Thursday, November 17, 2011

The last of fall

It feels like summer was late arriving in Vancouver, but hung on tightly in September  with a last glorious burst at the end there. Then fall happened all of a sudden. On the 17th of November we had the first snow (snow on the mountains doesn't quite count). At my school it snowed at home time. What a thrill! A lovely thin white dusting of snow. It looked like they had received some new electronics in heaven and the polystyrene packaging was being (carelessly, though undeniably beautifully) thrown down to Earth in the frenzied excitement of the angels. I need to add this type of snow to my other technical drawings. (A few days later we had even more snow - this time it was shaved ice style.) Perhaps there will be a thesis in this work one day... Anyhow, to keep the colour lasting a little longer, here is some more of this magnificent time they call fall (it's always been autumn to me) as we welcome in Winter and the Advent season.
This last image is the view out our kitchen window. A few windy days was the only difference between the first and last picture. One upside to the bare branches is a better view of the city and mountains.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Laundromat sketches

Ok so only the top one was actually from the laundromat this Saturday but I found the others in my sketchbook from over the summer. The "Washing Well" as it's called down the road (as we don't have a laundry facility at our new place) fluctuates in my mind from being a really novel and exciting local hang-out, to a massive drag (lugging 2 large baskets down our slippery stairs (landing flat on my bum), walking in the pouring rain etc... you get the idea). I'm going to make a point of enjoying this time though. Cup of tea, sea salt chocolate and a sketchbook should help...!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Granulated white sugar snow

sparkles-on-twigI love the way untouched snow sparkles in the sunlight. Like finely granulated white sugar. sparkles-in-focus
Last Sunday we visited Cypress Mountain to collect our ski/snow-board passes and to see the first snow of the winter. We walked a trail I had been on with my school kids a month or so earlier. Now the track was icy and the lake was frozen over. The yew trees are beginning to bow under the delightful burden of snow. It's still fall in the city, but winter has arrived in the mountains! As we've been dedicating our Sunday Sabbaths to ceasing from work and study, resting and celebration, Sunday is also our day to explore creation. This Sunday we hope to get back on our snowboards again - Yipee.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


the mustardy house on the right is ours
this is the view from the balcony off our bedroom
This is my first Fall. In Brisbane, back home, what we call Autumn is a lovely season of cooling down for the winter but there aren't a great deal of noticeable changes. Trees don't lose their leaves. So, I love seeing changes around Vancouver as the trees tell us it is time to get ready for the shorter days, the cold and the rain. I think it's beautiful that even in a busy city, the trees are still so connected to the cycles of life on this Earth that we can't avoid the messages they tell us.

Kicking and crunching leaves is something I do with the enthusiasm of a child. I've never had to rake leaves off the pavement before so thankfully our neighbour Annie is friendly and helpful (and patient) and has lent me their rake and some technique training for filling bags. Through Sunday afternoon leaf raking I was also able to meet our neighbours from 2 doors down who have lived in this neighbourhood (same house) for 63 years. I hope to hear their stories some day. I'm saving the leaves in garbage bags for our compost throughout the year.

One afternoon recently when admiring colourful* leaves I had the realisation* that the more they change colour, the more they fall and thus loose their colour and before long the branches will be completely bare - for many long winter months. People do get a little sad about the winter here, and I was really feeling for those naked branches until I saw the first new snow on the mountains driving to work last week. I was cured of any winter sadness. The trees will be beautiful, are beautiful, even in their bareness. I love the change of seasons, there is something to be loved about all of the different times of year.

*I think it's great that Canadians and Australians share many spellings, where Americans don't.