a very angry wood duck. On Sunday, all the ducks at Beaver Lake, framed by lily pads and bathed in perfect light, seemed magnificent to me.
At around 3:00 p.m. on Monday, as Black Jack and I stood on a dock waiting for the False Creek Ferry, a magical light materialized from a small break between the clouds, finding points of "stardom" on the high rises across the water.
When we stepped off the ferry, rippling reflections merged to form an icy lustre on the water.
This picture was taken over a month ago. "M" shapes do not show up in nature very often, but I thought you might agree that this tree on Beach Avenue made a fairly convincing one.
Logging with Oxen (below) was painted by Harold Lyon in 1983. Oxen were the main power in logging, one team drawing the logs from the woods to the road, and a second, stronger team skidding the logs to the water. It is my theory that service animals have earned the right to live out the natural span of their lives comfortably when they can no longer do their job. I am sorry to digress here, but the present day story of a team of oxen is on my mind. Bill and Lou are being put to death (perhaps even as I write this), after giving ten years of loyal service to Green Mountain College in Vermont. I might have been able to accept that it is not economically viable to keep animals that are no longer useful. However, a reputable rescue called VINE offered to look after Bill and Lou for their remaining years, at no cost to the college. That offer was refused as was the request from the people who originally donated the oxen to the university, to have them returned. Thousands are upset to learn that Bill and Lou are to be fed to the students, but this is not what bothers me most For those of us who choose to eat meat, and I include myself since, although my diet is vegan, Black Jack's isn't, it's not a bad thing to recognize that living beings die to feed us. However, Green Mountain College owes Bill and Lou a kinder fate. You can read their story here.
The Steam Donkey was painted in 1982 by Frank Lewis and Nancy Legana.
Here, mettlesome stevedores, clearly meaning business, stand before a fully rigged ship.
Below, Engine No. 21 manoeuvres a load into the Chemainus log dump.
The mural below is called Chinese Bull Gang and is by Ernest Marza. The story of Chinese workers in B.C. is of momentous significance. They were paid less than white men and they did more dangerous work. Their contribution reduced the cost of building the railway by between three and five million (in the late 1800's so you can imagine how much that would be now). Many were killed in accidents, and when the job was done, many more died of starvation and disease. The government apologized recently for the myriad of injustices against the Chinese workers and it is good to see them memorialized in this mural.
I could not find information about this mural with three sculptures of First Nations people. However, it was in front of a Dutch bakery called Utopia Bakery Cafe, where we enjoyed delicious lattes and treats. I still remember the kind young lady who went out of her way to fashion a latte made with almond milk, even though that wasn't normally on the menu. I see from this review that others also believe this is an establishment of considerable merit.
I didn't get all of the mural into the photo below but have learned that it is titled Chemainus 1891 and was painted by David Maclagan in 1983. A large shadow obscures parts of it, but H.R. MacMillan's house was apparently one of the white ones near the left.
I haven't been able to find the name of this mural in spite of looking many times at the information at the Chemainus web site. However, I include it here because it gives the flavour of "the little town that did" with its depictions moving around the sides of the building.
The Hermit was my favourite mural. It was difficult to photograph as an overhanging roof created a massive shadow over the top half. The painting had a magnetic attraction for me, but I also loved these words posted underneath about Chemainus resident, Charlie Abbott:
Thus ends the mural tour, returning us to the more miscellaneous portion of my "M" post. I am trying to catch up with old photos from trips to Salt Spring Island and to Deboville Slough and will do my best to include one "M" word in each caption.
Salt Spring Island's Magnetism
I had mega fun seeing the..
My photo of the shoreline had a marble effect that almost seemed like..
a black and white montage of ridges, waves and mussel (and other) shells.
A quail wandered across the back yard at Salt Spring. I couldn't believe my eyes, having never come across one before. I looked them up on Wikipedia and learned that "Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes." So, their medium size saved my "M" designation :)
Meandering along the Deboville Slough road.
Bill spotted this web in the marshland at the side of the slough.
We had come to expect to see a Green Heron by a small stream at the left of the road and we weren't disappointed. Wikipedia gave me some new information about the feeding method of these fascinating birds.
Here is the quote about the mental quickness of green herons: "They typically stand still on shore or in shallow water or perch upon branches and await prey. Sometimes they drop food, insects, or other small objects on the water's surface to attract fish, making them one of the few known tool-using species. This feeding method has led some to title the green and closely related Striated heron as among the world's most intelligent birds."
I thought this dragonfly had a maniacal look in its eyes, but there's another "M" connection. I learned from this site that dragonflies are very useful in controlling the mosquito population.
I loved these dandelions against a powder blue-grey sky, but they aren't just another pretty flower. I learned from Wikipedia that dandelions evolved 30 million years ago and they also have medicinal properties. That brought back a memory of my Newfoundlander mother and her declaration of the health benefits of dandelion greens.
This one was down by the slough, minding its own business and contentedly munching on grass, when we wandered by on the road above. It took a look at us but didn't appear to be disturbed. I had my big lens, snapped this photo quickly and kept right on walking.
Music and ArtLast week, Bill and I saw the play Master Class at Granville Island Stage. We both loved it. Gina Chirarelli was stunning in the role of Maria Callas. Of course, she is not a new musician to me (my goal for the music portion of these ABC posts being to discover previously unknown artists) , but seeing the play has left renewed empathy for her situation. She was both blessed and cursed with unbelievable talent that took her on a path that modulated out of control. Below, you can listen to a mesmerizing performance as she sings "Casta Diva" from Norma.
I chose two artists with "M" names, August Macke and Franz Marc. Their friendship was important on many levels including an artistic one, and both are listed at this site as representatives of the German Expressionist movement. They both died in World War 1 and with Remembrance Day almost upon us, the weariness in August Macke's half-closed eyes in the photograph found at this site seems to reflect my thoughts about the futility of war. He died on September 28th, 1914, at the age of 27, not quite two months after the war began. His last painting, Farewell, depicts "the mood of gloom that settled after the outbreak of war." (Wikipedia)
"Coloured Forms II" was also completed in 1913. Macke was regarded as a master colorist.
and "Foxes" (1913) show his evolving style but both have the strong colours and sense of movement that I find very appealing.