my trust a million times over.

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Why does that happen sometimes out of the blue? Is it because we’re mentally and emotionally ready for that new experience and friend in our life? Is it because we were somehow connected in a past life and really do know each other well on some spiritual level? Is it the magic that happens when taking on a challenge in the outdoors and you have no choice but to trust the person or people you’re with?

I don’t know. All of the above?

What I take away from the experience of knowing him, and what’s important moving forward, is how I share the same generosity of spirit that he shared with me with those who now come into my life. In fact, I know that to be true because he told me just that after I’d visited him one last time before heading back to Canada. I liked that. It reaffirmed that acts of kindness have no strings attached and are to be given and received with an open heart.

We’re all winding our way to the grave and those bright lights who put a spark in our days leave us with lessons and laughs that are only ours to reflect upon and put to use.

I’m choosing to live with great gusto, to have as many adventures as possible, to surround myself with inspiring, quirky people and to be generous with the people I care about, as well as travellers that I meet along the way.

I know the saying … people come into our lives “for a reason, a season or a life time” …

I don’t have many photos of him and I never thought to take one of the two of us.

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It always felt weird to pull the camera out on this trip. I was keenly aware of my surroundings on this adventure; sights, sounds, smells, textures. As if, from the mountain tops, all of Ireland was imprinting itself on my soul.

I finally saw the wind.

1 Summit Mt Brandon 2014-09-17 2 Summit Mt Brandon 2014-09-17

I conquered my insecurity about being fit enough to hike.

Shannon Mt Brandon Climb 2 2014-09-17

I laid my hands on ancient rocks

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and pocketed little ones from every summit to take home with me and he was there for every part of it. He gave me the first stone at Mount Brandon.

Adrian Summit Mt Brandon 1 2014-09-17

Our guide for week two of the hike … how shall I say it … had a driving style that didn’t suit my sensitive inner ears and stomach. At one point it was finally too much and after having to pull over hastily where I was violently ill in a lovely cafe toilette in Leenane, I crawled into the back-back of the van to lie down and sleep while the others toured a museum in the next town. Now raining outside and shivering cold from being sick, I started reaching around in the van for something cozy to pull over myself so I could get warmed up.

My hand fell on a piece of material and I pulled. He had forgotten his jacket in the van. I pulled it over myself blocking out daylight, the scent of whatever soap he uses calming my frayed nerves.

In the moment before mercifully falling asleep, I was whisked away from my immediate physical suffering and back to the memory of a “thin place.” (a term I learned when studying work by theologian Marcus J. Borg). In that thin place on Carrauntoohil, the veil had lifted and I connected to the source of all energy; God, the Creator, whatever you want to call it.

In that moment before rest, the memory of six ravens playing on air currents in an ancient landscape settled in my mind. The only sound was air being forced through ebony feathers as they sped around and around locked in a playful, aerial display. The sensation of cool mist on my sweaty face, scent of fresh air at altitude in my nostrils and ruggedness of mountain rocks against my palms the only reality. And I recalled the voice of my friend right before he led me into that thin place…

“Do you trust me?”

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I’m so glad that I did and that he tempted me into oblivion.

For interest: When I researched Marcus J.Borg to confirm my thin place definition, the video that popped up addressed it well. Move ahead to 15:26 to hear about Thin Places  http://vimeo.com/24897053

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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Just When You Think You Know Someone – Mosquito Hawk

I’d mowed the lawn. I’d played with the dogs using the garden hose and paddling pool. It was hotter than Hades so I parked myself in a lawn chair to enjoy a few minutes of rest when I noticed a some things going on in the domesticity of my backyard.

Charlie in the pool  Piper chillaxing  

True and Charlie

The lawn was iridescent. Smallish dragonflies – bigger than the wee skinny blue ones but half the size of the giant blue helicopters. Half of them were tangerine in colour and the other half ruby red and they were covering the grass. Their wings made the yard shimmer and they seem to only fly about a foot or two off of the ground. Really beautiful. I was able to photograph a few when they rested on the broad leaves of the raspberry bushes.

Tangerine Dragonfly Ruby Red Dragonfly

 

I’ve been lamenting that we’ve had very few dragonflies this summer and those that have arrived seem late. I know different species hatch at different times of the summer but there was a distinct absence of all of them until just recently.

