Thursday, 30 April 2015

Christmas in April

Well, just to round this difficult and at times most beautiful month out, we've had to make the trip to Truro twice. On Monday it SNOWED! I think I must be the only one who enjoyed it. It certainly made for some very atmospheric photographs. I hope you enjoy them, despite the blur from a moving car..

There is a beautiful bend in the road that I love where this gracious park setting lays

and this is the old house to which it belongs

Soon we're at the 3 corner junction in Brooklyn marked by Shirley's Pizza Grocery.
If you recall from "Anne of Green Gables", Shirley can be a last name as it was for Anne.

a sweet little green house in town

Mostly we saw rolling hills and farmland. I love this stately stand of trees that serve as wind shelter.
Wally told me that this late spring snow has been called "the poor man's fertilizer" as it puts a dose of nitrogen into the ground with its quick melt. Is it so? We don't know.

as these trees do here that shelter this lovely old home

Most of the old houses we saw stand alone without neighbours

a lovely expanse of flooded river

It's such a treat to get a strong silhouette of a healthy mature tree

Here's a sweet place to come home to

This was a long trip. 

Trying to capture these scenes from a moving car was a pleasant distraction.

Mighty denizen, roadside guardian

Christmas in April

an old rural fence

a creek divides two fields

The kind of scrubby old trees as one gets nearer the main highway

an old willow across a pond

a rush-skirted pond

a rural charmer

Now we are on the slow road northwest to Truro
 because Wally wanted to avoid the highway in this "greasy" weather
We see a few of these farmhouses situated at the top of a lonely hill

We come through the town of Shubenacadie, affectionately known as Shubie

as we near Truro, the houses are still simple but the properties get nicer, more cared for
This one is as pretty as a Christmas card

beautiful landscaping precedes this simple home

now we are in Truro and this plain house is one of too many 
I like to show you the pretty ones, but really this is the bulk of reality

Here is a glimpse of the original Stanfield's factory.
Older Canadians will recognize this company as the standard in underwear from yesteryear.

There are some wonderful old buildings downtown.
Here is a romantic detail of an old church

Truro's courthouse with the statue carved from an old tree, 
not uncommon around town

Another carving, as we drive through town

a stately mansion

and I leave you here.

 As circumstances would have it, we did this trip again two days later, that is, yesterday. 
 I will post some pictures tomorrow.

As you can see, there are still patches of snow on the ground. It can be the typical damp cold on some days, and others, quite balmy. In other words, a nice slow slide into spring, where we get a real one, and notf too fast a jump into summer.  I hope you are enjoying these rare days of what we often call
 "the shoulder season". These days are just as precious for all their humble qualities.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

spring's secret

Hello again from Nova Scotia, on a slow slide into spring.  I have a few pictures to share of our stop by a country bridge. Not a person or vehicle in sight as I stopped to commune with the beautiful sights and sounds and scents of this wild place.

What appear to be rapids is just the serene reflection of the clouds.

a small river, really, that holds much of the spring run-off

Perhaps we could name it Cloud River

The reinforced river's edge

Scrub trees reflected in the water

Their soft cones still cling from last autumn

on the other side of the bridge the old power pole stands sentry in the red dogwood

 gentle reflections by the river's bank.

Back at home the next morning, standing in the last of the snow, the ash tree, 
or really, the ash trees for now, in the light of day, we can see that they are two.
And if you look closely, you can see the slightest parting in the middle.
They never looked more like two bodies hugging close.

The intense tenderness of the spring prelude that holds its promise close. This is the promise of love.
Let us be open to its secret heart.

Friday, 24 April 2015


Transitions can be hard. Spring, the quintessential time of rebirth, is so welcome and so starkly transitional from the harshness of winter. One would think the slide into warmer weather, seedlings started and birds singing would be easy. On some days, when I'm hanging the laundry out in the temperate breeze and the starlings are cooing and gurgling in the big ash tree, I feel the kindness and love well up in me.  As with all things, it is what we carry inside that makes our lives easy or difficult, for life will always be throwing those curve balls, and it's how we learn to catch or dodge them that makes all the difference.

