Punk. Punky.Punkiest.

And then one night, I looked out the window and couldn't believe my eyes. 
A big old pink moon was rising, bringing with it a warm southern wind
that bid farewell to winter.

I kept watch and kept wondering. Within an hour, it had morphed into a brilliant white light, hanging high over the river.

Songs have been written about moons like this. "It's only a paper moon, hanging over a cardboard sea" and "when the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza pie that's amore" came to mind while I was watching.
Then I looked downwards, and saw what was finally happening at 500 feet above sea level. The ice was moving. Out of the bay. Into the air. Under the surface. It was alive and shifting.
And less than twelve hours later, it was no longer a skating rink, it was pure punk. As in the ice is punky. It's dangerous, soft, spongy, not to be trusted. Don't you dare go near it ice!

Unless of course you're a duck, with feathers for brains pretty much...
You can see the different densities of the ice. In this case, the darker the colour, the more water laden, the more dangerous and the more punky it is. We learn to stay clear of all things punkish...until one day, we think about the meaning of punk again...
This cute little  girl can come and look, but no way is she allowed  within a mile of anything as  punky as that ice!




I’ve lived in the country for most of my life. This includes two or three stints in an urban landscape during high school and university years, and for a while after that. But for the most part, I’ve lived in the country, where the air is clean, the sky is blue, I see wildlife on an almost daily basis, and I can’t always get what I want at the grocery store. Consumer leakage occurs for a few other
items too, but that’s a different blogpost.
Yup! I’m a country mouse, and I LOVE going to the big city. By big, I mean Ottawa, Toronto, or Montreal (the three that are closest to me). Last weekend, it was Montreal to help my
daughter while she had some medical issues attended to.
She lives in a great apartment, in NDG - a downtown neighbourhood, short for Notre Dame de Grace. Her apartment is very funky - and in this case, the word is apt. It’s over 100 years old, right on Sherbrooke Street, has high ceilings, plaster walls, not enough electrical outlets,
and a wonderful view from the little two person balcony.

(Ed. note.  There is no elevator and she’s on the top floor of this thighrise with its built in stairmaster!)

These paintings – by my talented daughter – are her interpretation of her urban landscape:

When I’m in Montreal, I love going to the Atwater Market. This market is a well established, renowned regional destination, and for good reason! The food is always artfully displayed, reasonably priced, bountiful, and delicious. It is an exceptional example of the merchandising premise “first you feast with your eyes”.

The Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal is likely one of the oldest hospitals in Canada, and it’s in a constant state of renovation. While we spent a few hours there, I was able to step back into the 1880’s, and pretty much every other decade spanning the last 150 years!

Now back home, I am no longer vertically challenged by stairs,
and“highrise” has a totally different meaning here…


Betwixt and Between and Not Quite Here

The first day of spring was March 21, but Spring isn't  really here yet...not quite.
The sun has a little more work to do with winter remains...

We're so winter weary, that the simplest bit of colour perks us up.
We long for heat, and are ready for it...really ready!

Once juicy, now jaded...winter be gone! We'll wait quietly.


Camera 911

I had no sooner pulled into the Park 'n Fly lot and turned off the ignition, when the shuttle bus was right there behind me...waiting to help me on board and get me on my way to the airport. Wow! That's service! In fact, so efficient, that in my rush to not keep the shuttle waiting for me I jumped out of the car, grabbed my suitcase and leapt onto the coach. It wasn't until we were pulling up to the terminal that I realized that I had left my camera sitting on the front seat of the car...right where I'd put it so I'd be sure to see it and bring it along! Damn double damn. Some places I go to a camera isn't a requirement...but Canada Blooms? The largest landscaping and gardening trade show in Canada? It's pretty much mandatory in my books. Going back to the car to retrieve the camera wasn't an option, so that meant either buying a new camera  - tempting, but the
Canon SX110-IS is less than a year old, and 
I'm still pretty happy with it; or seeing if the camera
inside my Palm Pre is any good.
First shot, from the 10th floor of the hotel caught everything I was looking at, including the reflection in the window.
Second couple of shots captured lunch fairly well...
Tartine Maison...smoked turkey with brie and cranberry mayonnaise on a slice of baguette and frites...all good. Even better was the impression the waiter got
that I was a restaurant critic (because he saw me taking the picture),
so the service was exceptional!
I think this shot pretty much captures the window dressing...

