Saturday, 12 August 2017

Saturday Photo: The Grand Antonio, and Electricity

One of the grandkids favourite stories is that of The Great Antonio, a Montreal strong man, by Elise Gravel.  He pulled buses with his teeth and other feats of strength.  Gravel's illustrations are delightful, and obviously made a big impact on not-quite-five Thomas.

When we were doing a little morning walk-about near Grand Coulee dam on our recent trip, he got very excited, pointing toward the hilltops and talking about the Grand Antonio.  The adults couldn't figure out what he meant, but then it dawned on us: the high tension pilons carrying electricity from the dam.  They look a little like someone flexing his muscles, I agree.

You could probably do a nice turn on that: how electricity makes the world run, and how it magnifies the strength of all of us.  But I think I'll just be delighted at a little boy's imagination. 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Saturday Photo: Dry Falls and the Forces of the Earth

On our trip West in July, one of the most interesting places we stopped was at the Dry Falls State Park where the ancestral Columbia once ran.

Or maybe it wasn't the Columbia, exactly.  What is certain now is that  an enormous amount of water  surged over this precipice as the Ice Age ended and an ice dam burst, letting free the impounded waters of a massive meltwater lake.  The result was a catastrophic flood (or floods) and this dry, empty landscape which followed.  The dark rocks, by the way, were laid down in another geologic event that staggers the imagination: the great volcanic episode which saw lava spread over hundreds of thousands of acres for perhaps a million years.

All this puts our particular problems in  perspective.  We are screwing things up royally, but our presence on this planet is likely to be only fleeting.  The rocks remain.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

This Just In: Full Page, Back Cover Ad for Road through Tiime in the NYReview of Books!

It was a quiet evening yesterday until my husband shouted from upstairs that I had to take a look at the new New York Review of Books.  So I scurried up to find a full page, back page ad for Road through Time: The Story of Humanity on the Move!

Wow!  I had thought maybe there'd be a little publicity some place, but I certainly didn't expect this! Do hope that it introduces the book to a much wider audience.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Saturday Photo: Fiat Lux at Grand Coulee Dam

Back from nearly two weeks in British Columbia and Washington State with kids and grandkids.  Many excellent adventures, you can be sure...

This photo was taken just as the sun was rising on Wednesday downstream from the dam itself.  I like the combination of the sun and the power lines: truly fiat lux. both solar and electric.

The Columbia River and it dams are under threat from interests that want to privatize them.  Terrible idea!  Here's the link to a good story from The New York Times about the situation.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Saturday Photo: The Western Edge of the Continent

Summer is vacation time, and I'm thinking of the trip we took to the West Coast a few years ago.  This is photo taken on Vancouver Island, showing the abundance of the sea.

We're headed out that way soon, and I can hardly wait!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Saturday Photo: Fruit!

We're not quite there yet (the photo was taken a couple of years ago) but it looks like we'll have a bumper year for raspberries and pears--if the squirrels aren't too hungry.

The problem with urban gardening isn't that it's in a city. No, it's the high density of critters who like the garbage that's left out, but really prefer to eat what you try to grow.

Some years ago I gave up on tomatoes, and now only have flowering annuals, and the fruiting plants that I put in before the decision.  But this looks like a year when perhaps there will be even more than the beasts can eat, perhaps because of the rainy spring.  The cherry tree across the lane is loaded with fruit, while in our yard I've rarely seen such promise.

Now if it would only be sunny for a while to let everything ripen...

Friday, 23 June 2017

Saturday Photo: Bonne fête nationale, Happy St Jean Baptiste Day

So, I'm actually posting on Friday, not Saturday.  That's because it seems like the weekend already.  Jeanne's school was finished yesterday, so she and Elin spent the night, after a picnic with Louis and company.  It wsa Louis's first birthday, and Thomas's soccer team, the Barracudas, also had a game.  A very pleasant evening!

Tomorrow is Quebec's Fête nationale, formerly known as St-Jean Baptiste Day.  When I finish posting this, I'm going to put up our Quebec flag, which, of course, featured the fleur de lys, the blue iris.  I do this not because I'm a Quebec nationalist, but because this is where we have chosen to live, and I want to signal that we (and other immigrants) should be included in all fête nationale celebrations.