Featured post

Early morning thoughts on rainbows, bicycles, email...

This picture captured me this morning.

The elements came together. Rainbow, shining birds, stormy and clear sky, light, dark, river, bicycle, the University of Alberta, a man with orange hat, arms crossed, standing in witness. In the bottom right corner a kind of shadow signature.

I thought: How lovely it is to know how to ride a bicycle so that you can easily stop riding a bicycle and stand and watch a rainbow when your heart tells you to stop and watch a rainbow.

I took the picture and then took a chance.

"Hello," I said to the man with the orange hat.  He took an earbud out of his right ear.  "Hi. I took a pic and you might like it and if you do, here, take my phone and email it to yourself."

He looked at the picture and smiled and said wow or that's cool and he took the offered device and entered his email address. While this was was happening, my friend Maryanne recorded the scene of two men, two rainbows, one phone.

The man in the orange hat said thank y…

Oliverbahn 101. (Okay, 102 :)

The "Oliverbahn" is a stretch of protected, treed, life-lined bicycle lane that runs along the north side of 102 Ave through Edmonton's Oliver neighbourhood. There is a lot to notice and consider on the way to and from the city's downtown core. Today, I saw:

A neighbourhood that provides space for pedestrians, bicycle riders, bus passengers, motorists, and, with all the stately elm trees, birds.

Families awheel.

Homes for fans of Hobbiton.


Two built for a bicycle built for two.

The cool Lord Simcoe apartment font on brick.

Trees with bark and bite.

Walkers who wave hello.

Automobile drivers who wave hello.

A boy who says "cool bike" to his mom about me and hears me say "cool bike" right back to him.

People on bikes.

The 1913 telephone exchange building by Alan Jeffers.

Signed but self-regulated intersections that reveal where we're at with each other:

People on bikes:

A tipi above the hedgeline in the Christ Church yard:

At the end o…

The elephant in the alley

The first time I saw the toy elephant was a month ago. It was lying on its side in a patch of grass and leaves and twigs in the alley behind our house. That seemed wrong.  I put the plastic creature on its feet. Every morning walking to the bus, every evening coming back from the bus I glanced down to make sure it was still there. And until yesterday, it was.

Yesterday when I came home there it was—in 34 pieces. Run over by a car? Smashed to pieces by someone's boot? What happened?

I bent down and carefully picked up the shards and then carried them in a cupped hand into the house. There was never any question that I would glue the pieces back into some kind of form. I laid them out on a paper towel. Shelagh is in Minneapolis.

I bought three tubes of Krazy Glue. (As I write this blog post there is still a distinct elephant glue aroma in the room.) I looked at the pieces until they began to resolve themselves into head, body and legs. The I re-constructed the miniature creature, h…

A little bike ride in Edmonton

Today was the perfect day for a little bike trip along the downtown network in sunny Edmonton.

I enjoy the view of the towers from the 105 Ave path near 110 St. I have long felt that bicycle riders, not sealed under roof and behind glass, have a special relationship with the road. Bicycle forks sing the rhythm of the road into the bones of the city rider. It's a kind of rock music.

From 110 St, the bicycle rider can reflect on the passage of things as traffic streams by MacEwan University. The railroad used to be there. 

On 103 St, the trees are in photosynthesis overdrive. Street and trees and people. That's what cities are made of. Or, if streets are, as they are, unimaginable without trees, then cities are made of streets and people. Artifice and nature. Dirt, bark, leaf, concrete, asphalt, steel, glass, rebar, rubber, wood, brick, stucco, polyvinyl chloride, dreams, hopes, blood, bones. And good dogs. 

And people.  We met Mark on the Jasper Avenue.

And Claire on 100 Avenu…

Weekend in Jasper

We are back from the Jasper Park Lodge. This was Lac Beauvert being mirror to the mountains. Here are some other stills.

The air was very clear as we moved through the Obed heights.

The Hinton Eye.

A roadside traffic sign blinked Sharp Shoulders at the instant Andy Maize sang My shoulder still burns...
My shoulder does still burn. Shelagh drove there and back.

Approaching Jasper is a joy in any season. We kept asking ourselves this time if we were just imagining the sky was brighter. It seemed vision went farther. The air was brilliant.

The bar at the lodge. Two pints of Village Blonde. I looked for shapes in whatever the term is for the beer residue inside the glass. I saw a coyote nosing a buffalo skull. What does this mean?

Fur remained fashionable.

This was a pic of the watery mountains and trees and moon flipped to appear to be the things and not the reflections.

We stayed  put. We didn't hike. We didn't walk. We didn't go to a movie. We just sat there and watched th…