Murchie’s, Munro’s & Family

Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 1
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 1
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 2
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 2
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 3
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 3
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 4
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 4
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 5
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 5
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Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 6
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Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 7
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 8
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 8
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 9
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 9
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 10
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 10
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 11
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 11
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 12
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 12
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Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 13
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 14
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 14
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Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 15
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 16
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 16
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 17
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 17
Victoria, British Columbia - 24 September 2016, 18
Victoria, British Columbia – 24 September 2016, 18

Opportunity surfaced – we would have a Saturday in late September to ourselves on Vancouver Island. It would be two hours, our drive from Qualicum Beach to Victoria, and, it would mean two hours at the end of our day in return. But, it would allow us an afternoon among our favourite, family summer haunts.

Victoria’s Inner Harbour Causeway would open-out and hold our curiosity. We would walk and chat and tease. We engaged street theater performers and watched artists paint or draw. We would see a person’s caricature created and a sculptor carve in wood. We would people watch. My camera would move along the harbour water finding boats and ships, old and new, moving and moored. Up and out from the causeway were Victoria streets and buildings. Green domes topped and highlighted the British Columbia Legislature. The Fairmont Empress Hotel would command its view of the harbour – we had honeymooned there, all those years ago.

We walked from the harbour up Government Street. We would sift through ‘Out of Ireland’ imports – tartans and tweeds, quotes and blessings, jewels and people … almost a Cork jacket for me, there. We would cross back to Rogers’ Chocolates, each of us picking-out one or two, favourite Victoria Creams. Munro’s book store would hold us for hours. Literature, always current, from all parts of the globe would intrigue. You would find a book you thought someone would write at Munro’s. My wife would investigate current novels and favourite authors. As teacher, she would thumb through newest children’s books. As always we would empty this favourite book store, taking with us bags of books. With bags in tow we’d move next door, to Mom’s favourite coffee shop; we would sit down to tea and coffee, scones and macaroons at Murchie’s.

This day would become blessing, interruption within a difficult week – this outing would celebrate my wife’s birthday. And, we would remember Mom, Dad, brothers, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, family friends and our times in Victoria.

Images – from that day in Victoria, 24 September 2016; also note that Justin and Sophie Trudeau welcomed Will and Kate on their Royal Visit to Canada (we’d happened upon this event) – hence images of the Canadian Forces, in their welcome of the Royal couple.

Quote to Consider / Inspire: “To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, there are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.” – Ansel Adams

Listening to – Ólafur Arnalds, Atli Örvarsson & SinfoniaNord’s ‘Öldurót’ from their ‘Island Songs’ album, Brian Finnegan’s ‘Belfast’ from his ‘The Ravishing Genius of Bones’ album, The Six Parts Seven’s ‘What You Love You Must Love Now,’ Mooncake’s ‘Turquoise,’ Simon Steadman and TT Magruber’s ‘Sunshower’ and ‘Miss You’ by Trentemøller. Martyn Joseph’s ‘Sanctuary’ and Hedzoleh Sounds’ ‘Hearts Ne Kotoko’ have also featured in this morning’s listening.

Between Terms – Hybrid Trail

MIrrored Building - Edmonton, Alberta 1
MIrrored Building – Edmonton, Alberta 1
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cn-tower-edmonton-alberta
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edmonton-skyline-from-north-east
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edmonton-skyline-from-under-saskatchewan-drive
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edmonton-skyline-from-west
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gibson-building-edmonton-alberta
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grant-mcewan-university-entrance
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hotel-cutaway-edmonton-alberta
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mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-3
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walterdale-home-edmonton-alberta

We were in Edmonton and only days into our summer break when I seized the opportunity to cycle along Edmonton’s River Valley Bike trails. These trails were ones I road between terms at University thirty years ago. Then, I road a Kuwahara, chromoly steel-framed mountain bike. I bought it after my 1986 convocation and completion of my first degree. Now I road a new, Giant Hybrid Roam I. It replaced my weathered, well-ridden, fifteen-year-old, yellow Specialized HR (HardRock) Comp mountain bike. I donated it to Goodwill and bought the Giant Roam I.

