Tuesday, April 27, 2010

barnyard friends and stones

I completed my soon to be born grandsons quilt and am anxious to display it, yet must wait till I have presented it to the parents as I don't want to spoil the surprise. Hopefully by next week I will be able to post an image. But short of that I will post a few more snaps taken around central Alberta.

The Three Amigos
I have three paintings presently on the go and I look at these babes and want to paint them as well, ah so much inspiration surrounds me. I am so grateful to Gerald who takes me on the slightly less traveled roads so that its safe to stop when we spy items or animals of interest.

From the Lions Mouth
This lion embellishes a building in St Albert.

Carved in stone. This rock sits guarding the shore of a small lakeside park.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I love old weathered wood, faded paint reaching to the sky.

Fancy woodwork, simple aged stained glass.

Whether going this way or that way, I see many wonderful things.

Old barns, slow demise.

Rusty tin can decorations

Saturday, April 24, 2010

moon shadows

In the still of night
under hush of moon
fantasy takes wing
in the forest
upon an owls whoot

Okay I know I am not a poet but I was envisioning the teenage girls who upon hearing the owls whoot the other night, freaked out and ran from the forested area where the path meanders past the owl nest. This shot was taken moments after the shrieking girls passed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

nesting time

A wonderful find, times two!


Great Horned Owl, I believe this may be a female. After stretching and looking about she gave a few hoots and was answered from close by with a responding hoot. She flew to another tree top, rested a bit, then we heard some weird hissing sounds and she flew right into an evergreen tree. In the following shot she gave one last peek out at me then settled down into the nest out of sight.

Moments after taking that shot another owl flew right over my head and landed behind me. This one is much smaller and whiter coloration than the first one. I am thinking this must be the mate.

it was such a wonderful evening stroll, to good not to be shared.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Fantasies

Here are the sights I am looking forward to with the coming of spring. These paintings can be viewed at Westlands Art Gallery in Cochrane AB

Sweet nectar, Baltimore Oriole

"Spring Blossoms, Goldfinch"

 "Sweet Nectar, Baltimore Oriole".
The blues did not capture very well as the camera does not see the same as the eye, so inevitably the nuances of color are lost in the process. In reality the blues are more turquoise.

Looking for the Migrants

On saturday my friend took me out for a drive around Camrose to see what migratory birds have arrived.
Many Prairie ponds have dried out which is not a good prospect for the ducks and marsh birds soon to be arriving en-masse. The ponds that have water are still frozen over or partially froze.
 Canada Geese are making their way north. We saw small flocks here an there but no major flocks. Most we spotted were a few pairs. I am not sure if the one pair geese are lying low because of our presence, mating ritual, or keeping low so the wind blows over them.
Trying to hold their own against the harsh wind the Pintail and three Mallards would take a few steps, slip and lunge forward on the ice, rest and shortly thereafter take a few more steps towards the reeds. The buffeting wind shook the car as though trying to dislodge it inhabitants and the turbulence would swirl in the window catching my camera lens. Not exactly good photography weather, but it was wonderful being able to eat our sandwiches and be thankful we are not having to brave the elements like the ducks. 
Flock of European Starlings, an introduced species to North America which seemingly seems to prosper regardless of conditions. Within this flock a Redwinged male blackbird was seen to flash its brilliant red and yellow wing badges, but alas, no clear shots to post of it.
And to finish off the tour, we found two Ravens playing Raven Hop. ah how I love these cunning and playful birds. They seem to love the wind.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Slave Lake Mural

Yesterday was a bit of a rant day on my blog, today is back to beauty. 
Last summer when I had the opportunity to go camping at Lesser Slave Lake we took a short walk through the town and came across this beautiful mural.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In the name of progress

A friend of mine who has been working to save aboriginal and pioneer graves from destruction in Alberta sent me this poster, it seems this problem is widespread. Its amazing how "progress" does not respect those laid to rest. Nor do cities respect the descendants when burials are unearthed. The city of Edmonton is guilty of desecration of burials within the Papachase Reserve. Land which was never ceded, never bought, nor ever given to the city; yet in the last 100 years Papachase was illegally procured. The original peoples were chased off in the name of progress under the guise of The King, and then later The Queen of England as an ideal to bring this province into a civilized way of life. So I now ask, how civilized is a province or city that desecrates her dead? How civilized is a province that desecrates the land by ripping pipelines across it every which way. Pipelines which leak toxins into our earth and alter the lay of the land so that caribou herds are being decimated to the point of extinction in Alberta. The tar sands keeps expanding, even though there is no safe storage for its dirty sludge. Sludge  which is so toxic that birds that inevitably land on the tailings ponds DIE. The only thing that lies between this same toxic sludge and the Athabasca River, a major river system, is a mud walled damn. Ahh, the name of progress, a dirty idea really, a ploy for industrialization that fills the pockets of a few and leaves a wake of desecration and devastation for our children's children.
So now you may ask, how do I jump from desecrating burials to desecration of the land, well as I see it it, it all goes hand in hand. Desecration of burials and raping the land of unsustainable resource is all a product of Corporate GREED.

visit "Save Our Sacred Sites" on facebook

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Emmaus Group Opening at The House Sanctuary, Calgary Alberta

The spread for the opening was bountiful, there were a few hungry who came in off the street who were able to fill the empty spot with great food provided by the group, songs that moved listeners to tears sung by Naomi, and paintings to soothe the eye and soul. All in all one of the most moving openings I have attended.
The House is an outreach cafe run by the Alliance Church and I have to say that Pastor Derrik and the staff have accomplished well being in the community of Kensington and have helped street people regain their dignity and worth. It's wonderful when lives can be altered by a few kind words, or a cup of coffee and a wee bit of help.

I was inspired to photograph the exhibition book, and a dear friend took a snap of me with my painting. I love that the EXIT sign is boldly noticeable, just one quirky thought in how the exhibition title is "From Death to Life". I would have liked to show the exhibition but I forgot to ask artists permission to use their art on my blog.
We spent the weekend with my son, his lady and my soon to be born grandson, I am so excited to be a Kookum soon.

Heading north it was wonderful to spot migrating eagles. Saw 6 eagles and 2 hawks, which of course I had to have my trusty chauffeur stop so I could photograph them, its a good thing the man has a lot of patience.
I believe this is a Rough Legged Hawk.

Had to share this one of the Eagle cresting the tree-line. I find watching raptors to be exhilarating. I read that the term raptor comes from latin, literally meaning seized, given I presume with regards to how hawks catch their prey. Eagles on the other hand are also opportunistic scavenger birds who clean up the riverbanks during spawn and roadside dead. We saw an eagle scavenging dead cows in a farm field along with crows and ravens and further on we saw two eagles on a roadside deer carcass. On the opposite side of the highway two hawks were skillfully flying on the spot, which I call sky dancing, as they searched for prey below.