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.

Belgravia-100-2

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

 

 

Advertisements

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.

Kaleido-003-2

 

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.

A little salsa, anyone?IMG_0108-2

National Stilt Walkers from AlbertaIMG_0210-2

IMG_0133-2

Lights trails from two hoopsIMG_0144-2

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

National Stilt WalkersIMG_0198-2

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.

IMG_0143-2

IMG_0158-2

IMG_0166-2

IMG_0179-3

IMG_0181-2

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

IMG_0189-3

IMG_0194-2

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

IMG_0227-2

IMG_0228-2

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!

IMG_0170-2

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.

Partial, but Fun and Awe-inspiring

Partial, but Fun and Awe-inspiring

The Solar Eclipse was an event that brought thousands of people together all across the lands, all races, and in a peaceful way. I was impressed by the cheers of the people on TV  in America as the Solar Eclipse reached totality and the day turned into night.That did not happen here but it was still awe-inspiring as we witnessed up to approximately 70% of the eclipse.

Here in Edmonton I heard that telescopes would be set up at the Telus World of Science Centre, so that is where I  headed.The parking lots were full and it took some time to just move through the congestion so I started to focus on just getting out of there. Someone left and suddenly there was an open spot to my right. I took it. Not having any glasses or camera filters, I thought it would be fun to take pictures of the crowds lined-up to the observatory and the people resting on the lawn with their glasses, squares of welders glass, or even pin-hole cameras made out of cardboard.

As luck would have it, in front of the observatory there were people on the lawn who were volunteers from the Royal Astronomical Society, with various telescopes for the public to look through, so I got in a much shorter line and looked through a telescope provided by a volunteer. I thought this was fantastic! I could see a very enlarged view of the sun with the sun spots and a darker area where the moon was passing over it.One of the volunteers gave me a free pair of glasses that afforded me my own personal view. It still made me nervous so I took many short looks at the image of the moon moving across the sun.

I ran into a friend, David, who took my photo a few times and I reciprocated.

Following are photos from the day. I am so glad that I came to this event and celebrated the solar eclipse with thousands of others.

The telescopes set up in the observatory, open to the publicIMG_0026

me looking at the eclipse with my funky glassesIMG_0064

my friend David enjoying the viewIMG_0068-2

Volunteers on the lawn with various telescopes. That’s the one I looked throughIMG_0054

The line-up to the Observatory which is on the left.IMG_0051-2

The line-up went all the way around the blockIMG_0041-2

The Telus Science CentreIMG_0056

 

Three Women and the Truth

Three Women and the Truth

I wanted to post photos from this session with Mary Gauthier, Lynn Miles and Eliza Gilkyson. I was glad that I made it here after finishing a shift in the Festival Kitchen, and playing with a baby named Malcolm before seating myself directly in front of the stage because Mary and Eliza were leaving the next day. Lynn’s songs about men who are pirates had me both laughing and wincing at some of my past “magnificent obsessions.” There was a bit of bantering between the three and individual songs from each woman. I enjoyed the chance to hear them in one location at one time. Near the end, Mary sang her song “Mercy” which fulfilled everything for me.

Mary GauthierIMG_0241-2

Lynn MilesIMG_0210-2

Eliza GilkysonIMG_0214-2