Flowery Prose

Sheryl Normandeau's growing words….


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Sculpture Garden – University of Saskatchewan.

A garden of a less “flowery” sort today…these photos were taken at the sculpture garden on the grounds of the University of Saskatchewan, which my hubby and I visited in July of last year.  Bill Epp, a visual arts professor at the University, started the garden back in 1993, and more works were added in 1997 and 2006.  These photos represent a smidgen of what is available to see.

I just had to include a photo of the “hand” – I actually found it a bit unnerving.  How do you feel about it (and the other works)?

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Snowshoeing – Snowy Owl, West Bragg Creek, December 2014.

I’m not sure what happened this winter, but while the rest of the country was buried in the white stuff for months on end, here in southern Alberta, it’s been largely snow-free and very (scarily) warm.  (Those of you in the snowy regions all have my sympathies – we’ve had horribly cold and snow-filled winters the past few years so I know what you’re going through and I’m not wanting to rub salt in the wound).  Not certain what this will mean for the upcoming gardening season, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  The snow is good for so many reasons….

Snowshoeing is one of them, and because of the balmy weather and general “busyness,” my hubby and I got out exactly once.

We tried the new Snowy Owl loop at West Bragg Creek Provincial Recreation Area on a Tuesday afternoon in late December  – the parking lot was insanely busy and we had to create our own “stall,” but most of the crowd were there to cross country ski on the groomed trails or to walk their dogs.  (This is a pet friendly rec zone – you can even take your dogs skiing if you like).  Even though snowshoeing is definitely increasing in popularity, we only saw a couple of other groups on our excursion.  What I liked best about this trip was the varied terrain – sometimes we were in an open meadow, other times, deep woods.  One part of the loop is over a logged area, so your shoes and poles can take a bit of a beating on tree stumps if there isn’t a decent base of snow – but in a “normal” year, that wouldn’t be a problem.

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Great scenery and lots of trail options to explore (next year, I guess!).

Do you ski or snowshoe or any other “snow” activities?


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Flowery Friday.

Tulips - get well bouquet - 6 March 2015

Lovely tulips from a beautiful basket I was gifted with.

Happy Friday!  

What are your plans for this weekend?  Tonight the community gardening group that I belong to is hosting a guest speaker for a presentation about soil health.  Should be very interesting!  I’ll try to take notes….


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Good reads.

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I’ve had plenty of time to read while I’ve been off work…I thought I’d share my impressions of some of the books I’ve been going through!

The New American Herbal – Stephen Orr (2014, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York)

Need a comprehensive (and I do mean comprehensive) herbal?  Look no further.  This may be one of the most detailed and beautifully-photographed books about herbs available to readers today.  Over 125 species from the common to the unusual are profiled, complete with growing tips and uses and a handful of recipes.  A must-add for the gardening bookshelf – I can see myself consulting this one over and over again.

Inchies:  Create Miniature Works of Art Using Textiles and Mixed Media Techniques – Peggy Donda-Kobert, Editor (2015, Search Press, California)

I am not terribly talented an utter failure when it comes to doing crafts and art: I can’t knit, crochet, felt, sew, quilt, spin, scrapbook, fold origami, tat, quill, draw, paint…well…you get the idea.  I do know how to embroider, though, and when I recently saw these “inchies” on a website, I was intrigued.  No, make that obsessed.  Once my wrist heals, this is going to be a dedicated pursuit.  The really cool part about inchies is that they’re adaptable to pretty much any art or craft discipline – which means that you quilters and lace makers and felters might really get a kick out of them.  Plus, they’re a fun way to use up fabric scraps, beads, and other embellishments.

The Flower Recipe Book – Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo (2013, Workman Publishing Company, Inc., New York)

Oh yeah, I failed to mention above that I can’t arrange flowers, either.  But that didn’t stop me from drooling over this insanely creative and inspirational book.  If you’re a florist, or just love to bring cut flowers indoors to admire, this book is chock full of breathtakingly gorgeous arrangements using 41 plants as bases “ingredients” for “recipes” that feature each individually as well as grouped with other flowers and floral elements.   One of the best things about this book is these are plants you’re probably growing in your garden:  sunflowers, roses, alliums, stock, carnations, hydrangeas, etc..

These ladies also have a Wreath Recipe Book using the same layout and staggeringly fabulous photography.

Green Art:  Trees, Leaves, and Roots – E. Ashley Rooney with Margery Goldberg (2014, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., PA)

This very cool art book features the work of primarily American artists of a wide range of disciplines, all interpreting the subject of trees (and tree parts).  From metal, wire, clay and wood sculpture, glass, paint, etching, light, outdoor installation – even fire and gunpowder(!), these works are as varied as the artists that have created them.  An absolute delight to pore through…and to be inspired by.

 What books have inspired you lately?  

 

 


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Cabins at Brown-Lowery Provincial Park.

Well, the icy sidewalks finally got the better of me last week…I’m down for the count with a broken wrist.  If there’s anything good about the whole situation, it’s that I didn’t break my dominant hand and I can still (sort of) type!  I’ve never broken any bones before so I’m being an incredibly massive wimp about it, LOL.

Before all this nonsense occurred, my hubby and I managed to get out for a late afternoon trip out to Brown-Lowery Provincial Park, a little hidden gem just outside Priddis, southwest of Calgary.   We’ve lived here twenty years and driven by the place countless times, but never knew it was there, just waiting to be explored.  (Isn’t it strange how we sometimes miss things right under our noses?).  There aren’t any camping spots – just several short interconnected hiking loops and some fabulous scenery.  We chose the Old Mill loop, so-named as it was the site of a (presumably small) sawmill operation about a century ago.  We battled waning sunlight the entire trip, both because of the time of day and due to the canopy of old, very dense forest (full of fungi and moss and lichen).  I’m excited to go on a wildflower hunt out there in the spring – I have a feeling there will be some wonderful treasures to photograph.

At one point we came across a couple of mostly demolished cabins, which we of course had to explore, even though there is very little left to see.  I wonder about the people who lived there – I assume they were mill workers, rooming together.  Or maybe the mill’s owner and his family?  Perhaps these were not year ’round accommodations.  We found part of a bedframe in one and a tin of some kind.  It is interesting to speculate.

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Have you explored any new places or ideas lately?  

 


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Cold front.

There’s a cold front moving in tonight, with snow in the forecast…the clouds and the wind were definitely letting me know about it as I walked on Nose Hill this afternoon.

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The garden is waking up with all of this warm weather we’ve been having, but I’m not ready just yet.  That sounds funny coming from a gardener, but the timing isn’t right and I’m in no rush.  Better to let sleeping ladybugs lie.  ;)   Things will happen in their own time – but this bit of green certainly made me smile.

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The don’ts of bird photography, part 2.

This black-capped chickadee clearly wasn’t ready for his close-up.  And neither was I.  ;)

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See the first Don’t here….

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