New Kinosoo Beach

New Kinosoo Beach

Wonders come in good surprises.

Like the improvements to parks and recreational areas.

Like wonderful sunsets at the Marina

The line of sunset visitors is slim, but always comfortable in their own skin.

Riding back the greatest colour took even me back a bit.

I almost passed them up, not to disturb their fun, but with the light so marvelous, and they having so much fun as a group of teens at the beach, I made the request and demonstrated what could be done with the sunrise and even just a cell phone camera.

Teaching photography I repeated often what I heard from a host of other photography instructors: always have a camera on you, and always see the photos that are possible even if you do not stop.

This paid off, and this group of young adults was 1) obviously having a simply good time at the beach, and 2) they were clear enough with themselves to know if they were willing to pose as the silhouettes against the sunset.

The guys were ready and willing, and one of the girls stepped in to make a good demonstration:

 

When they saw how fabulouse the photo could be, and heard that I was asking them to do something to show how much fun they were having at the new beach.

There were a few that we shot, but they made something like this and I kept shooting as fast as the little cell could, and it evolved into this.

All agreed this is the best of the lot.

I didn’t recognize any of the young adults, so I could not give you names or give them anything but anonymous credit.

But anonymous credit is greatly due: look at what this groups of young people thought of with little to no notice!

This is the past, the present, the improvements, the joy of life, and these young people are the future of Canada. We should do all right, in their creative hands, finding solutions and possibilities in the complicated world.

Rehabilitating Hilda Lake Random Camping Area

Rehabilitating Hilda Lake Random Camping Area

This is the ‘bush party place’ left with broken glass, burned out campers and all sorts of results of obviously irresponsible behaviours and disrespect for the land. There just is no excuse for this.

A huge clean up and accounting project was undertaken, and it is a pleasant place now, still needing lots of ‘small piece’ cleanup.

This was someone’s idea of a good use of the resources here: hack at at live tall mature pine tree and leave it to suffer.

Our fire area had a second fire spot, no rock rim or metal container, right on top of live roots, or maybe formally live roots.

We started to pick up pieces to finish burning them in the proper fire ring and noticed lots and lots of nails.

So out came a garbage bag and the shovel.

Then, with all the nails we could find and the junk they were attached to in the bag, we brought over some sand from the roadway, and then spread some forest floor decaying matter on the spot.

And then we turned to clean up and remake the rock rimed fire ring. And there were more nails and broken rocks … and a second heavier garbage bag filled with the mess.

Done we had two heavy garbage bags of mess, and a lot neater fire ring.

The brown bag was the start and finish effort. We’ve kept picking up broken glass shards and debris and detritus from around this and the other campsites. Into the brown paper bag. And it along with the fire pit mess of nails, metal, glass and pieces of half burned wood goes out with us into an appropriate garbage receptacle.

It can be clean if everyone who enjoys a few days here does the same, cleaning up, collecting garbage and hauling out more garbage than they themselves make.

My challenge is that each of you, who can use Canadian Parks this year, document your stories with photos or video of you clean up contributions.

Tell the story, be the story, make us all proud.

Trees, Trees, Light, Water, Hope

Trees, Trees, Light, Water, Hope

That’s the spot, where the borrowed trailer sits for the nights, when for a few brief hours the sun sets and the coyotes howl and the rains … well they did not do anything, but the bugs invaded like the empire’s drones.

 

The marvel is the trees and trees and trees backlit by the sun and water reflections pouncing in upon one’s thoughts as if …

As if the forest of trees and under-bush had come alive to welcome one to the healing refuge of nature or to warn one of what the (2 legged) wildlife had planned for one.

Drawn to the light like moths to a candle the breathing of the light overpowers ones vision and capacity to see clearly what is in store … What will the process ahead entail?

Will Grace and Forgiveness win out, or will judgment and condemnation ruin the days and lives of so many?

It is much more difficult to see the simplicity of love which unconditionally takes in everything about the other, every nook and cranny of Scheißheit and still turns, to give so that it is as if the Schieße Idiotische Irrtümliche Freaking Blödheit simply was not. Not to demand anything, but to make, out of one’s own sacrifice, the reality that the other is acknowledged to have done exactly what is done, and yet the other is treated as if … as if it were not so. It is much more difficult to see the simplicity of love so far beyond the complexity of horrendous things done redeemed by one’s own sacrifice … this is so much more difficult than it is to take in the lies as excuses to create more lies of false condemnations. Girard saw it clearly; we like teenagers gather for mass attacks and derogation of a poor victim who has done nothing other than be, we even adults swarm upon the one selected as our collective victim and against all logic viciously ruin that one. And released of our mass hysteria hidden so well in our civility, we feel we’ve done right to end the stress and we return to peace. A peace more dangerous than outright war, for the real villain lies within us hidden and nearly undiscoverable, ready to direct us against yet another unaware victim.