I should say that I had the incredible opportunity last summer to tag along with several international enthusiasts from the Dragonfly Society of the Americas. I learned so many interesting things about dragonflies from them in the couple of hours I spent watching them net dragons out of the air like they had apprenticed under master Obi-Wan Kenobi. I was even able to pass along a couple of bits of information I’d learned from them to a young “learn to camp” girl who is a recent immigrant to Canada and had caught one in her pond dipping net quite by accident. She ran off excitedly with the dragon clasped gently between her fingers to show her parents and so the passion for mosquito hawks goes on!

Anyway, back in my yard … The mosquitoes are torrential again this year and so I love dragonflies and was so happy to see my lawn covered in them. And then, just when you think you know someone …

MURDER! Murder and carnage in my peaceful oasis!

A giant blue dragon came out of nowhere and smashed into a smaller one on the grass. At first I laughed and was like OMG, interbreeding. What is THAT going to look like next year?

Kind of like my poor Charlie who has the full sized body of a golden retriever and short little basset hound legs – sigh! Cute but not great for him overall.

Charlies Day 2014-06-14 034

Would this dragonfly concoction have a gigantic ruby body with stunted wings?

But then something seemed kind of odd so I got up to go and take a closer look and HOLY TOLEDO! It was on top of a mating orange and red pair and had eaten the head off of the orange one.

Is that the definition of #Frienamies? I mean, I suppose there’s some competition for prey and I know dragonflies are carnivores but REALLY?! A dragonfly eating a cohort? I was having trouble stomaching the sight. I even felt some anger toward Big Blue like, c’mon man! That’s two less dragonflies in the War on Mozzies! What’s your deal?

Such is life in Nature. I reminded myself that that’s how things roll in the great wide wilderness and I went back to my lawn chair while Big Blue gathered up what was left of the mating pair and flew onto my neighbour’s shed to finish its feast. Rub-a-dub-dub. Thanks for the grub. YAYYYYYYY Mother Nature!

Now, gory image aside, I carried on with my relaxing afternoon but twice more in less than an hour I was witness to a similar act of violence, er, suppertime carried out by a Big Blue preying on Ruby or Tangerine. Yes, I’m naming them which screams anthropomorphism of critters but at least I am aware that I’m doing it.

There are very few Big Blues around and tons of Rubys and Tangerines but still. To be 41 years old and never have seen this behaviour before and then see it THREE times in a row was a bit stunning. So you know I got photos.

The third time I had to do it. The Big Blue was like a hawk picking off an unsuspecting mouse in a field. BAM! Big Blue dive bombed out of the sky and plucked Tangerine off the lawn and flew straight into a tree with its prize. I ran under the tree and realized I could reach up and pull down the branch just far enough that I was able to blindly hold up my smartphone and take photos. (click on the images to enlarge)

Carnage  Big Blue eats Tangerine

And that’s life and death in the Dragonfly world. A harsh reality and creepy but awesome in a strange way too. I’ve loved dragonflies since I can remember and that hasn’t changed in spite of learning about this gruesome detail. I still rescued two Tangerines from the dog pool later that day and set them on a fence post in the sun to dry off. Hopefully they didn’t get picked off by the Big Blue that I rescued from the roadway earlier before their wings had a chance to dry and they could fly away.

Let’s part with a hopeful image. I also managed to get a courting flight of a Tangerine and Ruby.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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Travel Well – When are you at your best?

Where and what are you doing when time ceases to exist because every cell in your body is vibrating and every neuron in your brain is firing? What awaits you on those days that you leap out of bed ahead of the alarm clock ringing?

I’ve identified a couple of things that have that effect on me and I’ve realized that if I can immerse myself in that which ignites and motivates me then life is 100% richer. I think it feels like a wealthier life, not because of the salary figure attached but because of the internal well that fills and overflows. The challenge, sense of accomplishment and even failure inspire me in the right circumstances.

I think one good measure of knowing whether or not you’re on the right path is how you feel when you fail at something. If I feel demoralized or even apathetic about a poor outcome, chances are pretty clear that I’m on the wrong path. If a failure makes me hungry to try again, do better or use my creativity to envision a different way, I’m travelling well.

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Isn’t it interesting that as children we so easily migrate to those things that we are naturally inclined but as adults we tend to choose what we think we should be doing or need to improve upon? Why don’t we embrace and follow our strengths rather than beat ourselves senseless trying to perform the stuff that’s on a grown up version of a report card that we hold ourselves accountable to internally?

