Saturday 31 December 2016

The End of the Year


    This is not a very exciting photo to usher the year out, but like many people around the world, I don’t know that 2016 deserves much, I will be happy to see it go.  I wish I could be more optimistic about the upcoming year, but things have been set up in 2016 to make 2017 even scarier.  
    Oh well, at the moment a fresh snow is falling and making things look cleaner and more pristine and I guess I will just appreciate the present and be satisfied with it.

Check out my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca


Friday 30 December 2016

Enough Pillows for you Lucifer?


    Cats really know how to relax.  Here is Lucifer laying on Joan’s heat pad and leaning against three pillows.  Yesterday Joan showed me some internet photos of dogs stretched out and sleeping in all kinds of uncomfortable positions,  cats do seem to be a bit smarter when it comes to comfort.

You can see my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Thursday 29 December 2016

Those Blue Mountains


    During those times when I have been at the seashore, I got great pleasure out of just being able to look out at that large expanse of blue and its ever changing appearance due to the light.  I get the same pleasure out of the mountains that run along both sides of the Robson Valley.  
    I am always impressed at just how blue our mountains can appear.  I always think back to 1968 when I  bought the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo album and first heard the song “In the Blue Canadian Rockies”.  I can assure you after living beside them all these years, the Canadian Rockies often are literally blue.

You can view my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Windy


    I confess sometimes when we are out on one of our walks, I am thinking, “We must be crazy to be out on a day like this.”  That was the feeling I got yesterday when we were out being buffeted back and forth by the gusts of roaring wind.  It was fairly brutal.  Luckily it is only really bad going one way, when we turned around to walk back it was almost tolerable.  
    Even Skye was happy to be out of the wind.  She jumped right into the car instead of partaking in her usual sniffing around the parking area.
    Below is a photo of the windblown snow sweeping across the highway.


Check out my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Monday 26 December 2016

Northern Pygmy Owl


    It was cold yesterday afternoon (-19C,-2F) but we always make ourselves go for a walk, so we drove down to Horseshoe Lake Road.  When I got out of the car I spotted a little ball of fluff sitting on the very top of one of the willow trees.  I didn’t know what kind of bird it was, but I somehow felt it was some kind of predator, who seemed to be waiting for a victim to fly by.  
    It was so high in the tree that I couldn’t really identify it.  I took the photo and this morning when I downloaded it into the computer, I could see more detail.  I got out my bird book and was able to identify by its marking that it was a Northern Pygmy Owl.  They are very small owls, only 7” (18cm) in length.  I was a bit surprised that it didn’t fly off when we were walking around below it, and that did remind me of owl behavior.
    I was sorry that I couldn’t get its face in the shot, because they are cute little guys.

Take a look at my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Sunday 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas


    Joan and I had a happy Christmas morning.  Santa brought her the fancy bread knife she wanted and he brought me the harmonicas that I was hoping for, and of course, our friend Di, gave us way too many curious gifts, including special reading socks for me (I didn’t realize socks were becoming so specialized) and for Joan a book of Hygge (Swedish ways to live well) and and for the both of us: Elton John-style Christmas glasses.  All of the gifts she sent were beautifully wrapped and labelled with her famous riddles and clues about each gift.
    Joan didn’t have a very good Christmas Eve Day yesterday.  Normally we have a small group of close friends over for fancy snacks, but this year because one of the group was still weak from getting out of the hospital, and probably couldn’t come over, Joan organized that we all get together briefly at their house.  She spent most of the day yesterday making a trifle for the occasion and then she felt a cold coming on and didn’t want to spread it, so ended up not even going to the party to help eat the trifle.
    Below is a photo of the two of us wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.



Check out my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Saturday 24 December 2016

Skating in the Great Outdoors


    Can you see the group of skaters out on Horseshoe Lake?  When so many young people are inside, hunched over their cell phones and computers, it always makes me happy to see a few outside having fun, breathing fresh air, and getting a little exercise.  There was a dog out there with them and it was pulling one of the skaters around on the ice.

You can view my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Friday 23 December 2016

Early Sunset


    Yesterday afternoon we went walking on Horseshoe Lake Road and I noticed that the Sun was already sinking behind the Cariboo Mountains.  It was only 1:40 in the afternoon. 
    The official sunset time for the Latitude of the Robson Valley is 3:46, but those mountains make the Sun’s disappearance a whole lot earlier, and the time varies depending upon where in the valley you are.  Our house is sitting on the toe of the slope of the Canadian Rockies, on the opposite side of the valley, so we get to see the sun a bit longer.
    It is interesting to see how dramatic the change of location of the sunset is throughout the year.  During the summer the sun doesn’t even set behind the mountain range, but way, way off to the right of this photo, down at the NW open end of the Robson Valley.

