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The Birthplace of Texas
April 22, 2013

While in Texas last week, my sister and I visited Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park southwest of Navasota, a very important location in Texas history. I've come to realize that I'm more interested in historic sites for their aesthetic value than for their cultural value (shame on me!).  If we'd had all day, we would've made an effort to learn more about the historical significance of the site, but one of the many Texas wildflower update websites...

Here, Kitty Kitty!
March 25, 2013

In general, I prefer to photograph stationary subjects.  As my Lumosity.com test results can attest, speed is not my forte, and you need speed to capture moving subjects like animals or kids! My sister's "barn" cat Zinfandel (Zinny) is a relatively slow-moving subject and allowed me to capture some appealing images of him.  He's a rescue cat and seems to carry an on-going anxiety about his next meal and therefore partakes hungrily of the food...

Have a Seat
March 19, 2013

Tomball. Tomball? Yes, Tomball.  Tomball, Texas. Doesn't that sound like the name of a lottery?  I found the name so amusing on my first visit to Texas that my sister gave me a pink t-shirt with blingy rhinestone-like black letters (NOT my style!) spelling out 'Tomball'.  I like to joke that I won the t-shirt in a Texas lottery! The town is actually named after a man, Thomas Henry Ball, a railroad attorney and congressman who played a major role...

Winter Running Off
March 13, 2013

I was walking in a hilly park this afternoon, an unusually warm and blustery day, and noted with satisfaction that meltwater is running through the gullies from the hilltops to the river.  While March and April are the snowiest months in Calgary, we can now start to feel confident that we will survive another winter! Last Thursday, I attended a Master Gardener class with my sister in Texas.  Someone announced that the Farmers' Almanac...

Better Days
February 23, 2013

This week's blog includes more photos of the grain elevators in Mossleigh, Alberta, southeast of Calgary.  These elevators, and the railroad tracks that run beside them, have definitely seen better days.  Pigeons come and go from the openings in the upper reaches of the elevators, lichen grows where the paint has chipped off, and most of the latches have been ripped off the doorframes leaving the padlocks dangling uselessly. In the early part of...

Quintessential Prairie
February 16, 2013

Last Sunday, I went for a photo tour southeast of Calgary.  I grew up on the prairies, and when I was in grade school, a poem called "If You've Ever Lived on the Prairies" by Marjorie Dingwall was popular in the poetry recitation classes at the local music festival.  I can't find the poem on the internet today but can tell you that Marjorie McVittie Saunders Dingwall was born in about 1899 and was ``an Edmonton clubwoman whose mother established...

Sticking with Monochrome
February 13, 2013

I'm still starved for colour but decided I would embrace its lack and convert my photos to black-and-white for this blog post. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.  They call it an "ice walk" in winter as the trail is quite steep--if you go, you'll appreciate the confidence that cleats/ice grippers provide although on the day I went, you probably would've been fine with grippy boots.  The trail is well-used...

Always Something to Learn
February 2, 2013

When I told my mom that I wanted to study photography full-time for ten months, she commented in amazement, "I didn't know there was that much to know about photography!" The Camera Store's e-newsletter arrived yesterday and I took a look this morning.  They regularly offer seminars and workshops on a variety of topics.  A couple of local photographers and workshop leaders really impressed me. Here's an example of why I cringe when people...

Starved for Colour
January 24, 2013

Last week, the winter greys and browns had set in and I was craving vibrant colour, "like the fishing boats on Crash Boat Beach", I told my sister. Crash Boat Beach is in Puerto Rico, a two-minute drive from the condo my sister, our niece and I stayed at during a vacation in February 2010.  The beach occupies the site of a former military port where boats were stationed to rescue downed air crews from Ramey Air Force Base in adjacent...

Who has Seen the Wind?
January 18, 2013

I have, and I don't quite understand the mystery of not being able to see the wind. The wind was very evident on my first winter trip to Waterton Lakes National Park earlier this week.  The  locals say November and January are the windiest months, and Environment Canada issued a wind warning the second day I was there, with gusts up to 100 km/h. All of these images were made from the road in brief step-outs from the car.  On the second day, I...

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