It’s important to learn new skills and to try new activities, to push ourselves in fresh directions that might open doors of opportunity, but forcing ourselves into boxes that staunch our growth can’t be helpful or healthful.

It sounds so Oprah to say (because she said it) but… here’s what I know for sure.

I AM… an adventurer, a story teller and a seeker of information in order to more deeply understand the world about me.

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I’ve always loved the excitement of an adventure, taking calculated risks and I’m incredibly curious. That said I was never the kid who took the scariest jump off the highest piece of playground equipment but was possibly the second to leap if I could determine with assurance that it wouldn’t kill me. I liked the thrill of scaring myself and feeling just a bit tougher than others who wouldn’t even entertain the thought of tossing themselves from a height, but only if it was on my own terms. If anyone tried to push me into doing something that made me nervous, I shut down. I concluded early on that people bullied and pushed their intent on me only if they were hiding some fact or had an ulterior motive that didn’t have my best interest at heart. There is no satisfaction in fulfilling someone else’s goal, especially if it strips you of your confidence and self-determination in the process.

I loved exploring and rejoicing in the feat of the bravest and most athletic. At times I have berated myself for sitting on the sidelines but the truth is I’m simply not as determined or as reckless in the pursuit of pushing boundaries as some people are. But I’m pretty courageous, question everything and I love to record what those living closer to the edge do – through story telling or photography. I want to be in the thick of things observing the risk takers and change makers so that I can retell the tales of their actions to those who will never be part of that world but who wonder about it.

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[An aside: This attribute also makes me an interesting party-goer. I don’t like to drink but rather bartend. The view from my side of the mickey affords me some excellent fodder for teasing in the days following!]

I love being part of a team where excellence is aspired to. Within that team I need a certain amount of freedom and it’s important to me to have a distinct role that contributes to the end result. I hate being told what to do and need to be trusted to do my part well. I take responsibility and deadlines seriously. I will ask for help if I need it but if controlling, commanding and condescension are in your vocabulary and not collaboration, you can do it yourself smarty pants.

One of These Tents is Not Like the Others

I love being able to reflect on a day and know I accomplished something tangible or contributed to the team accomplishing a greater goal. I don’t want to be the centre of attention but I do like the publicity that my work receives.

I love knowing people intensely through situations where we live large and loud and actively and we’ve had to rely on one another to get the best result. I love knowing a few people really well and being comfortable with them having seen me at my worst or my weakest. I don’t doubt that they have my back because they know I have theirs after seeing them at their lowest.

I like a world where judgement is left at the door; communication is clear and mission-based so as not to be taken as a personal attack when a decision is questioned; each person on the team lifts the others up with their words and actions; and everyone is working towards a common goal that has a clear end in sight.

A success then, is something to savour because everyone on the team knows what it took for each member to do their best whether it was through physical or mental courage and prowess. The entire team has a loyalty and respect for one another that runs as hot as the blood in their veins. It’s vital to the result.

The key element in making all of this come alive for me… the mission must be in the wilderness.

Waskesiu Lake     IMG_20140629_174936 Elbow River Alberta 2014-06-29      IMG_20140629_174701 Colder   IMG_20140629_175200 Shady Lake 2013 041   Birch in Autumn

There is no greater equalizer than Nature. There is no other force that can so swiftly knock a person to their knees, humble them to the core and then raise them up with gifts of fleeting grace and beauty as Nature.

Ice  Weathered Wood Dewdrops 1  Puzzle Rock

 

 

Bow Lake 2014-07-20  Indian Paintbrush Mountains 2014 Height of Land Tower  Paignton Beach 2014

Working with the elements is about adaptation, not winning or beating an enemy, for Nature is not an adversary. It just is, and the challenge is whether or not (and sometimes how quickly) you can puzzle out how to harness Nature’s power to resolve the issue at hand in a way that mitigates irreversible (versus perceived) damage and destruction and heals the earth while protecting those living nearby. Achieving that delicate balance is a grand experience that will leave the entire team buoyed for weeks afterward and striving to repeat the high through increased excellence.

Fire, flood, electrical storms, blizzards, canoe trips, working with wildlife; these are all areas in which I’ve experienced feeling that I am not just connected to but part of every aspect of the natural world about me. There is no separation between Nature and my body and that which I perceive to be “me.” When I can get in that groove and do it with a team of people who are as equally present; body sweating, muscles pumping, sight sharp, ears tuned in, mind keen and lungs so full of air it feels like you might take flight, that is when I am fired up and closest to being the best of what I have the potential to be.

