Russet Rain

Russet Rain - Valleyview, Alberta 1
Russet Rain – Valleyview, Alberta 1
Russet Rain - Valleyview, Alberta 2
Russet Rain – Valleyview, Alberta 2

Labour Day weekend, that point in the year when parents of college- and university-aged children make the drive taking students to cities far away, returning them to another year of campus Life. Travel toward school held anticipation for my son. For me, there was the chance meeting of a teaching friend while refueling our vehicles in Valleyview; both of us were taking our kids to University. We chatted, exchanged e-mails and committed to staying in touch via e-mail. In Edmonton, my son and I shopped and got him squared away in terms of his belongings and his first set of groceries. We said our good-byes and I left him to connect with his friends and settle into his University term. Five hours away on my return journey, a rain shower, off in the distance near Valleyview became a focal point to explore with my camera – an immense set of clouds beginning to release rain at sunset. I’m liking the endpoint of this expressive, moody edit.

Listening to – U2’s ‘Raised by Wolves’ intrigues with different possible trajectories – the feral child (raised by wolves), trial-by-fire and being taken advantage of steering towards better, wiser paths and the duality of wolf and lamb that needs to be discerned in terms of people you encounter and deal with.

Quote to Consider – “Nothing is more acceptable today than the photographic recycling of reality, acceptable as an everyday activity and as a branch of high art.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

5 Comments on “Russet Rain

  1. I love your story about taking your son to university and your return journey home, and the stop you made to capture that wonderful photo ‘Russet Rain – Valleyview, Alberta 1’… warm regards, Karen

    • Hey there, Karen:

      In nature, my son is one to fly under the radar; he’s quiet-spoken, a thinker and an observer; he loves his family … our family lore holds that at age seven he prayed his younger sister into being. Now, in his twenties, he stands at 6 foot 4 inches tall with a mane of hair that he’s aiming to donate to cancer survivors when he’s done University. He is a bass singer in the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and in another smaller choral group. With school and singing he’s keeping it all together and he’s 800km away (during term we stay in touch with phone calls and texting).

      As a student he hasn’t needed a vehicle; he’s mastered the buses and LRT (Light Rail Transit) of Edmonton. But, we did insist, at age 21, that he try for his driver’s license this summer – he got it on his first go. On this same trip down to Edmonton, I had him drive so that I could work through school e-mail. Part of my discussion with him about driving is always about anticipation and options that he should consider before things surprise him on the road. And, the reality is that some situations on the road you can’t anticipate – you just have to do your best with them. My tack on things as a driver is to be ahead of what’s going on (proactive) and to relax along the drive. It’s also about sharing the road and looking after those sharing the road with you.

      I’m liking the colour and cloud work in the Russet Rain image – I’m hoping to find a similar cloud-and-road-and-valley formation in the future and to try out some focus stacking; Alberta skies are remarkable at most times in the year. The chance of that photograph was a welcome interruption to thought and solitude – an opportunity to see more of earth and sky and to capture their richness. And, we did better this trip – a late start in taking my son home from Edmonton back in April did have us colliding with a deer (I saw the first three and was surprised by the fourth); our truck did take the collision well; we weren’t hurt; but, the deer was killed.

      Thanks for looking in – the first two months of school have been demanding. I will get looking around your blog in the next few days/weeks.

      Take good care of your good self.

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