Monday, April 30, 2012

A Dose of Cute and a Soapbox

Today while I was driving, I ran into my friend Ian from Tailcreek Kennels. He told me he had a couple of new additions to their family and invited me for a puppy break. I did a 180 and followed him.
Fortunately I had my camera.
Here's a dose of cute for you.
This is the coy miss Cinder. She is 10 months old and is a little shy of cameras at first.

And here are the new kids, Mabel, the smallest is 8 weeks old. And Knox is 10 weeks.

Here's big daddy Chuma. I just love his wrinkly face.

Oh, Cinder has come out to say hi.  She gave me a kiss. She reminds me of Cricket a little.

Here's big boy Knox, tumbling over to play with Mabel.

I think this is Mabel, chewing my finger with her little puppy teeth. What a sweetie.

Big Knox again, with a purposeful stride....

to tackle Mabel for some playtime.

Then it was back across the valley for me.

Here's the dead snake's latest resting place (until I fling it back outside into the dead grass).

That book is great by the way. It has a lot of good reproductions of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson. I've lately been reading a lot about Thomson, and I just finished "Northern Light" by Roy MacGregor which is an investigation into Thomson's death.

In school we were taught that Thomson "drowned mysteriously" in Algonquin Park. MacGregor's book investigates that claim, and shows it is most likely that he was murdered, and the cause of his death was incompetently dealt with by all the authorities involved. I doubt if that would happen now, but in those days (in 1917) things were run by old boys and all kinds of patriarchal attitudes got in the way. It was such a tragedy that Canada lost a brilliant artist because of someone's rage, and that he wasn't allowed to live out his career and talent, nor was he even mourned properly. He was dismissed by history, except insofar as he made art collectors wealthy by a manufactured mystique based on a mysterious and premature death.

The art business is corrupt. Time and again you hear of starving artists and wealthy collectors as if that is the order of nature. I think artists ought not to sell their works, but lease them and retain 50% of the value for themselves and their estates over each transaction.

My dead snake therefore represents the Art Establishment leaching out (or leeching more likely) money to the middleman from the ones who most deserve remuneration, the creators themselves.  Maybe I should sell its juxtaposition and call myself a "conceptual artist".  (That's snarkasm).


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Habits of Dogs

 Daisy looks so peaceful, sleeping on the wicker chair. Wait, what's that?

What is she sleeping with?

Oh, the dead snake from the front lawn. Of course. Who wouldn't want to sleep with a dead snake?  Just to keep it safe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tanglewood Tarns

When I was a kid, I used to get up early before the rest of the family and sit in my favorite wingback armchair and read Edgar Allan Poe. He used to love to describe ponds as "tarns". They were always bleak and dismal. Our slough in the back reminded me of Poe today, it was a dreary day.

The crook back trees added to the gloom.

In spite of the gray skies and spooky forest, there were some interesting things in the woods. At first I noticed the various interesting forms of tree funghi. These look like noses.

This like a frilled cravat.

maybe an elephant's foot...

and these like little balconies, on a tree by a tarn

This tree grew twisted

And this was very mysterious. It was a huge area of deer hair. It looked like a deer had laid down and got up leaving a pile of fur behind. There was no sign that it had rubbed it off, it just shed it. It didn't seem to be the leavings of a coyote meal, there were no other signs of an animal about, no bones, no antlers. There was no skin, just little clumps of guard hairs, mostly white.

I liked the red lichen that grew in one knothole on this log.

And finally, Kylie found the foxhole over by the tarn in the first picture. She took a good sniff, and concluded that it wasn't in use at the moment.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


It's the anniversary of the Titanic's sinking.

I think what fascinates me about it all is how you can one minute be happy and in the midst of luxury or comfort and the next clinging to life or sinking in the ocean. And the notion that something that large sank with all its objects makes it seem like a museum entombed in depths just out of reach, like death itself.

Imagine you were deep in the water there, able to see in the dark, and watch all of it sink; seeing a plate, for example, drifting slowly downward for a mile to the bottom. Seeing the massive vessel spill its contents slowly, or in a submerged cabin, seeing clothing and lamps and beds and chairs, a tray of glasses or sandwiches floating for a moment in the water before diving. The twisting thunderous sounds it would have made.

I always think of the poor dogs on board. It would have killed me to have had Miranda there for example, I would have blamed myself so much. I would have stayed with her no matter what. How horrible to be with loved ones and not be able to save them.

I fell through lake ice when I was a child. When you fall into water that cold it is like a million knives cutting into your flesh at first, then a burning numbness, and finally nothing.

Everything on board the Titanic was doomed. I think that fascinates somehow, you wish you could turn time backward, even just a few minutes. I am sure everyone has had the experience of wishing to go back a few moments in  time and feeling the anguish and futility of that wish.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April is the Cruellest Month

Does anyone read TS Eliot anymore? I always had a hard time with poets who wrote from a religious perspective.  All their baggage is given undeserved weight.

But this is a weather update, so on to reality. Last night, the fields were brown with a few touches of green in the wet spots.

Today at 730 am they are like this. The view is from inside the parlour window. The temps are hovering at zero so the snow is sticky. We are having strong NW winds, blowing wet snow.

The front yard looks a lot like the painting I'm working on the last post.

Hopefully it will turn to rain this afternoon.