Tag Archives: Spring

Elk! (Day 9/365)

Elk IMG_3081.jpg

I was cycling home this afternoon, hurrying because the weather had changed for the worse in the hour or so that I’d been out, when I spotted these gals… The resident elk herd was enjoying the fresh grass right beside the main road leading into town.

 

american-elk-1845 John James Audobon

American Elk by John James Audubon, 1845

I only saw cows and youngsters, no bull with this group (I just learned that tidbit – the males are not bucks, as I would have thought…) who were eating and lounging and paying no attention to traffic or cyclists waving cameras in their direction.

For your edification, a few useless facts about elk:

  • There used to be 6 sub-species of elk in North America, but two are now extinct
  • Mature bulls can weigh more than 700 lbs (explaining why it’s such bad news when they are hit by cars on the highway)
  • To attract females, males urinate on themselves, soaking their hair and making sure they are nice and smelly (rather glad males of the human species don’t indulge in such delightful behaviour)
  • Utah has claimed the Rocky Mountain Elk as its state animal
  • An adult elk will eat about 20 lbs of vegetation in a day

 

Canmore Elk IMG_3080.jpg

I’m sure the local elk are enjoying those luscious, fresh green leaves as much as I am! Spring is springing!!

What’s your favourite local wildlife species?

 

 

S is for Slug, Snow, Spindrift, Spring and Street Art (#AtoZChallenge2018)

 

 

Spindrift IMG_2421

Spindrift [Fine snow that blows off a mountain… well, I guess it could blow off anywhere, but this was snow blowing around above the Bow Valley]

Snapseed 87

Snow is melting away before our eyes as spring finally, finally finds its way to the Bow Valley. This year, it seems like winter has been here for a very long time. 

 

S, it turns out, is full of potential when it comes to this month’s daily blogging challenge! It seems everywhere I look it’s all about transformation (the theme this month is Travel, Transformation and Transition…).

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been receiving updates on a watercolour painting from Dad’s studio…

 

IMG_2423

In an artist’s studio, ideas are transformed into drawings, paintings, prints, lino cuts… 

 

The subject matter? Unusual, to say the least!

 

IMG_2428

Slug, slowly making his way to completion… 

 

 

IMG_2422 Slug ECW

Slug on the Camino by E. Colin Williams (2018)

 

 

IMG_2435

Stormy Seas… by E. Colin Williams (Oil on Board) I don’t think that’s actually the real title, but today is day so I’ll leave it for now… I’m sure Dad will let me the correct title. 

 

When I travel, one of the things I love to photograph is the street art I come across. Somehow, even the roughest of neighbourhoods, most rustic back alleys, decrepit sheds, and ramshackle fences are transformed when someone takes the time to add a little art… Here are a few pieces of street art spotted while wondering through Paris earlier this month…

IMG_1800 2.JPG

IMG_1801 2.JPG

IMG_1802 2.JPGIMG_1804 2.JPG

IMG_1808 2.JPG

IMG_1793 2.JPG

And, of course, I can’t leave this post without mentioning Rodin and this piece of sculpture featuring a great stone… Oh, I sure did enjoy myself in Rodin’s garden!

IMG_1702 2

Oh, one last thought… sometimes the stones themselves become works of art as in this installation not far from my place here in Canmore.

 

 

IMG_2409.jpg

Portal XII by Lucie Bause, 2011

 

I could keep going for hours, but it’s been a very long day staring at the computer as I work my way through the draft of the new manuscript and my eyeballs are getting more square by the minute! So, away I go to slip off to SLEEP so I can transition into T is for tomorrow!

 

Abbott Handerson Thayer 1887 sleep-1887.jpg!Large

Sleep by Abbott Handersaon Thayer, 1887

 

 

M is for Mountains and Mary (but not Montmartre)

 

Snapseed 85

Mary Vaux – mountain-lover and subject of a one-woman show performed by Shirley Truscott

 

Last night we headed out to see A Portait of Mary Vaux at ArtsPlace. A mountaineer before women were allowed to be mountaineers (and, really, being forced to tackle glacier travel in long, heavy wool skirts hardly made scrambling around in the Rockies any easier), Mary left quite a legacy of mountain writing, botanical drawings, photographs and precise scientific records of glaciers on the move.

