Wednesday, 30 September 2015

amazing september

It's already been 10 days since I took these pictures

on a quiet Sunday morning, marveling the creative technology and expanse
 that this spider web covered
with an expansive view over the hayfield out back

the tomatoes ripen slowly, the way they are supposed to
The next day we headed off to Halifax where I amused myself,
taking photos from the car as Wally drove
First stop was a restoration salvage store that we so enjoyed
These are flanges that sit behind a door handle

and these, of course, are old handle sets

flanges with key holes for a more complicated door handle
Odd that the best of my photos were door handles when there was so much else to see,
but I must admit that we were on the fly and stacked windows and doors don't make for great shots.

On our way downtown we got a glimpse of the new library
Just beyond is the old Nova Scotia Technical College, remarkably pillared,
now named the Medjuck Architecture Building. Note all the bicycles parked to the left,
which explains how some deal with the lack of parking.
We were on our way to a favourite stop, a letterpress shop called Inkwell
which I have no pictures of though they are easy to find online.
You may recall the pictures I took last summer when we made this same trip and the view across from Inkwell was a giant hole in the ground that is now filled with tons of steel.
There was no time to stop at this other favourite stop, Black Market Boutique,
a feast of colour import shop

and just beyond this crazy pizza hut with its upstairs outdoor dining,
incongruously place next to a yoga centre
Halifax has some lovely rowhouses on the way to my

doctor's office! The view was a nice distraction as we waited 45! minutes for my check-up
with the threatening sign that we would be charged $40 for arriving late.
Thankfully I had my little camera to keep me amused. I didn't realize that I had taken this picture

and going"
Downtown Halifax is full of O-o-ld buildings like this flying buttressed gothic church
To get to the Nova Scotia Designers Craft Council ( try saying that 3 times fast)-which turned out to be closed,- we had to drive behind the old train station, that is hidden behind the trees and is outsized by the enormous Westin hotel.
As we approached the old pier that now houses the craft council shop as well as Pier 21 ( the old immigration centre) as well as a huge farmer's market and brewery, we were Wowed! by the impressive size of not one, but 2 gigantic cruise liners

looming behind the brown building, this magnificent ship

the Holland America

Well, try to find free parking downtown during rush hour,
we found a meter and watched the starlings as we ate our picnic lunch in the car.

I get a kick out of these perky little birds.
After a pleasant trip to our favourite art supply store, we ventured out
as the rush hour diminished, passing this neighbourhood of funky second hand shops

People still wending their way home
Looks like black and white is in
That is what was on my mind, having been struck by Vincent Van Gogh's desire for a blacker black when he was learning lithography.  I have only 100+ pages to go in my 800+ page biography that I've been slowly consuming all summer.
Wally bought me 2 black pencils, a Derwent, and a Koh-I-Noor Progresso, and mixed media sketchbook  to reward me for being such a good girl at the doctor's office.
 I drew this in the car on the way home
I will have more of my latest artwork to share with you tomorrow.
Til then, a sweet end to an amazing September.
holding peace in our hearts

Monday, 28 September 2015

supermoon eclipse

In the midst of a Total "Supermoon" Lunar Eclipse, I am moved to write about it as I am too cold to stay another minute outside.

 This might normally be a Harvest Moon, the name given to the first full moon after the equinox, but every 18 years, there is a full total lunar eclipse where the moon is closest to the earth. That is when it is called a Supermoon.  That is a term used for a full or new Moon that occurs when the Moon is less than 360,000 kilometers (ca. 223,694 miles) from the center of the Earth. It appears largest as it rises. The next Supermoon eclipse will not happen again until October 8, 2033. 

 A Total Moon Eclipse occurs when the Moon, the Earth and the Sun are in a straight alignment. You may have heard that this Lunar Eclipse is called a Blood Moon, but not by astronomers. Even though the Earth completely blocks sunlight from directly reaching the surface of the Moon, the Moon is still visible to the naked eye during a Total Lunar Eclipse because the Earth's atmosphere refracts sunlight and indirectly lights up the Moon's surface with a reddish colour, same mechanism that causes colorful sunrises and sunsets.

