strange new world

Original Post January 8, 2006: A baby calf peeks out at the world from a paddock at Bronte Creek Farm - taken on todays trail ride. As it was rather cold out with snow and ice in the paddock, I asked him if he minded being outside in the winter. He just stared at me and did not reply. Then I thought of how silly I was because of course he can't speak yet, he is only a few weeks old!

Updated Post January 31, 2006: A few nights ago I rode the trails again but I did not take my camera because it was dark and damp. When I got to the farm a cow had just given birth and I watched as the newborn calf struggled to stand for the first time. Nobody else was around except a few cows and calves (including the older calf pictured above) who in the winter damp casually strolled over to greet the newcomer. As I had no camera I could not take a picture to share, but I decided to add this update and share the picture in words.

hart house again

Almost every time I am in Toronto I wind up here. What I like about this picture is that parts of it appear to be in monochrome - but in fact they are not - this picture is completely unenhanced.

sidewalk art?

I was not sure if this was an urban art exhibit or just a stack of crates on a UofT loading dock. There is a fine line between art and everyday life.

what is in a name?

This is scene from the ROM's new Gallery of Canada: First Peoples exhibit. I wonder why they call it 'First Peoples' rather than 'First Nations.' It may be because the term First Nations does not cover all Aboriginal groups. I hope it is not because the term 'peoples' rather than 'nations' depoliticizes history. Long before this place was called 'Canada' it was known as 'Turtle Island' and it was not just populated by 'peoples' but by 'nations' with their own longstanding and legitimate governments.

classy seats

I don't like the fact that one has to pay to get into the ROM. When I was a child in London museums were all free and it was very evident that they were public space open to all. Anyone could and did walk in off the street to engage with history. I know that at certain hours ROM admission is free - but I think it needs to be free all of the time. There are issues here, issues of who gets to feel at home in this space and who does not, who gets excluded and included, who gets to examine and who gets exhibited. But please don't get me started!

trade mission

Just look at the creativity in this work - especially the curves and shape of the person third from the left! I don't remember where I took this picture in the ROM, but I think it was from a copy of the relief in Hatshepsut's Temple, the one at Deir el-Bahri designed by Senenmut. If it is from that display, then these are the people she sent from Egypt to Punt on a trade mission some 3500 years ago. Next year I just have to go and see the original!

say cheeese

Yesterday after a research meting in Toronto, I explored St. Lawrence Market. And of course I had my camera with me.

staring

So in the ROM this guy started staring at me and would not stop. I stared right back but he did not blink. Honestly, this chap can out stare anyone - try it yourself - look him in the eye and see who blinks first. I bet he wins - he has been practicing for about 2000 years!

passing blurr

I took this picture in the ROM and began to reflect--if you took a photograph of history with the exposure set from the beginning of time until now, the dinosaurs would be sharp and clear while we would be a passing blur.

john the baptist

Another picture from the ROM. This is not the way I imagine John the Baptist, but this is how a Florentine artist some 500 years ago visualized and portrayed a young John the Baptist. I visualise John the Baptist as a heavy set serous character with little sense of humour - but this work made me think - I suspect his features were quite different but I wonder if his character may have been less serious than I imagine.

reading room

The ROM can be a nice place to sit and read.

royal ontario museum

I went to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) today and I was unimpressed. As soon as I entered the door an attendant stopped me because apparently now you are not even allowed in the foyer to go to the public coffee shop or gift store unless you buy a $15.00 ticket! That is new or maybe it is a made up rule by the over zealous attendant I was facing! I wanted to look at the newly opened galleries anyway so I did buy a ticket. This is a mask from the 'Gallery of Canada: First Peoples.'

camp

With temperatures just below zero, Jason and Luke came on todays trail ride. Deep in the forest we found this camp.

circular trail

Riding these trails all year round I notice that the paths and big trees of forest stay the same and yet the entire environment around them is in constant change. Leaves come and go with spring and fall, small new plants and saplings grow along side old ancient trees that have fallen and rot nourishing the soil. I do not doubt that such things give those living close to nature a greater sense of the circle of life and their place in it.

four seasons trail

I have now ridden this same trail in Bronte Creek on my bike for four seasons - the new winter shot on the upper left completes the series of winter, spring, summer and fall. The order the pictures were actually taken is spring, summer, fall and winter.

bloor street

After a day of meetings in Toronto I took a stroll along Bloor Street in the evening - and of course I took my camera along!

zeus

By Zeus! When I went to the ROM you would never guess who I met hanging out there - Zeus!

narnia

As I cycled this trail yesterday I could not help thinking of Narnia. I kept looking over my shoulder for the White Witch and half expected to see around the next corner the lamppost of Lanternwaste. But of course I did not see any of those things, so after stopping in for afternoon tea with the Beavers, I cycled home

beijing cyclist

I took this picture in Beijing a couple of years ago, where cycling is a way of life.