Sunday, 25 September 2022

Saturday Photo: Stars of the End of Summer

This is the time for asters, whose name reflect how heavenly they are!

Monday, 19 September 2022

Saturday Photo: Queen Anne's Lace for a Time When the Monarchy Is in View

Seventy years is a long a time to stay at the same job, but that's what Elizabeth II did.  There is so much about her reign and her successor in the media this week that is hard to not to think about it and her.

My contribution is this photo of the perennial plant, Queen Anne's lace, which is just finishing up its reign as queen of wild spaces just now.  A member of the carrot family, it supposedly is named after Queen Anne, the wife of England's King James II. She wore a lot of lace ,it seems.  

The connection with the monarchy is clear, and so is the beauty of the plant.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Saturday Photo: Showing the Way

When you get to the end of the road at Kegaska, you can continue by going out to sea.  Manypeople must have considered doingtht, becausethe harbourhas many inukshuk, those Inuit cairns, that show the way.  


Saturday, 3 September 2022

Saturday Photo: The End of Highway 138, a Great Trip

 I'm surprised that it's been so long since I last posted, but here is a photo of part of the reason: our trip to Quebec's Côte Nord.  

This is as far as you can go on a road up the north shore of the St. Lawrence river. To reach the small villages beyond, you have to take a boat, or fly in.

Kegaska is about 1300 km from Montreal, and we took three days to get there and eight days to come back.  Wonderful weather, great scenery and generally a good time.  

More photos to come, as fall approaches and the world closes in upon us.

When a Veil Is Not a Veil: Fashion, Modesty and Evolving Rules

Just as France begins to consider prohibiting women from wearing niqab, or a full veil, fashion designer Riccardo Tisci features a very attractive young woman wearing a sort of pseudo-veil in his new collection for Givenchy, seen at left as shown in The Globe and Mail. The juxtaposition throws a spotlight on the place where fashion and ideas about modesty—religious or not—intersect. As I’ve said before here, wearing a veil may be a signal of Muslim belief in some quarters, but it doesn’t stop women from caring about how they look. And, as I’ve just learned, the veil is not only a Muslim thing. It has been a strategy to avoid harrassment in other places, and has gone through some interesting transformations elsewhere too. I’m reading Louise Levathes’ fascinating When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433 as I research my book about the Portuguese Making Waves. After the great period of Chinese maritime adventure, its defences against attack from the sea declined until its coastal areas were prey for pirates and raiders in the 16th century, frequently called wako. “China’s coastal famers and fishermen...who had been robbed of their livelihood as well as, at times, their wives or daughters, never forgot the wako. Young girls in the Hui’an peninsula ... to this day tie blue scarfs tightly around their heads, hiding their has become the local fashion,” she writes. “But the stories, passed down for generations in villages, of a time when yong women fled from the lecherous glances of the bandits who came from across the sea in ships with red sails, have not died.” Hui’an women are reputed for their beauty, and now wear very short jackets which show their navels along with their scarves. “Sexy Lady on the Sunny Beach – Hui'an Women” one story about their traditional dress says. Fashion trumps all! Photos of Hui'an women from and Photo of Tisci creation from Note from March 6, 2011: for more about Muslim women, the veil and female affirmation see "Good News from the Arab Spring Revolutions: "When Women Change, Everything Changes."