Jack’s Walk

Fashionista with a happy tail, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This is Jack this morning and you’ll notice that his tail is out of focus. That’s because he was wagging it for the first time since his surgery last week. He had a few post-op complications, including a vein that popped out and bled for 2 days before the vet had to add 3 staples to his incision. Even after the staples were inserted the area oozed for another few days. That finally stopped on Sunday, but it wasn’t until this morning that Jack looked up at me and smiled his goofy guy smile. Now I can relax a bit. It’s another week before the stitches come out, but the incision is looking good and Jack is his usual happy self again. I’ve never been happier to have an out of focus photo.


A Spider Drops in to Visit

At some point Affinity became the go-to place for spiders and Nightjar continues this tradition with a wonderful set of photos taken at dusk.

I’ve noticed a lack of spiders on Affinity lately and since there is one currently living right in front of my bedroom window I thought I would share. I’ve only seen it after sunset, I think it’s one of those spiders that only sit in the middle of the web at night. I got home late today, saw it and went inside to grab the camera to get some silhouette shots against the evening sky, but the light faded too quickly and I had to resort to using the flash for a few more photos. The flash really brings out all those hairy and spidery details, making the last photos particularly unsafe for arachnophobes I think.

All photos are posted under the fold.

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Vanitas of Mushrooms

As tends to happen, I’d forgotten about these beauties. This is a fungal skeleton I came across one early autumn morning, and in that delicious light, it was irresistible. The word that comes to mind is fragility.

©rq, all rights reserved.

©rq, all rights reserved.

Translucency at its best.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Delicate like a thin film of soap.
©rq, all rights reserved.

One with the light.
©rq, all rights reserved.

For more mushroom fun, I found this wonderful piece:

And Sting has the perfect song for us:

Tree Tuesday


This week we have an incredible tree from Down Under that’s full of big, bright, colourful flowers, courtesy of DavidinOz.

The first 3 are of a huge Bottle Brush tree, an Australian native that has been exported to other climes.Look closely in 2 & 3 and you will see bees had at work.

4 & 5 are of a different tree, but all the better to see why they are named …. Bottle Brush.

Cheers, David

©David Brindley, all rights reserved

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A Painting

Sorry for being so quiet lately. I could explain, but there is no point to it. Sometimes I genuinely do not have the time, but mostly I just cannot muster the strength. Inspiration got away with the sun.

So today for lack of better material, here is one of my paintings from way back when I still had the strength to actually do something and managed to follow through. It does not have a name (none of my paintings has) because I do not like to prompt people what they are supposed to see and how to interpret it.

Distemper on HDF coated with bone-glue based gesso, lacquered, 610×485 mm.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Jack’s Walk


The tracks at Corner of the Beach, about 15 minutes outside of Perce, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Lack of routine maintenance now equals expensive major repairs, ©voyager, all rights reserved

When my husband was young there were daily trains going to Perce, a little town at the end of the Gaspe Peninsula. The train brought supplies and tourists and was the main form of transportation for residents of the town to get Quebec City and Montreal for specialist doctors, hospitals, shopping and schools. Over the years the trains started coming less often and finally in August of 2013 the train stopped coming at all. Today train service will only take you as far east as  Matapedia and good luck getting farther east from there because even the buses have stopped going to Perce. It’s all about economics. More people drive nowadays and there is an airport in Gaspe that handles a lot of supply and tourist traffic. Also, track maintenance is expensive and everybody thinks somebody else should pay for it. The tracks in this photo were a vital part of life in the Perce area for just about 100 years. When I first started coming here 20+ years ago we used to wave at the trains from the beach as they passed us by.  I miss that.

Closer to the Sun

I work on (essentially) the fourth floor so I have a great view of some rooftops. As we had another sunny day, I couldn’t help myself and gave the work camera another workout. Most photos below the fold, since I got a bit… carried away.

(They’re a bit of an obscure Canadian band but something about them caught my ear – their music makes me a little bit happy, a little bit upbeat, a lot like winter sunlight…)

It was much earlier in the morning – I had my fun before the work day began, and it was beautiful.
©rq, all rights reserved.

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Monday Mercurial: Bunnies don’t care for Christmas

But they did like a few days of dry weather so they could go out and munch some grass.


