findingexpression

awe, humility, hope and a few other things I might notice


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No signs of Spring

Long sigh. I love winter, but… these are our only signs of Spring so far, in addition to the bird chirping in the morning which is lovely.

See the spot of the river where the water is not frozen…

And then there are the occasional sightings of bare ground on driveways.

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I know it has not snowed overnight by seeing the oasis of a bare patch outside where you can see the road. Amazing.

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Branches, berries and burrs

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Winters colors. Beyond the white out conditions and the grey skies on less dramatic days there are many colors to be found in winter and they brighten my spirit with their boldness.

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Does anyone know what each of these are? The red berries may simply be called winter berry and the orange may be bittersweet.

How about these?
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What wondrous things are you finding outside in winter?


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Photographic excerpts from TransCanada

Trucking from Montreal to Vancouver. It was my first cross-Canada trip and the sights were amazing. I captured a few images while bouncing along in the passenger seat. See my August post for more details on our trip. Suffice it to say that I don’t want to go by truck again. There was almost no time to see the sights or get to know the countryside, but enough to be in awe of its beauty. If we ever go again I would bring containers to pick blackberries, a good appetite to eat the blueberries from the roadside stands, a traveling coffee maker (nothing out there except the few and far between Tim Horton’s stops) and hiking boots to explore the land. Probably some mosquito repellent too and a jacket! It was cold even in August. And we would take time, lots and lots of time.

Lake Superior. We drove the long route, somewhat by mistake, but what a beautiful view for days along the lake. I spent hours dreaming of buying a cabin, bringing up 3 months of supplies and settling in. Winter would be a major challenge though. It was already cold at night in August. Isolated, but beautiful.

Lake Superior. We drove the long route, somewhat by mistake, but what a beautiful view for days along the lake. I spent hours dreaming of buying a cabin, bringing up 3 months of supplies and settling in. Winter would be a major challenge though. It was already cold at night in August. Isolated, but beautiful.

Long long way through Ontario. Forests for 2 days. This was one of the most open views on that part of the highway. Most of the time it was wall to wall trees or the lake.

Long long way through Ontario. Forests for 2 days. This was one of the most open views on that part of the highway. Most of the time it was wall to wall trees or the lake.

Never did get to see a moose. This was good fortune for driving, but unlucky for the naturalist in me. We later saw signs for bear, elk, and cougar. We did get to see 5 big horn sheep taking a picnic on 3 feet of ledge near Golden, BC.

Never did get to see a moose. This was good fortune for driving, but unlucky for the naturalist in me. We later saw signs for bear, elk, and cougar. We did get to see 5 big horn sheep taking a picnic on 3 feet of ledge near Golden, BC.

A winter sentinel. Even the small towns had some kind of mascot in the town common.

A winter sentinel. Even the small towns had some kind of mascot in the town common.

Rural Saskatchewan. Wide open and hay beyond all imagination.

Rural Saskatchewan. Wide open and hay beyond all imagination.

Dusk on hay fields.

Dusk on hay fields.

around and around we went

around and around we went

slowly

slowly

speechless

speechless

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took a break to smell the flowers

took a break to smell the flowers

Pacific coast

Pacific coast

Burnaby Central Park- filled with Sequoas and enough blackberries to fill several containers. Blackberries seemed to line every road side, yard and field.

Burnaby Central Park- filled with Sequoas and enough blackberries to fill several containers. Blackberries seemed to line every road side, yard and field.

What we brought back from Vancouver- cedar trees. That's a mighty long hike to the East coast (courtesy of Loblaws).

What we brought back from Vancouver- cedar trees. That’s a mighty long hike to the East coast (courtesy of Loblaws).

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popular advice column

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popular advice column

Popular advice column, seen in a lobby at a southern Ontario truck stop

I have previously posted some of my photos from our trucking adventures but will try to add in a little story here and there. At first going along in the truck was a jaunt, then a pain in the butt from sitting for so long, a serviceful journey to help my husband get through his work day, sometimes a slog, and now perhaps a journal of what I see around the US in places I would otherwise probably never go.  It always, well, almost always brings new sights, people and an evolution in our relationship as well. How could it be anything less when you are sitting next to someone for 12-14 hours a day, sleeping in a slightly larger than twin mattress and otherwise sharing in something akin to camping in a moving vehicle.

I don’t know if we belong to trucking culture, or if we are simply a segment off in the corner. Well, that’s me anyway, as a small billboard somewhere outside of Little Rock Arkansas told me recently, reading my mind and my heart at once-

“Observer”

That was the only word on the sign, posted for me; a job title, a life’s path, an accusation, or a statement of simple truth.

Like the gentleman who called out to me as I walked out of the shower hallway, through the driver’s lounge: “Feel better now” he said. I felt confronted and revealed in an uncomfortable way the moment he said it, a man sitting in a large room with 20 or more other men, me, a woman with a turban and a fresh face walking out from a shower, but I knew he meant it kindly. Yeah, I did feel better. And I feel better with a little time and observation that although the trucking pictures are far from great, they are shaken and tilted and have bug guts on the windows and reflections from the sun and metal, but these are what I see.  So now I include the reflections, the mirrors of the truck, the corner with my own fingers wrapped around the camera. I want the viewer to know how I see it, imprecise, blurred, raw, messy sometimes and beautiful all the same.


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Photo blog Southerly travels Spring 2013

My husband and I recently returned from 3 weeks of trucking through the south. Most of my new sights were in NC, SC and around Augusta, GA. I wish I could get out more and take pictures on the ground and the really wild places I saw, but here is what I have from our moving (up down and bouncing around mind you) adventures.

Of course we saw a very very small portion of these states and all from a roadside
point of view, but my initial impressions were that NC is more prosperous, quaint, more organized, cared for.
SC is a bit wild, isolated in its abandoned aloneness, not in any mean spiritedness.
That said, we did travel through a town that looked quite prosperous and quaint more like NC. I would love to see Charleston some day.

We traveled around Augusta GA, on the border of SC, the Savannah river area. There were entire rows of boarded up houses,
a multitude of shops selling vast quantities of car tires and lots of box stores and industry. We did not get into downtown Augusta or even near its true suburbs.

I loved the wildness of it.

I was surprised by the flatness of it- it was sandy and clay soil and nearly flat like Kansas yet still far from the coast.
There were vast areas of forest, fields, lots of farming (cotton, tobacco, wheat…). We picked up a load of carrots and another of sweet potatoes. We carried down 2 loads of chocolate chips to the Kellogg plant and absorbent pulp to a decimated factory for diapers- they had something like 1200 employees now it is only 60. On the day we delivered we only saw 3 people working. Tons of not only abandoned houses but small and large businesses, buildings, factories, schools, hospitals. I imagined the difficulty of finding good jobs, the importance of an anchor of industry or technology economy, the modest but sometimes rewarding returns of a strong back of agriculture.

The humidity in summer was already discernible and the isolation extreme for us northerners for any kind of extended visit.I could envision a lovely camp on a small pond though, a retreat in spring or fall. The people were friendly, generally speaking, and I never had to open a door for myself. It was quiet and Spring was more like summer as we got farther south. I was exhilarated by the light air and ran and even skipped just for the joy of it.

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