Friday, October 24, 2008

Crossings colour

I did get at least one picture of fall colour before the wind started whipping the leaves off all the trees. I took this last Friday at the edge of (believe it or not) Dartmouth Crossings. You can find beauty in odd places, even though the park itself looks like one giant scar on the landscape. (Dartmouth Crossings is a big-box store commercial park, for those of you not from around here)

Dusk glow

I actually give Dartmouth Crossings credit for their plant selection for the medians and sidewalk plantings in the park. They have lots of grasses and hardy roses and even Russian sage and profusely flowering lavender, and the shrubs and trees are all well chosen for their fully grown size. I have been known to grab a few lavender flower stalks on occasion, they make the car smell heavenly. I have to approve lavender in a business park.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Golden age of sail

Sailing is over for the year and the boat came out of the water yesterday. Today we received an email from our skipper about boat improvements, including an exciting addition to the boat* - a swanky new mainsail.

When we talk about the colour gold in autumn, we're usually talking about the changing leaves, but since I have sailing on the brain, I want to share this picture instead, taken during a race in July. The breeze can drop off dramatically in the July and August evenings. This is not usually a problem for us (so long as we stay ahead of the pack), but the slower boats are often still racing when the evening land/sea breeze change happens. This makes for a sometimes-difficult tactical decision; do you take the shortest course to the finish line, which may mean being blanketed by McNab's Island, or do you take the longer course, where there may be more wind?

golden age of sail

I'm glad I will have pictures to help me remember those golden evenings when the north wind is whipping around the eaves and blasting ice against the windows.

*exciting if you are a sailor and like high-tech sails, that is.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Refired Retired

Motoring across the harbour on Saturday morning on the way to the race start, we saw smoke coming from the Dartmouth Shipyards. Later in the day (much later - it was a long race), as we rounded the buoy at Dartmouth Cove we saw the cause of the black smoke - a Canadian Coast Guard ship, which was being refitted, was apparently/possibly the object of an arson attack. Since they moved the race finish to the Dartmouth Cove buoy, I had time after the race to take pictures.

Burned-out ships aren't normally my preferred photo subjects. I prefer flowers and kitty cats and teddy-bears, dontcha know. But my mother likes to document odd things - dead rats, broken appliances, that sort of thing - so I thought she might appreciate some pictures of the ship, since she was not sailing with us. And since I don't have any other pictures from this past Thanksgiving and birthday weekend, you get to see one too.

Refit up in flames

Friday, October 10, 2008

On cats

I know I mentioned it before, but I have a lovely cat. I have had her for just over five years now, and she gets more delightful every year. Of course, the hairballs, shedding, and litter box remains the same, but that's cat ownership for you, especially if it's a long-haired tortie in question. These are sacrifices I am willing to make (and willing to force upon roommates or parents) because having a soft, warm cat curled up at my side, and snorgling sun-warmed fur, makes them worth it.

L.M. Montgomery was an avid cat-lover, as you probably noticed if you have read any of her novels (primarily beyond the Anne books, although the story of Rusty in Anne of the Island shows that L.M.M. was more sympathetic to cats than Anne was). The Emily trilogy is full of adorable cats, and The Blue Castle
is not devoid of cat-worshiping as well. I particularly like Valancy's observation that,

"People who don't like cats always seem to think that there is some peculiar virtue in not liking them."

(If I were writing an academic paper right now I'd have to 'explain the significance' of the quotation, but I'll just let you puzzle that out.)

Montgomery put her cats' fur in her scrapbooks. I'm rather comforted to learn I'm not the only weirdo who saves their cat's fur. I have fur from my dear departeds, Dusty and Willow, in a little keepsake somewhere in among my many storage boxes. Did I read too many Dickens novels growing up? Am I a hair away from Victorian mourning lockets? Maybe I was just channeling L.M.M.

And, of course, this blog post is cat-themed, because I plan on sharing a picture of Olivia. I make no apology, first, because I've already shared my wacky cat-love above, second, because I haven't shared a cat picture in a long while, and finally, because Livy is Totally Cute.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Quarter Century musings

It's the end of the sailing season and the end of a quarter century for me. We have two races left, and I am turning a majestic and impressive (hah) twenty-five.

Sometimes I feel a little sad, pensive, and quite frankly, 'failed,' when I consider the last three years. I don't know that I have done enough to have really "earned" 25, and it's a little depressing to turn a personal milestone while feeling that I haven't achieved enough (without firm goals, it's hard to measure my amount of success or failure, but I am, overall, dissatisfied). If I were going to be morbid (I just finished re-reading North and South, and poor Miss Hale is bombarded by death, hence the direction of my thoughts), I would make a comparison between "milestones" and gravestones, or maybe millstones, you know, the road of life and its markers, things that weigh us down, etc., etc., but I know you all come here for my sparkling wit and steady optimism, so you can just pretend I didn't say that.

low tide at night

Because other times, I'm just really grateful that I am able to spend another year in a province that I love, and my heart just expands with thankfulness and joy in living and liking living and being alive and seeing other live things and watching the seasons turn and laughing at myself and daydreaming and, well, generally when I am in a good mood my thoughts get a little fragmented, but I start to feel like maybe enjoying life is enough. Then I take a picture of our yard monster:

Seed monster

It's Calendu-La, the wicked seedster! Beware his wrath and spiny talons. Rawr!