Monday, February 28, 2011

2011-02-25 Today when I took these pictures it was one of the coldest
morning this winter. About -30 C with a windchill at 7:30.
I was unhappy I missed the sunrise when I noticed the smoke curling
up from all the buildings.  I love to look at the tops of buildings.

My favorite artist is a Canadian called Ivan Eyre. I first saw his work 
when his show Personal Mythologies/ Images of the Milieu
was at the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary in 1989.
 I must have seen it 5 or 6 times, afterwrds I collected books
and catalogues, actually worked near one of his large canvases etc. 

One of his recurring motifs is figures up along the top of tall buildings
often blowing horns.  Both my wife and I now often scan the tops
of buildings because of this.  I have not seen an Eyre hornblower
but with the proliferation of satellite dishes and other
equipment the buildings now appear as crowded
stage sets where anything is possible.

"under a sky taut with time's tension,
never a sun
in that sky, but
brilliance, the splendid,
cosmic, benign."

                The Edge of Fire
                          for Ivan Eyre
                                                    George Woodcock

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Once or twice and maybe again, who knows,
the timid nuthatch will come to me"

"Nobody owns the sky or the trees.
Nobody owns the hearts of birds"

both quotes from
Mary Oliver's
Winter and the Nuthatch

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This week I have been playing with my new toy an
inexpensive Bower 58-46 mm Lens that acts as a
wide angle, fish eye and macro lens.

The macro worked well but I have to experiment with lighting.
Another problem is that when your feline assistant whips the netsuke
off the desk they do sustain a fair bit of damage.
( the netsuke not the cat )

Ex assistant Max

I love this shot I have a curved light standard and the
central spruce appears purple but when I moved the
purple highlight appeared in different spots like the building.

 I had been trying to get this shot a for a couple of days. 
It was hovering in the - 20 Cs at lunch.
The sun appeared very bright and the clouds
were haloed in red and blue.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Has it ever been absent, this desire
for every moment to stand in relief,
the unending row of them set
like solitaires into what passes,
burnished to unbearable depths?"

                                The Modernist Impulse
                                  On My Birthday
                                                   Melanie Rehak

Thursday, February 24, 2011

                 Nose Hill Park a large grassland park in Calgary
                photographed Feb. 18,  2011.

"The grey hills. like whales,
Journey in the western sea:"

                         Winter Hills
                                 D.G. Jones

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

                               "Through a back door in the landscape
come the magpie
black and white."

Morning Birds
                          Tomas Transtromer

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sauturday was not much warmer
but we had a beautiful clear blue sky. 

I find out why our birdfeeder
gets fewer Michelin stars than the neighbours.

Everywhere there was shadow, colour and pattern. 
With a grey sky sometimes everything seems grey.

"Frost sparkles on the roofs of the small kiosks
at street corners
and on the red berries of the mountain ash
outside the apartment building."

               Cold Spell
                                                       Elizabeth Brewster

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday was cold -21 C at lunch but with a beautiful blue sky.

And there were lots of interesting shapes and patterns.

I am still experimenting with the camera.
The plane worked.

This not so well, the camera decided
I wanted a picture of the branch.
Next chapter to read in my
Dummies book manual focus?

"I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief."
                     The Peace of Wild Things
                               Wendell Berry

Friday morning we are at -22 C heading to -24 C
the photos that follow are from Wednesday.

"This day is definitive            frigid
Brittle             cloudless       And we walk
In the streets and out of the city
Wrapped in our shivering selves"

"A sudden end seems poised
In the air          devoid of love
Some confluence of fate
Traces a black line in the snow"

                     both quotes from
                                  The Waste of the World
                                               R A D Ford

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It was hovering around zero Tuesday,
Wednesday night we are at -19 C so quite a difference.

And Wednesday we woke to a day of frost.

"When without warning
winter falls upon the self,"

"Else winter reigns throughtout the self
                                      and we become
more barren then the nest
that sways within a winter wind"

                  both quotes from         
                                     D.G. Jones

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"In them
the ground is wise. They are
its remembrance of what it is."

The Wild
                        Wendell Berry

The Bath

"So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life's window-sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic's rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone."

                                The Sparrow
                                                                Paul Laurence Dunbar

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day




Love: as though the stars
rushed in upon a void, and in extinction
left a flower.

Disintegration in a Dream of Love
D.G. Jones

Saturday, February 12, 2011

                                                           I Vouri 1966

Some months ago we decided to furnish our living
room in Mid-Century Modern.  Built in the mid 1960's
it is a typical bungalow of the period.  One Saturday
we discovered an estate sale and found this painting
a view of the Centre Street Bridge in Calgary.
It is rapidly becoming one of our favourites.

The family who sold it identified the
cylindrical building as the old Sheriton Hotel.

Friends who lived in Calgary at the time really enjoy it
One was able to identify the building on the right by
description alone before she saw the painting  
as the Telus building with it's telecommunication array.

Below this detail shows two of the four Centre Street Bridge lions cast
by City of Calgary employee James L. Thompson in 1916.
they were replaced by replicas in the 2001 restoration of the bridge.

So here is a picture of winter in Calgary in 1966. 
The city today looks quite different from the city of 1966
and the city celebrated in E. Pauline Johnson's poetry collection of 1917.

"Not of the seething cities with their swarming human hives,
Their fetid airs, their reeking streets, their dwarfed and poisoned lives,
Not of the buried yesterdays, but of the days to be,
The glory and the gateway of the yellow West is she."

                               Calgary of the Plains
                                                                                  Emily Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)

And the remodel continues.