Saturday, July 23, 2011

North Country

How close do you live to nature?  I just returned from my relative's cottage up at Little Whitefish Lake up in Canada.  Thom Thompson  painted very similar landscapes almost a centure ago, setting off with his paints in a canoe which is how he mysteriously died while on a canoing trip.
In these northern landscapes, birch trees abound in their white and black zebra like presence.  Rocks stick out of the hills that descend to the lakes reminisent of the land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  But here the light is northern, giving the color of wildflowers a special intensity. 
Canadian wildlife is fearless.  Chipmunks shared the cottage, stealing chocolate off the table (truffles, no less) and a deer stood and watched us just as we watched him- a young buck with budding antlers.  A loon made sounds like mourning cries and then it sounded like wood clacking as it took off to fly away.  And the beavers- 5 acres of land under water because of their meticulously constructed dams and lodges.
The visit finished with a trip to a Toronto baking in 97 degrees.  Travel often makes you see your home in a different light.  As I pushed along with the rush hour crowds on the subway I realized- I never have to do that.  I walk to work!
My friend Pat is working on a fundraiser project of haikus.  Check out her link:

And for fun:

Step into deep mud,
beaver dam silt and branches-
unplug, let life flow.

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