Location: Newcastle, Ontario, Canada

Born in Toronto, a degree in Psychology at Carleton in Ottawa, ran a photography business for 10 years from a studio in Parkdale, Toronto, apprenticed with a stained glass artist, and, and, and...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The grass is high, till almost the sky, if only to fly...just once

Tim and Finnie
leaving the forest.

July, 2005
Not sure if everyone has an image, but I have one very vivid image when I want to call upon quintessential summer. I can remember spending lots of time on a farmer's property that backed onto a horse trail through a forest near my parents cottage in Georgian Bay. I was a kid of about 12 or 13, I guess. I can completely hear the bees droning and the weight of the heat on my head and back as I walked amongst Queen Anne’s lace, Sumach and Black-eyed Susans. Alone on property that was not mine to walk on, I would go often to try to see the horses that roamed the land. That was summer. Growing up I have not felt as connected to summer as I did this summer. I was reminded of my childhood idea of torpid summer from this new home. The seasons and nature were so much more vivid here than the city, no big surprise but it was with a quickening of the heart to be reconnected to that girl. Again, having a full summer without working helped to bring me to that place.

Tim trying to get
the field mown.

The grass in the back field came to Owen's head in some places, a mixture of clover, Queen Anne's Lace, Black-eyed Susans, some purple-flowered vine and others. Tim had decided to leave a good swath in the back of the field unmown so that we could walk amongst the wildflowers. The rest of the field was mown by Tim on the tractor about every three weeks. He loved it, climbing on the old Massey-Ferguson tractor that came with the property and moving it through passes in the field like a summer Zamboni driver. Quite graceful he became with the tractor and it could turn on a dime, almost. The kids would fight for the chance to go with him and invariably, would fall asleep to the steady thrum of the motor. Tim would often continue with a sleeping child cradled in his arms.

Picking raspberries,
or eating them in Finnie's case,
from a farm along Lakeshore Road.

Raspberries were ripe, at least the canes that were on other peoples' properties. Since I had planted this year we would only hope for establishment of the canes. We did get the occasional berry though and they NEVER made it inside as Owen, Finnie, Tim or I would eat them before they stained our hands. We did collect raspberries from a nearby farm so that Doreen, a friend of ours could make a raspberry pie.

Hilary bird-watching
in our back pasture.

Hilary had arrived and I was glad. The weeds were winning and she would soon send them back from whence they came. She said, “It's all a matter of doing a bit at a time, everyday.” She got up before us and we would often rub our eyes and blink at her as we watched her working in the vegetable patch before we had properly woken. So by the time she left, the weeds were under control and I had learned some techniques to keep them at bay. But neither of us felt sure what to do about a transplanted Basswood sapling that was ailing. It had thrived from the moment I transplanted it seeming unaware of its relocation but now, months later the edges of the leaves were yellowing and some entire branches looked like they were dying. Nothing had changed in its upkeep so I took some pictures of the leaves to send to Kåre to get his feedback. Not much I could do, he said, if it was ailing. Not every tree was going to be picture perfect. Ok, wasn't aiming for that but was hoping for life so I would finger its leaves as I walked past it and worry.

One of the concerns were these worms that I found. All were removed and I couldn't see them doing all the damage but who knows.

We were in the height of summer. I had never sucked so much out of a season. Everyday was experienced, none taken for granted.

My final image is also one of optimism. We had gone down to the marina to try out a new fishing rod of Owen's. Hilary tried her best to bring in lunch, as did Owen and I but to no avail. While we were there we noticed a young duckling at the top of the dock, wanting ever so much to be down below, in the water, where his mom had blithely flown down to seconds ago. The shot shows the same duck before and after his final brave jump. This is how one learns I guess. Hold your nose, close your eyes and LEAP.


Blogger fenris64 said...

You write more eloquently than perhaps you know. I am pleased to see that this comes out in you, through your mum I think. You both share a great facility for images and feelings through words. Keep it up!

4:34 a.m., February 01, 2006  

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