Come Closer

When I lived in the city,   my eye would be drawn to bright lights. Winking me into a bar or restaurant for comfort and warmth they often plopped me in places I didn't actually want to be, and I would quickly leave, vaguely disatisfied for having been sucked in. Like a moth to flame.

Not so now.

Now the light is finer, truer, and real. It draws me in and entices me, making me want to linger longer than I should. I am often late.

Some things just demand to be seen.
I can't codify cute. But I know it when I see it. Beauty. Boldness. Something catches my eye, turns my head, and speaks to me.

Often more loudly than it should, and I get swept up in the moment. Attention deficit I am not...perhaps, no actually, the opposite. Attention overload.

I can lose myself in the moment, the memory, the meaning. I am sometimes not present because I am all there.

My favourite walk is right outside my door, full of mystery, signs and signals. It stops me cold in my tracks. I truly cannot understand how others can simply walk on by! But they do, leaving me behind to ponder..what animal? Where was it going? Or was it coming? was it being chased? or chasing? I am chastened by all this. Humbled. Smaller. But more complete.

My inner child is evidently alive
and well. It does not take much to take off on a flight of fancy. And "why?" is a question often asked.

As the crow flies is sometimes just a short little walk out the front door.
I wish you  all a wonder full new year!


A Christmas Letter, 1942

In 1942, the world was at war, and families around the globe were missing loved ones as they celebrated Christmas. The following letter was written by my grandfather, Dr.Arthur Richardson Brown to his children, A.G., Margaret, Eleanor, George and Ruth ....

Lloydminster, Sask. 
Christmas Eve, 1942

My Dear Children,
It is Christmas Eve. The house is quiet. No excited voices, no pattering feet disturb our rest. And yet---there are six of you, little Bena Mae in her snow shrouded rest in Saskatoon, Ruth somewhere at home, George in England in the brave garb of the Seaforths, Eleanor cheering her navy lad in Halifax, Margaret in Toronto bearing with fortitude the denial of her heart’s desire but encouraging her  brilliant young husband in public service, and our first born A.G. at Ottawa for his first Christmas with Mabel using his fine mind in war research---six whose tiny clinging fingers are forever clasped about our hearts, six whose shining eyes have lighted our many Christmas trees with the “light that never was on land or sea”, six whose echoing laughter still trembles softly on the drums of memory, six gifts of life and charm and hope and love which your beloved mother cradled in her affection and fed with her body and sustained with her unselfish soul. Six of you, six miracles, six demonstrations to prove that love is the secret of the good life, that love is life.
And so despite the miles and miles of lonely prairie, of dark forbidding forest, of weary wastes of water which separates us tonight we are joined in spirit about this family tree and your mother and I once again marvel in the glories and mysteries of life, once again catch the murmuring music of the spheres; for love reaches through and beyond all barriers of space and time; we reach our arms about you, feel “our life’s glow” and watch the twinkling lights of yet another Christmas.
If there is one gift we prize above all others it is the love of our children; if there is one gift we bestow more gladly than all others it is our love for our children; if there is one message we would have them accept and ponder more deeply than all others it is that love is the secret of the good life, that without love there is no meaning in Christmas or living or philosophy, or systems of government or economics or dreams for a new and better world.  Knowledge gives us law and order and system
and the mechanics of progress, but love is what dreams are made of, the stuff of nobility and worth, the warming stream which feeds our lives and brings them to
 fruition in truth and beauty and purpose.
And so my children, on this Christmas Eve, your mother and I once again tender you our gift of love. May it warm your hearts, enlighten your minds, inspire your souls, and direct your steps along the paths of fruitful and happy living. And we thank you for the privilege of being your parents, for the joy you have given us,
for the inspiration you have been to us, for the proof you
have given that life is good
and that all’s right with this world.
                                                With all our love,
Dad and Mother

All of the people in this letter, with the exception of Ruth,
who is now in her 80's, are gone,
but my Grandfather's words still ring true,
and the greatest gift of all is still Love.
Merry Christmas!
This Hoya started out at my Grandmother's home, and has since been divided and shared. It's at least 35years old,  and has blossomed continually since I received my slip two years ago...including this blossom which I just noticed today.
A little gift from Grandma?


