John Moors (1876 – 1918) Recent Connections

This is a very brief post that serves only to express gratitude for the recent and generous connections I have made related to my Great Grandfather John Moors (1876 – 1918).  What a wonderful thing it is to have cousins discover my writings and research and to respond!  These Paternal relations include Charlene, Jacqueline and now, James. Thank you, for your connection. For about 15 years, I’ve been fanatically engaged in research on both my mother and father’s sides of the family.

Some would ask, “Why does it matter?…or… “What does it all mean, anyway?”…but, there is something innate within me that wants to know who my people are.  It is a weakness.

Long-story-short, I have always looked for a photograph of my Dad’s Grandfather, in uniform.  Every Remembrance Day, I was disappointed that I had only the image of his wedding day.    He died and is buried in Etaples, France.  He was lying in General Canada Hospital #51, when during the night, a bombing raid orchestrated by the Germans, decimated most of  the location and killed John Moors. I’ve thought that he should be remembered. Don’t get me wrong.  I was happy about having the wedding photograph…but, imagine my excitement when, randomly, Charlene sent a photograph over the internet from her home to mine…and to, in a flash, have my Great Grandfather’s visage appear face-to-face with me on a screen in 2018.  GAHHHHH!

Enough said…first, our family’s single archive up until now…my Great Grandmother Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors in the center front and my Great Grandfather John Moors back right.

wedding jpg best copy of Great Grandfather John Moors

I took this photograph of a photograph that my Auntie Eleanor had hanging in her home.  When it comes to gathering family history, I’m not super fussy about archival quality of images.  It’s a simple blessing to have  moments of history sustained and easily available to as many family members as is possible and as quickly as possible.  I think I’ve written about this before…that ‘in the day’ how would family members even include one another in these histories?  We are sooo blessed!

Here he is!  My Great Grandfather!  What a handsome man!  My father said he had striking red hair, much like my own Grandfather Moors did and now, my own beautiful daughter.

John Moors Great Grandfather

I’m hoping that Betty Silver’s daughter has an opportunity to see this as I know that she was on the look out for the very same image, saying (as other relations remembered) that a large framed photograph of John in uniform hung in the family dining room.

Second to this, Charlene shared what looks like a younger image of this John.

John Moors Great Grandfather 2

He looked dapper.  I try to imagine as I look at this image, that here is captured the 13 year old who came by ship, on his own…a British Home Child who worked very hard on at least three farm placements including Elora and two outside of Guelph.  This was likely taken during his Hamilton days.

And finally, a family photograph including my own Grandfather John Moors, his young brother Robert (Bob), his sister, Grace and his mother, Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors.  Mary Eleanor had striking dark eyes and hair…I see a lot of my father in her.  This would have been taken some time after the passing of their father and husband John Moors.

Grandfather John Moors

And finally, something that I just received tonight…icing on the cake!  My first cousin once-removed, James, has provided photographs of front and back of John’s military medal.  I’m so grateful that unlike so many families, this object has been cared for and cherished so that now, so many years later, all can enjoy.  Blessings on my family for their generous work.  My cousin, Teddy Witbeck, has been doing a remarkable job working on our family tree on Family Search.  As we continue to piece together our history, his work can be accessed.  Trust me, you will have a great head start that way!

Love you all.

John Moors back side medalJohn Moors medal front

I’ve written away and had much support attaining John’s military record…this medal assignment was included there.

John Moors (17)

On Sunday, I Received Two Gifts

Yesterday morning I was speaking with Dad and he was describing what he was seeing out his computer room window…how golden the oak tree was in the morning light. I’ve spent a lot of time at that window and found myself imagining the autumn oak trees because they are such giants and so glorious in summer.  I asked if he would snap a photo and he sent me this.  Such a beautiful photograph!  Isn’t it a beautiful thing that the technology that we enjoy today allows us such communication between ourselves and our loved ones?

Photo Credit: John Moors

Photo Credit: John Moors

Happenstance?  A short time before I found Dad’s photograph in my electronic mail, I also received a photograph from my brother.  He had gone to Beechwood Cemetery, in Ottawa, to visit Mom and gather up some photographs in evening light.  When I saw this, I knew that Mom would absolutely be in love with the peacefulness, the light and the colours.  Thank you, Stuart!  Your work gives me chills; it’s so inspiring.