All of my paintings can be seen at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Thursday 22 December 2016

Christmas Decorations


    It seems that no matter in what community you go in North America during the Christmas Season, you will find one house, where the owners sort of go nuts decorating for Christmas.  The other night as I was digging out my instruments from the back of the car to take them to our Jam, I happened to glance over to the house across from the library and couldn’t help noticing just how over the top its decorations were.  
    You can’t see it all from the photo, it shows only one side, but there were lights, big inflatable figures, and wooden cutouts, surrounding and almost obscuring the view of the house.  I not only wondered about their electric bill, but also where they stored all this stuff during the rest of the year.
    I seem to have a knack for remembering comical things from my youth.  Whenever I see a house like this I remember a cartoon that was in Mad Magazine.  It showed a row of houses along a street, all but one, where totally covered with Christmas lights and objects.  There was one small house sitting in the middle that was not decorated, except for maybe a small wreath on the door saying “Peace on Earth.”  One character, standing on the sidewalk was pointing to the undecorated house and saying, “I guess they aren’t very religious.”
    Even in my youth I thought that pretty much summed up the super commercialization of the season.
    In closing let me say, I have no problem with people getting carried away during the season, it does make life interesting for the rest of us, but I guess I just don’t understand it.
    “Hah, Bumhug,”  the Scrooge in me says.


You can view my paintings at::  www.davidmarchant.ca

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Searching for that Molecule of Food


    There is a saying that “nothing in Nature is wasted,” and that sure seems to be true.  If some careless bird at our feeder inadvertently drops a molecule of food and it falls to the ground and is covered by snow, some might say that that molecule of food has gone to waste, but it hasn’t, because our dog Skye has a steel determination to find and eat that molecule.   She buries her face into the snow and snuffles around until she has found that molecule and has devoured it.  
    Every ten minutes, Skye feels the need to go outside and check under the bird feeder to see if any additional molecules have fallen into the snow.   We are happy that Skye has taken a new interest in the “Great Out-of-doors”, but it is a bit of a pain that she now is constantly coming back into the house all covered with snow.
    Happy Solstice, Everyone.



Check out my photo-realistic paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Kent Haruf


    The other day at our McBride Library Book Club, members were mentioning authors that they really enjoyed reading.  Naturally, I had to put in my two cents worth and said that one of my favorites was Kent Haruf (rhymes with “sheriff”).  The moderator then mentioned that he had died a couple of years back, and suddenly I felt cheated, in learning that my recently discovered favorite author would no longer be out there writing novels.
    Back home I got on my computer to get more information and discovered that he died in December, 2014.  I also learned that he, like myself, was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war.  Another interesting fact was that when he wrote he took off his glasses and covered his eyes with a stocking cap so he could only visualize things in his mind, while he typed the first draft of his novels out on a typewriter.
    I have read three of his novels so far.  The first one I read was “Plainsong” which I reviewed in September
    I have just finished two of his other ones.  My review of those are below:

The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf
    I was a big fan of Haruf's Plainsong and wanted to read some more works of the author.   The Tie That Binds is a story located in Holt, the same small isolated town in the plains of Colorado, and has one of the same characters in a minor role.  At the beginning of the novel we learn that an eighty-something year old woman is in the hospital and is going to be charged with murder. 
      The storyline consists of a neighbor of this woman giving the reader a history of the woman's life in a compassionate and realistic way, like a concerned person might tell a story to a friend.  The woman's life demonstrates the smothering and trapped life one can experience on an isolated farm with a cruel and dominating father.
      It is a powerful and well written novel, realistic and honest, that shows both the cruelty and humanity of life on the rural plains of Colorado.


Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
      This is another touching novel by Haruf that takes place in the prairie town of Holt, Colorado.  Lewis, a retired widower is surprised one afternoon to be visited by Addie, a 70 year old widow who lives on the next block. He is further surprised when he hears what she has to say. She tells him she is lonely at night and misses not  having someone to talk to in bed.  She then asks Lewis if he might consider coming over and spending the nights with her. 
      Lewis is totally taken aback, and after some thought, a couple of night's later he accepts Addie's invitation and joins her.  After some awkward initial moments, they settle in to a nightly plutonic relationship and both of them no longer feel alone and enjoy each other's company.  
      Of course, this causes a lot of raised eyebrows and gossip among their acquaintances.  When Addie's son separates from his wife, they send her 10 year old grandson to live with Addie.   He is emotionally messed up because of what has happened between his mother and father, but slowly improves thanks to the kindness of Lewis and Addie. 
       Addie's son however can't handle the fact that Addie is "living in sin" with Lewis, even though Addie, Lewis, and the boy have all benefited from the relationship.  His selfishness, pours poison into this beautiful relationship. 
       Like in all of the other Haruf's other novels that I have read, I was deeply touched by his simple style, his fully developed characters, and the humanity that springs from his characters.   This is another  good one. 

You can view my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca


Monday 19 December 2016

Back to Snow



    It seems we have been given a break from our frigid weather and have returned to snow.  The -5C (23F) temperatures feel balmy, but it means I will have to crank up my snowblower to restore my driveway.  The photo shows my bird feeder stacked high with snow.

Check out my photo-realistic paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Sunday 18 December 2016

Open Water Narrows on Fraser River


    The ice is slowly engulfing the Fraser River in McBride.  In places the river is completely iced over, but along Mountainview Road there is still an narrow strip of open water.  Our cold snap seems to have been broken and although we will still have below freezing temperatures (-8C, +17F) it is much more tolerable.  The Fraser will eventually totally freeze over.

Take a look at my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Saturday 17 December 2016

Frost on Twig


    Anyone who has seen my blog during the winter knows that I can’t pass up an opportunity to take close up photos of frost.  In keeping with the tradition, here is one I took the other day during our cold spell.

You can view my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Friday 16 December 2016

Time For The Eternal Flame


    Our cold snap continues (-30C, -22F this morning).  During milder periods we don’t totally load our wood stove and so by morning the fire is gone and we have to start from scratch.  With the frigid temperatures like we have now, before we go to bed we stuff the stove with wood so that it continues burning throughout the night and is still hot in the morning.  Then we just have to add more wood when we get up, instead of having to dig out the matches and start from scratch.
    During these times when we keep the “eternal flame,” I always think of something I read long ago about a cave site where our prehistoric ancestors lived.  Archeologist discovered ashes from their fire pit.  It extended meters deep into the ground and it was determined that those people, who lived before the technology of how to start a fire, had kept their fire, which had been captured from nature, going continually for thousands of years.
    Its hard to imagine just how important it was for them to keep that fire going, year after year after year through the centuries.
    The photo shows what the inside of our stove looked like this morning when I opened it.

Check out my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Thursday 15 December 2016

John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas"


    December’s theme for the McBride Library Book Club was “Festive Reads”, something that would go along with the Holiday Season.  I always enjoy reading books by John Grisham, and saw “Skipping Christmas,” a book I had never heard of on the shelf so chose it to read.  If you are in the mood for a light, short, Christmas themed book you might want to try it.
    Here is my review:

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham    
       This was a very short book all about the Kranks, a suburban couple whose daughter had just graduated from university then had volunteered for the Peace Corp and a job in Peru helping poor children. Her absence left the couple with an empty nest, and a dread of the upcoming Holiday Season. 
        Out of curiosity, the husband, who was an accountant checked their records to see how much they had spent on last year’s Christmas and was appalled to discover it was over $6,000.  He was not a big fan of Christmas anyway, and with all that expense, and the absence of his daughter, he persuaded his wife they should just skip Christmas and instead go on a Caribbean Cruise. 
        The wife was hesitant to drop all of their ingrained Christmas traditions, but in the end relented to go on the cruise.  The book then focuses on all the social pressures thrust upon them by neighbors, coworkers, and friends who all expected them to stick with established Yuletide traditions.  Mr Krank goes through the litany of negative characteristics about Christmas, (all of which I too believe), in an attempt to rationalize his decision to skip Christmas.
        Despite the fact that everyone had been told that the couple was skipping Christmas and going on a cruise, the Kranks continue to be pressured and hounded by neighbors who want them to decorate their house as normal and buy all the usual Christmas Season things.   The pressures just harden the Krank’s resolve to skip Christmas.
        Then in the middle of the book on Christmas Eve morning, the day before their cruise, after weeks of alienating and angering all their friends and neighbors because of their refusal to take part in all the usual Christmas hullabaloo, the phone rings, they answer it, and suddenly the Kranks are stunned as everything changes, all of their planning comes to nought, and they are left scrambling around and the book turns to humor. 
        That's about as much of the story as I am going to tell you, but you can read it without fear and with the knowledge that it is set firmly in the realm of other Christmas stories, and like all the others, it all ends warmly and happily.
       