Cold Comfort

As a snowy white blizzard  blasts into my world, it changes. Colours, shapes, textures, temperatures, even smells.
There is more, and there is less. More intensity, less lingering.
More softness . Less definition

More shades of gray. Less of every other colour.
This wintery white world envelopes us, and dictates changes
that we must make to survive it.

It slows us down. Insulates. Isolates.
Makes us late.
Until we learn to leave earlier.
Which we do. We slowly adjust.
The first day is always the worst. The topic on everyone's tongue.
Why does - 5C feel  frigid in December,  and downright balmy in March?
Imagine getting used to that!
But we do.

We  are proud to be part of this northern land.

And it gives us cold comfort in return.


U's Gone.

U’s Gone

I know I pt it somewhere, bt I can’t remember where?
It’s not nder the bed, I know, becase I jst looked there.
It’s not p in the attic, on top of the boxes and bags
They’re missing too becase I moved them
When they sddenly started to sag.
It’s crios withot it, many words don’t look qite right
Sch a simple little joiner with two arms that make things tight
A lovely  sbtle sond made when yo prse yor lips
It never stops it’s fsing, wants s joined at the hips!
If yo come across it shortly, please try sending it my way
As I’m trying to end this message
And I don't want to misspell my name!

for more thoghts on the letter above, please go to http://www.abcwednesdayround3.blogspot.com/


Icing from the Inside

It started with sand being thrown against the window, and soon grew to a steady wave of small pebbles tatooing on the roof. In my dream, I was standing on a beach looking at the clear blue waters of Northumberland Strait and the bridge to Prince Edward Island. Peaceful, but slightly disoriented. As I woke,  that vision faded, and was replaced by this one.

When Nature takes your world, and gives it a shake and a polish, you must pay attention.
And so I did.

Cocooned by the soft glow of morning,  and unable to see beyond, I was forced to look within.

Nature's artistry leaves me breathless. A haunting golden moment that rises with the sun and lingers just long enough to remind us that  we can only see this magic when the paint brush is heavily laden.

A magnified moment, frozen in time and soon to melt away.

for more images, visit Skywatch Friday


S and Making Sense of it All

I have learned about difference. The difference between soft and sweet

and hard and sharp.

I can tell  hot from cold and  wet from dry...and I know if it's hot and wet, or cold and dry, and what that means...

 Is it dark or light or in between?

 My senses tell me sweet from sour and they tell me to be wary

I hear the quiet... and the clamour

And I know my world.
It makes sense.

Read more about 'S' here



As we are about to don our winter whites,  the colours of my world  are calling. 
They beg to be remembered, and so they shall be.

Midnight  Grackle Blue

Meets Blueberry Thrill...

Powderpuff melon... 

Beckons Cinammon Poulet... 

 Bright Shiny Spring

 Greets the Last Apple Red...

And Bountiful Pumpkin adds spice

To White Winter Trails.

These are my colours.
What colour are you?


R is for Ready. Which I'm not.

This was the scene on November 26, 2008.
Brilliant red winterberries blanketed by snow.
Are you ready?

Visit other ABC Wednesday posts: http://abcwednesdayround3.blogspot.com/


The Growing Flock

A friend was over the other day and commented on one of the wading birds on top of the pine cupboard.She wanted to know if I could recall where I bought it. And I could.
In fact, each little wooden wonder has a story to tell, that usually involves a holiday somewhere, a local gift shop, and the search for something unique.

However, it  seems that my definition of "unique" is somewhat slanted. Unique means anything birdish...wood, stone, wood and stone. If it has a beak and wings, and  a certain charm, then it gets placed on the list of possible acquisitions.

