Water Trio

Water Trio

Snowflakes, Ice, and Liquidity. Water is the ultimate shape changer, requiring only temperature as a catalyst, passing from one phase to another…….all equally compelling in their beauty.

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The Eye Beholds the Heart’s Desire

Fairy Lights
Fairy Lights

It’s been way to long.  Way to long to enjoy stillness, feeling the breath move through my body, to look, to see what my heart desires.  The summer is spent.  Spent with many hours figuring out how to manipulate nature, to create vistas that impress.  What hubris, to believe that man can out-create nature.  The comparison goes something like Disney World vs. The Grand Canyon, or The Venetian, Las Vegas to Venice.  It is not to say that man-made delights are not something to behold, but more effort should be spent in conserving the natural resources that we so often overlook or only give a passing glance to.  So much we consider insignificant, is nothing less than miraculous.  There is such abundance to feed upon, that it is incomprehensible to me why so many are less than satisfied every day.

On a gloriously sunny day this week, I was able to meander through River Park in Calgary, Alberta.  I had nothing specific in mind other than capturing some lovely photos of a spectacular fall day.  Camera in hand,  face towards the sun, I headed down the riverbank to the water, a beacon that seems to always be calling me home.

Only a few short weeks ago, this same river, flowing ever so gracefully, wrought havoc, and in some cases utter destruction, upon our city.  I had spent many a day on reclamation sites over the summer that proved irrevocably that nature rules, and when does so, man and his self- made glories do not stand a glimmer of a chance of coming through unscathed.

As I continued down towards the river, I paid particular attention to how the indigenous aspects of the site fared during recent events. Mother Nature Rules! Designers take note…….everything that appears to be random, is a perfectly placed specimen, chosen for survival and living in symbiotic harmony with it’s neighbors. Nothing cute here. Striking, Bold, Strong enough to survive a raging river, and yes, enchanting. This is the REAL deal. Grasses and junipers creating an erosion proof mat, second to none. Although the trees took a bit of a hit, they are still growing, their lower chakras exposed, to any and all who care to view, unashamed of showing their stark beauty and incredible strength.

The man-made foot bridge, did not survive.

If you would like to visit River Park, there are three entrances. Downtown, Britannia, and Marda Loop. If you don’t live in Calgary, and don’t plan a visit, I invite you to walk alongside me, and see what I see……………..

Glendale Gardens- Learning and Loving

StumpedPottyBootsView to Eucalyptus

Nap time
Nap time

Just next door to the Butchart Gardens lies a little known gem, The Glendale Gardens and The Pacific Centre for Horticulture. The gardens are known for their dedication to education, offering a college dedicated to Horticulture professionals and Master Gardeners as well as workshops open to the public. I found out about the gardens while sourcing some courses to further my education. From year to year I see great progress and maturity in the developing landscape. The gardens are conceived and developed by their students and dedicated volunteers. There is nothing glossy or perfect about these gardens, they are work in progress and therein lies their appeal. For the avid gardener or horticulturist. The $11.00 admission fee is well worth the stroll through the various types of plantings. The Glendale Gardens reside in Oak Bay, just outside of Victoria, BC. I was in a bit of a hurry to catch my flight that morning and didn’t get nearly enough photos but here are a few tapas I thought were worth nibbling on………enjoy!

 

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Heaven On Earth

ImageThere is no place as easily accessible to the prairie gardener dreaming of things to come than The Butchart Gardens outside of Victoria, BC.  I was fortunate enough to spend some time there this week to drench my parched soul with vivid colour and scent.  The day flowed by with one exceptionally beautiful vista after another.  I can honestly say there was no particular view that had more impact than the previous one.

When Jennie Butchart conceived the idea to beautify a worked out quarry I doubt she knew the legacy she was about to create.  Millions receive the joy and spendor of her vision with a grateful heart.  It is here, in this place I feel closest to my essence and it is here that I walk with the spirit of my mother.  I feel her presence at my side, step by step.  That alone is grace.  Combined with my love for botany, it is Heaven on earth.

There is nothing more life affirming for me than a garden bursting forth with colour, with scent, with life itself.  That is why a spring pilgrimage to the gardens is a something I look forward to each year with great anticipation.  You don’t have to be a plant enthusiast to enjoy the gardens, they will find a way to touch and to teach you whether you know what chlorophyll is or not.

The Estate is named Benvenuto, or Welcome in the English language.  So Welcome friends, let’s see whats blooming in the garden………..

For more information on The Butchart Gardens visit: http://www.butchartgardens.com For serene and exceptional accomodation nearby in Brentwood Bay google The Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa.

Framed
Framed
Walk and Reflect
Walk and Reflect
serene
serene
Unforgettable
Unforgettable
Eye Poppin
Eye Poppin
Hellebore
Hellebore
Hellebore
Hellebore
Scillia
Scillia
Fritillaria
Fritillaria
The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter
Camilla
Camilla
Nature Maiden
Nature Maiden
Holly
Holly
Heather
Heather
Cream of the Crop
Cream of the Crop
Prunus Pleasure
Prunus Pleasure

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Gnarly View
Gnarly View
Shaggy
Shaggy
Pulsing
Pulsing
Woody
Woody
Baby, Baby
Baby, Baby
Birth
Birth
Creepy
Creepy
Sun Salutations
Sun Salutations
Shady
Shady

River Walks and Birdhouses

River Walk
River Walk
Frosted
Frosted
Draped in Lace
Draped in Lace

It has been way too long since I have posted any new thoughts and photos. Now that the major winter holidays are over, the day job is settling into a routine of sorts and spring is imminent my thoughts are always straying to the big show about to unfurl and what part I can play in it. I have gathered lots of photos and experiences to share with you, including a return trip to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens where I spent most of my time putzing around the large orchid collections, and a spring tour of the gardens in and surrounding Victoria, B.C. All the garden shows will be beginning (Volunteering at Calgary‘s myself, April 12-13 at Spruce Meadows, check it out!). If all this doesn’t get your urge to grow on, nothing will!
For now, in this post I wish to formally say goodbye to the season by sharing images I have captured along the way and honoring the beauty of crystal blue skies and chaste white garments of winter in the prairies.
Most of these photos were taken along the Bow River where it passes through the farthest southern border of Fish Creek Park. My daughter and I decided a winter ramble early one morning was a good idea. It was, but wow, was it COLD. The photos are not retouched and everything you see is how clear and beautiful it was that January morning.

Winter Mist
Winter Mist
 
 

The rest of the photos come from a visit to my friends Jan and Dave’s place. Some of you may remember them from my Nestled in Nature post. It is achingly serene in the winter, though Dave livens up the place by feeding many varieties of winged friends as you will see from the variety of bird dwellings . So friends, join me on a winter ramble and say farewell cold, snowy days and early nights and welcome the light and colours of Spring 2013!

Country Cousin
Country Cousin
Honeymoon Cabin
Honeymoon Cabin
Porcupine Buffet
Porcupine Buffet
Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
Au Natural
Au Natural
The Path
The Path