Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Eightfold Spendor

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star ablaze on evening's forehead o'er the earth, and add each night a luster till afar an eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth. ~ Emma Lazarus

We're quickly hurtling toward Christmas but Hanukkah has come and gone. I get a kick out of staging some photos of each of the eight nights that the menorah is lit. Those images are below.

Hanukkah night one
On Hanukkah, the first dark night, light yourself a candle bright.
I'll you, if you will me invite, to dance within that gentle light.
~ Nicholas Gordon
Night Number One: A last minute purchase of a few cheap candle holders from the dollar store to act as a glittery turquoise backdrop for the first candle.

Hanukkah night two
A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another.
And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other.
You are such a light. ~ Moshe Davis
Night Number Two: My Hanukkah candles match the ivory tones of a candle-lit lamp and a picture frame featuring my much-missed Skittles.

Hanukkah night three
The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle. ~ Robert Altinger
Night Number Three: An odd little collection of items - a bedazzled little gecko, a tiny jar with a collection of feathers and a gold-dipped rose from a love long ago.

Hanukkah night four
Why Hanukkah is better than Christmas: It's much quicker to clean the wax from your menorah than it is to vacuum all the pine needles. No reindeer poop to shovel from your roof. And nobody will send you a video of dogs barking "The Dreidel Song."
Night Number Four: Anyone for a cup of tea? Here's a cup just for you and some sugar if you wish. All three pieces are second hand finds.

Hanukkah night five copy
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukkah" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukkah!" or to the atheists "Look out for the wall!" ~ Dave Barry
Night Number Five: Settle in for a night of reading and munching on mandarin oranges.
(I cheated a bit here. For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook where I have already confessed, see if you can figure out what the cheat is.. and maybe why)

Hanukkah night six
My family wasn't very religious; on Hanukkah, they had a menorah on a dimmer ~ Richard Lewis
Night Number Six: Remembering my Mom on this night. The figurine and vase were hers. Each take up their own place of honour at my home. The humour in some of these quotes is a nod to my Dad. Eye rolls are most appropriate.

Hanukkah night seven
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared. ~ Buddha
Night Number Seven: More yard sale and thrift shop finds. A bowl with a fat candle, a lantern with tea light and an alarm clock - just because.

Hanukkah night eight
May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind. ~ Unknown
Night Number Eight: On the last night, a little bit of whimsy. A candle-lit Kokopelli mirrors its smaller self on the turquoise clay tealight holder. Watching them play, is a wood sea turtle with shell that allows you to hide small treasures beneath it. The latter two are from yard sales but the larger Kokopelli was a gift.

Tree decorating with cats: O Christmas tree, O christmas tree, your Ornaments are history!
 ~ Unknown
And this little tree provides the mini lights you see behind the menorah in most of the above photos.

For those who celebrate, I wish you a belated Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Solstice and a very Happy New Year. Thanks for sharing the seasons (at least in part) with me.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Autumnal Sunshine

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

I have another mishmash of images for you - some which date back a few weeks - some which are more current.

morning breaks
One early October morning, the day broke in cloudy hues.

morning breaks - 3 mins later
A moment later, a band of colour lit the underside of the clouds and danced in colours that only nature can imagine.

sparrow ready for takeoff
A couple of months back, I was having lunch at an outdoor table in the colourful town of Warkworth. I was watching this little bird considering its takeoff.

sparrow take off eh
And then it did. I like how it appears as if the bird is in position to embark on a small roller coaster ride on the string of eight lights in the window.

cutie on a swing
Also in flight, was this little sweetheart. She and I chatted for a long time while we each sat swinging. She educated me about the complete storyline of some TV show or movie and she even stopped swinging every now and then to draw the characters in the dirt. She insisted that it's all a true story because her MUCH older brother (he's 6) said it was and he always knows. It was a lovely chat.

inverted umbrella2
A different little girl dropped her umbrella one windy, rainy day and left it to collect a puddle on the inside. This was photographed from my apartment window.

wavy clouds
On another rainy day, these clouds seemed to be almost undulating in the sky. It reminded me a little of Van Gogh's kind of sky.

under the rainbow
Rainbows - that ever hopeful transition between rain and sunshine.

wooded area jackson creek
Autumn along the sunlit woodsy trails of Jackson Park.

true colours jackson creek
The vibrant colour of algae when the sunlight hits it just right.

Aging cedar fronds enjoying the sun's soothing ministrations.

into the trees Jackson creek
A small boardwalk over a stream and between the trees.

colourful carrots
Also sun-kissed are some end of season colourful carrots from the Farmers' Market.

Love art 2
And another colourful display expressing our support of diversity. Sidewalks all over Peterborough were expressing inclusion and support during the Love Lives Here movement late in September.

Love art
Gotta love the positive spirit of Peterborough. Note the "Love Wins Over Hate" sign partway up the alley wall.

setting sun copy
This photo goes way back to mid July. The boats are all gone from the harbour now.

Summer stayed late but now she is done. Autumn is breezing through town in a hurry. It won't be long until the season changes once again. Hopefully, it will continue to offer something new to photograph.

Thanks for indulging me, once again.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Illusions of Someday

First thing we'd climb a tree. And maybe then we'd talk. Or sit silently. And listen to our thoughts. 
With illusions of someday, cast in a golden light. No dress rehearsal. This is our life.
~ Gord Downie
1964 - 2017

This is what happens when I don't post for a long while - I end up posting all sorts of summer scenes in October. Of course, our autumn has been so incredibly summerish this year that you could hardly tell the difference. No? Okay fine.. just go along with me. I have images to share and they are found below.

