picture tuesday – winter prepping

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So we had our first warm day in a couple of weeks and  a small snowfall to go with it.  Even with the dampness and wet clumps of snow falling from branches, it meant a day of walking unencumbered with cloaks, coats, hats and various adjustments.

I’ve become quite enamoured with wool again and the shifts back and forth from 0ºC to -20ºC are a good chance to experiment with outdoor options and covering. When the wind picks up at -10ºC it’s a question of trying to protect the skin while disappating body heat and moisture at the same time while not building up a layer of ice.

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So far I’ve got the dogs outfitted and most of my kit together for winter shooting. snowshoes, ice crampons, a newly fitted tripod pack and staff. A few days figuring how to attach it all together and we’re of for adventure. My only hesitation being the drop in temperature that will be arriving in a week or so where the weather can be a regular -20ºC to -35ºC or more, depending on the wind. Something for which you have to be prepared.

As much as I love the outdoors, it can be pretty unforgiving even close to home.

My hand has already frozen to a tripod leg this week and keeping batteries warm and condensation out of the camera present some special thought and care. Still there’s lots to see and I still find winter and scruffy forest a very special challenge.

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foto friday – venerable star

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Shouxing

The thought has been occuring to me lately that every venerable and wise man I can think of has a good walking stick or staff.

Some have a cane which is respectable enough but as there are short walking sticks to be had it’s not the same.  To me, Charlie Chaplin seems to sit somewhere at the edge of this line.

Equally I suspect, carbon fibre and aluminium alloy won’t find themselves in the hands of the venerable or even the wise. Smart maybe. But smart isn’t always wisdom.

wednesday listen up

junior-brown

There’s a lot to say about Junior Brown, but there’s even more to say about what he’s doin’. Most people have no idea how deeply American music is intertwined with the rich and complex sensibilities of often obscure and exceedingly talented musical giants.

Musicians who crossed what we’d call hard and fast musical borders in order to be the best.  Earl Palmer, Buck Owens, Jack Teagarden, Woody Herman, John McLaughlin, Joey DeFrancesco.

Combining acadian creole, country swing, latin rythms, jubilation choirs and lowdown blues. Never far from dance and never far from celebration and always filled with a capacity to change our personal world for the best. My hat goes off to the traditions and roots that have built a vast and wonderful musical culture.

And in hopes of removing some of the constraints that keep us listening almost exclusively to the products of a ‘musical industry’,  I’d like to open the doors a crack every Wednesday, to shed some light on the individual musical passions that have underpinned our sensibilities and continue to carry us forward. Like Junior Brown for instance.

*  note:      If you’re using a portable device to view this I’d suggest a good set of headphones or stereo speakers would be very  beneficial. Just sayin’.

picture tuesday – the last warm light

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South March Highlands, ON

I’m always amazed how nature changes so fast. And lucky to catch the last of the seasons display.

Bursting with colour and warmth only two weeks ago, winter has arrived with advancing greys, dampness and pale light.

The shift is sometimes so rapid it astounds me. Massive blocks of air sweeping down from the arctic while the sun, low on the horizon, does it’s best to provide light. Gone is the thought of heat in it’s rays.  Any warmth we might see from now on, will come from giant oceans far away to the south.

There’s already more than 2″ of ice on the water and the woods are virtually silent. Eeven in the mid-afternoon.

The world looks different now with the stark structure of land beginning to emerge from the trees.

à bientôt…..