'Course, once people catch wind of the fact that you like carvings of birds, then it's pretty much game on, and the collection begins to take on a life of its own.
A very nice life I might add.

I now have decoys, and carvings, and sox, and boxer shorts, and earrings, and necklaces, and prints and paintings and books, many, many books...and the subject matters is birds.

And of course, there is always room for more.

It's amazing when I stop and look at the 'aviary' that my home has unwittingly become! And when I start to count all of the birds in it, including those in the all the other rooms, not just the kitchen/dining/living area. Well, let's just say, there's more than a baker's dozen. Or  four.
I would venture to say that most birders have a similar affliction. If it's got wings, and beak, and it flies...it'll likely end up feathering your nest. And if you don't want it, I think I know someone who can likely find a place for it.


Light of November

As we hurtle towards the shortest day of the year, light becomes a huge topic of conversation for those of us who live above the 49th parallel.

This weekend, we "fell back", as in turned back the clocks by one hour in order to, to...help kids walk home from school in the sunlight? (Do kids still do that? Aren't they all bussed?) Allow farmers to farrow their fields in the late afternoon? Huh? Their combines now come equipped with lights, and stereo systems, and leather seats, so that's not right. No....no, wait!  I think it's the opposite. We "spring forward" for those reasons. I have no idea why we fall back. Because someone in 1926 said we should, before the installation of  Sirius Radio on the ol' John Deere? Who knows?  I'm sure someone will enlighten me.

But this I do know...
 This morning I woke up in the dark, drove to work in the dark.
Came home in the dark. Heard the term Seasonally Affective Disorder (SAD) for the first time this season, and thought about the benefits of being a bear,
sleeping the dark away.
In the meantime, I wait patiently for sunrise, 
knowing it will help lighten my mood.

Rust and gold and copper and gray. This is the light of November.


Seeing is Believing

The beautiful Atlantic marshes in Cape May, New Jersey make me long for super vision, and that's a first!
There were days on this magnificent coast line that it felt surreal, until I realized that it was.

Here's lookin' at you,  kid.

for more earthly views, visit http://skyley.blogspot.com/


Good Morning Miss Cellanea

The past several weeks have been full of work, and more work,
then throw in some work, and that about sums it up.
Holidays are wonderful but there's a price to be paid besides the Visa bill at the end of them. Starts with W. So I haven't had much time to sit and relax, and go through the photo albums that are so easy to build on the computer! Take the camera, go for a drive, take lots of shots, download, name the file, and then...wait 'til there's a spare hour hanging about.
That would be now! Finally!
So going through the album for September, I remember this day clearly.
A soft, misting September morning.
Quiet. Perfect day to grab the bins, the books, a bun  
and just go.

The Ottawa Valley is a perfect place to ramble. Rolling meadows, roadside streams, very little traffic once you're off the main highway. You can take your time and look to see what the ditches have to offer.

Obviously well used, and right in the middle of a raspberry patch?
It's all about location, location, location.
Just beyond I spy a sure sign that summer is over, and birds of a feather
are making flight plans.

The signs were everywhere on this day. Some less subtle than others.
Obviously, this is where I was meant to stop.

A place to have a little picnic - or catch one if you can.
The area was originally settled in the 1800's, as loggers and farmers and merchants came to the Ottawa Valley in search of the tall stands of timber. It was a tough life, that spared no one. Coming across small family plots overgrown and unkempt is not an everyday event, but nor is it that rare.

This particular road is an old one, and it was likely once an animal trail, 
  that followed the river. It still is rich with life.
The hunted and the hunters dwell here.

They know they're being watched.
By this guy.

While the chickadees hunt juicy little seeds and berries, and
the Great Blue Heron heads to the next fishing hole.

It's all a matter of perspective. Yours. Mine. Theirs.
Life and death. Daily dramas.
Food for thought.