Peterborough sunrise
Sunrise is now happening a little later each day but back in summer this one peeked into my apartment pretty early.

This is MusicFest. Every summer, Peterborough has free live concerts in the park on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. I've posted about them before - including some of this year's performers. On one beautiful summer evening, there was a fine performance by the fabulous Sheepdogs.

sheepdog shirt
A fan with his shirt designed by a local young artist.

Toward the end of the season, we had a fun night of ABBA and Bee Gees cover groups. I think it's obvious which one this is.

tai chi in the park
During one of the concerts, this group was practicing their Tai Chi.

Lift Lock Dinner - guests arrive by Voyageur canoe
Once a month, during the summer, Peterborough hosts a multi course "Dinner Under the Lift Lock". I had somewhere to be that evening but I decided to stop by for a little while with my camera. I arrived in time to see chefs and guests arrive by Voyageur canoe.

Lift Lock Dinner - bon apetit
This wasn't exactly under the liftlock. Since it was early, I was only able to witness guests arriving for drinks and appetizers before their tables were being set up under the lock. I needed to hurry off but please check out one person's experience from last year. It's pretty interesting. Perhaps I'll catch more shots next year.

And of course it isn't summer without catching sight of the Liftlock Cruise boat several times a day.

One Saturday each August, the usually-busy Hunter Street is closed to traffic and turned into a gathering place featuring music, food, drink and partying. It's the Hootnanny on Hunter. My good friend, Dakshina and I were trying to figure out if this couple standing on the right knew each other but hadn't seen one another for a long whilee.. or if we were witnessing the beginning of a new romance. What do you think?

Cutie on Hunter St
A dog walks into a bar... Well no, not really. We were at the above bar during the Hootnanny when "Dougie" the puppy was carried into the bar. And yes, his fur was as silky soft as it looks.

sunny toms2
Summer tomatoes ripening on the sill from my dear friend, Carol Anne's garden.

little slugger
This little slugger was having a blast hitting the ball around in the park.

in flight
A yellow admiral enjoying the milkweed captured in flight, just after take off.

over the rainbow - crane fly
Somewhere over the rainbow, Crane flies fly.

ZimArt has to be seen to be appreciated. A short drive from home brings us to Rice Lake in Bailieboro where curator Fran Fearnley runs an amazing outdoor sculpture exhibit. Each winter, she travels to Zimbabwe to select an artist-in-residence who will reside with her through the summer to display and sell his or her art. Truly, this is a post all its own and hopefully down the road, I might expand further.

Rufaro Ngoma
This year's artist-in-residence was this handsome young man, Rufaro Ngoma. He was making his way around the acreage cleaning some of his many sculptures. Coincidentally, about a month after I visited, I was walking with my son, Alex along the shore of Little Lake, back in Peterborough when we happened to meet Rufaro while he was biking around the area. I was surprised to realize that he recognized me, and even more interesting was that Alex recognized him immediately just from a quick glance at the above photo which I had just uploaded to my computer earlier that day.

road home2
The road home is always lovely and inviting.

And let's finish with an end-of-the-day view of the harbour (enhanced with Photoshop) from the upper floor of the Lighthouse restaurant.

Yup, I still have more. Next time!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Love Lives Here

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. - Maya Angelou

Peterborough, along with most of southern Ontario and points beyond has just exited a lengthy and lovely heat wave - summer's last hurrah. Although the following images are from earlier in the recently-ended season, some of them express the recent heat and the current mood of the area, in more than one way.

This Saturday is Yom Kippur - the holiest day of the year for observant Jews. And it will be on this date that a lowlife who bears a swastika tattoo on his chest, will lead a white supremacist rally in our beautiful city. It is under the guise that they are protesting our Prime Minister Trudeau and illegal immigration. Make no mistake that these are nazis who also oppose legal immigration, and any skin colour other than white. A large counter-protest in the form of peaceful, solidarity events called Love Lives Here will also take place throughout the weekend. That's the Peterborough I know and love. I feel certain that messages of anti-hate will far outweigh those of the "the deplorables," but it's still all so unsettling and disturbing.

The photos are from a couple of summer day trips to Cobourg - where all of the beach pics were snapped, as well as Port Hope, Warkworth and Campbellford. The shore of Lake Ontario reflects the sizzling days of the past couple of weeks, and some of the various signs echo the prevalent mood around town at all times but especially during this particular week. For variety's sake, I'm going to alternate scenes and signs - some of which are welcoming in nature and some simply humourous. All which make up the fabric of my Canada.

cobourg harbour3
Welcome to the lovely port Cobourg, Ontario. Boats were everywhere and so were people. This was the early August long weekend.

This image goes back to June - an attention-grabbing Fathers' Day ad.

cobourg sand canada
On the beach, a sand sculpture competition was happening as part of celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary.

signs2 with crane fly
This sign was outside of a more mom-friendly type shop - but didn't want to exclude others - no matter your order of preference.

cobourg - cold water2
A pair of protective arms keeping her safe from the cold water of Lake Ontario.

signs2 with crane fly2
Here's closer look at that crane fly you might have noticed in the previous sign photo.

cobourg - splash
Despite the really cold lake water, some thought it best to charge right in.

signs 3
A coffee shop reminding customers why their daily dose of caffeine is so essential.

cobourg - texting and wading
Others preferred to wade in while texting or perhaps prepping for a selfie.

These are the signs I like to see in my city. In my country. In my world.

road home
The road home provides a pretty vista.

And signs at home in Peterborough help to restore faith.

cobourg - gulls just wanna
May love, acceptance, inclusion and respect always soar above bigotry and hate.

Canada is like a bird, it likes to soar freely. ~ Unknown