Thursday, May 27, 2010

If you ever take time to do any serial sunset watching you might begin to think that it never sets the same way twice. And if it looks similar, it seems a more perfect version of itself than it was before. I feel very lucky to be able to have the most amazing view of sunsets from my front porch each evening. Although I'd like to say I leisurely wander outside every single day to sit and watch the sky in all it's glory, the reality is that some days I'm folding laundry upstairs when I get a glimpse of it almost by mistake and I'm immediately mesmerized.

 In the early nineties on my first visit to Mexico, I took the crowded evening 'milk run' into the city. The locals looked exhausted and the bus smelled of a hard days work. As we bumped along I felt the man next to me brush against my arm a couple times, each tap seeming more encroaching than the previous in our confined space. I was thinking about how to address him on it but when I turned, this elderly man with the most incredibly innocent look on his face was tapping my arm. In badly broken English he asked "Have you ever seen such a beautiful sunset where you come from?" I looked up to see the most perfect sphere of orange and red, that my jaw literally fell open and I was completely and totally gobsmacked. Wow...and WOW! How did I even miss that?

  I often think of that elderly man when I see a sunset having a particularly brilliant performance. I say a little  'thank-you' to him out into the universe for reminding me to stop and look. This is the most recent one I took this past weekend...and thank you again Mr. Mexican man. ( :

Things that make you go Hmmmm....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Each spring and summer we spend what I consider to be an obnoxious amount of time tending to the weeds in the yard. Preparing for the annual combat involves determining which methods of weed elimination we'll have to preform and laying bets as to which of us will be victorious..and to be fair, the weeds usually always win. I get irked when weed control takes us away from spending time with family and friends and doing things we'd much rather be spending time on.  No one really wants to join you on your weeding experience either because most people are in the same boat, out in their yards with an artillery of gadgets and sprays trying to contain the little devils.

Lately I had to hear a story about a woman living in Africa. It could have been anywhere but I'm pretty sure they said Africa to attract a sympathetic ear in the way our parents used to talk about walking to school in winter, barefoot, uphill, both ways, minus 700 degrees.  You know the one.  Well as the story goes, she had a patch of dandelions growing near her house that she tended to everyday just praying that she could keep them beautiful bright yellow as long as possible. Dam! I'm such a sucker for that "flowers have a soul" story my daughter used to tell me when she was a toddler and she would well up with tears whenever one died. WAHHHHH!!! I'm killing the dandelions.

So this week I went out and took pictures and had some fun playing with perspective of this 'flower' with my v. cool point and shoot camera.... because tomorrow it's back to us vs. them and this year Steve is more determined than ever. Hello Vegas?

Taking care of business.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

There hasn't been alot of picture taking time this week because I've had my nose to the grindstone with business,business and more business. That eats up an extraordinary amount of my time trying to juggle that and tackle all the other 'goings on' in the household that keep all the feet happy. Feet happy. Happy Feet? Add in the reading material that has to be reviewed, editing, meetings, housework, an unusual amount of coffee, lunch and dinner dates ...and the evening 'ahhhhhhh time' with my hubby and kids and the week has quite frankly evaporated! No big surprise.

One pretty neat thing that happened this week is the gallery I've been dealing with saw a picture I did and wanted to display it. The owner called me to say she'd found the perfect spot for it in the front window so Steve and I drove up to check it out. Thanks Pat! You guys are so great.

We've also been doing some travel planning. The conversation went something like this. "Wanna go someplace?" "Sure!" yah...that's coming together nicely.

But for now it's back to business. Here's a recent picture I took the meantime.

A walk in the rain with Dave Trattles.

Monday, May 10, 2010

He arrived in the room in a whirlwind. Late. Later than me! His crazy curly hair bounced in every direction and he spoke with energy that could light up a town. As he spoke, he seemed unaware of his charm, recounting the many stories about places he's been to and the people he's met. We listened to him talk about his amazing journeys; how he travels the world photographing people living their lives and the often hilarious experiences he's had in the process. His passion for photography.. and people.. are undeniable. His stories I realized are not about himself but of others.

We walked through the Ottawa market in the rain and cold. We talked to strangers. He listened. We listened. We took pictures. I used my point and shoot. I think I used the viewfinder once?

Yesterday, as we sat and chatted, I thanked him. For the opportunity to get a glimpse of his world. For reminding me about committment. For reminding me to trust instincts. For showing me a different perspective. For his opinion. And his humanity.

It was a whirlwind for sure, but an experience that I'll not soon forget.

Canadian Tulip Festival

Monday, May 3, 2010

About mid-winter each year I start to wonder why I ever decided to move to Ottawa. It's so-o-o-o cold! BUT.. it's such a pretty little city with the Rideau Canal, the Byward Market and Parliament Hill as visual anchors; I just have to take one trip downtown and I'm reminded of at least one reason we choose to stay. The city is quite simply... beautiful. Another reason is all the unique festivals that are held here that attract visitors from all over the world. Each May Ottawa hosts the Canadian Tulip Festival, the largest of it's kind in the world. For people not familiar with the story behind the festival (here comes today's history lesson folks!) it developed from a gesture of appreciation by the Dutch royal family in the 1940's when the Canadian government hosted Princess Juliana of the Netherlands during the Natzi occupation of that country. When the family returned home they sent 100,000 tulip bulbs as a way of saying thank you. Since then, thousands of bulbs were received annually from the Netherlands. The NCC has planted hundreds of thousand more. In 1953, Ottawa photographer Malak Karsh and the Ottawa Board of Trade began the inaugural Canadian Tulip Festival and it's been going on ever since.

The Tulip Festival attracts flower lovers galore, not to mention professional photographers, enthusiasts and shutter bugs. I've been taking pictures here for 30 years and I never get tired of it. One day, I'm going to find some of the first pictures I took in the early 80's with G.C. Until then, I'll post a few from the past two weeks though I have many, many....many more.

For information on the Canadian Tulip Festival