Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring ??

It’s supposed to be spring, and last week I truly believed that spring was on its way. Temperatures were in the above freezing, the snow was melting and the water was running freely on the streets. But then the weather changed and following was a week of high winds, drifting snow, icy roads, occasional wind-chill in the –25 range, you get my drift. Well, April is within hailing distance so maybe things will start to improve soon.

One of the hopeful signs that spring is truly on its way is the annual “Gardenscape” show our city plans around this time of year; focusing on gardening and outdoor living, reminding us that eventually we will be able to grow things outside.
There were a number of artists in attendance as well as the expected plant and garden displays.
I enjoyed chatting with the Metal Man who had captured our CSSA logo for the last National in black metal. Displayed on a white background made for a striking picture.

 One other really wonderful display caught my attention. It was the art of Douglas Walker and his waterworks garden sculptures. His works are actually water features for a garden. They are made up of old discarded brass band instruments of various sorts, a really unique idée and one of a- kind.

One other booth that was well received was Rogers and Kris from “Solar Gardens” with a collection of a variety of succulents (Echeverias). These beautiful plants are mainly from Peru and Mexico, they are able to withstand drought because of water stored in their foliage, make for eye-catching displays in pots all during the summer months.

It really felt good to escape the winter even if for a little while. To be surrounded with the spring fresh beauty of blooming annuals and lush green grass in colorful gardens, helped to forget the endless winter we probably have to endure a little longer.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saint Patrick’s Day

On St Patrick’s Day I celebrated an Irish evening at our church featuring Folk singer Eileen Laverty, who over the years has established herself as an International singer-songwriter producing beautiful albums and touring with many well-known artists.

The evening began with mass in honor of our patron Saint. Following mass we gathered for an Irish meal consisting of good old Irish stew and bread as well as an assortment of decadent desserts.

The highlight of the evening no doubt was the entertainment with Eileen and her accompanists. I truly loved her music. Among my favorite songs were “Let It Go”, “State of Mind” and “The Road”. Her rich and pure voice made it a pleasure to listen to.

It was an intimate evening and a feast for the soul.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bohemian Waxwings

All winter long I faithfully  kept the bird feeders filled in hopes that I would ketch the Blue Jays, Chickadees or the Bohemian Waxwings or any other bird wintering in this area on camera. I could hear their happy chirping but was never quite ready to take a picture. Only the Sparrows would linger around the feeders and making quite a mess on the ground. While doing my daily poop patrol I could tell that the dogs had welcomed their messy habits.
I was just settling in with a book and a cup of tea in the den to day when my eye was caught by something moving through the air. At first I thought it was leaves blowing on the gusting winds, then I realized it was waxwings resting in the Poplars. I grabbed the camera and ventured out into the front yard to get a few shots, being very cautious so as not to scare them off. The noise was something else, deafening my ears.
It's been a few years since we had these birds visiting our yard, and I was glad that this time I was ready to capture them before they all flew away in a flash. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winters endless perils

Early morning mist of the river and of the Bessborough Hotel picture taken by Greg Pender.

Driving on snow - covered roads can be tricky. Braving the cold elements this morning, I took the New Years puppies to the Vet for their first health checks. I’ve always been prompt and responsible about Vet care for my animals, both for minor crisis mode and for regular check-ups for their ongoing health. I dreaded the thought of having to take them outside on such a cold day, but it needed to get done and so it did.

Saskatchewan isn’t noted for big snowfalls, specializing more as we do in just plain cold and windy weather. But this year has been a good one for snowfalls. The city gets the streets cleared every now and then, that’s if you are on the snow route and complain enough about the ruts. In most cases they just pile up the snow on most streets and leave it until nature takes care of it in spring.

Black ice and the new snow made driving a real hazard. There is nothing logical about the rear end of your car trying to get to your destination before the front end of your car, actually preventing the dreaded skid and the sphincter clenching terror that comes with it.

Can you imagine two cars going in the opposite directions on the same set of ruts, you leave a railway crash similar in real life to happen. The physical and mental calculations it takes to swerve out of the tracks at the last minute without over - steering so much that the parked car on your right becomes your next hood ornament – unbelievable.

Such are the dilemmas one faces when driving on our roads. Spring cannot come fast enough. Oh, how I wish I were back in Maui.

This shows our street. We are slowly running out of space in which to pile the snow…and it just keeps snowing.