Hope

But the very best part is knowing that I still have room to grow which makes getting out of bed tomorrow as exciting as it was today.

Dreaming

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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The Soloist Sojourner

Elbow River Alberta 2014-06-29

I am the Soloist Sojourner. I am not journeying alone because I’ve lost love, but because I’ve never discovered it. Lovers and bubblehead boyfriends don’t count!

I was walking along the Elbow River on Sunday when a stone caught my eye. It was unlike any of the others. Instead of black or blue or slate gray, it was a myriad of greens and yellows. In fact, at first glance I thought it was petrified wood because of the layers and striations but it was a rock. I picked it up and walked for a long time working it through my fingers and then stopped to look at it again.

It had a face blurred into it on one side and when I flipped it over it had a perfect yellow heart on the other side. An omen! I thought maybe I should take it home and add it to my stone collection.

But you know what? I’m sick of omens and palm readers and messages from relatives who have passed over telling me there’s hope on the horizon. In case no one else ever noticed, the horizon always stays just out of reach as does, apparently, the guy who I’m supposed to meet and spend the journey with.

I chucked that F’ing rock as far as I could down the shoreline, just mad all of the sudden.

Elbow River above falls

It would seem that I have to remind myself every now and again that my life is full and fulfilling regardless of whether or not I ever meet someone to share it with. There’s something so sneaky and cruel about television and movies and pop music that make a person think they’re “less than” if they don’t have some sort of earth-shattering love affair going at all times and if they haven’t found THE ONE!!!

Anyway, after I threw the rock I felt a bit silly and went in search of a better attitude, which I found quickly and enjoyed the rest of my day with Piper exploring the Elbow post-2013 flood havoc.

Start of the falls

It was unnerving how different everything still looks one year on and yet Nature is never wrong so it was equally as impressive and beautiful. It will be interesting to see how Alberta parks decides to set up the picnic sites again with the new shape of the river and shorelines.

Allen Bill Pond is now simply Allen Bill [giant white box placed over top of the word "pond"] because the river has changed course entirely.

 IMG_20140629_165134  Allen Bill [pond]

I tried hard to get an “USie” with Piper to capture our lovely day but

1. she was NOT co-operating and

2. my arm is NOT long enough to get both of our faces in the shot properly.

I started to get frustrated and then it got silly and THEN I realized she had spotted a woodpecker on a tree in front of her and she kept ducking her head from the camera this way and that NOT because she was purposefully being obstinate but because she was intensely intrigued by the bird. And then it was hilarious just trying to get the photo at all!

The USie The USie try again The irritated USie

Ohhhh it's a woodpecker  Interesting woodpecker

Back to the USie No I'm not punching her Ridiculous i give up

We topped off the afternoon by stopping in at an off-leash hill near my parents’ house. They have all of these urban wildland corridors in Calgary that are worth their weight in gold. Even though there were police sirens and traffic on Stoney Trail and houses all around, it felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.

On Saturday, I walked Piper there and there were bucks with velvet antlers munching grass in the valley and the hill was covered in wildflowers, too many varieties to count! Then the rain stopped, the clouds began to burn off and one of the brightest rainbows I’ve ever seen stretched across the entire community. Magical! So I went back to take some photos of the flowers even though it wasn’t quite as magnificent as it had been on Saturday.

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I even captured some daisies dancing in the wind.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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The River Just Is

How does a year fly by and life carry on

after the river carves a new path across the landscape,

permanently alters the course of its flow and determines its own future in a moment of torrential rage?

 

Didn’t the river know that we were in control

like ants ever working and building on our wealth

like beavers never resting but improving, blocking, shaping and shifting

the world to fit our view of it?

 

Didn’t the river know that we love waterfront property and believe we have the right to lounge at its edge feeling safe and secure?

Didn’t the river know that we thought we could turn its power on and off like the faucet in our sink?

Didn’t the river know that most of us have become so disconnected from what its true nature is that we only acknowledged it when

denied access to it or

we didn’t like its aesthetics or

we had to share it with others?

 

A year has come and gone

and like pebbles funneled through the torrent, power-washed raw,

we have been flung far and wide, deposited here and there,

glacial erratics stumbling blindly through the chaos left in the river’s recession.

 

The river just is.

It knows not, it thinks not, it judges not,

it neither loathes nor loves anyone.

It will rise and it will fall again.

The river just is.

 

And we are humbled.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in PonderQs

 

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