It used to be women. Now we’ve become politically correct and we do it to men. Especially men who are honest about what they’ve suffered.

The light, on the far side of complexity is revealing that lives are at stake.

Even knowing all that we are still surprised by the light upon the water from which life arose and upon which life depends each day, even hour. This light dazzles us and charms us into forgetting.

Forgetting is not forgiving. Forgetting is to have plaque on the brain, or plaque on the heart, so that one lives in a fantasyland, as if things were somehow different than they are. Truth is each of us beyond hope, lost from any blessed acceptance by anyone who ultimately matters.

But if we do not forget, if we remember, if we remember not with the poignancy of the pain of the Scheißheit that has been done to us, but remember knowing that it does no longer determine one’s life, nor need to determine the other’s life, so we remember without feeling the pain still, but knowing then and now we choose to move into the next moment of the present moving into the past, to move with grace and acceptance, not of the Scheißheit, but of the lovely person who did it to us.

And that

That is not simple, it is not the complexity of reality good and evil, it is past all layers and webs of complexity of black holes and supernovas that destroy life, back into the blessed breath and wind that brings new life even to the ravages thought to be impossibly lost, dead and gone.

This Simplicity is the light of truth; harsh in what it reveals and delicately soft in how it reflects each of us to the other, as a slow waltz encapsulates the love of years, new this moment again.

And then the water, the water that gave and gives life beginning and sustenance. Water that surrounds the rocks that could and would destroy everything, including life itself, allowing the water to swallow what it gave birth to. Water that is the cooling best of a hot hot day, and here the relief of bugs biting literally sucking the essence of life out of us.

The water gives and sustains life …

But the light made visible in the clouds spanning the sky draw wonder from our burden laden hearts, until

Until we see the light

And seeing the light we see the clouds

And seeing the clouds we know the storm to come

And knowing the storm to come we breathe easy in our preparations and survival of the last storm of chaos.

And

Breathing easier for the last survived and the next prepared for we hope …

And hope

Hope

Hope is the spark of life without which we die, shrivelled up in apathy and disregard for the life of others.

Hope is the spark of love that saves us from the animal survival instincts that turn others into prey and ourselves into combatants that must win at all costs to whomever.

Hope, we see hope in the world, and we can breathe.

But it is the other, committed to love and life,

Forgiveness even through the possible future of forgetfulness of age,

To making the other’s strengths shine and their weakness compensated for, so that life is GOOD!

It is the beloved who honours life, not out of irrational fear, but out of hope in self and the beloved. Standing shoulder to shoulder, taking on the challenges of life even when they seem insurmountable, and hoping against hope that all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things shall be well.

Testing Testing

Testing Testing

With so much to write, and so many little things not working still on this borrowed camper it’s time, all about time, to get a few things tested and tried, and proven. So an evening away from the pressure, the woods all around, no city yet, but the mosquitoes are out in full force like vampires miniature taking what the will.

 

The lush greenery encroaches on the parking spot, with a view to the lake at sunset between the trees

More views maybe later, after the first onslaught of itching subsides and the quiet supper is enjoyed.

Just the task of backing the trailer in to the site was immensely easier and safer. The back-up camera that would not work for so so so long no matter what is now working. Which means worrying about lining the camper up in to place is much simpler and the fret of possibly hitting something in reverse is all but taken out of the picture.

Leveling the camper still begs to be improved. Ideas abound, but it takes some planning and doing.

For now, the lights work, the back-up lights work, though this time of year they are rarely going to be needed, and the screen door is fully functional and sort of bug tight, which may entice us to tweak it a bit.

Simple Spring Snow

Simple Spring Snow
As the heavens poured out the white, winter, down-duvet-split-open-softness on to our heads and campsite and woods the colours and light danced so quietly
as my boots crunched, the water gurgled and Karin’s beer spray protected us all from invisible rye and malt humour.

So is the bed of peace and hope.

There are a few children missing, but nothing more than what is being done can be done. So pray with us, for us, for them.

 

There are views of life that are so subtly similar, yet a step to the right, left or ahead provide a completely different perspective, seeing in through the cracks that are in everything the light that is Grace and Hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trees, alive with light on the walk out of the warmth into the wilderness.

 

 

Water the source of life, the wonder of life, the beauty of life. Green. Why?

Not because it’s cold, but because it is not cold enough to keep the glaciers from melting.

 

Glowing, white streams in the green of gorgeous. Can you see it here, too?

 

The River looking onto it from various points, perspective that changes light and subject, all the same yet completely different.

 

Turtles, of the snacking kind were at the table the night before, and here they appear again, a bit molded and quiet, looking not to be eaten anymore.

 

The soft look of fallen snow and fog on the mountains beyond the river.

