Tag Archives: writer

Snake Season, Narcisse, MB

Reposting because this annual event is occurring right now! Find other interesting Manitoba excursions on my Day Tripper page.

Reid Dickie

April 2002

It is one of those late April anomalies: 25 degrees C with a warm south wind, the kind of day that entices red-sided garter snakes from their cool winter dens.

In the Interlake on Highway 17, just north of the village of Narcisse, one of the largest populations of garter snakes in Canada is beginning its spring mating ritual. That is what I’ve come to see.

I’ve come to face a fear too. Ever since a small lime-green snake wriggled out of a crate of bananas in our general store when I was five years old and startled me to hysteria, I’ve feared snakes. Raised in a rural area but long a city dweller, I’ve recently reawakened my connection to nature. Hiking and camping in remote areas, I still find bears, wolverines and black widow spiders frighten me much less than snakes. The dry rustle of a snake in the grass raises the hairs on my neck instantly. Today is a good day to face that fear.

In the parking lot, a friendly Conservation officer gives out pamphlets and information about the snakes. An easy 3 km trail is designed so four snake dens can be viewed. At the first site, a snow fence separates the many human visitors from the den opening.

The sinkhole is in a stand of poplars, its rocky entrance covered with bright green moss in contrast to the brown wintered leaves and the darker highlighted greens of the snakes as they slide with keen grace.

Having overwintered below the frost line in deep caves eroded into the limestone bedrock, garter snakes emerge to mate. Starting in mid April for about four weeks, male snakes gather at the mouth of the dens waiting for females. As each female emerges, she is immediately beset with eager males, forming a mating ball.

Female garter snakes are easy to spot as they are thicker and longer than males. As I stand and watch, a female emerges from the darkness. With amazing speed dozens of males slither to engulf her. Moving over dry leaves and twigs, the snakes make a low static crackle, the appropriate soundtrack to their urgent impassioned dance.

Hundreds of males swarm about the female, a frenzied tangle that moves across the ground, over stones and around trees. Two more mating balls suddenly appear, snakes seem to materialize out of nowhere.

The snakes have drawn a good crowd on this warm Sunday. Small children react with either silent awe or curious delight. A German man, talking excitedly, holds a snake up to his companion who looks on in disgust. A white-haired woman squeals in fear, saying how much she dislikes snakes. Her shrieks mix with the joyous cries of her grandchildren as they interact with the critters. A crackle of ancient fear arises in me when a small male slithers over the toe of my boot.

Oblivious to our fears and our presence the preoccupied snakes mate on. The Eros of all those fleshy bodies entwined in procreativity is almost palpable. The spring air is rich with the aromas of thawed earth. The trees are early budding; the poplars give off their sticky smell.

It is a pleasant stroll along the trail in the warm sun. At each den, mating balls have formed, the biological imperative fully engaged. At one stop, a large ball of snakes has climbed four feet up a poplar sapling. Like a drop of water, the ball splashes snakes when it falls. Within a few seconds the ball re-forms and rolls away.

Once mated, female garter snakes disperse over an area of 30,000 hectares to have their live young in one of the many marshes or rocky bluffs that make excellent snake habitat. Some travel 25 kms or more from the dens. When all the females have mated and gone, the males leave as well.

Because they are cold-blooded, snakes must follow the cycle of the seasons closely. Adult garter snakes return to their hibernation dens when the weather begins to cool in September. Juvenile snakes stay where they summer, finding an animal burrow or crevasse that reaches below the frost line. The next fall they will migrate to a den and join thousands of their kind to overwinter.

If a mating ball has a hundred snakes in it, I try to imagine what it must look like with tens of thousands of snakes in a sleeping heap deep underground. That image leaves a thin film of sweat on my scalp as I sidestep a garter snake on my way to the car.

Did I face my fear? It was a beginning. Will I return to the snake dens? Yes, I must.

It was only a beginning.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Tripping, Life and Life Only, Natural Places, PRAIRIES

The Changing Light – Subtle, Relentless, Pure

Afternoon turns into night. Time lapse photography from the porch of Yurt #4 at Spruce Woods Provincial Park. Click pic to watch my video

Leave a comment

Filed under Film, Images, Linda, Parks, Sacred Places

Manitoba Heritage – All Saints Anglican Church, Stonewall area

Reid Dickie

All Saints Victoria Anglican Church, Stonewall area

One of the many distinguishing features of this little wooden church is that it was among the first Anglican churches in Manitoba built away from the river-oriented Red River Settlement. Constructed in 1877, the church is also a rare remaining example of dovetail log construction, a technique that replaced the earlier Red River frame method. Limited resources of the time yielded a humble and unpretentious place of worship with a modest bell- cote.

