Friday, December 23, 2016

Ways of Expression

Everyone has their own ways of expression. I believe we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle.
~ Criss Jami

I'm tying in a bit of miscellany here. Some of this post is about creativity and some about nature. The photos are from September through November.

Back in September, Peterborough Artsweek was in full swing. That meant that we could take day tours of artists' studios all around the city and surrounding area. We could enjoy a guided nighttime tour to various downtown storefronts where local artists displayed their work. And we could wander around designated areas in town and hear live music. All for free.

On this day, I had been heading toward home from touring some of the studios with my friend, Susan when I got a text from my dear friend, Carol Anne suggesting that we wander around her part of town where Porchapalooza was taking place. This meant that everyone gathered on and around the front lawn of a designated home where they'd be entertained by various performers. As each set was done, the audience would move on to another porch, where chairs were set up for a different performance. Susan had things to do, so I was on my own.

porchapaloozaI was a bit late to the event but caught this one local artist - Evangeline Gentle. Her music was folksy, vulnerable and very impressive. She is the recipient of Peterborough's Folk Festival's 2015 Emerging Artist Award. She defines her songs as expressing "my queer bleeding heart," and I very much enjoyed her music.

The day was cooling down and it was going to be some time between her porch performance and the next, so I decided to wander back up to where I was parked to grab some warmer clothes. I saw a small cluster of sunflowers along the way.

From somewhere nearby, I could hear music and laughter. I followed the sound over to the Ashburnham Ale House where The Three Martinis were performing their jovial musical improv.

Dan Fewings - Three Martinis
The lead singer was this guy, Dan Fewings and I'm not sure I can express how hilarious and entertaining he was. He made songs up on the spot based on audience suggestions for "never before written songs." I snapped a few photos and discovered that in some of them, Carol Anne and Michael were visible in the background enjoying his humour while trying to get my attention. I joined them for the next hour or two of pure fun.


Martinis Tiny Dancer
Fewings had a way of engaging the audience and passersby alike - making their very presence and activities part of the song lyrics. This tiny dancer was as entertaining as he was amused. I would most definitely see The Three Martinis again if I had the chance. Each show would be entirely different because the lyrics are made up on the spot and incredibly funny, to boot!

The Pathway of Fame is a series of markers for recognized contributors (artistic, scientific, political.. etc.) to Peterborough, such as this one for Ronnie Hawkins, which can be found through the walkways of Del Crary Park. I snapped this one while strolling with my sister, Andrea and brother-in-law, Bill when they visited in October.

totem pole3
This is part of the property at Whetung Ojibway Centre in Curve Lake, Ontario - about twenty kilometres from home. I accompanied Carol Anne and Michael there on their quest to find moccasins. They were both successful, and I scored a simple dream catcher necklace. The colourful totem pole is one way to continue breathing life into our trees.

warm light
Like this one which filtered the mid-morning sunshine so beautifully on an exceptionally mild November day.

On that same mild day, these fall decorations probably knew their days were numbered and that they would soon have to make way for winter and Christmas finery. I did like the sign over to the right which was welcoming felines.

discarded poppies
Windblown leaves and discarded poppies on a front step, just outside of the Curve Lake shop. Yes, I'm all over the place with this post!

late blomer
This late blooming rose was soaking up the afternoon sunshine outside of a home near my place, on the last day of October. I was out walking with my friend, Lloyd when it beckoned to my camera.

window view dusk
And this is how a mid-November dusk appears outside of my window. The clouds were colourful in the eastern sky.

There will be more photos coming up before too much longer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Lazy Mist

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world."
~ John Clare

A week into November, the day started off sunny and bright. I made some coffee and settled in at my desk to check email and to see what was happening on social media. Time passed and I was probably about to pour a second cup when I turned to look out the window. No more sunshine. But no real cloud. It had become rather foggy, and the sunlight was ever so slightly visible on the edge of the haze. Time to grab the camera and head out.

foggy morning
I wandered around the neighbourhood for a while. The sun was already threatening to burn through the mist and I decided to make my way to the river.

foggy morning2
Although the air was crisp enough between the bench and where I was standing, I could scarcely make out the opposite river bank.

foggy morning7
The view came into focus a bit better once I reached the shore.

foggy morning3
Bare trees and misty air. Cold - and yet comforting.

foggy morning5
It wasn't long before the sun brought brighter colours into view.

foggy morning6
The day soon resumed as it had started - in full sunshine.

tiny chain
Ten days later, on November 18th, the day warmed up to near-summer temperatures. I needed nothing warmer than a t-shirt for my walk.

fence to the river
I wandered in areas both familiar and less so. This was one of the latter.

river view
The day smelled like spring, felt like summer, looked like autumn...

...and yet, in anticipation of winter,  people were taking the opportunity to decorate for Christmas.

Despite the unseasonal warmth, the playground was devoid of kidlets.

mallard drake
The ducks were strutting around as if they had somehow managed to sidestep winter altogether. I might have been doing likewise.

window view dusk colour bump
The end of a perfect day.

Reality returned two days later with below-freezing temperatures, very strong winds and a little more than a dusting of snow. But it sure was nice while it lasted.

More photos coming up before too long.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nature's Peace

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~ John Muir

So as usual, I'm at least a half season behind with my posts. I'm guessing that you won't mind too much if we revisit the golden hues of autumn as she appeared just a few weeks ago. These few hours were spent around Little Lake - just a twenty minute walk from my place.

gold on blue
This vivid contrast of yellow and blue greeted me just outside of the Peterborough Art Gallery, one sunny afternoon.

backlit leaf
This is one of its leaves back lit by the sun. I bumped up the contrast a bit.

autumn in the park
Many but not most of the leaves had fallen by then. They're all gone now that it's a few weeks later. But this was then.

across little lake2
Across Little Lake, the trees were lit with gold as the afternoon sunlight breathed its fire on them.

paddling the treetops
In a matching coloured kayak, this boater paddled into their brilliant reflection.

waiting for a picnic
Just one week after, most of the leaves had fallen but there were a few holdouts who were keeping their picnic tables available for a hopeful outdoor lunch.

steps to little lake
This is the same tree you saw in the first image. One week and strong winds made all the difference.

bird clouds
The clouds above the dock reminded me of white birds taking off in flight.

bird clouds - then this happened
And then this happened.

This wispy stem was gently blown about in the breeze, challenging me to freeze it for just a second.

window view dusk2
The evening proudly wore her autumn best in the eastern sky, promising another day to enjoy with camera in hand.

I'll see you with those images soon.