 

Rocks … below and …

Rocks below … and …

 

Rocks beyond …

 

The River Upstream

 

Turning 180°

 

More turtles and …

 

Rocks and …

 

Rocks and …

 

Rocks and …

 

 

 

Rocks … until …

 

There are no more rocks in view as one looks downstream to Pyramid Mountain.

 

The path back to coffee and breakfast.

 

 

As the snow hangs tight but loosened by melting, waffles wait with syrup from trees and butter enough.

 

The light and the drips of water frozen in place the evening before.

 

 

The Pine trees up-close, frozen mid-drip.

 

 


The victory.

Moon Light Delight

Moon Light Delight

Leonard Cohen wrote and sang that it was cracks through which the light got it.

The bright moon between the pines demonstrate also that in the darkness even a dim light can be bright. Moral: surround yourself by bright people, who inspire you to be even brighter yet; same for wise, kind, compassionate, empathetic and caring people. It helps also to surround yourself, not exclusively by people recovering, also from addictions, for in that struggle to stay alive they identify the essentials of life: air, water, food, clothing, shelter, meaningful labour, and love (given and received, unconditionally!)

In this darkness I experienced the joy and struggles of getting the technology to do what I intended: I was pushing the capabilities of the camera and getting also mixed results between the ones that are reasonably okay.

Enjoy the dark and the second light:

The moon, the second light, the light of the dark hours, but only for part of each month.

 

 

It’s like second chances: it’s not quite like the first light/chance; but when it works out, the beauty/joy is amazing.

 

 

Turning just a bit and waiting and shooting again sometimes nets another, if not better, also beautiful, worth contemplating photo.

 

 

The perspective one takes changes the outcome, dramatically.

 

 

In the end, the view is just marvelous, and hauntingly so.

River in the Mountains

River in the Mountains

The River is far enough behind the trees that we neither heard the water, nor could we reach the water without little hike through the trees, down the hill and then over and down the bank of the river. Then across the rocks and ice to see the water up close.

The water running catching light in swells.

 

 

Looking upstream the clouds hung swift in the way pointing to the peaks covered with snow.

Rocks Clouds in the Valley

 

 

 

Downstream the river provides a great foreground framed with trees on the shore pointing to Pyramid Mountain.

Rocks to Pyramid with Trees

 

 

 

Of course there are numerous ways to see the view and put it into a photo.

Rocks to Pyramid

 

 

While we park the view is not of other trailers, nor the mountains clear across the open parking lot. Instead we were in the quiet of the trees, with between them a view even to the tram.

Trailer beneath the Tram

Look to the upper right through the trees, there’s the tram.

 

 

And a close up through the trees reveals the perch on top the mountains.

Tram on the Mountain

Trees Air & Crowds Starting

Trees Air & Crowds Starting

Back in Wapiti outside Jasper, now that there is less snow and more mud, the trees show signs of life, the air is fresh as ever and the rain starts … when clouds cover the mountains one can duck and run or get wet.

In the winter, one just enjoys the snow falling, and stays warm.

 

The river flows green, cool and true.

The river with Mountains in the background.

 

 

 

 

Looking downstream.

 

 

 


And the moon lighting the paths through the campground.

 

 

 

The Clouds in the  early Morning.

 

 

The news is the Tram is open, though I think it may require crampons to climb to the top through the snow and ice.

The Tram

 

 

 

As always the woods and the river are filled with paths and inviting hours of walking or shooting or watching or sitting in wonder at the Grace so plainly set before one … in one’s solitude. Even the view out the window is remarkably refreshing.

The Trees

 

 

 

But one has to realize that with the lack of frigid temperatures the crowds have gathered and what was once solitude is a busy metropolitan gathering. Where we parked alone or with one or two a whole passel of RV’s had gathered, and even out the south end the crowds of one and two have gathered, so that on every leg there is at least a tent or two.

The Crowds

We stopped to kibitz with two sitting for breakfast early on our walk about the entire open camp sites. Which means that we just cannot be alone any longer in solitude. Which is so great for me, the extrovert …

not.

But I, remarkably so, still enjoy meeting people and sharing stories with them.

Two doctors who’d been to Tanzania and two teachers from NWT were last evening’s visit into the late evening.

Night & Light

Moon Crescent cannot illuminate nor focus one’s soul, but it can let you know there are obstacles everywhere,

The obstacles are not always threatening, but frame a view of beauty.

 

When the moon is replaced by the dawn light on the cold lake crystallized to return to frozen from beneath the liquid but frozen water beneath, the sites are organized chaos.

 

Paths melted by the repeated travel of tires filled with water and then frozen in hard crystals pieces reflect the light well amidst the mud from the dirt road leading to the lake shore.

 

 

 

And this was the setup that allowed us to wake and shoot photos in bathrobes, on the ice, comfortable at 0°C.

You have not really lived until out your door, having slept in the warmth of a bed covered with a luxurious duvet, you can watch the sun rise over the ice.