Animals Mine Protected

Animals in the No Hunting area of the Mine

There are a few opportunities one runs into that just amaze one.

These big horn sheep have come down into the protection of the mining leasehold to eat the lushes green grasses.

And they stand almost without any concern just off the roadway.

The young ones in the least desirable areas.

The next oldest in a good spot of green feed.

The oldest resting.

And the other oldest still looking for their hearts desires fulfilled.

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

When I wake in the foothills at the late hour sunrise, and the sun dances off the mountaintops out the window at the foot of the bed I get my camera on the tripod and shoot.

But the delay of that simple preparation allows the light to shift and the mountain is by comparison less than dancing alive.

Looking around there are other light plays to focus on.

But the best of the light is past.

So I decide to make a study of this, having encountered a photo of a young photographer, untrained but able to naturally see and capture and process photos to make them amazing for many around.

I often use hdr software, though I miss the really good hdr software I have on my desktop, to bring out the light in bracketed exposures. And then these images also play better than any of the single exposures as I pull the various light level out to play anew.

 

 

The fun and somewhat surrealistic use of the software is available.

 

The surrealistic leaves one craving a return to planet earth.

I rarely enjoy nature turned into a nightmare, rather a somewhat alternative view of what never was is good enough playing with reality for me. Creation has it’s own beauty that the right light brings to life.

That’s the reward of good photography, and the fun of playing around getting there.

What Gets Your Goat?

What gets your goat?

A simple question: and the answer to this one is a short hike up a lonely hill with camera to watch, and find and shoot the goat … with the camera, of course.

What gets your goat?

Climbing a short and steep, well-travelled, but still deserted, hike out into the mountains, this goat just showed up over the top of the horizon hiding the expansive river valley behind her.

She posed, and then circled around me, closer with each step, not challenging me, but as if to show off, assured I was no danger, coming within a few yards of me.

What gets my goat is – people who circle around your life, playing with you, posing for the famous shot to get everything out of you they can even if that means you are left with nothing or worse, unable to survive. For it is all about their image and reputation; that someone must pay for their mistakes so that they can appear to be without blemish.

The walks that day and the next gave us wonderful views, and great photos of crocuses, a favourite ever since they used to grow up the hillside on our land, always a challenge to photograph well.

What gets my goat is –  people who take beauty, hard won and paid for with forgiveness and love, diligence and hope, based on trust and promises … and systematically destroy it so that it can never be found again, so that next spring, they just will not blossom for fear, real fear of what will happen next.

As I returned to the path, the goat already ahead of me across the path, she turned one last time to look, to inquire, to insure I was no danger, to pose, knowing if I was even half decent she’d have her photo immortalized.

For the short life of a goat leaves little in memorial.

What gets my goat is –  people who take all that is the memory of a person, and through manipulation, deceit and outright lies, trash it, so that there appears to be nothing left of the person, and instead the lies create a monster of that person, a lie, but one that is who people think they meet and deal with when they see this person.

A wise person, fictional but still wise, said that the one thing to ensure as you choose a spouse is that the person is kind.

What gets my goat is –  people who pretend to be kind, but try to kill you, and when that does not work ruin you, and blame you for what they are doing to you.

This person, no matter how you frame it, is wise and honest, loyal and hopeful, is above all things, kind and gracious. That makes for life that is beautiful.

It does not make life easy or simple or even guaranteed; but it does make for life that is beautiful.

What gets my goat is –  people who are very intelligent and persevere at making sure they win at everything no matter the cost to others, even children, people who guarantee only other people’s destruction.

This is simple beauty.

Simple on the far side of complexity, the complexity of emerging early, even as frost still haunts the nights, and snow easily falls; at an altitude that is though easily attained still not quickly, and then one must bend low in humility and peer as one normally and simply cannot between the grass blades that become obstacles or makers of a photo … and then to focus as focus cannot even be easily seen.

To know where the focus is, not outside but deep within.

What gets my goat is –  people who only see the world through a fully reductionist approach, discounting all the information of truth and reality until they can justify declaring lies to be truths, deception to be light, and the person abused and killed to be responsible for all the fallout. Experts who have the degrees and with the adeptness of a sociopath set out to declare imaginary things to be reality, who twist and turn love-and-trust-and-forgiveness-and-hope into accusations of delusion, to make whole and laudable people and efforts seem to be ugly; simply because they cannot see beyond the grass and twigs to focus on reality which is very beautiful.