The darkest part of the Earth's shadow as it sits on the moon is called the umbra. This umbra is about 870,000 miles (1.4 million km) wide. As I watched the eclipse tonight, it was like an exotic pearl. With the binoculoars I had a real sense of the moon's dimension. Part of the lyrics to the song "Stranger in Paradise" came to me:

I saw her face and I ascended
Out of the commonplace into the rare
Somewhere in space I hang suspended
Until I know there's a chance that she cares
(written by Robert Wright and George Forrest for the musical "Kismet")
My pictures of the moon are too poor to share, so I will leave you with this watercolour I made.
watercolour and coloured pencil
peace on earth under a starry sky and a wondrous moon

Friday, 25 September 2015

Lunenburg on a Saturday evening

As I promised earlier this week, I have more pictures from our Saturday outing to the South Shore:
The quintessential fishing village turned tourist destination-

We parked the car beside the friendliest seafood chef who was sitting in his car before work.
 We chatted while I changed into my comfortable walking shoes. That set the tone.
There were so many beautiful little houses to see.
Always colourful

Between the houses I could look down onto the Bluenose II that was docked, taking on visitors.

 This was a good vantage to get the view across the sheltered harbour.

A most beautiful bride and groom came towards us. "Congratulations!" I called.
A special visit for me with Marrie Berkelaar, a talented weaver who owns the Double Whale shop on a steep corner.  Her seagrass baskets that I fell in love with when I first visited her 2 years ago were still there, still hugely inspiring to me. She won't sell them but encourages me to make my own.
Once the home of John Henry Kaulbach, sheriff,  a study in symmetry, built for him around 1608
a tender rose blooming between houses requires a sniff of its heavenly perfume 

a natty local pedestrian on an evening walk
an exquisite orange gladiolus set perfectly against its complementary colour
a magnificent piece of architecture
with a surprise over the door

This 1830 beauty on the corner of King Street
Note the colour of the building across the street

Here it is closer up, and then the bold green at the end of the block

where our natty pedestrian passes by.
This building houses the restaurant, Cilantro (appropriately coloured), as well as
"The Mariner King Inn" with "Candy Apple Suites" according to the sign

We reach the wharf where a friendly gentleman explained his knots to us

Then went to retrieve the knot he threw to demonstrate the use of one of them.
A dory, a traditional fishing boat with the masts of the Bluenose II behind it.  Built in 1963 as copy of the original Bluenose that was built in 1921,  the Bluenose was a fishing schooner that became famous for racing other schooners in its hey day.
The Bluenose II is a magnificent boat; unfortunately my pictures don't do it justice.
A friendly passerby offered to take our picture, our first together since we moved to Nova Scotia 3 years ago this past August.  It is only our  fourth trip to Lunenburg, always on the fly at the end of the day as we always get caught up in Mahone Bay or Chester along the way.
Afterward, I moved in closer on the Bluenose II , it's lovely gold scrolling, its sails rolled down,
and more sails rolled to the prow
Wally cautioned me about the fog moving in, that we must keep moving
Signed a fin whale bone, this seems to be a skull.
The red marine museum was closed, but the restaurant at the wharf side of it was bustling.

As I turned I saw a cormorant on a harbour marker
The Cape Sable docked here in Lunenburg, the wind bringing the fog in
blocking out the sun

The Cormorant Ness Monster 

a working boat docked on this Saturday evening

Four Masts and a Street Lamp 

Fog filling the harbour

A pretty garden at the end of the wharf
Across the street, a pretty building that Wally identified as the washrooms
as apparently I'm not the best sign reader, admiring it for its charm.
We decide to take a short walk along a pathway that naturally extended along the water

wild apples growing alongside
a view of the harbour from this end
and the pleasant walk back 

where we found a lovely corner lot house that is beautiful from every angle
As we left the downtown we admired an unusual front porch on this house that shows the typical hills of these coastal towns

The entrance of this Tudor-like building that houses The Knot Pub

And one more quant charmer as we drive by,  before my camera battery died.

And that's all, I'm afraid of this amazing tourist destination, full of wonderful shops and galleries,
and, of course, fabulous ships and houses and scenery and people, and amazingly only 1 1/2 hours from home, Definitely worth the trip.
Next time, our visit to Halifax.
Oh, and pictures. I've been drawing and painting a lot lately.
a lovely last weekend of September to you.