Moments

Moments

Walking in the woods with a friend I stopped dead in my tracks more than once to capture the way the light played on the berries or the leaves danced in the delicate breeze or the shadows stood out on the path. That must be so annoying for some of our partners or friends if they are not “into ” photography. I am lucky to have companions who have an eye for creativity and also like nature with both of us wandering through the woods absorbed in our visual palates until we stop and call each other’s names and we re-locate each other.

I may not get online in this way too often, as I have started a course to help me get back to the workforce and I will be taking basic computer courses. However I know how important it is to have balance in one’s life, to do what one loves to do, to let one’s heart “sing.” I know how important it is to stop for a moment. I apologize for not commenting as often on others’ sites as I can take time only to read, but will return comments to those who are so kind to comment on my blogs.Of course there are always exceptions according to time constraints.

I am blessed to have membership in a local camera club, another activity that will keep the creative juices flowing. Someone kindly paid my membership fees this year as I am not able, a gesture for which I am deeply grateful.

Here are some moments from a walk during Thanksgiving weekend.A lot of leaves have dropped but the sun highlights  what is there in a special way, and I love the complimentary colours of the leaves and berries.

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Autumn Walk in the Woods

Autumn Walk in the Woods

There is nothing more rejuvenating than a respite in nature and I  luckily got out before the colours are gone and leaves have fallen. There are many lovely trails in Edmonton in and around the river valley, the off-leash dog parks and in the quieter neighbourhoods. I hope that you find this stroll as soothing as I did. It was fun to meet up with some little critters along  the way. It made my heart sing!

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Hope and Perseverance

There has been a lot of bad news, first the terrorist attack in Edmonton, when a man rammed into a police car sending the officer into the air about 15 feet, then stabbed the officer a number of times, found a cube van which he used to run down 4 residents downtown. All survived and some are even back home, including the officer.

Now there is  the incident in America where a person shot all those people at a concert from the hotel room. The world has gone insane. It IS scary out there.

I wish to send condolences to all , especially to the first-responders who strive to protect us regular people from the bad ones and to all who lost family and friends or to those who were injured physically, emotionally, mentally.May we help one another and stay strong in the face of adversity.

On Sunday we had a very somber service at church, feeling the heaviness of Saturday night’s events but also beautiful and uplifting, asking for courage and faith to be who we are meant to be and serve with Love. I do not want to succumb to fear because then the bad people are winning.I say no to that.

In that spirit I decided to attend a vigil in downtown Edmonton last night that was sponsored by a Muslim group. It was to recognize the first-responders and stand in solidarity with the Muslim community for the sake of peace, at least that was my purpose in being there. I was late, unfortunately, and most people had left since it had started to rain and  speeches had been spoken by the Mayor and other provincial and municipal politicians to come together in strength and not be deterred by a few. I was glad I went, though I was regrettably late.

I took a photo after most had left and found myself thinking, as I saw the 150 sign celebrating Canada 150th year of confederation, “wow, what a year”. As we look behind to review our past, we also look ahead with the hope of moving forward to make things better for all. Keep faith in all that is good and  persevere.

The next post will get back to wonderful walks in nature.

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The end of a night standing together in solidarity. Five hundred showed up in temperatures just above zero, in the wind and rain.

 

 

Kaleido-Front Porch Music Series

During the Kaleido Family Arts Festival, one of the features was the front porch music series. Literally, around the neighbourhood, musicians gave concerts off the front porch at eight different locations. I wasn’t aware of this at first, as my friend and I having just parked the car, were invited into a  yard to listen.

Playing four blocks away from 118th Avenue were The  Raven and the Fox, Singer-songwriter Julie Chang and Sean Issac from Canmore, Alberta. They will be back in Edmonton to play at the Needle Vinyl Cafe on November 6th. Just outside the gate were t-shirts and CD’s for sale. We sat down on lawn chairs in the yard and listened to this trio, enjoying the voice and instruments. They have their own songs in a flok genre and did covers from Nirvana as well.Having no money, I told them that I would give them a mention in my blog.I love the idea of this series and will definitely take more time to hear these small intimate concerts next year-a great idea! Here is a photo of Raven and a Fox, you can check them out on Facebook and see a live video of them at this series as well as a list of concert dates.

