Santiago, by design

None of us had expected the city that greeted us.  My own vision of Santiago had been of an industrial city, unkempt, tired and worn at the edges with obvious poverty, pollution and crime.   That was not what greeted us.

Santiago view from San Cristóbal Hill

We found a beautiful urban area of wide boulevards, modern architecture and tree-lined avenues – grand mature trees providing beauty and shade.  In the Providencia district where we stayed, every few blocks we encountered a park bench, always out of the sun, streets lined with beautiful gated homes, and broad sidewalks in good repair … Continue reading “Santiago, by design”

Two Countries Reconnect

The Øresund Link connecting Sweden and Denmark is 8 kilometres (5 miles) of bridge, 4 kilometres of artificially made island, called Pepparholm, and 3.5 kilometres of tunnel.  This photo shows the approach to the island.

bridge between Sweden and DenmarkReducing travel between Sweden and Denmark to a mere 20 minutes, the link opened in 2000, three months ahead of schedule despite such unexpected hazards as the discovery Continue reading “Two Countries Reconnect”

Clearance Sail

It sure doesn’t look like there’s clearance … Passing under the Øresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark. This isn’t the greatest photo but I think it is in line with Jake’s intent this week on perspective – “Perspective photography distortion is determined by the relative distances at which the image is captured and viewed …hence the apparent relative distances differing from what is expected.” Jake’s … Continue reading Clearance Sail

Down by the Bay …

I have a great affinity for water – I could sit by it, gaze into its depths, breathe in its scent be it marshland or the salty tang of the sea, dabble my toes in it, swim in it, float on it, and listen to its gurgle and cadence,  whiling away very pleasant hours.

Newgale Beach on St-Bride’s Bay, Pembrokeshire in Wales …

Newgale Beach Pembrokeshire Wales

Whitesands Bay, also Pembrokeshire …
coast of Wales Whitesands PembrokeshireAnd this is a collection of views of Carbis Bay at St-Ives, Cornwall in England …

Continue reading “Down by the Bay …”

Ramsey Island

I don’t know what it is about rock but I love rock. I have a lot of rock in my garden, most of it hauled from the hedgerows around our property, with a few pieces tossed in from travels. I have Carrara marble in my garden … yes, I brought rocks home in my suitcase. 😉   Some are just centre pieces in various parts of the garden, a lot is in stone walls I built.  It’s probably a combination of the durability of stone, its immense age, the varying shapes, and, often, the colours.   When I visited Ramsey Island off the west coast of Wales I was  mesmerized by the varying rock that made up the cliffs.  I found it incredibly beautiful … I was so captivated I took over 100 pictures … here is a small sample.

Ramsey Island stone cliff

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The Canadian Prairie

To Canadians, the Prairies means Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta – 138,997 sq miles … to give scale, England is 50,346 square miles.  The population of the three provinces is 5,886,906 … the population of England is 53,013,000.

Alberta prairie and big sky

Primary industries include agriculture (wheat, barley, oats) and cattle and sheep ranching – sheep ranching, that surprised me.  Canada is the world’s third largest exporter of wheat (behind the US and … France? ( – that’s a surprise too.  We export on average  20 million tonnes, or about 21% of the world market. (, primarily to China, Japan, Iran, South Korea and … US? (  Apparently they export more than we do and then import from us … go figure.

hay bales on Alberta prairie

The prairies are pretty flat … no trees, only the odd rock to break the never-ending flow of the landscape. Continue reading “The Canadian Prairie”

The new babsitters

Photo by imagerymajestic
Photo by imagerymajestic

Nothing displays more focussed attention than a child playing a video game – absorbed in the sounds and intent only on achieving the target.

My daughter related an incident during a recent visit.  At Christmas she gave her young niece a board game.  It was called Rush Hour – a number of small cars are placed on the board in various, progressively difficult,  formations as if in a parking lot.  The aim is to get one certain car out of the parking lot without removing any other cars, the only movement allowed being forward or backward.  The child didn’t know what to do with it … until her Uncle showed it to her in electronic form on his phone, which she took and with thumbs flying, proceeded to work it out.

Is it possible the child couldn’t relate to the three-dimensional objects?  That would be Continue reading “The new babsitters”

It’s all there in Black and White

When reviewing my photos I’ve taken to converting them to black and white, often with pleasing results.  Even with landscapes where one is often captivated by the colours spread before our lens, conversion to black and white simplifies the composition  and sometimes reveals dynamics within the shot that went unnoticed in the riot of colour.  Instead of being bedazzled by the colours, the eye sees the values within the shot.  It’s the habit of many painters to view their paintings in black and white to determine balance within the painting, by judging the values. With abrupt or frequent value changes a b/w Continue reading “It’s all there in Black and White”

Beauty and the Beast

Brutal, messy, frigid, long – all descriptions befitting (some) winter days.  But when I wake and look out the window to see the first snowfall, pure and unblemished,  when all sounds are muffled by the blanket of snow and nature twinkles in the sun – I don’t think anything else brings me closer to a feeling of peace.

winter hedgerow first snow

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If a tree falls

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I tend to humanize non-human life forms and even inanimate objects – I still feel badly that we unceremoniously took our 15 year-old Intrepid to the scrap dealer last month, and after such faithful service.   So when it comes to trees, that are already a form of life … well beyond the crashing and thrashing of branches and the murderous impact, I think I might also hear a long and mournful, anguished cry.  Continue reading “If a tree falls”

Gardening to my heart’s content

When I step into my gardens on a bright morning, before the sun is above the hedgerow and the shadows are long and the air is sweet, when the riot of summer colour is past and I catch the perfumed scent of the last rose, I feel such a deep sense of contentment, it somehow feeds my soul and I feel a sense of continuity and renewal.

Our house was in nothing more than a farm field when my husband began to tame it and give it structure – a stand of cedars here, a maple there, the weeping willow and the cherry tree.  But, I said, I’d like the gardens to be mine.  Happy with that arrangement, he left me to dig and till and gather rocks and remove stones and plant and seed to my heart’s delight, only assisting upon request with a particularly stubborn rock or the building of a fence.

And so, over time, I transformed our field.  From this …

Continue reading “Gardening to my heart’s content”

Good Morning

Agimak lake 12 cropFor Sunday Post this week Jake has chosen Morning.  Jake has said morning encompasses that time when we perform the prerequisites and prepare for full productivity and life in public … breakfast, dressing, etc. but, while I love the morning … for its light and shadow, its freshness and promise, I have to confess Continue reading “Good Morning”