The weather was that of early spring – a day grey and overcast, later filling with snow flurries, then shifting to bright sunlight among clouds as I drove south from Peace River, Alberta. I was taking time … to look around, to explore, to learn more about a region I drive through regularly but through decades had not yet investigated.
Back in December 2022, interested in the terrain of the Peace River’s river valley, I asked a farmer from the region about possible vantage points for viewing the river. The river that is from one kilometre to a kilometre and a half wide as it moves through a region I teach in has intrigued me since my wife, and I flew into a fly-in teaching community three decades ago. Two locations were recommended to look over the town of Peace River and along the river valley. The Twelve Foot Davis gravesite was high above the town on its east side. The second recommendation caught my attention – the Sagitowa Friendship lookout point had been described as being along the road to Judah, the hamlet of Judah … perhaps forty minutes south and west of Peace River along a road that follows the southern river bank. This lookout point allows the eye to travel west and south following the river; it allows for a look down and north to the town of Peace River’s south end, up to its north end; it allows, for a look across the river to the Shaftesbury Estates, the West Peace area, Saddleback Ridge and the Pines.
I was at the Sagitowa lookout working with my camera. After several shots, it began to snow. I packed up and began a drive toward Judah. In the early afternoon, the sun came out, somewhat harsh in terms of the contrast of light and shadows. Within the hamlet of Judah, I found treasure – this homestead.
Quotes to Inspire – two quotes have found me this week; both have value for a photographer. First, ‘We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are (Anais Nin).’ The second is one that seems related, ‘People only see what they are prepared to see (Ralph Waldo Emerson).’ This quote highlights a photographer’s readiness to see a given subject and perhaps maturation in terms of seeing that subject. It attaches to a follow-up statement, ‘If you look for what is good and what you can be grateful for, you will find it everywhere.’ So, perhaps Emerson’s quote is a nudge out-of-context but still has import as we use it.
Listening to: Motorhead’s version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes,’ Fred Eaglesmith’s ‘Can’t Dance,’ Pickin’ On U2 – A Bluegrass Tribute’s version of ‘One,’ and Bono’s ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’ audiobook reading.
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