Wednesday, March 28, 2007

16 Mile Creek Sunset

The fog rising, soft
As the setting sun flares
The tree waits for spring

Branches against sky
A tree on the torrent's edge
Holding bank intact
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Misty Creek on 3rd Sideroad

I don't know the name of this one, but it was taken after some significant precipitation when the air temp was about 18 C, but there was still a bit of snow on the ground . The fog that night was quite impressive.

Canagagigue Creek

Meandering flow
Brimming with spring rains - fallen
The day before sun
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Song of the Spiralling Woodcock

The last few days I've been able to improve my quantity of outside time. Monday, after work, I made a couple of stops to shoot pictures of the high-flowing streams including 16 mile creek. Monday night, I went out to assist Gabe with his painting with flash assignment for school. We found a field on a quiet back road and set his project. The result... some pictures where 1-3 me's are doing a variety of weird and wonderful stuff including a bit of Tae Kwon Do. It was fun to hang outside at night and I got to hear the mating song of the Woodcock for the first time, although we weren't lucky enough to see one.

Yesterday, we did a field site investigation trip (shucks darn - twist my arm, break it off - with it sunny and 22 degrees) and visited about 8 potential field sites in the Grand River Watershed. The weather for the next few days continues to look promising with a potential hike this evening and hopefully some time this weekend.

Anywho... I'll post up a few more pics and maybe a poem in a bit.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Still reeling from intensely brilliant David Usher Concert at the MOD club

I think the worst part is that I'm not sure that I'll ever have another concert experience nearly as incredible - the bar is simply set too high. I'll start with the opening act - NLX: Natasha Alexandra. I had to buy her albums after an brilliant performance. As a long-time fan of Tori Amos, this was like Tori but way better... maybe like Tori crossed with David Usher and Depeche Mode. I'm a totally convert fan - check for the new link on this blog soon. So, I was pretty impressed by the time she was done --- and then David came on and while he is always awesome live - this was the best of some pretty good locations for me. We were dead centre maybe 1.5 m back from the stage and besides he took a bit of a trip through the audience right through the middle of the group...

So... perhaps I should start at the beginning. We drove downtown - thanks for taking one for the team G. - and then set out to find somewhere to eat. We wandered down college and were about to turn around, when I saw Sneaky Dee's. Now, I haven't been there in years, but I thought that since none of the rest of them had heard about it... they had to at least go in and see it - just to say they had. Some of the cool paintings were gone, replaced with a lot of graffiti, which I don't remember so much, but still it still kind of different. Everyone was excited about mexican food and their prices are pretty reasonable, so that solved our find a place to eat dilema and it was a memorable place.... a good start to the evening for sure. Then we wandered back (well, Geoff hailed a street car to beat the ticket guy back to the parking lot that had some annoying pay windows, so we had to buy a second ticket for the evening.) We stood in line and noted the fashion trends (I, dressed in a t-shirt and fleece really didn't fit in... but hey... its a concert...and I'm a 90's kid at least I did eventually lose the braids) and smokers and discussed a variety of things until they read us the riot act, checked our bags and let us in.

Once inside, I was struck with a certain amount of Deja Vu.... I'll have to see if I've been there before. Its possible - it definately looked familiar. We immediately staked out our place near the front and centre and then hung out until the opening act came out.... she was awesome, as noted above. Aside from a few dashes (got lost on the way to the bathrooms and bought NLX cd's - :D) to the relatively clean and secure bathrooms downstairs - i.e. someone actually pressed the soap container for my hands... although it might have been because I was confused and trying not to accidently whack the security gaurd with my clumsiness. Okay.. the bathrooms weren't that exciting.... back up the stairs and through the crowd. Thank goodness for tall boys - easy to find in a crowd.

Wow... my English is getting progressively worse as this post goes on. I'm going to have to take my entire blog off the internet when I start job hunting or erase my name somehow....

Okay. So, they start playing thriller and out comes the band and then David Usher singing Message Home. The rest of it I don't think can be described well enough to give credit to how mind booglingly amazing it was. I remember standing there thinking that this was just a good headspace - the music was awesome, much rockier than the albums and there were tonnes of hilarious exchanges between David and the crowd...including someone yelling "Take off your shirt" and David questioning "Take off my shoes??". The set list was drawn from all of his albums with a heavy weighting for Little Songs including F-train, Saint Lawrence River, Forest Fire, Trickster, Jesus was my girl... He also did Long Goodbye (my favourite from the last album) and about 5 songs from the new album. For the encore set he invited a bunch of the girls in the front up on stage and they all sat in a semi circle cross legged. I chickened out, I was close enough to make it, but I had no idea what my hair was doing after 2 hours of freedom and bopping up and down (although I found out later that it apparently behaved itself). Anywho. It ended with "Saint Lawrence River" which is my all time favourite song in the world and it just rocked.

