Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Found Land

Welcome to Newfoundland

I spent the last week in Newfoundland, with my mother, visiting my aunt who has a house on Bona Vista Bay. Our first morning there, the phone rang, early. It was her neighbour, Paul, a Dutch whale-watcher/photographer, who spends his summer months with the whales in Newfoundland. He was telling us to get down to the dock, the baby beluga was there, within arm's reach. We pulled on clothes and went right down. Such a playful welcome to Newfoundland. There he was, a baby beluga, tugging on ropes, bumping up against Paul's boat, trying to pull him away from the dock, doing all he could do be noticed. So sweet! But also a little sad, he is stranded in the bay, drawn to human companionship. But there is still hope that he will find his way out before the fall arrives.

Sea, Sky, Rocks, and More
This was my first time on The Rock. An amazing place to visit - more European than Canadian. A blend of Ireland, Scotland, and England. The people are as welcoming as the whales. Just as funny, too. And marvelous story-tellers!

The Pageant at Trinity
Looking Out the Kitchen Window

There were hundreds of dolphins out in the bay, feeding. Also, finn whales spouting and breeching. Each day I was enchanted by the quality of the light. A different kind of brilliance! I suppose, created by so much sea and sky. Newfoundland was once a land of fishermen, but the ocean was over-fished, the fisheries were shut down, and thousands of Newfoundlanders now make their living in the tar sands of Alberta. They do not live in Alberta, they commute. Who wouldn't?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hanging Out/Hanging On

Wire Guy Just Hanging On
It's August and the last week has been a little crazy - sick cats without appetites, visits to the vet (too many!), cats still not eating much, but moving about, rubbing noses against the edges of the computer, sitting on my lap, watching words appear on the screen. I spent the last two days in the country hanging out with my niece and nephew, instead of hanging out with worrisome cats. We went for bike rides to every local store and scanned the billboards looking for FREE PUPPIES! (SHE WANTS A PUPPY!) There were none. We went to the "swimming pool" or, as it is now called "The Aquatic Center". It barely resembles the pool I swam in when I was their age. Swirling slides, straight slides, water cannons (they are actually allowed to aim at each other), beach chairs and umbrellas, families with over-sized coolers on wheels filled with over-sized treats! Hard to believe that pool began almost fifty years ago as one blue rectangle in the middle of the prairie - a place that was controlled by rules: NO RUNNING! NO SPLASHING! NO DUNKING! NO FOOD! I loved it anyway. The world just keeps changing.

We went home and sat in the sunshine, twisting colourful wires together, making wire guys . . . and DOGS. Here is Nicholas' wire guy hanging out around the yard. There was no end to possibilities. Wire Guy also did some work on his tractor, flew without wings, walked his dog, climbed the wall, slept in the lilies, and talked to some frogs. Sometimes the best field trips of all happen in your own backyard . . . Now I am back in the city with the cats who show no interest at all in Wire Guy, and not much more interest in their food.

Wire Guy Walks the High Wire
Wire Guy at the Beach
Flying Away With the Bluebird

Summer View From My Kitchen Window

Summer View From My Kitchen Window
I am already more than a week into my summer holidays and just beginning to settle into this greenest of seasons - so glad to be at home with my windows and my light. I am just learning how to post these blogs, spending too much time in front of my computer, not enough time with the sky.  The morning began with thunder - an hour of pouring rain and thunder!!  Long after sunrise, the sky was still dark and ominous, but then suddenly the sun broke through. I put on my garden shoes, grabbed my camera, and went out to the flowers . . .   

After the Rain

After the Rain
After all that wild weather, the day lily leaves were covered with such quiet raindrops . . . 

After the Rain

After the Rain
One side of my yard is lined with leafy peonies - the grandmother of all flowers - pink, white, deep, deep red.  I have been deadheading the flowers all week long, but this one, just opening, survived the storm. I have lived in my house for nearly twenty years; these peonies were here long before I moved in and with any luck will be here long after I am gone.