A little explanatory sign labelled this scene as "Fashion Faux Pause" .
I  labelled it trying too hard to be trendy.
Now THIS designer got it right...

A river of tulips beside some sea urchins...

I'm not too sure what this designer was thinking -
may have to sit and think about it for awhile.

All in all, not bad for a tiny camera inside a little phone.
But...if I forget it again? It'll be new camera time!



Yesterday the rain fell softly on the roof, drumming gently in the sweet rhythm of spring. At one point, I walked outside, and although still a tad chilly, I could smell it.
Just faintly…an echo of last year’s warmth and a tease of tomorrow. Nudging my memory and whispering, “spring smells like this.” An earthy, wet and lush scent that wafts in slowly and surely.

It doesn’t smell like summer.
Summer is completely different. More complex. It has history in its dewdrops and dust around its edges. Summer is a lily. Strong, colourful, ribald. Sure and ripe.

It’s cared for and documented, lest we forget.
It’s eye achingly beautiful, so we won’t.

It’s urgent, and come hither. And it’s stop, don’t you dare.

It’s love me, leave me…
and I’ll be back, right behind my pale sister, Spring.
Wait for me.


Naples by Day

Naples, Florida is a lovely, peaceful place. Well mannered, quiet, polite, and pretty. Filled with a lot of octogenarian millionaires, and wanna-be octogenarian millionaires. We didn't really plan on spending anytime here, and we just lucked into the Cove Inn, overlooking the marina.
 Waking up early and looking out at the view, while the mist slowly lifted.
That was a nice moment.

So was a leisurely after dinner stroll through the old Tin Town and the mellow sunset that marked the end of the day.
All the rest of the time in between was spent pretending to be tourists.
I think it worked too!

Ah yes, well...there's a moment during every vacation
where you just have to be silly! This was John's.

see more Skywatch photos at http://skyley.blogspot.com/


The Meaning of Oblivious

There they sit, totally oblivious to the impact they make. They cause traffic jams, pushing, the odd little shove, anything to get closer. And there they sit. Beautiful.

Simple humans are merely a distraction.
As inspirations, they remain oblivious.
Is this the beginning of a dreamscape by Manet?

Beauty. Grace. Stature. Bountiful. And Oblivious.

I could watch for hours. They don't care.

Small little wiggles in the water interest them. Little else.

The look says it all.

You, human, can look all you like.
I am oblivious. And care not.
The little wiggle between my beak is far more interesting to me.

The oblivious beauties, found in Shark Valley, in the Everglades are,
in order of appearance:
Great White Heron
Tri Coloured Heron
Blue Heron
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Great Egret
Little Green Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron


Somedays I Feel Like A Fish Out of Water

  While jetliners used the sky as a canvas to practice calligraphy, we discovered the Everglades of Florida by boat. First shock? That it wasn't the tropical jungle I'd imagined, where Tarzan swings from vines, yodelling for Jane...it's a massive wetland filled with grass!

And intrepid tourists can spend $25 for a high speed ride through the water lanes, the wind in their faces, at their backs, and bouncing off the earplugs provided by the driver. We opted for the more sedate tour...

In this flat bottomed boat, there were about 8 rows of seating, and a good view of the everglades provided for everyone. The driver, Earl, promised he'd find us an alligator, if we were really nice to him...

So we were, and guess what Earl did? He found us a 'gator!

In fact, he found us several!
But while people were oohing and awing over these guys, they missed the best show of the day ( I think). Dinner time for the Anhinga, fish on the menu:

The catch of the day is over a foot long!

It took him several whacks, stabs and dashes and dabs to get dinner into the proper toss and swallow position.(Sorry it's blurry, he was a little too busy to sit still.)

But he succeeded! See the big bulge former fish in his neck?

Now THATwas worth the price of admission!

See more interesting parts of our world at  http://skyley.blogspot.com/