The trail I remember had been a quick-paced, two-hour ride. The route covered upwards of forty kilometres. Now, I encountered the River Valley’s up and down on each side of the North Saskatchewan River. It passed by the Riverside Golf Course, through Rundle Park, out to the Strathcona Science Centre, then back along Ada Boulevard to Concordia College. From there, it moved past the Dawson Bridge, under the City Centre, past the Alberta Legislature, across the High Level Bridge, alongside the Pitch-and Putt behind the Kinsmen Field House, under Saskatchewan Drive toward the James MacDonald Bridge, then the Low Level Bridge and finally up a rigorous climb from under the St. Joseph Seminary out of the River Valley and then through Forest Heights Park to McNally High School where my truck waited.

Where I had completed this trek in two hours, thirty years ago, this well-worn path was taking me upwards of three and a half hours to complete. Sections of the once familiar route now suffered neglect – cracks and frost-heaves made the trail uneven. Hard-core, cycle-til-you-drop Edmonton cyclists had taken to spray painting cracks with bright paint to remind and to warn other cyclists of bumps along the trail. Other parts of the cycling trail were being restored. In one case a cycling bridge beneath the Shaw Centre was being dismantled and replaced. A detour was needed around this construction site – a ten minute, hard climb out of the valley with travel along the edge of the city centre core. Cycling time extended. Detours added delay.

Stopping to gather photographs slowed my cycling circuit. I was searching-out images associating to memories of early morning cycling in the Edmonton River Valley. Other images took-in and experimented with Edmonton architecture. Composition in some photographs now seems hasty. Cycling’s faster pace has seemed, at this later editing date, to have limited my awareness of all (or other) composition choices. Images that I photograph while walking hold different consideration. Walking into the scene gathers perception for what an image can become. Good consideration for how to frame a shot can occur. Three days of early summer cycling gathered these images.

Listening to – Keith Jarrett’s concert album, ‘The Köln Concert’ from 24 January 1975 – enjoying this as a former piano player.

Quote to Consider / Inspire: “Adequate photographers use their sight, good photographers use their senses, and great photographers use their souls.” – A. J. Compton

Summer Look-back

Summer images remind of other photos yet to edit and look back through. With our Ford F-150 we pulled our Tracer Ultra-lite southward from High Level, camping around Alberta – Edmonton, Pigeon Lake, Gull Lake, Hinton, Jasper, Banff, Nanton and Red Deer. We saw cousins and family. We enjoyed an afternoon, with my father in assistive care – out among the flower gardens. We explored the regions we camped in in a more settled way, always having a familiar, yet temporary, home to return to at day’s end. We got out to the Calgary Stampede and my daughter got me on a sky-lift tram – a first for us both. My daughter attended dance camp. I cycled in Jasper National park along highways and upon cycling / hiking trails – the Maligne Lake canyon and trails 4 & 7. I cycled in Banff National park and up to the Johnson Canyon. I attended a conference with our trailer.

Quote to Consider – “It is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.” – Robert Frank

Listening to – The Candid Frame podcast and an interview with Andrea Francolini, an Australian sport yachting / sailing photographer and his charitable work in Northern Pakistan setting up and supporting a school – ‘My First School.’

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Summer Repose

Alberta Legislature Building - Edmonton, Alberta Canada 1
Alberta Legislature Building – Edmonton, Alberta Canada 1
Alberta Legislature Building - Edmonton, Alberta Canada 2
Alberta Legislature Building – Edmonton, Alberta Canada 2
Alberta Legislature Building - Edmonton, Alberta Canada 3
Alberta Legislature Building – Edmonton, Alberta Canada 3

Summer had begun. I left my truck at a Ford dealership for service and cycled eastward within Edmonton’s river valley. The morning featured billowing clouds against a bright blue sky. Rain and sun would feature throughout the day. I gathered in the world that met me with my camera. Here, the Alberta Legislature building sits in quiet summer morning repose.

Quote to Consider – “Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliot Erwitt

Listening to – Wardruna’s ‘Runaljod Raganarok’ album; if you are into the ‘Vikings’ mini-series, Wardruna provides the opening and closing soundscape, a song entitled ‘Völuspá.’ ‘Raido’ and ‘Odal’ are songs of interest.