 

440px-Mary_Vaux_Walcott

In 1887 Mary Morris Vaux Wolcott got serious about climbing. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Stephen (10,495 ft)

 

 

Balsamorhiza_sagittata,_by_Mary_Vaux_Walcott

Balsamorhiza sagittata(arrowleaf balsamroot) This painting of Balsamorhiza sagittata (arrowleaf balsamroot) was done by Mary Vaux.

 

Listening to Mary’s words written long ago reminded me just how lucky I am to live here. Poor Mary had to travel from Philadelphia whenever she needed a mountain fix!

 

Snapseed 83

The mountains were in a strange mood today – uncertain whether to welcome spring or hang onto winter for a little longer. I meandered into town, my headphones in, listening to music. Last night’s performance was accompanied by the cellist, Elizabeth Sorochan and this reminded me just how much I love the cello. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to 2Cellos right now… The music certainly suits the mood of the day…

Snapseed 84

 

Snapseed 82

The mountains might have been misty, but the ice has mostly melted in the valley bottom.

 

Occasional snowflakes flitted around as I wandered, lost in a mix of musing and meditation. Mellow. Mmmmm….

I had plans to write about Montmartre and some Malers (Maler being the German word for painter…). There are plenty of German artists to pick from, but I think most will have to wait for another day…

In keeping with the theme of women artists, botany, and the letter M, I’ll finish up with this one by Maria Sibylla Merian.

 

Maria Sibylla Merian pineapple-and-cockroaches-1705

Pineapple and Cockroaches by Maria Sibylla Merian (1705)

 

See you tomorrow!

I is for Ice (AtoZChallenge)

Snapseed 75

It may not be much fun to have your feet whip out from underneath you when trying to navigate an icy sidewalk, but ice in its other incarnations is nothing short of stunning (it is also symbolic of transformation being, after all, the reincarnation of water…).

I was reminded of this on the weekend when we headed out for a bit of spring ice climbing in Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.

Snapseed 77

Back in the farm days, ice was a major pain in the backside. Water buckets froze solid and it was an endless struggle to haul water by hand down to the livestock.

 

Snapseed 81

Days when you have to bash a hole in the ice to get at the water below and then keep things topped up with water you’ve hauled from the top of the hill really make you realize just how much you love your horses (and how much they drink!) 

Today, though, ice is something we climb…

 

IMG_0886-ANIMATION.GIF

Me nearing the top of Professor’s Ice Climb near Banff last year… 

 

Ice is something I never get tired of ogling. Aesthetically, it’s stunning the way ice catches the light, the way it’s always moving, forming and changing, the way it changes colour, the way it is simultaneously hard and unforgiving and fragile in a way that scares me to death.

 

Snapseed 79

Grotto Canyon, practically in our back yard… 

 

Snapseed 78

All of this crumbly stuff was dripping wet… some days one feels like a wetsuit would be the most appropriate clothing choice for climbing… 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A couple of times a year in spring and fall, the edge of ice where it meets water is also symbolic of a seasonal transition. Soon, soon, we will be enjoying our annual spring melt here in the mountains. So far, though, it’s been a cold winter and for that the ice climbers (and skiiers) are grateful. 

What’s your favourite season? I’m partial to spring and fall when change is so obvious in every direction one looks it’s impossible to forget that all things are always in a state of flux. The only constant is change.

 

 

 

 

Image

Spring! (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Spring! (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Blossoms and blue skies… signs that spring is really here.

Y is for Yellow…

… gold, yellow, amber, orange – such a warm display from our cheery tulips, as happy to see the sun as we are.

tulips

F is also for Finally!!

20140407-191426.jpg
Spring!! She has arrived!

(See also: iphoneography)