Take a look at my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Wednesday 14 December 2016

The Sound of Cold Snow






    I sent off this cartoon to the newspaper the other day and it got me thinking about the sound that snow makes on a cold day.  At the moment, the outside  temperature is -23C  (-9F) so I took my iPad outside and recorded the sound I was making as I walked on the cold snow so I could share it with you.
It seems I am not able to put it on this website, but it is on my other website if you are interested.




Tuesday 13 December 2016

Canada Post


    Today I have a bit of a rant about Canada Post (Canada’s postal service).  Canada Post is in trouble because of the ever diminishing amount of mail.  It is so much easier to email someone than to write a letter, so less and less “snail mail” is being generated and Canada Post’s revenue is down. 
    Postal Services used to be just that, a service.  Somewhere down the line, it was decided that Canada Post should not be a service to its citizens, but a self supporting “business” and the government 
made that change.  The fall in mail volume and the adoption of the business model for Canada Post has not been a good combination.  The result seems to have been that the cost of mailing something has really gone up for the consumer.  The more Canada Post raises the price, the less people want to use it.
    This rise in the price of mailing really hit me lately as I have been mailing out calendars to family and friends.  The stack of envelopes you see in the photo cost me $55 to mail yesterday.  Last week I sent out a smaller pile of calendars that cost me $25. 
    Years ago we used to send Christmas presents to family in the US.  It got to the point where the postage cost more than the gift, so we just quit sending presents.  I did continue to send calendars, but the cost for them keeps rising and rising.
    I recently ordered a small  packet of 35 tomato seeds from the US.  The seeds cost me $2.95 but my bill with shipping cost me over $11.  I should have cancelled the transaction,  the shipping is way too expensive.
    The discrepancy of pricing confuses me.  A couple of years ago I bought a snowblower on line.  The machine weighed over 200 pounds and the shipping was free.  How does that work?  Granted the price of shipping was included in the price, but that price was the same across the whole of Canada.  It seems that big heavy things that should cost a whole lot more to ship, get a whole lot cheaper rate than small envelopes.
    A few years ago I found a free used book at a swap shed.  It looked like something my Mom would enjoy so I wrapped it and went to the post office to mail it to her.  I don’t remember how much it was going to cost to mail, but it was more than I was willing to shell out.  There used to be a cheaper “Book Rate”, but like some many other services it has disappeared.
    There, my rant is over and I feel better.

To view my paintings go to:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Monday 12 December 2016

A Blank Canvas



    Since I finished my last painting yesterday, I have to get busy on a new one.  As you can see I have already gridded off the canvas, so I will have a square to paint every day.  
     The hardest part of this task is deciding just what I am going to paint.  I had a couple of images in mind, one featured a pair of faraway headlights of a distant pickup, driving toward you down a snowy road on a gray winter’s day with a view of mountains being obscured by falling snow in the back ground.
    After thinking about it, and realizing how lacking in color the image was and I figured I needed a whole lot more color this time of year.  There is already enough grays and whites outside my door if I decided I needed it.  Besides, those colors don’t do much to lift the semi-depressed state I find myself in after what has happened politically down in the US, I need something a bit more uplifting colorwise.
    So I found an image with a lot of color, but I am not going to say what it is.  You can follow my progress on the painting by looking at the “Current Work” section of my website:  www.davidmarchant.ca.

Sunday 11 December 2016

"Old Chrome," My Latest Painting


    A few minutes ago, I finished the painting you see above.  I am calling it “Old Chrome.”  I chose to paint this image which features the front end of my old 1977 GMC pickup because of its strong sculptural nature and all of the many colors that are being reflected by the chrome and headlight. 
    This painting is 18 in. X 24 in.   It is acrylic on canvas and took me 94 hours to paint.


You can view all of my paintings at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Saturday 10 December 2016

Frost on Pond Ice



    Hoar frost has been forming on the ice in sections of my pond.  These delicate feather-like flakes are the subject of these two photos I took yesterday


You can see my photo-realistic paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Friday 9 December 2016

Open Water


    My pond is totally iced over except for two small holes of open water.  As I have stated in previous blogs, we get our water from a gravity fed system that originates at a waterfall, up on the side of a mountain.  I learned a long time ago that running water usually doesn’t freeze, so every winter we keep water running through our waterline.  The water is not gushing through the line, just flowing at a slow moderate rate. 
    The water exits underwater in my pond, and it is no doubt a bit warmer than the rest of the pond water, and so is rises to the surface and keeps the ice from forming in that spot, even during these -22C (-8F) temperatures.

