I promised you these

image                                                                                         image

A shame it was a white sky day in Montreal yesterday. I cannot imagine how much longer the snow will stay on branches around here. Already simple evaporation and the weight of the snow is changing the strange sculptures we see around us. These pictures certainly would have been more spectacular with a blue sky but, there you are, sometimes we have to take what we can get. I love the old red stone mansion, high on the hill with its guardian fir trees and I included the spectacular overhang at the police station up on Mount Royal. That is enough to discourage me from going in. The whole roof snow -cover had slid down, hung the wind-formed icicles and now is suspended about two feet over the main entrance. The Narnia road shot is from the top reaches of the cemetery. I went to place an evergreen decoration and had to wade through knee -deep snow, floundering about in the almost obliterated markers until I found the right stone. A good day to look at snow.


The practicalities of snow


Ah, and after the enchantment, the magic, the joy evoked by the first snow storm, comes . . . . the issue of parking. For two days I have been getting around by public transportation and leaving my little red car safe in her increasingly snow-encumbered spot outside my house. Yesterday after helping a lady who had decided to postpone putting on her snow tires get out of her spot, I swapped places and felt very smug. We had shovelled and salted a good exit route. All was well.

When I got home, I found that the city had posted for snow cleaning. I had to move before 7 am. Now, I could wait and see what spots opened up on the un posted side of my own street as people went off to work, but, being the early bird I am, I tooled around and found a nice legal spot a block away. Good enough for me!

The image shows my neighbour. He’s a guy over 70 who decided to dig his own legal spot right across the street from where he is parked right now. I prefer to take my chances over shovelling wet snow for half an hour. Of course, it does raise the problem of who ” owns” the shovelled-out spot. I’ve seen a couple of ugly incidents when two circling motorists spotted the same opportunity. Certainly this morning I pulled an illegal u-turn in the middle of an intersection to get my safe harbour. Well, it was very early, after all. I have a feeling my neighbour will not be happy to see any other car in his little alcove over the next day or so. So, hurry up City of Montreal and plough both sides of the street.

Maybe my friend who moved to Mexico had the right idea!

Snow Bike


Speeding along in summer and in the breezy haze
Of autumn colors, golden leaves flung up
By your spinning wheels.
Did you dream, in a shredded feather dream
Of your fixed immobility on this street-light lit night?
I think not.  I think you flew along in the
Zen moment of rolling the kilometers under your two wheels.
And now your two wheels are under
The light turned to heavy
The sprite turned to statue
The speed turned to solid
This too a Zen moment but something you did not expect
But it was made for you, snow bike

Krieghoff Sky






Sometimes early in the early winter morning

the cold sky is just as he saw it.

Clouds, grey and while or pink, pearly with the early sun

and framed with winter trees, like besom brooms or fir trees

or twisted twigs, black against the miracle morning sky.

The untouched blue that will change, deepen with the light of day.

Yes, just as he saw it.

How he stood in his heavy woolen coat trimmed with bear or beaver,

His feet in good moccasins fashioned by some Kanawake woman

and a fur cap to save his ears from the roaring wind.

How he stood to look, to remember the moving clouds, the piled snow

the native, the trapper and the basket woman and the habitant.

Far from his Dutch still life studies. Here he stood to remember and render

this sky in his studio.  Pictures to sell to the British soldiers

To the landed French.

Ah, did you know Cornelius that your cold Quebec skies keep company now

in old Beaverbrook’s Museum with Constable, with Gainsborough and with Dali.

No care for that now for the wind is cutting this early pearly-sky morning.

Here I stand where he stood, under the Krieghoff sky.