What it is Now

As I head out to the pond with Max…thought I would post a bit of a flash back.  I found a wee video in my archive, that I had made in 2011, the first year I began picking litter at this location and got into the ritual of circling the pond.  Beneath the video, some photographs taken during the past week.

The drainage of the pond began and the people I spoke with promised that lots of volume would be left for the healthy fledging of the young birds.  The project was stopped for a day so that the biologist who worked for the contractor could assess my concerns regarding the nests and the fledge.  Readers, look at the following photographs and tell me about volume.



“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David ThoreauWalden: Or, Life in the Woods

Nesting Elephant Babe

This afternoon’s work…I’m grieving the fact that Gorilla House artists and friends are sharing in the last battle tonight.  I’m not with them.  For my readers, ‘the house’ has been picked up by a developer…sushi restaurant or some such thing…it is a sad night for all of us.  We have become family…learned much from one another…learned much about ourselves.  Thank you to Rich Theroux for the vision and to Jess Szabo who has worked tirelessly in the effort and thank you to all my dear friends in art!  This is a movement.  It is a community.  Let’s remain connected.

Keep an eye out here for my nesting babes…

Nesting Elephant

Nesting Elephant



Stanley Kunitz Comes to Mind

There is another fresh blanket of snow on the ground.  I have some regret that I chose not to struggle across the city streets to the last of Lawrence Hill’s sessions offered through One Book/One Calgary, but on the other hand, as I stepped out into the grey-white of today with Max, I was and am also grateful for the cozy secure feeling I have about staying home…and writing.

Above us, v after huge V formation, another and another and yet another of geese surged forward and south to some instinctual winter homeland.  I stopped dead in my tracks, so in awe of the sound of it.

And then I remembered the Stanley Kunitz poem I used to share with my students in September…a particular line about the perturbation of the light…I felt every zinging line of the poem as I looked over head.  Given my blessed proximity to the river, I will never get over the powerful movement to and from the water’s edge at certain times of the day and evening.


End of Summer By Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,

A perturbation of the light

Admonished me the unloved year

Would turn on its hinge that night.


I stood in the disenchanted field

Amid the stubble and the stones,

Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me

The song of my marrow-bones.


Blue poured into summer blue,

A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,

The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew

That part of my life was over.


Already the iron door of the north

Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows

Order their populations forth,

And a cruel wind blows.

Taking Notice

So, I had left the Jarvis Hall Fine Art Gallery and was walking back to my van parked some distance away.  The walk took me along some side streets.  That’s when I landed myself into the middle of one of those amazing moments…the kind when you say to yourself…”Wow…am I ever blessed!”  Autumn leaves were crunching under my feet.  Arms of giant trees reached up to a blue sky.  The air was filled up with the season.  I paused and took this picture.

P1130870I hope that when I look at this photograph, I will remember the magic of that moment of realization.

This morning, still dressed in my flannel nightgown, I looked out the windows and had the same experience, but over entirely different weather and situation.  I had slept in.  My head was filled with thoughts of what I ‘should’ be doing. Everything seemed to have been transformed over night.

I was profoundly touched, remembering the hours of pleasure I’ve enjoyed, watching the birds filling up ravenously at the feeder these past weeks.  Now, to see my little friends out in the snow, I wondered just how they manage to get through the winters.  I saw their beauty, as though for the first time.

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Some time later, Max and I headed out into the weather.  Remembering that I am living with a herding dog, I got him over to the pond for a good bit of exercise.  We were all alone. Everything was beautiful.  The ducks, dark boats on dark water…the sky white…the vegetation white…the wind, biting…the only sound, crunch of my feet on the stones and snow.  Max ran hard, playing and eating snow as we went.  I caught myself laughing out loud.

After circling the pond and heading back, I gave one big throw of his Frisbee and watched as the wind carried the thing up high, down past the tall ant hills and into the cat tails by the pond’s edge.  “Max!  Max!  No, boy…LEAVE IT!”  I saw the bull rushes moving and knew that my determined pooch was going to go into the pond, come hell or high water!  Sure enough, a very wet border collie came bounding toward me, proud as punch that he had retrieved the old and mucky toy.

We headed back to the van at lightening speed, Max carrying the muddied toy; both were icicles upon our arrival to the parking lot.  Into the kennel he flew, whining and whimpering.  I thought to myself…these are the daily occurrences that my readers rarely encounter on my blog…

I take pause and make note of that particular moment of realization.  Recently, what I’ve discovered, more than anything, is the blessing in the ordinary experiences of my days.  I am a blessed lady.

