Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"and when you laugh, laugh like hell"

A ruffed grouse on the path along the Canadian side of Pigeon River. Isn't this a beautiful example of how a being lives within its natural environment and changes and adapts to changing conditions? I went for a hike with one of my sons on the American and then the Canadian trail that both run along the river at the border between our two countries after picking up my new camera. So, of course, we wanted to try out the camera, and besides, the trails at the border (there are numerous on both sides) are spectacular in the autumn. We saw this grey morph ruffed grouse right by our feet on the path. It wasn't bothered by us, at all. It just kept pecking away at the lichen, eating whatever it was in there that it found delicious. It had a crest and a beautiful deep indigo ruff around its collar.

My son exclaimed, "Too bad I don't have my gun!"

I reminded him, "This is provincial park land and no hunting is allowed! That's probably why this grouse isn't even afraid of us."

So, he went shooting with my new camera instead and caught this photo.

My new camera is a Samsung 12.2 mega pixels 5x zoom and although it cost more than my two older cameras, I think the photos are not as sharp in colour. I may be disappointed. I also noticed there seems to be some fading of distance in the background of landscape shots. But then again, there are more buttons to play with so I may have to work more with this camera. My old cameras both bit the dust; the shutter button fell off of the Sony Cybershot that I got as a hand-me-down from my oldest son, who got it as a hand-me-down from a friend. I googled how to repair it; I read don't bother. And my other camera, the old trusty heavy thick-bodied Sony Cybershot which I started this blog with suddenly stopped taking all photos except close-ups.
The other day when I was raking leaves in my yard and trimming dried up plants, I decided to make a decorative nest. Here is the nest I made in my yard with fall time yard clippings and fallen leaves, into which I placed the Chinese fortune ball I bought downtown Toronto a number of years ago from a shop that was closing down. I saw a similar nest last week on the ground off the Boulevard Lake path that some folks had made to surprise early morning bicyclists like me. It was one of those "live in the moment" interventions.

Fall is a time when thinking about mortality seems to come around quite often, particularly when one hikes through the autumnal northern landscape of sweet-smelling decay and death.

Below is a quotation for Fall musing which I found in an article on creativity and its importance in Native communities by Cherie Dimaline in First Nations House Magazine. I'm always keeping my eye open for well-written interesting short essays that I can use in my writing classes to show how writers construct their argument, and Dimaline's essay is perfect. As part of her support, she brings in advice to emerging writers from writer William Saroyan:

"The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think. Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."


Merche Pallarés said...

Taina, I thought you wouldn't write any more! I enjoyed this post very much. How funny that the grouse wouldn't be afraid... Although, you're right about the new camera because I didn't see much colour, it's very greyish.
Good advice from William Saroyan. I'm going to read your link right now. Hugs, M.

Merche Pallarés said...

Read it! Great article/essay and very true about the origin of creativity. By the way, too bad I don't have a camera, on the wall in front of my computer I have a large poster of "Indians of Canada" (it was given by "The Globe and Mail" in the 80's...) and a painting by John Laford, a native Canadian artist (it's my Canadian little corner...). Hugs again, M.

Black Pete said...

Very good, Taina!

Ari said...

That grouse has very protective colouring. It took quite a while to see a bird at all.

northshorewoman said...

Hello Merche,
I have to admit I've been thinking of closing my blog. I love writing but lately I've been thinking more and more about the dissolution of the private and the public and why is it that so many of our putting our lives/thought in public space?

You must take a photo of that poster and post it on your blog! That would be interesting.

Hello Black Pete, thank you. I hope your book launch went well last Saturday. Sorry to miss it. My days have been full.

Hello Ari, Isn't this an amazing bird? I have been thinking more and more about its magic medicine. Why did it just appear like that? Is there a message for me?

Merche Pallarés said...

Don't close it! Leave it open because you'll always have something interesting to write and you would be sorry to have it closed. Just keep writing when you feel like it. And, yes, I think the grouse was a message for you... Hugs, M.