Photo Credit: Stuart Moors

Photo Credit: Stuart Moors

Autumn is my favourite season of the year.  I will treasure these two gifts from special men in my life!  I know that yesterday, after weeks and weeks of social media blah blah, the Federal Election was the focus of the day, but for me, as usual, the simple things…nature…family…the freedom and beauty I have to enjoy were at the forefront of my thoughts.  I’m grateful for Democracy…I’m grateful for the ability to choose.  I grateful for seasons such as this.

For the Birds

I am spending quiet times at the pond, given that Max is injured.  He’s at the end of the umbilical leash, quiet, but cranky about my dawdling at the pond’s edge and making only one circle of the water…stopping frequently to gaze at various species.

I’m learning to use my camera bit by bit, but really have a lot to learn.  Honestly, the most amazing things I’ve seen recently are rarely photographed because I’m either too slow or I really don’t care.  I get wrapped up in the moment.

I’m learning how much light has to do with photography.  I always knew it…light and, more importantly, dark are essential to painting and the establishment of contrast, but to photography, even more so.  I think there needs to be a degree of drama and also narrative in a good photograph.  I dawdle so much because I’m looking for those sorts of stories.

I’ve been watching the American Coots a lot lately, just because of the shear numbers of them at Frank’s Flats.  Here’s Audubon’s version offered up by the Toronto Public Library.

aud-plate-239 Toronto Public Library American Coot Audubon, John James, 1785-1851I haven’t taken a single photograph of the coots, but I’m very caught up in the drama that surrounds these strangely disproportionate birds.  They are constantly picking fights with other water fowl, same species or not.  Wild chases erupt most times when they are around.  Also, they get extremely amorous, sticking their beaks into the water and fanning out their rear feathers, all the while, shaking their butts.  Most amazing, are their young!  Long strings of eight, nine and ten ducklings following mamas and then day after day…fewer and fewer in number; likely good pickings for crows, magpies and other like-spirited birds.  But the most amazing is the physical appearance of the baby coots!

Rob English of Birds Calgary took this photograph in July of 2011. What’s NOT to love about these goofy red headed little guys?

Photo Credit: Rob English Birds Calgary 2011

Photo Credit: Rob English Birds Calgary 2011

I don’t even know what these birds are called…just a sec…I’ll look.  Uh huh…a Savannah Sparrow, or as Audubon would have us know it, a Savannah Finch.

Savanah Finch_090706110723 AudubonMy capture this evening…

©Kathleen Moors  Photo Credit Please

©Kathleen Moors Photo Credit Please

and…more animated, but perhaps less focused (and heck if I know).  These are so petite and so delicate…it makes me wonder about the complexity of my Father-Jesus-Spirit God that these creatures are so ‘wonderfully’ made.

©Kathleen Moors Photo Credit Please

©Kathleen Moors Photo Credit Please

I checked in on Mr. and Mrs. Osprey.  I have no idea how to accomplish a photograph of a bird in flight, but if ever there is one that should be properly captured flying, it is an osprey.  The male has been such a diligent partner and I have seen him feed mama daily.  I’m getting the feeling that she has wee ones because today her behaviour at the nest was very different.  Or, perhaps she just found a fish dropped in front of her.  Not certain.  These photographs are always taken a great distance away and I’m not getting the best quality as a result.  I find that photos early in the morning, while aiming west, are the best.  I’m so grateful that I have had opportunity to watch this nesting from the very first stick that was dragged across the width of all lanes on 22X.

Osprey by Audubon: Toronto Public Library

Osprey by Audubon: Toronto Public Library

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

Dad was a long way off, but always faithful to his duties.  Bare tree branches were filled with crows and magpies.  They frequently hang out with him, as they like to have such a great fisherman as their very best friend.

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

http://columbiawireless.ca/?fb_ref=Default

This guy…some type of hawk and his buddies find lamp posts to perch upon, no matter how busy the neighbouring road or high way.  At a moment’s notice, they dive down and I’ve seen them carrying all sorts of rodents.  He was marching about in the tall grass at one point.  I’m not certain his specific variety, but I wouldn’t be messing with those talons, if I was a mouse.  This character seems to have a thing for numbers. I think this may be a Harlan’s Red-Tailed Hawk, but my Dad will confirm once he checks out this post. (Hmmm…thinking it’s a Swainson’s Hawk…YUPPER!  Forget everything I said about a Red-Tailed Hawk!)  John James Audubon referred to the Swainson’s Hawk as being a Common Buzzard.