Babu watches me from across the table.
 He is at turns wild, like a squirrel in the house running from me and ducking my touch,  then loving and cuddly and purr-y.
On a late afternoon, a week or so ago, the sun-tipped  tops of the trees between Forget-Me-Not Cabin and our little birdhouse glowed as the sun went down.
You can see that we lost one of our bird houses and still haven't straightened the other. 

The sun fades away so quickly.

The next evening I caught Muji avidly listening to something; it was a mouse in the wall. Yikes.

Muji so happily reposed. Usually I put on an apron to hold him as he has angora-like fur that gets onto everything. He is doing much better now on his therapeutic diet and finally finished his anti-biotics and pain medication. I am determined to move him and Babu to a cooked diet that would entail bagging and freezing individual portions as Muji's illness cost him much physical and emotional duress...and us the worry and a pretty penny.

This morning as the garden (and the bench) emerge and the snow recedes

a little owl emerged in this doodle

I hope you are having a pleasant transition into your next season. It is 5 weeks now since the spring equinox, the interim rolling us topsy-turvy. I am looking forward to carving out a space in my new studio.  As with most tidying, it gets worse before it gets better as I sort through  what is necessary to the space, what needs storing and what can be tossed.  Some people are very agenda-oriented and get much done so efficiently while the rest of us wade through the memories and emotions to get 'er done. I can only wish you patience, the kind that comes through accepting your personal flow.

All in good time. 

Or, as I read recently,
"You can't have it all. Where would you put it?" 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

the light of knowledge and compassion

Oh my. As I add it up, I realize it's been 19 days since my last blog post.
There have been a few curve balls thrown our way or, as the Universe might say, some wake up calls.

Back in March we didn't know

that Muji was brewing crystals in his urinary tract, not uncommon in male cats.
We also didn't know that it was the fish formula food that we had changed over to that was causing the wrong PH in his urine. Already challenged with the injuries he had sustained before we adopted him, he was more vulnerable than Babu. After a difficult week, and many hundreds of dollars later, Muji is back to normal. We are lucky we didn't lose him.
That's Babu's nose tucked close to the crook of his elbow as he straddles Muji lovingly
 prior to Muji's illness.

Muji, first day home after 2 days away, in sleeping pose #1

Muji, sleeping pose #2

Muji, sleeping pose #3, also known as Flying Away to Dreamland

Sweet Dreams dear boy

This morning the boys find me checking out my new studio,
 shots of which I will share with you soon.  Curiosity trumps sleeping

Muji on the stairs

Babu flies to the top of the stairs, ever the athlete

The view from the top of the stairs.
Wally still has to stop and get out of the car to see over the snow bank
so he can pull safely out of the driveway.

It is almost balmy out. Do you see the feral cat tracks in the snow?  
They are stinking up our property as they maintain their program to mark anything they can

 A ratta-tatta-tatta-tat pulled me from my chair to chase a woodpecker, or more likely the flicker, from damaging our roof - shades of the old days in Muskoka when a woodpecker would come yearly to announce the spring (more likely his territory) on our steel chimney.
I still remember with giggles, Wally in his pajamas, waving the plastic owl at a huge pileated  woodpecker in a frantic, sleep-sodden, useless attempt to scare the him away

A startling bright landscape, through the glare on the back window this morning, 
 as Forget-Me-Not Cabin rises slowly into view.

To the east, through the hedge, now border of California Maples and lilacs, 
to the neighbour's back yard. 

Babu and Muji taking in some sun.

Thank you for hanging in there and visiting here again. 
Wally is on my case to get back to creating. I'm overdue. The job at hand is to sort through my new messy studio.  After exploring the minimalism aesthetic and its emotional benefits, (see the 2 videos in my post of March 17 ) I will be removing the duplication in my studio to the basement so that my new space, and I,  can breathe.

sending you my wishes for light and compassion for others and yourself