Spring Break

Spring Break
Skiing is a bit of work to find the right place, but they are numerous near Cold Lake. There are a few people who would love to see this with us, but they are busy, so out we go to enjoy the day by ourselves.

In the Shade
In the Shade

Nestled under the pines, it is quiet and warm under a bright March sun.

Starting Out for a l Look See
Starting Out for a l Look See

 

We take a break to go skiing, what else is Spring Break for?

Necessities Met
Necessities Met

Across the Lake we take a short break. Nature’s wonders provided by man-made structures.

Looking Back
Looking Back

The Lakeview is marvelous.

From Shore to Shore to Shore
From Shore to Shore to Shore: So Canadian

Most spectacular in panorama.
One really needs a 20’screen to appreciate the whole view.

Mystical Morning Matters

Mystical Morning Matters

There are moments that become available just because one seeks some fresh air for a night.

The landmarks stay the same, the fog and light shift as the sunrises.

Moving The Front Door
Moving The Front Door

And it is just outside our door, because we can haul the front door around behind the truck, along with a bed, table, stove, fridge and even a kitchen sink. A bit much for a guy who loved backpacking into the outback where no one else ventured to disturb a good night’s rest. Now we haul a toilet and electricity with us, not least of all to power a 27 inch screen to edit photos on.

Luxury. Well it may easily become my home permanently, so not really, not at -40° and +35° C.

Grasslands
Grasslands
Orange Trees
Orange Trees
Tracks
Tracks
Fog
Fog
Driven to the Sunrise
Driven to the Sunrise
Fog Rolls High
Fog Rolls High
Wider Higher Deeper … Breathe …
Wider Higher Deeper … Breathe …
Looking Back to the South
Looking Back to the South

Last Breath of Old Winter, Maybe?

It is officially Spring, but tell that to the snow of a foot in the last quiet day.

It started to fall nice and softly, on and off for more than a day it fell without a blush of thunder or despair. Just fell one little inch at a time, until it recovered the ground cleared pretty well for the crocuses to bloom.

I’ve yet to find a hillside of them here, and now the snow would have covered them another few days from reappearing.

But off where few people travel we found a place to bask in the mosquito-less lake front.

After hours of shovelling to get into a place out of the way enough to stay a day, and a rest for recovery, the sun appeared bright and warm, unexpected and not for long.

The sky came alive.

Sky BrightSky Bright

Previous visitors left Olaf’s cousin to fend for himself, and Kathie decided to level him starting with his all too small head. So after reconstructive surgery with the elements at hand, Olaf’s cousin Otto stands against the trees, leaning on a borrowed staff,

Otto, Olaf's Counsin

Otto, Olaf’s Cousin

And asking if he’ll have eyes to see with again, and a nose to delight in at all.

Kathie on Ice
Kathie on Ice

Out on her own walking the ice, Kathie’s glove has a life of its own as she bares her hands to take a call.

A Little Life
A Little Life

There is life out here, even after the snow, traipsing around, leaving tracks, knowing the empty table is useless until its filled with a feast for ants and visitors of all kinds.

Beaver Bites
Beaver Bites

Across the water the evidence of beaver new and long since given their best effort to fell a tree from beneath. Seems to me the beaver survived only because he was not successful.

60 years in the making, finally a photo

Time

Passes

Most of us by

At a ferocious pace.

So it took a few days to catch up to put these on the blog.

I wake on this day so long in coming, and out the door I step with bathrobe, boots, parka, hat, gloves, and camera, to the stillness of heart, mind and world that only the wilderness can afford.

Only the quiet of nothing brushing across the freshly sunlit snow

Fallen the last few days to bring spring to an end

And the wonders of winter covering like a blanket of frozen breath what once whispered a promise of green buds, bird songs, and mosquitoes.

Let the chill keep the bugs at bay for another week or more, a month or three as is seasonally to expect.

Here the water flows despite the minus 25 degrees Celsius.

The sun is warm on the trees and behind them sparking anticipation of a full bright day after three of clouds and snow drab grey.

 

 

Dark and Light

Dark and Light

The light

Is

Visible

Only

In the Dark.

When it is Dark you see the Light clearly –

Only at night can you see the beauty of the dancing northern lights.

Only in the light can you see the love of people you love as so precious.

My wife loves to ski, again,

after years of not being able to.

The bright light

On the cool snow

In the warm air

 

The Lake View After Dark

 

The Lakeview After Dark

Or

When it really does get above freezing in January.

With a view to health we’ve found a quick outing to the quiet wilderness

Is just what the doctor would have ordered.

Years ago we sought out the backcountry with backpacks, sleeping bags and a small tent.

Now that’s a bit more than the old bones can handle, but the wilderness is nearly there,

When one exits the highly traveled areas and revisits what is popular in summer

Yet in Winter become

the deserted places far from civilization, yet accessible by road still,

become

A temporary wilderness

For the season

Just right

For

Recovery

From being controlled and abused and vilified and …

It is a dark sky

It is a beautiful sky

 

It is a beautiful life when one gets to  take this in.