Swainson's Hawk (common buzzard)

Audubon: Harlan's Red-Tailed Hawk

Audubon: Harlan’s Red-Tailed Hawk

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

Kath's Canon June 19, 2015 Garden Frank's Flats Birds Super 3s 145

©Kathleen Moors

Hmmm…I was going to bash out tile tonight and it’s already eight in the evening.  The spaghetti squash is done.  It’s time for me to get going. (Nah…one more!)

I met up with this guy at one location and stood quite a distance away.  His antics stepping in and around the water were fabulous, but of course, I was watching and not shooting.  A very fuzzy capture of a Black Crowned Night Heron.

Audubon: Black Crowned Night Heron

Audubon: Black Crowned Night Heron

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

In the meantime, in the neighbourhood, the magpies squawk at the feral cats…the sparrows continue their romance in the vent across from my kitchen window,  the robins go bob bob bob along, tugging long worms out of the grass after every rainfall and one beautiful song bird visits a large back yard tree on the alley every morning. I delight in nature…in what grows.  I am grateful that I am able to enjoy such wonders.

Coming to Know a Single Place

I visit the same place, Frank’s Flats, daily…it doesn’t matter the weather.  It’s been five years now and I like the intimacy that comes with knowing this single place well.  For some, traveling the world is satisfying.  I feel as though I ride on the seasons as others might ride on an airplane and I gain such perspective and understanding because I look closely.  If one tends a small piece of the land, with gratitude, it is possible that one becomes more keenly aware through all of the senses.  This is just what I’m thinking.

Along with my written archive, I’ve posted a collection of images over the years that partners with the words, however, with no room in the budget for a camera these last two years, I’ve been using my phone.  Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get up close enough to some of my subjects because they (the coyotes, magpies, red winged black birds, osprey, muskrats and all types of water fowl) have been doing the most amazing things and doing them quickly and everywhere.

So…today, I got myself a camera.  And this was my first photo.

Kath's Canon May 20 2015 001Within minutes of picking up my Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, I sorted out some of the technical aspects of the camera.  While doing my research I knew that I wanted something with greater zoom than my former Lumix point-and-shoot.  While I’d had two Panasonics, in time, the same component had failed on both.  In both instances I was told that replacement value would be equal to a new product.  This was disheartening and I really didn’t intend on buying another camera.  Once I had decided that a good camera would make my experiences more enjoyable, I decided I still wished to have the convenience of Auto settings and that I didn’t wish to invest very much time learning the science of photography, given that I have pledged to get back to the easel consistently over this decade. (Praying for continued good health.)

This afternoon, the female osprey was surrounded by a wall of nesting material, her head peeking again and again over the edge.

The male was enjoying the sunshine on his back…hanging with his buddy, the magpie.  This was taken from quite a distance away and I know that the image is fuzzy edged, but I so enjoyed capturing these two buds hanging in the thick brush.  It wasn’t long after this shot that he lifted off, delivered another large branch to the nest and then settled in to watch over Mama.

Kath's Canon May 20 2015 005Kath's Canon May 20 2015 018I really enjoyed the fact that the sky was seamless. The waves on the water were actually pounding, it was so windy.  There was a smell on the air of life.

Kath's Canon May 20 2015 060Kath's Canon May 20 2015 057Kath's Canon May 20 2015 068I will have to pour through the photos to find ones that have the better compositions, but these few demonstrate the difference between using my phone…

Can you see her?

Can you see her?

…and using this beautiful gift to myself.  What joy! This one legged stand was my surprising capture.  It makes me smile.  I am blessed by this beautiful location and discover something new every day.

Kath's Canon May 20 2015 032

Esker Happenings: The Way Air Hides the Sky

I’m thinking about the early-rise tomorrow morning.  I will drive over to my daughter’s place where we’ll watch the Canda-Sweden game together and share some breakfast.  4:00 comes early, but I wanted to archive a few more events/ideas before I head for bed, so that tomorrow is a fresh beginning to the week.  I feel so blessed for so many reasons.

