Saturday, 16 September 2017

Saturday Photo: Rock of Ages, How Concrete Built the World as We Know It


This is the week that I start work in earnest on my next book, tentatively titled Rock of Ages: How Concrete Built the World as We Know It. Now that the major revisions to Different: Places that Should be Alike That Aren't Alike  (due from University of Regina Press in Fall 2018, if all goes well)  have been sent off, it's time to change gears.

Not that I haven't been thinking about the topic for a long time.  During our trip this summer, one of the things I wanted to see was Grand Coulee dam on the Columbia River, which for a while was the biggest concrete construction in the world.  But one of the things I forgot when I was thinking about the hydroelectric potential of dams is the massive effect irrigation with water from the projects. 

Concrete is essential for getting water to the countryside.  Without canals lined with it, the water so carefully collected behind dams would simply sink into the earth without the desired effect. 

This is a photo of the outlet canal at Grand Coulee.  I haven't yet researched just how the irrigation system works in this part of Washington state, but you can see the kind of countryside the river and its channeled water runs through.

More later....

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Saturday Photo: Le Jardin botanique, Montreal's Jewel


A good friend is visiting from out of town and we did something we hadn't done in a long time: visit Montreal's Jardin botanique.  What a delight!

Our friend had spend some time around here in the early 1970s, but she said she'd never gone there then, and I realized, too, that until I was in my late 30s and had kids, I never went looking for the loveliness of gardens.  But when the children were small the garden was free, and one of our favourite winter outings was to spend an afternoon in the green houses.  Quite wonderful to be in a tropical atmosphere when it's snowing outside!

Since then we've gone through phases when we visited frequently, but lately the press of work and other projects have pushed the Jardin to the back of our schedules.  This visit has revived our interest, and I'm sure we'll be back soon. Here's a link.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Saturday Photo: Or What Happens When the Internet Lets You Down

No picture this weekend, to show my profound disappointment that we didn't have internet for 24 hours this weekend.  Amazed at how much we have come to fit regular views of news sites, Facebook and e-mail into the fabric of our lives.

Things are back to normal, which means I can waste more time than I should following links to interesting sites....