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Kaleido Family Arts Festival-Lantern Parade

Kaleido Family Arts  Festival-Lantern Parade

Kaleido is a fall festival for the family held in September on 118 Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta.It is twelve years old now, a vision of artistic director and founder, Christy Morin.Kaleido has grown and changed a “pretty bad” neighbourhood from  crime-infested  to a popular community that is family-centred and attracts people from all over the city to the bakeries, coffee shops and other businesses, including Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts. During the festival that is all weekend long, the main avenue is closed for a few blocks and there are arts of every kind celebrated along the street as well as in the alleys, some buildings, outdoor stages and even front porch concerts on nearby streets which I will feature in future blogs.

On Friday night there is a lantern parade where many of the artists and public join in for a parade around the blocks , ending at the central outdoor stage, where this year internationally acclaimed Eric Bibb and Michael Jerome Brown played. Yes!

These are photos of the lantern parade, where I took a definite interest in those lighted hula hoops and the resulting light trails.The mood was infectious, as were the beats of the drums from various cultures. There is something for everyone here.

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Lights trails from two hoopsIMG_0144-2

Some of the Artists dispersed throughout the festival site coming together for the parade.IMG_0172-2

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One of a few large puppets from the National  Stilt Walkers IMG_0203-2

This caped person nearly flew by on his adapted legs.IMG_0217-2

Eric Bibb and Michael Jerome Brown at Center Stage on Friday nightIMG_0231-2

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park

This is one of my favourite respites close to the city of Edmonton where I can hit the variety of trails, be close to water, photograph various bugs, birds and mammals and have great conversations with my friends as we explore together and shed the stress of the work week, stopping for snacks. I told my friend Frank, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” meaning “it is perfect as it is.” As soon as we arrive at the front entrance to this National park, I feel like I am at home. I have been coming for three decades and seen many changes in that time.Likes have dried up and been replaced by saplings and shrubs, bird populations have change, reeds have choked up bays but been cleaned out to let the water lay undisturbed, allowing the ducks and grebes some nesting and swimming space. It was very quiet today as this is a mid-week visit. Everything is calm and the temperature soars to a “hot-ish” degree in the high twenties.(celsius)

This year there is no entrance fee and there has been a lot of paving which makes it easier for all to access, the benefits of Canada’s 150th birthday.

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We even did the “touristy” thing, taking photos of each other at the frames.IMG_0188-3

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There are pairs of red chairs in all the National parks across Canada.IMG_0199-2

Played with images of bees and butterflies.IMG_0207-2

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This is the trail that goes around the bay at Astotin Lake.IMG_0271-2

A family of  CootsIMG_0274-2

The shapes and lines in natureIMG_0285-2

I saw a man photographing something, and I thought it was a duck. I took a shot, not seeing what it was. I realize now that it was a Sora! Bloody illusive birds, they are!

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One bison bull that we saw, a quick shot as he was twitching his tail so we moved on.IMG_0292-2

All in all, a wonderful day, nurtured by Mother Nature. I hope that I have a deep respect for the earth and its inhabitants. All My Relations!

 

Checking Out the Neighbourhood

Checking Out the Neighbourhood

I have been enjoying my stack of summer books and neglecting the outdoors, which is odd for a photographer who has such a love for nature.The invite within spurred me out of my apathy to see what would catch my eye in the neighbourhood. It was the little things that caught my eye, such as the blooms that are looking splendid, as well as the ones that have died but leave a pleasant texture.

I think these are Hare’s Bells, growing in a neighbour’s  garden beside the fence.IMG_0070-3

I loved the texture in this one.IMG_0082-2

Things are beginning to change but not to the point where everything is dried up. IMG_0084-2

Got to the bank above the river and added more vibrance and contrast. It was very hazy due to smoke from forest fires in BC.IMG_0092-2

Here is how the atmospheric  perspective really looks like.IMG_0094-2

The wild rose bushes are one of the first to show their fall colours.IMG_0099-2

Seems a little worse for wear but great insect trail and texture.IMG_0105-2

This apple tree is still in summer bloom, one of the main features in the dog park that all like to visit.IMG_0111-2

I don’t know what these are but like the shape of the leaves and blossoms.IMG_0118-2

This lily makes her own statement.IMG_0125-2

Back home, I like the light on the leaves and fence.IMG_0131-3

It was fun meandering through the neighbourhood with no time constraints and a reminder there is a whole world to explore just outside my door. In my next post I will share my photos from a trip to one of my favourite places just outside of Emonton. I am aware of the hardships that others are going through due to catastrophic weather conditions or threats by leaders of different countries. This has  made me very grateful for what I have in this moment.