Tyler Los-Jones presented an artist-talk at Esker this past week.  These sessions are always so rich and a multitude of connections are made.  Tyler’s piece is titled The Way Air Hides the Sky and is located in the Project Space tucked in at the entrance to the Esker building.

Tyler’s talk was both academic (heady) and in so many ways, humourous.  He was very authentic in his approach.  As a result of the talk, it is easier to enjoy the work…or form more of a relationship to it.  Also, I came home to do some more reading about Tyler’s process and intention.  I like the images found here.  The following image and the body of work related to it was most appealing to me.  Photo Credit: Walter Phillips Gallery

Tyler Los-Jones, we saw the reflected inverted image of our own age #6-2013

Tyler Los-Jones, we saw the reflected inverted image of our own age #6-201

I captured some images of The Way Air Hides the Sky, …and more reflecting…as the glass reflects my own image back to me…and I become an inclusion to the myriad of reflective surfaces already present in the piece.  An interesting program.

P1150249 P1150250 P1150251 P1150252 P1150253 P1150254 P1150255 P1150256 P1150257 P1150258On the Esker Foundation website, Shauna Robertson writes

December 16, 2013 – March 16, 2014

Much of Tyler Los-Jones’ practice is concerned with the way in which we frame nature and insist upon a detachment between it and ourselves: the anthropocentric assumption that we are distinct from it and not intrinsically linked to it, neither physically nor temporally. That nature is Othered to us and exists for our use, enjoyment, and consumption has long been inherent in the vernacular of landscape photography, and this type of mediated representation of the natural persists to this day largely unchanged.

The way air hides the sky suggests a meditative proposition for reframing or dismantling these invisible divisions, complicit hallucinations, and the uneasy relationship between humanity and the natural world. The installation borrows the language and materials of industrial and interior design as a vehicle for the natural image—light boxes, room dividers, rolls of wallpaper, and mirrors: tools for image-making—and deploys them within the conceit of a perpetually in-progress storefront. Situated in a space of commerce and high traffic, the sense of something in process—or, noticed eventually over time, in a mode of permanent stasis—gives us pause, for a moment, to become productively stuck.

Our expectation of the fictitious display window, with its conflation of sultry, slick, sexy, high-gloss theatricality and the serpentine infiltration of the provisional and the natural, operates—in the timbre of a whisper—as a permeable barrier that suggests that which we are already aware: the open secret that we exist not outside of, but within, an oscillating space between the real and the imagined, the interior and the exterior, the natural and the constructed, the opaque and the transparent.

Many Springs: Discovering Wildflowers…Again!

Yellow Lady Slipper Orchid

The hiking Ya-Yas and two wee sprouts headed for the Bow Valley Provincial Park Trail System today for our annual spring wildflower hike on the Many Springs Trail.

“The ‘Many Springs’ trail head is located about 2 km west following the paved road that goes through the park. This is a 2.4 km loop around a spring fed lake. This trail is known for its abundance in spectacular flowers.”

“This is also an area known for its diversity of birds. At Waypoint #1, a spectacular view opens toward the north, revealing Mount Yamnuska, Loder Peak and Door Jamb Mountain.”

Anenome canadensis ‘Canada Anenome’, Buttercup Family

“At various points, the trail is going directly over the lake allowing for close study of life in the water below.”

Aster

It was an exceptional day for snapping photographs.

Wild Columbine

The weather co-operated nicely and things seemed to be well into bloom, particularly the wild tiger lilies!

Wild Tiger Lily

We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the trail head and celebrated the tradition of flower-gazing as a group.  It has been such a blessing!

I like the brief quote that appears on the last sign on the trail. “Not many are as lucky…to break from the round of daily chores to come and discover this place called Many Springs.”

Viola Canadensis ‘Western Canada Violet’, Violet Family,

I am not including here, my photos of Indian Paintbrush, Wild Flax and other common flowers from the area.  It was such a joy to find some unusual things and to have the time to try to capture a decent record of them.

Lonicera dioica, Twining Honeysuckle

Out-of-focus, but an intriguing find.  Help me identify this one!

No idea…but this was one of my favourites!

Then there was the wee bush bunny, the conversations and the friendship!  All made for a most amazing day!

Little Miracle

Here’s to another springtime of Many Springs.

