International Women’s Day: A Photo Celebration

This montage of photos and celebration of women are so thoughtful on International Women’s Day that I felt inspired to share Sparky Jen’s blog. I enjoyed this and feel grateful. Thank you, Sparky Jen!

Roses in the Rubble

Today we celebrate women & women’s rights as International Women’s Day highlights our progress and how to press for more amidst continued challenges around the world. I am blessed to have many amazing women who impacted my life & to have encountered many inspiring women of courage, creativity, ingenuity, faith & action during years as a globetrotting relief & development worker.

On this special day take a photo journey with me to celebrate international women (& how far we’ve come!!)  : )

This favorite photo from Morogoro, Tanzania says it all: women multi-tasking myriad responsibilities on the way home from the office (children, groceries & office supplies) – in heels, no less!

Grateful for all the women who paved the way for opportunities to work. In the movie ‘Pride & Prejudice’ set in 18th century England, Charlotte, one of Elizabeth Bennett’s closest friends married a beanhead because that was her…

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Happy New Year!

It was very cold on New Year’s Eve but I was up to the challenge of going outdoors at the legislative assembly grounds to see the fireworks. It did not help that in the open spaces there was a breeze blowing  that brought th tmperatur down to the low -30’s.

It was hard to feel my fingers through my ski mittens to operate my camera and my feet were starting to freeze but I managed to get some images. It was great fun though not the huge crowds that we usually have. i went with a friend and she enjoyed it just as much as I.

The following is what i managed to capture. There were arts and crafts indoors before the fireworks and there was a choice of watching them from indoors but I wanted to get out where I wouldn’t have glass in the way.






It was fun and sure enjoyed getting indoors to warm up at a coffee shop on the way home.

Happy New Year everyone and I wish a prosperous peaceful year for all of us.

The Kids Are Alright – Lots of Feeding

It is fun to hang out at the viewing platform and see who shows up, either in front, or to the side or behind. The first group I saw were the younger ones, as I walked up the path.


Mom was close behind, keeping an eye on the surroundings.untitled-0045-2Here come the teenagers through the reeds, their mother just outside of the frame. they  stick close together and with their Mother, talking to each other in their quiet way.


There are Coots too, of two different ages, most still being fed by their parents.


Caught a close-up of this little adventurer.


This one’s enthusiasm gave me reason to laugh. I always say they are so ugly they are cute.untitled-0189-2


To top it off I saw this youngster, I believe it is a Song Sparrow.


All in all this brief respite gave me great joy. Getting out in nature sure cures the stress of the work day and makes me feel grateful for the creatures that I see and watch.

Scaups, Mallards and Wigeons

It is early evening so the focus is not always sharp but the lighting gives a new ambience to the birds. I am not getting out as much as I would like because I broke my toe. I can walk, but in a very SLOW way. I am hoping the healing will be done as predicted in about two more weeks.

It would be nice to find a place to perch and let the birds come to me. In this case, I went with a friend to a local pond and felt such delight watching these ducks and ducklings.

Male Lesser Scaup captured in the setting sununtitled-0282-2

Male and Female Lesser Scaup,  she wouldn’t turn around, busy eating.untitled-0380-2

Male Lesser Scaup being quite vocaluntitled-0397-2

Female American Wigeonuntitled-0437-2

Male American Wigeonuntitled-0438-2

I have seen this group a couple of times and hope that they are not orphans because I have never seen the parents. They are Common Goldeneye ducklings.untitled-0215-2

It is fun to listen to mother “talking” to her brood with soft tones.untitled-0270-2

Intercultural Circle

What an amazing time I had at the Hindu Cultural Center on Sunday! It is the first time that I have been to a temple and the historical occasion was a meeting of two groups, the Hindu and Indigenous cultures and their similar spirituality, a spark that started in the 1800’s with a visit to the Winnipeg Train Station by a visiting monk, and I regret that I left my notes at home while I type this out at the library, so promise to update soon. We watched as the children were invited to take place in a sacred fire ceremony, observed smudging by a Metis Cree Elder, listened to drumming by the Chubby Cree Drummers and took part in a round dance. This is a beginning of a collaboration of two cultures to share ceremony and celebrate Unity through Diversity.