It’s A Little Cold

It’s a Little Cold Out
As I write this the temperature has dropped to minus 27 Celsius and it’s going to continue dropping says the forecast until it’s minus 30.
I did survival training years ago NW of Hinton. We mimicked what it would be like to be downed in an airplane with passengers needing to survive for 36 hours. Tea, the first medicine after the physical injuries were tended to, and then build a shelter for the night. Minus 20 the first night with a partner. Minus 30 the second night, solo. Third night was an all-natural shared shelter for everyone except the instructors, who slept next to a wood stove in a full shelter.
After the last night, of smoke from the shared fire, and little sleep, the thermometer was pegged below minus 40 on my rotary thermometer the next morning a few hours after sunrise.
So yesterday at minus 21, with camera in hand, with a down parka zipped up, a wool hat, simple jeans, warm boots and light enough gloves to feel the camera easily … and a great tripod, I simply enjoyed the ventures out from the warm vehicle to capture these precious photos, a profound beauty and reminder of days before the current hell I’m caught in and working to save others more vulnerable.
It’s not that it was terrific then, it’s just purgatory was decidedly not like this, and despite any temperature, what I’m working to set right, who I’m having to work to keep safe, or at least mitigate permanent damage to, the vulnerable, this kind of hell just does not seem to know beauty or truth or faith or love or hope or … well in a word, this hell has no place for the beauty of grace, the grace that saves us all.
So here they are in the same silence that I encountered them, absolute silence, with only the squeak and press of snow stepped into and upon, and breath … o precious breath that only now I have again … o precious breath that now again I have so that I can speak … well sort of.

Enjoy the beauty: for this cold is not hell, it is simple beauty, without flies or bites, a beauty that permeates everything.

Enjoy the beauty: for this as God created it and us to be; still standing, even through the hell and the cold.

 

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These are dedicated to my little sister, who made photography for me a shared joy.
She was always better than she knew.

Copyright Tim Lofstrom 2017

Snow at the Lake

One can only enjoy the quiet and solitude

of mountains, snow, and water.

The Camper Gets Dusted
The Camper Gets Dusted

 

 

Call Home from Nowhere
Call Home from Nowhere
The Lakeview at the End of the Road
The Lakeview at the End of the Road
Red Canoe on the Way Down
Red Canoe on the Way Down
 Looking On
Looking On
Colour and Water
Colour and Water

 

More Colour and Water
More Colour and Water
The Island
The Island
Patterns
Patterns
Patterns Again
Patterns Again
Colour on the Way Out
Colour on the Way Out

Just a bit of fun, snow and lake and colour and …

A short walk.

That’s all for today.

Life Starts Here

 

Life Starts Here

 

There is little that marvels anyone anymore, and much that blows the socks off anyone who is willing to notice.

Life …

Life is …

Life is a complex series of time, space, particularity and inspiration.

Life is the most despairing series of events anyone can witness or experience.

Life is the most awe inspiring series of events that anyone can witness or experience.

Others determine so much of life, yet 90% of life is determined by our responses to what happens to us, and what others do to us, good and bad, and both good and bad simultaneous.

If you have never experienced that you are like the pastors who reported that their congregation had no alcoholics among the members, had not … and you can fill in the blank.

The truth is their congregation had its fair share, some said 1 in 10, but the pastor was too ignorant and proud to know the truth.

Ignorance does not determine that something is true. Perception by ignorant masses, small or great masses, does not create reality; it creates a falsehood built out of ignorance; and that is something to be feared more than fear itself.

Life in the face of all this is simple. Not simple on this side of complexity, but simpler on the far side of complexity. What is simple is that beauty is a given, and an option to participate in … or not. Just as Grace, Amazing Grace, is a given, and an option to participate in … or not. I consciously have chosen again and again to embrace beauty, grace, and Life as I trust it was given to be lived.

Beauty comes washing over us in so many forms, visual, in the dance of light and shadow, colour and surprise, drawing in, renewing of value, and a sending out to embrace the world, and therein to permeate others and situations with … with the essence of life: grace.

Dance the light, dance through the darkest valley of death that grips us all in the vice of fear and denial, dance in the detail and the relationships between waves and particles, between inanimate and animated, between the found and the created.

Beauty is also what one makes of space. My travels from North America to Europe, mostly Germany, and my childhood in Tanganyika, have left me desiring space abundant and a knowledge that space is often limited, precious and to be optimized for function and effect, to become beautiful in design, economy of resources, elegant in its use, and wondrous in the juxtaposition of the required and the hoped for, the vertical and the horizontal playing to their fullest and the stunning emotional effect of good craftsmanship applied to wondrous materials.

This first entry is a simple view to what and how I see my surroundings.

Houses in Foggy Morning Light
Houses in Foggy Morning Light

Simple homes in a simple neighbourhood, development at a standstill by the oil bust.

Deep View to Water and Rocks
Deep View to Water and Rocks

The view from up close to out there.

Calm, Light, Point, Close Far Shore
Calm, Light, Point, Close Far Shore

The quiet simple calm that comes between ferocious tempests.

This is my view … yet so much cannot be published.