Portraits of Self

There is no long trail of documentation that precedes me…no hard drive containing a vast record of digital photographs…who I was…who I am…appearance-wise.  I fear though, that I have left a huge trail of ephemera.  My children likely wish that my footprint was less in this regard.  I have a stack of concert t-shirts, for example…each one worn one time only…I hope everyone will select their favourite and take it, when I’m gone.  The same goes for my ‘vinyl’…each record played once in order to make a cassette tape and then filed in a box.  Why do I hold on to such as this?  Does anyone really know Three Dog Night anymore?

My mother found two photographs in a box taken with a borrowed camera and she swears that they are photographs of me.  Why do I have my doubts?  Here is one of these official baby photos…the only one of two.

I  treasured the paint-by-number of The Last Supper that my father did while stationed up north, so much so that I purchased its contemporary on E-Bay for $9.98…apparently done by someone’s grandmother circa 1953.  I’m glad I have an archive of the original.  (see below)

I’ve always been a pet-lover.  This has been documented also.

Next…proof that I studied ballet, until the teacher explained to my mother that perhaps this wasn’t the style for me.  In retrospect, I could have told her that and saved us both the trouble.

Family…most times one parent was missing from the photograph, depending on who was holding the camera.

School photographs are the best, aren’t they?

Two other portraits were brought to mind by a photographer of my youth, Lorraine.  The first one portrays my ‘earth mother’ days very well.  I made lots of whole wheat and rye bread back then, some loaves more successful than others.  These, always partnered by the community pot of soup.  Mm-mmm!  Lorraine captured my young-woman-walk-through-the-coulees-self exquisitely, me thinks!

The second sitting was with Lorraine when I was about seven months pregnant for my first baby.  I like the ethereal sensibility created with the lighting and the curtain in the window.  I don’t mind publishing the photo here.  Photos in our contemporary world have become far more provocative and revealing.  I think this one is subtle and captures, I think, my sense of anticipation, if not acceptance.  Thank you, Lorraine, for reminding me of these!

Based on this visual legacy, I decided to have my portrait done professionally and it was both entertaining, creative and fun!  Thank you, Jen of Jen Hall Photography!  A great experience and a record of my presence to my life.  Thanks also to Cathy Larsen who built a quilt out of 2006, a year where I documented magic every day for 365 days on fabric.  You are a master at your craft, Cathy, and I continue to this day, to treasure our friendship and your artistry!

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe. Truman Capote

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

April 2, 2012 3:30 p.m. Weather 12 degrees, sunshine and some cloud.  It was a beautiful day at the park!  Max and I took our time, clearing out plastics and packaging from the south edge of the pond and up on the north slope, edging on the road.  I enjoyed the sense of life and energy, every direction I looked.

Do people really have to trash their water bottles?

I received correspondence today from both SFCRA and Chandos and I’m glad about the response on both fronts.  From Chandos Health and Safety Manager… 

I am just emailing you to let you know that I have coordinated a team of our staff to help tomorrow clean-up the area around South Fish Creek Arena. We will be starting around 7am tomorrow morning and should get it all completed best we can by end of day. When I say best we can I mean that some debris that may be in the dirt may be left until our landscape phase that will happen in 2-3weeks time. Otherwise I hope we can give you back the clean park you had.

And from the Assistant General Manager of the South Fish Creek Recreation Association,

I can assure you that we do take this issue seriously.  As mentioned last night, SFCRA has budgeted for & scheduled a staff member whose specific duty is to clean the outside property and parking lot.  We appreciate the work you have been doing; and look forward to a cleaner spring & summer season at our newly expanded facility! 

Changing the Landscape: One Bag At a Time

An edit: In the last slide of my published youtube, I spelled circumference incorrectly.  I just don’t have it in me to pull the project off, in order to make the correction.

March 22, 2012 6:00 p.m. Weather 1 degree, clear skies, bring sun, a layer of fresh snow on the ice of just yesterday.

Findings: I attempted to get a start on the school slope.  It is in an outrageous condition and will take quite some time to clean up.  Much in the way of food containers, sandwich bags, fast food packaging and more plastic bags.  The most interesting find was a plastic skeletal hand.  I begin to wonder about the burned pages of a book/manual in a foreign script.  I’ve been finding these pages strewn everywhere since the beginning of this project.

Writing is a struggle against silence. Carlos Fuentes