Beef Barley Soup...Always good for a wintry day.

Beef Barley Soup…Always good for a wintry day.


The word BEAUTY seems almost an understatement for how I feel about nature and the changing sights as a new season unfolds.  I just could not think of an adequate title for this post.  I would also guess, knowing my attachment to nature, that I have likely used this title before in order to write about the very same thing.  Being redundant about beauty or nature, however, does not seem to be a fault, but rather a wonderful celebration and so I’ll carry on.

The sparrows have returned to the feeder.  As they ready their nests, they seem to be building up their stores.  So, where seed has fallen, the other critters gather and this beautiful rabbit nibbled fearlessly for quite some time on Sunday afternoon.

I was captivated by the beauty and miracle of the changing of its colour…from the pure white of winter through this next transition of soft brown.  I never cease to be amazed by these daily observations.

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The Beauty of Things

By Robinson Jeffers

To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things—earth, stone and water,
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars—
The blood-shot beauty of human nature, its thoughts, frenzies and passions,
And unhuman nature its towering reality—
For man’s half dream; man, you might say, is nature dreaming, but rock
And water and sky are constant—to feel
Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the natural
Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.

Afternoon in the Garden


Fridays spent relaxing…walking the hills that overlook the city…wandering book stores, experiencing the wind as leaves do somersaults down the road…it’s all so wonderful.  My mums…the last of the plants to bloom.  Good-bye beautiful summer…hello frosty mornings.

Changing the Landscape: One Bag At a Time

Magic on the Pond Today

April 5, 2012, 1:00 p.m.  Weather 3 degrees, sunshine and cloud. We received lots of snow last night and I am so grateful that Chandos managed to get their grounds clean-up completed when they did.  I didn’t pick litter yesterday; the weather just wasn’t great and the snow was falling.  I headed over today though, and filled another bag with a variety of candy packages, industrial garbage and plastic bags.  I also took one good spill on the far side of the pond…rubber boots and snow – not a good mix! 

South end of Construction: SFCRA

 It was a joy to scan the Chandos site clean-up!  Awesome!

Parking Lot Ship Shape!

Today’s crud included another large piece of foam insulation, hauled out of pond’s edge and many candy wrappers.  I also included in my tasks for the day, a great deal of dog poop detail.  It makes me so disappointed about irresponsible dog owners.

Mini Eggs

Early in the afternoon, Katie, of Chandos, dropped by and presented me with a $1,000.00 donation to the Calgary Diocese Feed the Hungry Program.  I was so happy about this and while I wasn’t really dressed for a photo op, I wanted to feature Katie today and express my gratitude for the donation.  I am going to use my next post as an opportunity to  feature my movie of the day. 

Changing the Landscape: One Bag At a Time

March 17, 2012 2:30 p.m. Weather: 5 degrees, blustery.  I liked bumping into Frank again.  He was enjoying the views and told me that he really noticed a difference in the landscape.  This made me smile because it’s not something that one can really acknowledge because one batch of blowing litter is always replaced by another batch.  He said, “The wind will blow in more junk in no time flat”.  I agreed.  I didn’t get him to snap our photograph.  I just didn’t want anything to be about ego today…I just wanted to do my job.

Moving earth around…again!

Driving to our location, I took pause at the traffic lights and snapped a couple of shots.  Thinking about the changing landscape and the Youtube I posted yesterday of the Garth Lenz TED talk…I couldn’t help but notice how quickly things change in an industrial world.  I thought to myself, “I guess you bunnies had to move along again!  You had no choice!”

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mom's Angel in the Front BedMany accomplishments this afternoon!  I managed to build the new strawberry bed and the side flower bed as well.  I’m trying to integrate veggies in with the flower beds, hoping to create really healthy soil and to have edible things everywhere!  It was windy and cool, but a perfect day to do mega physical work!  Just as I unplugged my power drill, the rain started coming and now I’m indoors, sipping a nice glass of red and watching the birds at the feeder.  It has been a beautiful day! 

On June 5th, I posted some photos of wee plants that were just getting the start and wrote about some of the people I feel close to because of the variety of plants and their origins.  Now, for a shorter update!  It is so ‘magical’ when plants bust out in bloom!  Everything changes!  So…here you go!

New Bed: Strawberries and Asparagus


New Bed for More Bloomers and Veg