A couple of weeks ago, I was driving down a busy Calgary roadway—windows rolled down, sun on my shoulder, my arm exuberantly slapping the side of the car in time to a snappy tune on the radio—when I came to a stoplight. As I waited for the light to change, my eye caught a flash of something bright pink. I turned to see that the attention-getting vibrant hot pink colour belonged to the large, heavy-headed blossoms of some tall prickly thistles growing in a dense thicket amidst a mass of Yellow Sweet Clover—all flourishing in an abandoned empty lot beside the railroad tracks. The striking tangle of vegetation bestowed a spectacular and flamboyant splash of colour on an otherwise drab looking landscape.
I love it when designers successfully marry beauty and utility. My new Haws copper watering can, handmade in England, is an excellent example of something beautifully crafted, beautifully designed for its purpose and a pleasure to use. I’m so enamoured of it, I can’t stop photographing it!
Scene from a magical winter walk in our neighbourhood.
“Warm fire—books–comfort—safety from storm—
our cats on the rug. Moonlight,” said Barney,
“would you be any happier now if you had a million dollars?”
~ Barney Snaith, talking about winter,
from L. M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle
Taking a Cold, Hard Look at Winter
My partner and I genuinely love winter. But we usually keep that sentiment to ourselves because it seems that most others around us do not share our enthusiasm for winter. Truth be told, this appreciation for winter is a relatively new thing. Five years ago, I discovered that I had become, like most others around me, a chronic grumbler about winter and, in all honesty, about the weather in general. It seemed that the more years that passed, the narrower became the range of weather I didn’t complain about.
Everything inside and around us wants to reflect itself in us.
We don’t have to go anywhere to obtain the truth.
We only need to be still and things will reveal themselves
in the still water of our heart.
~Thích Nhất Hạnh
Autumn at the Pond
Wedge Pond, in Kananaskis Country, is a justifiably popular destination in the summertime and I am delighted that so many people get to enjoy its beauty at the height of the summer season. But, since my partner and I prefer to go when fewer people are about, we generally choose to go off-season, when we are able to truly enjoy the quietude, serenity and beauty of this lovely mountain pond nestled in the Rocky Mountains. My favourite time to visit Wedge Pond is autumn, when the larch, poplar and aspen trees start to turn their stunning fall colours, creating ridges and valleys of gold.
her most irresistible feature
is supreme confidence;
that she could wear practically anything
and start a whole new craze.
Sitting in her boudoir,
she delicately powders her nose—
a dusting of dawn’s first light,
blushes her cheeks with fresh dewdrop of rose,
and feathers a single stroke of sunlight
above each perfect cheek bone;
does up some killer smoky eyes–
indigo sky with silver flecks of stardust,
dabs her neck with dots of jasmine-scented rain,
dangles the stars and the moon
from her luscious earlobes,
sprays her hair with morning-mist
and gets out her special occasion party dress–
a dazzling cut of the Milky Way
hemmed with fireflies.
She drapes over her shoulders a shawl for evening,
gossamer, spun from the finest spider’s silk,
at the very last moment,
grabs the ocean,
strings it hastily around her neck,
leaving a wake of sun pearls and water crystals
as she runs out the door
for a very hot date.