Children taking part in the sacred fire ceremony. I recognized the same gestures of “washing smoke” to the eyes and mouth , which is a cleansing ritual in Indigenous circles.


The Chubby Cree Drummers were strong in Voice and rhythm. Rare to have female drummers but hope to see more in the future. The young man has an bright future in drumming ahead of him.IMG_0044-2


Tricky Landing

The geese are more plentiful and landing can be a bit tricky as they hit the ice-covered ponds. Check out this trio as they land, the first two are safe but the third goose went plunk! as it hit, then broke the ice. It looked stuck  at first , then slowly made its way back to shore, which obviously took a lot of effort as it had to break through a layer of ice as it moved forward. other animals have died in the process so my thoughts were hopeful for this one.






Success! And I am sure, a bit of relief.IMG_0283-2

Curious Squirrel

The red squirrels were too fixated on chasing each other a few weeks ago, but now that the first rush of hormones has subsided, they are coming up close to get at seeds and to have a closer look. i am shooting with my Canon Rebel XS and a 70-300 mm zoom lens.

This one stretched out to peak from behind the branchIMG_0032-2

Then he came out a bit moreIMG_0033-2

Now he is gifting me with a pose before he takes off again.IMG_0034-2

It is fun to have these encounters with the red squirrels and although they are fast I can usually count on their having enough curiosity to enable me to get a clear shot.

Part Two: Can we learn from history? Perhaps the question is what can we learn from history? Or why don’t we learn from history?

Something that I think bears repeating.


As early as 1939, Nazis began arresting teachers, civil servants, artists, priests, politicians, representatives of the intellectual elite, and members of the numerous resistance organizations that were springing up in Germany and Poland. Sometimes these victims were simply shot on the spot. Others were arrested and sent to concentration camps for trivial offenses—like failing to sing the pledge of allegiance with enough enthusiasm.

Before Auschwitz was built, Poles were expelled from a large region west of Krakow. By 1941, all residents were gone and their homes had been demolished.

Auschwitz I, located near the former village of Oświęcim, was an SS garrison and the seat of the main offices of political and prison labor departments. The main military supply stores and workshops were located there. Political prisoners began arriving in 1940.Auschwitz II-Birkenau, built in 1942 on the site of the former village of Brzenka, was originally intended to…

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Now What?

After all the excitement of the holidays there is a bit of a lull.Sometimes when I am not sure what to do , the answer is the next indicated thing. I was exploring my blog site and realized that I still did not have the apostrophe in my blog site title. I solved that problem, though I had to go to two places and it worked when I went into the  site page,  and then the theme, not this page that I write on to enter the blog for today.

How, exactly, did I do it? That is one of those “woulda,  coulda, shoulda” moments because I “shoulda” taken notes because I do not remember. Also, on my header for the site, I still had a photo for the fall, nothing to do with the “featured image” on this page.Now there is something more appropriate to the season.

It’s a new day and the beginning of a New Year. I will get out and explore with the eye and camera.But first, it is time to do the dishes.It can only get better.

Sunrise, taken with a cheap point-and-shootpicture-013

Snow Sunshine and Friends at Christmas

Hoped it would be a White Christmas yet I better watch what I ask for;  although I like the effect of snow not sure that I want TOO much-there’s a point when driving in it is treacherous and shovelling it gets monotonous but we had a couple of inches on Christmas Eve that helped create the magic of the season.

It was a joy to go to a local park with my friend on Christmas Day and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, get some walking in and take photos of the scenics and birds.The fresh fall of snow made it all so pretty with the flakes sparkling in the sunlight.The temperature was -16 so it wasn’t a long walk but a welcome respite.

As the afternoon waned I joined other friends for a deliscious Christmas dinner followed by the classic “Christmas Carol” with Alister Sim. It was a great day filled with happy times and good company.

A light dusting of snow on the trees…christmas-10-2

Close-up of dry crystaline snow christmas-1-2-2

A lone skater on the pondchristmas-3-2

A fluffed-up Downy Woodpeckerchristmas-33

My favourite treechristmas-8-2

After the cool outdoors a warm meal  and warm hearts await…christmas-81-3