My paintings are on display at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Thursday 8 December 2016

Frost Inside the House


    This morning it was plenty cold, -28C (-18F).  When it gets that cold, even though we have a well insulated and tight house, we always start to see a few weak points in our defenses.  Frost starts to form along the edges of our double glazed windows.  This inside frost always starts to cause problems when it warms up and the ice melts forming water that runs down the window frames.
    Another thing we notice is the electric socket in our mud room (a small enclosed area where we keep our coats and boots, behind the front door).   Because there is not much insulation behind the electrical outlet, frost forms on it’s screw and edges.  The last area where I noticed frost forming was on the edge of the guide on our door latch.
    With all these inside things frosting up, we don’t need a thermometer to tell us it is really cold outside.
     



My paintings are on display at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Wednesday 7 December 2016

The River Floes


    Our thermometer indicated it was -26C (-15F) this morning when we got up.  With those kind of temperatures the Fraser River will soon be entombed by ice for the winter.  Already yesterday, the ice chunks were floating down stream, grinding and crunching as they rubbed up against the ice already formed on the edge of the river. 
    I alway find it sad to see the open water disappear this time of year.  The movement and color it provides is so much more visually stimulating than the flat and static expanse of white that replaces it.

Check out my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Preparing for the Cold


    After a month of unusually mild weather, the temperatures are starting to take a frigid nose-dive.  We woke up this morning to a -20C (-4F) thermometer reading.  In a couple of nights the low is supposed to be -29C (-20F).  As a result I had to scramble around to get ready for the cold snap.
    Vehicles up here in northern parts of Canada have “Block Heaters” installed.  They enable owners to plug their cars into the household electrical current, and warm the engine so that it will start easily in cold weather.  Yesterday I rigged up an extension cord and dug the block heater plug out from the engine so that both were easily accessible.
    That is what you can see in the photo, the extension cord hanging down from the carport roof, and the block heater plug sticking out from under the hood of the car.  Most people around here keep their cars plugged in all the time when it is cold, but I just plug it in about an hour before I start the car to save power.
    The other things I did yesterday to prepare for the cold were to help insure my personal warmth.  I got out my felt-pack boots and my warmest down coat.  I looked over my wood pile to note where the bigger pieces of birch were, because they make the most heat in our wood stove.



Look at my paintings, go to www.davidmarchant.ca

Monday 5 December 2016

Robson Valley Morning


    Here is a photo I took of the Sun trying to peak under the clouds one morning last week.   Joan, Skye and I were walking the trail and when we got down to the field overlooking the Fraser River we came upon this scene.

Take a look at www.davidmarchant.ca to see my paintings.

Sunday 4 December 2016

Keyless


    A year ago, Joan and I pooled our savings and bought ourselves a new car.  We had been driving our old car for 13 years and found ourselves fairly overwhelmed by all the new technology that we found on our new vehicle.  A lot of that new technology, we have not yet figured out.
    One of the new things that confronted us was keyless entry and starting, that the car featured.  It sounded easy enough, instead of using a key, you just carried around a fob (thats the big black thing in the photo).  As long as you have that on your person, you can open the locked doors just by touching the door handle, or start the car by pressing a button on the dashboard.
    I soon discovered that all this ease of use also caused some problems.  For all of my adult life I have been carrying my car and house keys in my pant’s pocket, and as a result, I always knew where they were.  Only days after purchasing our new car, we were at a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house and I sat down by the bay window of their house and stole a glance at our new car parked outside.  To my puzzlement and dismay I discovered that it was parked there with it’s back hatch wide open.
    I soon figured out what had happened.  When I sat down with the fob in my pocket, the pressure and movement of my pants and leg caused one of the buttons on the fob to open the back hatch.  Throughout the year similar things happened as I sat on the bench by our carport door to put on my shoes.  The fob would cause the car doors to lock, the horn to blow, or the back hatch to open. 
    This was not a good thing, so I decided I would no longer carry the keys in my pant’s pocket, but instead keep them on the kitchen counter.  I tried this for a while and then a few days ago, that caused a problem.
    Joan had taken the car to town to go to her knitting group, and when I got done paintings, I decided to  use the truck to take a picture frame into town get it repaired.  I carried it to the truck and put it in the back, I let Skye into the cab, then got into the driver’s seat, reached into my pocket to get my keys, and discovered it wasn’t there.  
    “Damn,” I said to myself.  
    I walked back into the house, took off my boots, and walked into the kitchen to get my keys.  I was surprised when I couldn’t see it on the kitchen counter.  Maybe it was in my room in some other pants.  I walked up there found my work pants, but the pockets were empty.  I was now really confused, where could my key be.
    I looked a every possible location where the keys could be and found nothing.  Finally in desperation, I called Joan’s cell to see if she had any ideas.  At first she was also puzzled, but then she checked in her purse and discovered that my keys, along with her keys, were there--she had mistakenly picked up my keys from the counter and driven away.
    This of course, gave me a bit of a leg up over Joan.
    Then a couple of days later, I was up paintings and Joan was ready to drive into town.  I could hear her shuffling around and asked what was wrong.  She told me she couldn’t find her keys.  This is a common problem for her, so much so that one Christmas I bought her a “Tile” (the white plastic square in the photo).   It is a gadget that you can attach it to something you often misplace, if you can’t find it, you can press an app on your cell phone and this will cause the tile to make a chiming sound so you can locate it.  
    Joan got her phone and pressed the app.  I could hear the chiming sound, but she was downstairs, walking around unable to locate where it was coming from.  I joined the search and went downstairs to help, but I couldn’t hear the sound down there.  I went back upstairs and followed the sound and located Joan’s keys in my pant’s pocket, where I guess I had mistakenly put them.
    My misstep had caused me to lost my leg up advantage I had on Joan and I have decided to go back to keeping my keys in my pants pocket.