So back to work for me... I might have to come back and edit this post... I'm just gushing at this point and the number of elipses will surely get me in trouble.... If you have a chance to see David Usher live... seriously... do it.

Yours googlingly...

Jennith Peart
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dark Waters

Drifting leafs, shadows
Wavered by riffles, raindrops
Death on living's cusp
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Streaming into spring

The morning began chasing a Brampton Transit bus and then I got lost. Well, turned around. I knew where I was, just not how to get where I was going using the roads I wanted to travel - nothing the 2 dozen maps (or at least the relevant portion of them) couldn't solve if I stopped to read them. This led to old Meadowvale - which is where I thought I wanted to go, but in fact wasn't. The long and short of it was that I discovered Fletcher's creek (my original goal had to be to access the Credit River from a small conservation area so I could get some spring flood pictures, however Fletcher's creek served my purposes better.)

The trail through this area was water covered ice, so I didn't venture too far, but I'd love to come back in fairer weather and explore. I did wander along the banks of the stream on both sides of 2nd line. It was a sort of self directed field trip intended to reinforce some of the concepts I'm learning in stream restoration and to collect some photos for a CD project I'm working on. What did I find that was exciting. A stream that was incising and widening in response to changes in its flow and sediment regimes due to urbanization. It is clear that a great deal of work has gone into designing the stormwater management facilities for the area. An enormous, and sadly fenced, storm water pond shares the valley with the stream. I got a couple of neat shots of the outfall to the stream. It was fun to photograph with lots of bends and meanders and bird song.

Anywho, I'll some more of the photos over the next few days.... yeah... streams and stormwater favourites...

Okay.. Hopefully the weather will turn to spring and it won't be long before I'm filling this blog with pictures of spring flowers in the woodlands, but I'm afraid to say... this is it for now.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

DAVID USHER's Strange Birds

The new album is out and in my hands and playing on my computer. It is solidly and consistently fantastic. I haven't had it long enough to have a favourite - but I think it'll be either "ugly is beautiful" or "so far down". Compared to other albums, the music is more upbeat and energetic, although the lyrics still have a lot of "darkness" to them. I like that there is some variety. It is easy to tell the songs apart - you don't have that sense that you've heard that song before when you get to track 11, yet you could peg it as David Usher easily. I remember the first time I heard Forest Fire on the radio in Thunder Bay - I knew right away that it was Moist - or "David Usher" as it turned out. The lyrics, as always, are brilliant, cutting, angsty and interesting....

I've broke tradition - this being the first time I haven't bought the new album on the day of its release while travelling. I bought Morning Orbit in Nanimo, BC and "if god had curves" on the way to Cape Breton, NS. I think I bought Hallucinations just before heading back to Fredericton, NB. I'm not going any where today (although there is a concert in my future on the weekend). Of course, that is breaking another tradition - I usually mange to miss all of his concerts by being in the wrong province or having his concert canceled in Thunder Bay due to drummer injuries.... :(.

Anywho... I'd better get back to writing about Wheal Jane...and listening to David Usher...



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Monday, March 19, 2007

Baby brother is all grown up

Depending when you knew me, assuming that you aren't simply a random internet stranger entertaining yourself by reading about the lives of other strangers, you may remember my kid brother as the small, curly-haired ninja turtle that was occasionally seen and almost never heard around my house. Although quiet when young, somewhere around the age of 12 - my brother discovered the sound of his own voice and hasn't shut up since although the sofistication of his chatter has vastly increased over the last few years. I fear he knows more about english and philosphy than I ever will. He sort of followed in our footsteps, joining the Woodlands Drama club when he got to highschool - although he was more prone to lead roles than lighting and sound. Beyond that he's simply unique.

Having moved home, after 11 years away from this part of the world, I rediscovered the joy of sharing a bathroom with a sibling (yeesh... how do they get so much water everywhere and never manage to get stuff in the laundry basket or garbage). Of course... being 11 years older than when I left, my baby brother was no longer a ninja turtle, but an artist, music, actor, scientist, philospher and writer.....preparing to enter university. Not to mention have grown somewhat taller and more bearded.... I guess having 2 baby brothers with facial hair is no weirder than having a 30 year old sister when you are in highschool - especially one still in school and owning several stuffed animals.

This past week, he and my parents have been bopping from university to university trying to gather the information needed to make the big decision.... I recall spending my last year of highschool playing Northwest Passage and the Edmund Fitzgerald ad naseaum in preparation for moving up north. Its a weird kind of double vision to remember yourself at that age and see someone at the cusp of that transition and wonder where all your time and energy went. How on earth did I find time to hang out with friends, practice the guitar, volunteer for guiding, special needs swimming and the red cross, deliver papers, play on the school soccer team and take part in the drama and outers clubs....I feel tired just typing that... and guilty that my guitar is still in its case....

