Friday, February 29, 2008

It's a wild party!

One of my earliest memories of my older brother involves this mean little game. He hid under the feather blanket (we called it a 'plumo') and said there was an amazing party going on under there. Then I would stick my head under the plumo, and experience nothing but dark and silence. Of course I protested and said there was no party; to which he replied, yes there is, but you're not invited so when you show up everybody goes away. After which he stuck his head under the plumo again and bragged about this fantastic party.
On February 9th, my husband and I took the dogs out for a ski run on the ORTA Hiking Trail. It was a dark and gloomy day, beginning with damp mist, changing to sleet and finishing up with rain. All the trees were clad with a dense layer of mounding snow beneath which lay impenetrable blackness. The dogs were utterly fascinated and, oblivious to our presence, continually disappeared into the netherworld of the forest. By their extreme level of excitement, it was obvious there was something wonderful happening under there, but, being merely human, I saw and heard nothing of interest.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Zoo Day--You Are Invited

My big brother lives in Toronto, less than an hour drive from my home, but somehow, we only manage to get together once a year. Whenever that happens, we have a great time, swear we should do this more often, but then it never happens. Christmas used to be the excuse we needed, then it was New Years Eve, and now the latest tradition is a day at the zoo over the Easter Weekend. It fits in with our schedule.
Now, neither of us like telephones much, either, and answering machines even less (though we both own one), and he doesn't have email. To get around this problem, I send invites via mail (yes, you know, a big piece of paper, sealed in an envelope, lick a stamp, drop it in a box, yeah, that kind of mail).
Here's this years invitation; being made for my big brother, I couldn't help but be a bit cheeky about it.
Pencil crayon of blue paper.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

I actually managed to stay awake for this one! I do vaguely recall a summer night, long ago, sitting in a lawn chair staring up at the unchanging sky awaiting the lunar eclipse. Finally, with sleepy sore watering eyes, I squinted at my watch and realized I'd missed the entire event.
This time the eclipse arrived conveniently at 8:43pm (Feb20-2008) with clear skies. I bundled up in triple layers of clothes, dressed my youngest dog, Dynamo, in a fleece vest, and, with husband in tow, headed to a nearby field. It was cold, and slightly breezy. We kept busy walking about, looking for the darkest section of sky (a path between pines that obscured the light haze from Toronto), and watched the moon get nibbled at. As we settled into our space, the dog got bored and began biting at the crusted snow. While this activity kept her amused (she has absolutely no interest in astronomical phenomenon) it must have chilled her to the bone. Next time I looked, she was gingerly holding a paw in the air and violently shivering. Since I had no intention of missing the event this time around, I wrapped her in my quilted turquoise coat. The sky went dark, the moon turned rusty, and the dog did not get frost-bite.
Pencil Crayon on black paper.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bright Sky

The air was crisp and cold. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue, so saturated it looked like fresh spilled paint. Translucent clouds billowed across the sky and moved on. I haven't seen such bright sunshine for many months. The winter light is changing everyday.
This is a valley in the Hall Tract, of York Regional Forest, the trail runs parallel to McCowan Road, facing South.
Pencil crayon.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Warm Front

The sky holds clues: the hazy sky and undefined cloud forms depict the visible edge of a warm front moving into the area. The next day the temperatures rose to an unseasonable 10C. Next time you need a weather report--look up.
This is yet another scene from the east side of the Hollidge Tract, York Regional Forest. Pencil crayon.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Taste of Summer

If this image looks a little chilly, remember that my idea of summer is sprinkle of snow on a late September morning. I love holidays at the very tail end of summer, and travel north in hopes of cooler temperatures. Last year's holiday was the coldest to date; it was too cold for swimming, and my super-thermal long-johns had an extensive workout. While it was cold and rainy most of the time, it was as enjoyable as ever. Lighthouse Point, Killarney, Ontario.

Winter Sun

Early Winter darkness offers plenty of opportunity to enjoy a sunset. This one is from the Eastern end of the Hollidge Tract, York Regional Forest. It's part of the Oak Ridges Moraine Hiking Trail.
Pencil crayon on paper.

Keeping Warm

Here's a quick pencil sketch of cats piling up on the spare blanket--all three of them; and no, I'm not planning on acquiring more.


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