Check out my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Saturday 3 December 2016

Gray Skies and Snow


    We got another dump of snow that recovered all the trees that had blown bare by the winds.  It was another magical walk around the pond this morning in the fluffy stuff.  The weather remains around the freezing mark, but it has been forecast to turn brutal in a couple of days, down to -28C (-20F).  We’d better take advantage of the milder temperatures while we can.


My paintings are on display at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Friday 2 December 2016

Evidence on the Trail


    The other day when Skye and I were were walking the trail in the snowy woods, I was surprised when a raven suddenly flew up from the trail in front of us.  As I approached the spot, I saw why it was there.  Lying across the trail was the entire leg and shoulder blade of a deer.  I didn’t really try to investigate where the rest of the body was.  Today when we were on the trail and got to the place where the leg was, we spooked a bald eagle who flew out from an area off to the side of the trail, it was presumably feasting on the corpse.
    The day before, I had seen what I assumed to be lot of wolf tracks criss-crossing the trail in various spots, after seeing the deer leg, I figured a wolf  or wolves had gotten their prey.  I come upon remnants of predator kills about every 2 or 3 years while just while walking on the trail.  The predators involved are usually either cougars or wolves, and coyotes for smaller animals.
    Seeing this sort of thing always reminds me of all the dramas that continually play out in the bush that I am never aware of.  I only see them if they are on the trail.  While discovering such things are a bit distressing, it is the way things work in nature, and predators need to eat too.

You can view my paintings:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Thursday 1 December 2016

A Walk in the Snowy Woods


    We have been lucky that the fluffy snow that blanketed everything remained for a few days.  Normally in our part of the Robson Valley the breezes sweep in and the snow begins to fall in clumps leaving the trees bare.  I was also lucky that I got Skye to accompany on a walk on our trail.  She is normally so paranoid of the neighbors two pit bulls that she refuses to go on the trail unless I am in front of her and Joan is behind her, but the pit bulls didn’t seem to be around so Skye followed me.
    The sun was shining in its low on the horizon winter position  backlighting the snow on the trees and plants.   The temperature was mild for this time of year, just at the freezing level, so Skye and I had a glorious walk in the fluffy world of white. 


My paintings can be seen at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Snow, After the Sun Came Out




    All of the snow photos I showed yesterday were taken under a gray overcast sky.  As the day progressed the clouds began to disperse, and the sun began to peak shine through, highlighting the snow-covered trees.  The pale blue sky added some color to the scenery.  



My paintings are on display at:  www.davidmarchant.ca

Monday 28 November 2016

Snow, Beautiful Snow


    Over the weekend we got a beautiful snowfall that changed our environment into a winter wonderland.  One of the interesting effects of all the snow on the trees is the silence.  All that snow muffles all irritating sounds (like the far away highway) which are always in the background if you stop to listen.  Of course the biggest change to the neighborhood is the way the snow transforms everything we see.  Here are some photos:





My paintings can be seen at:  www.davidmarchant.ca