 

The view up close …

What gets my goat is – people who do not see to the horizon and beyond, so they never know the reality that is skewed to create deceptions deadly.

The view less up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot change their perspective to see reality.

 

The view starting to look through the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot see the trees for what they are, nor have the courage to look through to see the horizon. And worse, they think because they do not have the courage to even try to see past the trees, that others who do are either stupid, wrong, or insane.

The view looking through and past the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who do not know the beauty of the people up close and the crowds that make up the community and the world of grandeur. It may be unreachable and unfathomable but it can be seen and seen to be beautiful, even promising.

The view of the mountains framed by the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – when I cannot see the frame, nor the distant beauty.

 

The view of the distant mountains without losing touch with the trees up close …

What gets my goat is – people who cannot see what is up close, nor what is the context of what is close, who make what is up close into something it is not, and who ignore that is the environment. And they destroy everything trying to make sure they are determined to be right … even when they are so wrong.

There are lots of paths to follow, through the beauty of the trees, some paths deeply trodden and marked by wheels, others barely visible at all.

What gets my goat is – people who think that deceiving others into believing the well-trodden paths are the only paths to take, because true kindness, grace, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, love and promise are often barely chosen, or stuck to very long, for the brambles are high and thick on these seldom traversed paths.

The view, amidst the grass, of beauty emerging promising even more … and many promises not so obviously, more blossoms so tiny, yet emerging.

What gets my goat is … people who cannot see promise as hope, hope as the only guarantee to be trusted, and love as the only thing that has lasting value. Instead they crucify others trying to force hope, trust, and love from money, things or winning.

God save us … all.

Enjoy the view, relaxing in what is provided.

There is beauty even if people get my goat so commonly. People are beautiful, even though they are ugly mean at the same time.

The Falls This Time In Late Spring

The Falls, again so lonely.

Where is it falling,

Just a little lonely compared to the last time

 

With so many feet running every which direction

 

And just a little shinier in the early evening light

 

 

And a whole lot colder with the falls’ water freezing making it all slide a bit more,

 

 

and what …

 

What a view

 

to the light

 

and the person of hope.

 

With trees leaning into the future.

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.

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.

Ahhhh … Finally

To wake one morning finally and have a reasonable workload, deadlines met, and still looming, a job still hunted for … but for today … to know what today requires and know I can accomplish these things.

And have even an hour, amidst the tasks, to enjoy beauty, and the creation of and sharing of where life has taken me and us, unexpected and delightful.

Perhaps the hour really is not mine to claim, but that will only be known later so for now the joy of life relived.

On a week to a conference, prohibited from attending by a lay-pastor full of spite, I relaxed in the mountain views out the door, and the joy of working … for it was too cold to ski Sunshine, a gift from a friend and a life-long love of mine. I never was ever too keen on skiing when the valley temperatures are below -30C. Somehow pain and frost bite just take the joy out of gliding free down across and through the snow on telemarks skis.

So I was inside, though able to see beauty each day.

Bustling Beauty

Bleeping Cold Steam Rising From Frigid Flowing Water

The day we left the conference the temperatures went wildly warm, up to just below zero and then above.

The big snow fall sat on slopes barely intact and the helicopters flew to bomb the snow loose before nature decided to pack it all at once down on top of the valley inhabitants or wanderers. As if back in Fort Ripley with the constant bombing and shelling practice shaking the earth with loud ominous thunder echoing across the clouds invisible.

 

When a day later we headed north to traverse the icefields and dry camp at the new un-serviced Whirlpool campground we knew the road likely would be closed from 11 to 17 for three hours, yes the math is off, for snow bombing (avalanche control).

The previous and falling snow made a quiet wonderland, traversable still, though just deep enough.

We pulled off to breathe, and to take photos, and to marvel.

The trees held the snow, on the steep slopes off the roadway.

To no surprise then the flashing signs at Lake Louise, and the barricade closed at the Saskatchewan River Crossing. The surprise was that at that rather major junction there is a summer only hotel and service station, with fuel and everything else … in even the telephone line to the pay phone is disconnected and dormant for the winter. And that I checked by walking through the deep snow because for miles (okay Canadian Kilometers with a long o J) there is absolutely NOOOO cell service. So we had no updates and no way to notify friends and family that we’d decided to simply wait for the road to open.

