The yin and yang of autumn leaves

So beautiful!  The crown of the year…don’t you think if some sort of future climate change meant that we stopped having autumn colours it would be a great sadness.  The whole character of the country would change, I believe.  For me there’s a hypnotic mood in looking at the leaves and trying to name the varied beauty.  The words can’t convey the crazy glory of the situation.  There are a lot of trees around.  The conifers provide a dark anchor for gold, crimson, scarlet, oak brown, mustard yellow, rose, interspersed with pale green holdouts.  As the season continues, leaves flurry down like doomed butterflies, like coloured snowflakes ironically foreshadowing what is to come. But every royal robe has it’s seamy side, after all.

A few acres of nicely wooded property magically accumulates a lot of fallen leaves.  Leaving it all to nature would mean in Spring a slimy black and heavy mess all over the land.  It’s a bit like a fairy story in reverse.  You start out with mounds of brilliant treasure and after a long snowy winter you end up with ……well, better to put on your cute hat, grab the rake and get into it.

Manage that magnificence.  Rake up the royal robes of Nature.  Crush the crown of the year with the riding lawn mower and turn that glory into mulch.  Caught between splendour and practicality…..the Canadian fall dilemma.

Climate, an element of freedom




You’ll have to take my word for it.  A hummingbird visited this feeder several times yesterday.  I was never quick enough to catch it in a photo.  I sit up on the roof garden of my little apartment and hear birds, music, the recorded messages of gas or water trucks passing by, the calls of children.  Although it is a little cool at night, the sun is quite warm.  Most of the plants up here are dreadfully neglected yet they seem to thrive.

Yesterday I went one a tour of two homes in the area.  Both were decorated to dizzying effect.  Don’t get me wrong, I love colourful homes.  However, I would like the effect to be simply joyful.  Sometimes, more is too much – not less.  The picture below is of a ceiling.  It is covered with ribbon, wire and jewels.  Anyone who knows me will agree that dust is not one of my life preoccupations but the concern did cross my mind when I was confronted with this ceiling treatment.  As for the mosaics, they were truly wonderful, and the work of a lifetime, no doubt.  I like decor to be the expression of a joyful spirit but this was a bit manic for my taste. I know this is simply my weakness — the first time I visited a Costco, Ihad to leave in a hurry— overwhelmed.  I lack capacity to take it all in.  My limitation, no doubt.

I think the hummingbird has the right idea…just a fleeting glimpse of emerald feathers, a pause to be sure I really ” got it” and then off!  In all cases, the mild climate gives animals, plants and humans the freedom to live outdoors.  The results vary.

More Graffiti Mexico 2016


Oh, just to let you know, it wasn’t the Mexican army waking me up at 5 am but a group of pilgrims from the local high school setting off for Leon, an hour and a half drive from here.  I guess they were getting the jump on Lent.  Last year we saw loads of processions in February, but it’s not time yet.  Must investigate. It was quite a fanfare to make and at such an ungodly (!) hour.

So so here are more examples of wall art.  You can see the stencil for the black on yellow one.

Mexican Graffiti 2016


Yesterday I walked around with my friend in her neighborhood of “Guadalupe”.  Every year there is a project to paint new pieces on the walls of different houses or the long walls that surround schools, sports fields etc.  I had seen the finished products last year but I was very glad to have the opportunity to see some of the young artists in action.  They all were young!  Climbing up ladders, fumes, who knows!  So, here are a few examples.  You will notice one unfinished piece with a tiled image of the virgin of Guadalupe on the wall.  Can you see how this will be integrated into the finished picture.?  Watching the proceedings here was the householder, sitting in a lawn chair on the opposite shady side of the street.  She had requested that her house be  painted for a couple of years and finally it was her turn!  She was very happy and explained to us that she had no control or editorial privileges as to color or content of the painting.  Surely an act of faith and respect for artistic freedom.  I think what was produced on her walls was beautiful and I would have been very glad to have seen that on the side of my house.  Others were not so much to my taste but as she put it, that is the price of being an unbiased patron.

I think the Mexicans must celebrate the setting of the full moon.  A full platoon of the Mexican army advanced down a nearby Main Street banging many drums  at 5 am this morning.  They ended up in a soccer field nearby where they continued to ” practice” their music and to set off many firecrackers and fireworks.  After having been frightened out a deep morning sleep ( you know, the best kind) by the prospect of imminent invasion, I braved the gas heater and began this blessed Sunday.

You  will find other examples of graffiti without comment in the next post.