©Giliell, all rights reserved

Fleckchen is now almost as big as Molli and definitely as mischievous. In spring my dad will have to remove their hutches and close all their lairs and hiding places.


©Giliell, all rights reserved

Molli didn’t want to pose for a picture.


©Giliell, all rights reserved

Fleckchen didn’t care as long as I didn’t step on his grass


©Giliell, all rights reserved

Let’s Start the Week with Roses

More photos of the famous Ruston Roses courtesy of DavidinOz.  The pink roses at the end look so fresh and fragrant that I wish there was “smell-o-vision.”

Some photos showing the scale of the garden at Ruston’s Roses. You can also see the potential if the new owners succeed.


©David Brindley, all rights reserved

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A Pair of Beautiful Mornings

As promised, same time, same place… Except does the ‘same time’ argument count if it’s a few weeks later?

First, an overcast morning. I was a bit disappointed because the previous morning had been clear skies and lovely dawn colours, but as it happens, I didn’t have a camera on me – I’ve been using the work camera since the dog out country chewed up my handy little soapbox, and my phone camera has given up ages ago (the selfie camera leaves much to be desired). So I borrowed the work camera, but this particular morning insisted on a blanket of clouds. Oh well, says I.

Lovely snow everywhere. Though a bit thin.
©rq, all rights reserved.

Then I left the work camera at work, of course, and the following morning arrived – clear skies, and those lovely dawn colours through the darkness. Screw it, I thought to myself – this needs a photo. And did my best with the selfie camera on my phone. Just pretend it’s an impressionist painting, and I think you can get past the blurriness and enjoy the atmosphere.

Bit of a different angle because the photo I took from the platform was terrible. See the drama!
©rq, all rights reserved.

It was still November when I took these photos, and the picture shows, I believe, electric train cables.

I got Mail: Treasures from Across the Sea

Dear voyager sent me a parcel full of wonders and I’m going to share at least the images with you.

various goodies

All the wonderful things in one place, except for the lavender, which was stolen ba my kid.


First of all, chocolate. I’m only going to eat this once my cold has gone completely.


Unicorn magnets. If the kids behave I will share. I’ll probably put some into their advent calendar.


Postcards and a roadmap from voyager’s summer residence. Now I can check where Jack walked.


A bone disk, I think. It says “fill me with resin and make me a pendant.” I think I need to work on an idea here.

beach findings

Sea urchins, snails and a sanddollar. How did voyager know I was working on an underwater landscape?


The wildlife guide is full of leaves from Jack’s walks. I have a pretty good idea as to what to do with them, but I won’t say anything yet. As I expected, #1 was very interested in the wildlife guide as such…

Seaglass and seashell fossils(?) I have an idea here, too…

Not pictured: a little matrioshka keyring that went directly to my keys…

Thanks you so much, voyager. Receiving your lovely gift was better than Christmas.

Teacher’s Corner: Things I don’t have to worry about

As you might know by now, being a teacher can be “exciting”.  From wrestling out of control teenagers over having misogynistic slurs hurled at me to a mother and adult brother trying to beat us up (fortunately I was in another parent-teacher talk). Still with that level of violence, there’s some things I don’t have to worry about. A big one is guns. While there have been some school shootings or massacres in Germany, the number is low, and actually yes, we’ve tightened gun laws after the first big one in 2002. The one in 2009 could only happen because the father of the shooter had disobeyed those and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by negligence. Never say never, but  absolutely don’t worry about somebody shooting up my classroom with a military style assault weapon (and no, I’m not interested in the discussion of technicalities. You all know what weapons I mean).

I am worried about knives. They’re easy to get, easy to carry and can be deadly. But my chair is a very good defensive weapon against a knife. There’s a good chance I can get my students out of the room when somebody draws a knife while I try to calm that person. There’s a good chance that I will survive the extreme case of being hurt by a knife, which gets me to another thing I don#t have to worry about:

Healthcare cost. Should I or my students get hurt , we wouldn’t have to worry about who is paying our bills. I wouldn’t need to worry about losing my job for being sick or not getting paid because I used up my “sick days”. And I wouldn’t much need to worry about people blaming me for not having had a gun and killing somebody first.