Good luck to my little brother on his journeys...these are the best years of your life... savour them because you only have that much energy and that much opportunity once...



P.S. On a side note, I seem to be suffering from a wide spread epidemic of blog neglect.... hopefully I'll remedy this soon... Look for comments on David Usher's new album tomorrow.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Water is Rising

Well, a quick look at local hydrographs will tell you that today could bring floods, as the snow melts and a thundershower closes out the day. Well, driving to school this morning, evidence of minor flooding abounded. I'm thinking of playing with my camera somewhere on the credit this evening.

I'm working on a case study presentation for Stream Restoration on the Wheal Jane Incident where 50,000,000 tonnes of acidic, metal laden water flooded from a recently abandoned tin mine into the Carnon river and Falmouth Bay. There is lots of good info on the web, but I've linked up the title to the most comprehensive sites. Wander around.. the site is set up a bit funny, but there is tonnes of info on the area.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Turning a corner

Goodness - all the sudden March and spring seem to be sneaking up on me.... I'm yawning like a lion. Can't figure out why... maybe I need a coffee or tea.

I think I'll be glad when the ground drys up and its warm enough to go hiking and not need a tonne of winter clothing. I think it is time to have another haiku contest perhaps.


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Nerd Test (Geoff, you beat me)

I am nerdier than 90% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Well, its lame.... but at least I'm not quite as nerdy as my brother :P


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Snowshoeing Gone Wrong

While listening to the news this morning, my ears perked up to hear that someone was lost on the Fundy Trail. "I've been there", I thought. The shock though, was finding out that ther person was actually someone that I knew fairly well and in fact had gone hiking and snowshoeing with in the past with the UNB wildlife society. The good news is that they found him and he seems to be alive - although apparently he's listed in serious condition and may lose some toes. This is at least the 3rd bad thing to happen to someone I know, doing something that they do well in the last year - Last fall a friend was in a bad climbing accident, and Andrew Desmond, a close friend from high school, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Hopefully things work out okay. He's a strong athlete who I remember for conquering Katadyn in 6 hours, when it took the other group 12 hours, and we limped in exhausted, in the dark, at about 8 pm. (although in our defense, we slowed down to accomodate a member who'd sprained their ankle.) Although, amusingly, we ran into communication problems that time too - the FRS radios each group had had to communicate failled to work even when we were both down and in the parking lot - complicating our finding them after the hike and letting them know we were back.

More surprising is who widely this is making the news. Here is a link to the star article.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

If Jesus had a family.....

I was surprised that this opinions column in the star was as civil as it was - it seemed to invite rancid invective from both sides.... I have to admit that seeing how I view family and community as the 2 most valuable functions of religion - the idea that Jesus might have had a family (meaning wife and kids) seems completely unoffensive - appealing even. Who better to be our role model in the most important job most of us ever take on - that of spouses and parents......

Its odd - that history (however distorted it has become in 8000 years) is such an awkward thing for religions that have already written and interpreted their books at a time when not all the information was avaible. Change should not be threatening. If Jesus is to be viewed as a historical person - then the church should seek as much information about his life as possible - not sweep potential stories under the rug. They should be doing the research and making the documentaries to revive interest and faith in their religion. That said, I admit that I am highly skeptical of this information anyways... there is just too much motive to make something up on flimsy evidence. I was not aware that any of Jesus's uncontaminated DNA was kicking around. It would difficult for them to establish and verify this information in a way that was believable. So probably, it is just someone from the same time period who could possibly be Jesus, but then it could possibly be anyone.

On that note, my appologies for neglecting my blog... Its been a busy week all and all.

Hopefully, I'll have a bit more time to work on this now.


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Sunday, March 04, 2007


Yeah for board games... I've been becoming an addict. Here we are playing Carcasonne - I'm blue... I don't think I did that well.

Wow! I just realized how long it has been since I've written. I suppose my life hasn't exactly produced any blog worthy moments. We found Lowville Park and went for a short walk after getting lost trying to find it. Its the same and different than I remember it. The general store which used to sell stuff like jewelry, quilts and candles is now a fancy-smancy bistro (that charges $2.25 for 3/4 of a small cup of not particularly distinguished coffee) and the 3rd bridge is missing. We didn't think to bring toboggens - but the hill was looking pretty cool. I'd forgotten that there was an old school house and a bunch of sport fields there. Anywho - nice to get a bit of a bop out of the city. It turns out that after we left my parents independently decided to go for a drive and the fact that we didn't see each other is a small miracle.

Anywho... its time to play with my calculator and do my taxes. I think I'm one of the few folks who still does it by hand, but it really isn't that complicated at this point in my life....

So farewell...

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