Monday, May 13, 2013


Crazy that in last week's post I was commenting on the final (seemingly, we're never totally sure) departure of winter, and as I sit at the studio computer today, I have my fan and air conditioning on and it's still pretty warm up here. The whole mid to south part of the province is under alert for grass fires due to extreme dryness and wind conditions, and one week later it's just a whole different set of circumstances.

I finally got farther away from the city than the stables where my horse lives. A friend and I wanted to head out to an open studio pottery and painting sale the better part of an hour east of the city. It took us all weekend to achieve this, but we did get there in the end. Saturday we headed out in her car, planning to take our time and stop wherever our fancy took us to do photos. This worked well for the first while, until after one stop an ominous red light on the dashboard appeared. The car was overheating, not a good thing. We read up on what to do in the manual, followed instructions and all seemed well. For about eight kilometres. Then the red light was on again and we pulled off to the side of the road ( a busy and narrow highway with no shoulders at all ) into a farmer's lane entry and started making phone calls. The better part of two hours later, the tow truck from the city appeared, followed by my friend's husband a some time later. I have to commend Astro towing for this wonderful employee, as he was very professional and reassuring, and wouldn't leave to take the car back to the city until Donna's husband arrived and he knew we would be safe. By the time we got back to the city, it was suppertime and we were bushed. Since the open studio is a once a year event, and Donna had never been there, she was still really keen to go, so Sunday morning we headed off again, this time in my car, and we finally got to our original destination.

Shot one is from the first day, and shows a small portion of a huge flock of snow geese that were resting up on their trip to the northern breeding grounds. Despite the large pools of standing melt-water in the fields, the ground itself is very dry due to lack of precipitation and the recent warm and windy weather.

Things were still fine in our little world when I took shots two and three. This is the very small town of Peterson where I wanted to collect some grain elevator shots. These icons of earlier days in the prairies are disappearing quickly, and I take the chance to photograph any that I come across, both as a record and for use in my art work.

Shot three features a now abandoned church, also in Peterson. I'm not up on my religious structures, but this is likely a Ukrainian Orthodox church. There is a newer and still functioning church, not of this type,  across the street, and when we made our second foray past Peterson on Sunday morning we were amazed at the number of cars parked outside it for morning services.

When we finally got to the open studio, I was delighted to realize that they have a pair of sealpoint Siamese cats, who were much in evidence. I have had Siamese in the past, and love them dearly, although I think my days of cat ownership are now behind me. These fellows reminded me of our long departed but fondly remembered Uncle Roger, a Siamese who appeared as a stray on our doorstep one bitter winter, and become a loved family member. Here we see the typical feline disregard of anything other than their own wishes and convenience.

Shot five shows the impressive exterior of North Star pottery. It is a repurposed church, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, that has been renovated to serve as studio and living space for Mel Bolen and Karen Holden for several decades. (click on their names for a link to their work)  The pottery operation carries on here year-round, but for the summer months Karen has a wonderful barn loft studio overlooking the fields that inspire her. It wasn't yet open for the season this year, with the endless winter having only just departed, so we didn't get to see it this time round.

1 comment:

Danny Steyn said...

Fabulous photos collection specially first one is my favorite !!