Friday, February 20, 2015

"Which of the horses
we passed yesterday whinnied
all night in my dreams?
I want that one."

from Stories from Kansas
 
 

More photos from our trip in Oct. these are our friends horses.
 All the quotes are from William Stafford's
Stories That Could Be True New and Collected Poems.




 


"While the earth breaks the soft horizon
eastward, we study how to deserve
what has already been given us."

from Love in the County



"The wild keeps telling us something 
we want to pass on to the world:
Even far things are real.

from Whispered into the Ground


Friday, February 13, 2015



“Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, 

that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons.” 

from My Antonia

 by Willa Cather



My latest photos are from a trip to visit our friends that live in Southern 
Alberta. They live in the true prairie in an area fringed by the nearby 
Drumheller Badlands. And while I love the Aspen Parkland where we 
have built our cabin among the sloughs and the poplars. I will always
 love watching the movement of the clouds, the wind, the shadows,  
the seasons and the migrations that move across the endless sky and 
the vast fields of the open prairie. These photo stem from 
a trip to explore a road cut on the edge of the Badlands.








I am bound to the earth by a web of stories,
just as I am bound to the creation by the very substance and
rhythms of my flesh. By keeping the stories fresh, I keep the places
themselves alive in my imagination. Living in me, borne in mind, these
places make up the landscape on which I stand with familiiarity and 
pleasure, the landscape over which I walk even when my feet are still."

 from Telling the Holy
    by Scott Russell Saunders









Sunday, February 8, 2015




"His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes - when he lifts their soft lids -
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder -
Blake, maybe,
or the Book of Revelation.

Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and the dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear -"


from The Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard
Mary Oliver




Not so little Great Horned Owl
Hand Hills Alberta Oct 2014

"Where it not for the way you taught me to look
at the world, to see the life at play in everything, 
I would have to be lonely forever.”

from Lights on a Ground of Darkness
Ted Kooser

Thanks Tim

Saturday, February 7, 2015

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor
 towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

from Burnt Norton
             T.S. Eliot


somewhere in the Hand Hills area, Southern Alberta




Saturday, January 24, 2015





"As we walk our own ground, on foot or in mind, we need 
to be able to recite stories about hills and trees and animals, 
stories that root us in this place and keep it alive. The sounds we 
make, the patterns we draw, the plots we trace may be as native 
to the land as deer trails or bird songs. The more fully we 
belong to our place, the more likely that our place will 
survive without damage. We cannot create myth from scratch,
 but we can recover or fashion stories that will help us to see 
where we are, how others have lived here, and how we
 ourselves should live."

from Telling The Holy
          Scott Russell Sanders

Last week I notified my employer of my intention to retire
this spring. The above quote indicates in part, what I hope
to do. Which is to learn and  participate in the rhythm of 
life and the change of seasons that occurs in the area 
surrounding our cabin. There will also be time for books, 
hobbies, friends, and family. The movement of clouds and 
stars against the sky, the winds across water, through
 trees will hopefully not find me too busy or too tired to 
pause for a moment to listen to their songs. 





The night before we left the cabin this year the young bear that has
been hanging around the last year or so crossed the road. Not a 
great shot but a good reminder.


This is the life I wanted, and could never see.
For almost twenty years I thought that it was enough: 
That real happiness was either unreal, or lost, or endless,
And that remembrance was as close to it as I could ever come. 
And I believed that deep in the past, buried in my heart 
Beyond the depth of sight, there was a kingdom of peace. 
And so I never imagined that when peace would finally come
It would be on a summer evening, a few blocks away from home 
In a small suburban park, with some children playing aimlessly 
In an endless light, and a lake shining in the distance.

from In The Park
By John Koethe

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes
 when they flung the door open. In the fore-court, lit by the dim 
rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little field-mice stood in 
a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws 
thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. With bright 
beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing 
and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the elder 
ones that carried the lantern was just saying, "Now then, one, two, three!" and 
forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the 
old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow 
and held by frost, or when snow-bound in chimney corners, and handed 
down to be sung in the miry street to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time."




We had a nice long break at Christmas, Helen's mother was 
here for the week. We had friends over Christmas Day for 
turkey and a viewing of Alastair Sim in a Christmas Carol but
I wanted to celebrate the season a bit more. This blog is of
course named with a quote from the Wind in the Willows so two
more quotes seemed appropriate. and this cast of characters
has been lovingly assembled over the years to help us
remember to honour Christmas in out hearts, hopefully all
year long.

        













        
  
"He saw clearly how plain and simple — how narrow, 
even — it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant 
to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in 
one's existence. He did not at all want to abandon the 
new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun 
and air and all they offered him and creep home and 
stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to 
him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to 
the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to 
come back to, this place which was all his own, these things 
which were so glad to see him again and could always be 
counted upon for the same simple welcome."

both quotes  from the Wind in the Willows
                                                                by Kenneth Graham

Thursday, January 1, 2015



"On every side the shadowy hills or the guessed, featureless sea 

extended beyond sight. But the hawk-flight of imagination followed 
them as they curved downward below the horizon. I perceived that I 
was on a little round grain of rock and metal, filmed with water and 
with air, whirling in sunlight and darkness. And on the skin of that 
little grain all the swarms of men, generation by generation, had lived 
in labor and blindness, with intermittent joy and intermittent lucidity 
of spirit. And all their history, with its folk-wanderings, its empires, 
its philosophies, its proud sciences, its social revolutions, its increasing
 hunger for community, was but a flicker in one day of the lives of stars.


If one could know whether among that glittering host there were here 
and there other spirit-inhabited grains of rock and metal, whether man's 
blundering search for wisdom and for love was a sole and insignificant 
tremor, or part of a universal movement!"

from The Star Maker (1937)
Olaf Stapledon


Well I have been very lazy lately, I have not even finished 
editing my summer photos from the cabin.
I will try top be a little more active this year
although I am not much for resolutions. 

In the early morning I like to walk down the grid road 
that passes our lane to a small slough where the road curves. 
It was on one of these walks that I met this Waxwing. I am 
always amazed at how delicately coloured they are when 
I see one up  close. 







All the best in 2015

" Over there the pale snow lay in a different fashion
than on my roof, over there the beech forest and the
black pine trees were indescribably beautiful and 
reserved in a way I never saw in my neighborhood;
perhaps God Himself walked over there along the 
slopes, and whoever met Him there could touch Him
and speak to Him and look closely into His eyes."

from At Year's End 1904
              by Hermann Hesse