Skyline Silhouette

Edmonton Skyline 1
Edmonton Skyline 1
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Edmonton Skyline 2
Edmonton Skyline 3
Edmonton Skyline 3
Edmonton Skyline 4
Edmonton Skyline 4

A summer image, looks west from Baseline Road at 17th Street to Edmonton’s skyline; it appears as silhouette. To the left and right are various petroleum-based industries – the road is known also as ‘Refinery Row.’

Quote to Consider – “Just put on the lens and go.” – Miroslav Tichy

Listening to – Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Open All Night,’ as first rendered on his Nebraska album – a rockin’ boogie on an electric guitar and the voice of Bruce, those two instruments, nothing else; the song is quite different from piano and band boogie as it is rendered on his ‘Live in Dublin’ performance. Also, listening to ‘The Candid Frame: A Photography Podcast’ and Ibarionex Perello’s interview of Stacey Pearsall and the subject of Military Journalism and the Veterans’ Portrait Program.

Layover – Edmonton Dominates

Eskimos vs Alouettes - Edmonton, Ab Canada 1
Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 1
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 2
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 3
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 4
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 5
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 6
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54-40 , Half-time, Edmonton Eskimos versus Alouettes 1
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54-40 , Half-time, Edmonton Eskimos versus Alouettes 2
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 7
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 8
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 9
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 10
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 11
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Eskimos vs Alouettes – Edmonton, Ab Canada 12

Thursday, 11 August 2016 – the Edmonton Eskimos dominate the Montreal Alouettes in a Canadian Football League (CFL) game, winning 23 – 12. Despite my playing halfback thirty-plus years ago, and enjoying team and gameplay, this was the first CFL game I had attended. A big thank you goes out to my youngest brother for getting me out to this game during an unintended Edmonton layover. Canadian band 54-40 offered a half-time performance – ‘Ocean Pearl,’ ‘She La’ and ‘Nice to Luv You.’ Camera-wise my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II (micro four thirds) impresses with its image accuracy and photos taken from seats a third of the way up into the stadium.

Quote to Consider – “If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.” – Garry Winogrand

Listening to – an ‘On Being with Krista Tippett,’ podcast interview with Maria Popova, ‘Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age;’ Susanna Kearsley’s ‘A Desperate Fortune;’ ‘Born to Run,’ an unabridged autobiography by Bruce Springsteen; and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’ and ‘Ghost of Tom Joad’ albums.

Pitch Black – Church at Buðir

Black Church at Buðir, Iceland - 1
Black Church at Buðir, Iceland – 1
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Black Church at Buðir, Iceland – 2
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Black Church at Buðir, Iceland – 3
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Black Church at Buðir, Iceland – 4

The Black Church at Buðir (in Iceland) is a striking, black, wooden structure with white door and windows. Black pitch (or tar) preserves the church from the weather and has done so for most of a century at a time. This same black pitch is used to preserve the hulls of wooden sailing vessels against rot. The aphorism pitch black describing darkest of nights derives from this same black pitch. The church began serving parishioners in 1703. The rebuilding of the church occurred in 1847. A woman petitioned her King for permission to do so after the hamlet of Buðir encountered a decline in trade. Steinunn Larusdottir won her King’s consent to rebuild the church.

My curiosity about this church stirs. What would Sunday’s service be like for a parishioner when the church was first built? What would the order of service have been? How would the parishioner come to know God? How would he or she meet the people within the narrative of old and new testaments? Was the church the place to meet in the hamlet of Buðir for fellowship through each week? A broader curiosity, involving centuries perhaps, is how Viking heritage / culture came to resolve and coalesce with Christianity.

Quotes to Consider – ‘Prayers are tools not for doing or getting, but for being and becoming.’ – Eugene Peterson, Montana-based Pastor, author-translator, translating the bible himself into what would become ‘The Message Bible,’ the Bible in current, everyday, layman’s language.

Listening to – an unabridged audiobook memoir by Bruce Springsteen entitled, ‘Born to Run;’ current songs include ‘My Debts Is Paid’ (Brian Houston), ‘When One Door Closes’ (Carrie Newcomer), ’24 Frames’ (Jason Isbell), ’78 Eatonwood Drive’ (Garrett Viggers & a Thin Places Band) and ‘Hope’ (Sarah Masen).