Cloud draped Mountains around the Barricade Closed

We tried driving into a trailhead parking lot, but the snow was too deep and the truck simply not high enough nor powerful enough with enough traction to pull through all the snow up to mid axel. It bogged down and I stopped, and shovelled, and shovelled and shovelled and … finally it did not just spin in place but backed out.

Stuck it had serendipitously leveled the trailer to so close to perfect, that considering our options, we just shoveled some more and put the camper right back where it had been stuck, though now with ample area around to walk and service everything needed should we stay overnight and now after 1700 it looked like that was going to be necessary.

Dry, private camping, waiting

And it was. And there was no news even as a few trucks arrived, trying to get to Prince George, unaware of the closed road.

We finally met a park ranger returning from the far side of the barricade. The news was they’d closed the road at 11 ish, and at 12 ish the day before an avalanche had crossed the road. A path was punched through the snow and debris, but the helicopter snow bombers could not fly because of the high winds and the forecast did not make that likely for another few days, Monday at the earliest.

So we settled in not wondering if or when, because by Monday I needed to be home in Cold Lake.

Where the snow had fallen and was melting warmly into the ground, in drops by drops even off the deck railing out my door.

Home Free

And we sort of celebrated Valentine’s Day, early in the mountains and late at home with roses.

Traditions

Now faded in the late stages of colour and life.

Real Beauty, Real Truth, Real Christmas

Starting Advent:

We wait, taking in the celebration of light, looking through the lens of Grace that Jesus makes clear, hoping that this time, especially this time, God will come to us and set things right, before there is no more time to set things right,

That truth will be heard, the lies uncovered, life reset before the twilight zone came to visit my world.

But the world always resists Grace, since Grace comforts those disadvantaged, and disadvantages the comfortable.

There are things to see.

There are things to say.

There are truths which are being played with, and in the end the next generation learns that the lies are better than the truth.

It is like photography, everything is simple, even beautiful: until you realize something is being sacrificed: something precious; something basic and fundamental; something that seems …

Something so fundamental that there is nothing left if this is sacrificed.

We visited the mountains, to help me recover from acute bronchitis that just would not go away.

New Camper
New Camper

 

In the parking lot, a brand new camper compared to the ancient one we were using, having to fix it so it did not kill us.

There is something refreshing about breathing the mountain air.

But when it’s full of CO it puts a throbbing headache in the way and had I not opened the door so often that night ….

So this seemed a better option but not possible for us.

There were beautiful things,

beautiful light and snow on pine trees and clouds,

if you raised your head, which is always really hard to avoid.

Light
Light

On the way I caught the fog, again and again, and coming out of the fog is marvelous, for photographers, because the light … the light plays with reality to make it seem different, special.

Dull Fog
Dull Fog

It’s not always special; sometimes it’s just ordinary.

Light on the Road
Light on the Road

And then the sunlight hits the fog while the road flies by.

But then … then

It hits you.

See the Office
See the Office

And there are lots of shots that show its beauty that just hit you.

Light on Trees
Light on Trees

As you stop the light hits the trees.

Light on Trees 1
Light on Trees 1

And all that can be played with making it even more …

Light on Trees 2
Light on Trees 2

It looks great, even if it is not real.

Picnic
Picnic

But the picnic table is real.

 

 

 

Pyramid
Pyramid

Simple real in the early, early morning hours just as light starts to peak around the mountain air.

Pyramid 1
Pyramid 1

And Pyramid Mountain never looked so good, as the camera pushes through the darkness and the software reveals what the human eye could barely see.

And the software can make it look more than surreal, more than a cloudy mountain top with pines and fog, but how can more be really more when the reality is quite enough plus some?

Pyramid Real
Pyramid Real

Even if you have to wait a few hours for the sun to shine clear amid the clouds and shadows of late afternoon.

Simple skiing, now that’s real with the real mountains and clouds and snow laden pine trees … and the clear mountain air healing the bronchitis.

And that makes the waiting of Advent a waiting for truth, the truth God revealed on Christmas.

John the Baptist knew crazy but he never knew crazy, not crazy like I’ve had to suffer since ….

Breathe the fresh air.

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.