Typical of Anglican churches of the time, All Saints Victoria Anglican has a symmetrical rectangular shape with gable ends and a matching gabled porch, a simple bell-cote with a shingled pyramidal roof and sensible, reserved Gothic Revival details.

The trios of pointed side windows, divided by wooden tracery creating further points, and their red and blue top lights are central and simple characteristics of Gothic Revival.  I especially like this picture of the matching headstone and pointed arch windows.

On a well-treed lot and surrounded on three sides by graves of many of the area pioneers dating back to the first settlements, the little church is located about 7 kms north of where the divided Hwy #7 highway ends and half a kilometre west of the highway. Coming in from the south, there is a road sign denoting the site’s heritage value and directing you to it. No such sign exists coming in from the north.

Leave a comment

Filed under Churches, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Heritage – Lorne Terrace

Lorne Terrace, 1133-37 Lorne Avenue, Brandon, MB

Reid Dickie

Before apartment blocks became the norm for dense urban housing, row houses or terraces served a similar purpose. Originating in Europe in the 16th century, a row of identical or mirror-image houses that shared side walls made more efficient use of city land than detached houses. Row houses spread around the world and an excellent example can be found in downtown Brandon, MB. Located at the corner of Lorne Avenue and 11th Street, Lorne Terrace was built in 1892 and originally divided into four separate and quite luxurious, for the time, units. Today the terrace has 14 apartments.

Lorne Terrace was built by Bell Brothers Construction Company which had a reputation for top-quality materials and workmanship and attention to detail. Over four decades, Bell Brothers constructed many notable buildings in Brandon, some of which are now precious heritage sites. The Terrace is one of them.

The first thing that strikes you about Lorne Terrace is its substantial rectangular massing in fine buff brick laid in standard running bond with a medium-pitch hipped roof, cross gables on the front and rear and hipped dormers on all sides. Now drink in the symmetry of the front facade.

The pair of entrances feature identical gabled porches and arched hood moulds that replicate the ones under the third floor gable peaks. The fenestration offers a variety of openings: singles, pairs and trios of windows abound including the two lovely Palladian-style openings on the main floor between the entrances, both with raised brick hood moulds.

The craftsmanship of the brick detailing on the terrace is exceptional. Study the brickwork below each gable and you will discover an array of stylings from dog-toothing where the corners of the bricks protrude, to soldier, sailor and rowlock courses to a basket weave pattern right above the paired windows with blind arches and hood moulds highlighting the opening. In this picture you can also see the painted wooden bracket with a bit of scrollwork on the inside corner of the front gable. Several raised brick stringcourses, including the sills, wrap around the building.

Leave a comment

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Local History, Manitoba Heritage

Wakpa Tanka Lookout – Miniota

Reid Dickie

For thousands of years the valley of the Assiniboine River provided food, water and shelter. Along its banks are numerous known and unknown former campsites where evidence of habitation can be found.

In 1992, pipeline crews discovered a rare campsite on the banks of the Assiniboine near Miniota, MB, rare because the site was used only once before it was covered with river sediment from flooding. The archies thoroughly dug the site and preserved dozens of artifacts dating back 1000 years to the Avonlea people. Today a viewing platform and information board perched high above the river offer access to a millennium of river history.

Called Wakpa Tanka Lookout, the site provides a panoramic view of the river valley, which includes an oxbow of the Assiniboine. Translated from Dakota, Wakpa Tanka means “great river.” A sturdy well-constructed kiosk provides written and pictoral background on the site’s history and details about the grand valley view before you.

Also at the site is the trailhead for the Silver Bend Trail, a trail with exceptional vistas of the Assiniboine valley. Signage along the trail speaks of aboriginal peoples and settlers offering insight into their daily lives. Steamboats plied the river delivering supplies to settlements along the banks.

The site is easy to find. Access to the trailhead and Wakpa Tanka Lookout is off Hwy #83 about a mile and a half north of Miniota. By the highway is a sign for Silver Bend Trail. Turn west onto a good gravel road, drive over a small wooden trestle bridge and into the site. This trestle bridge, which spans CNR tracks, is a rarity in Manitoba as it is completely constructed of wood, even the driving surface.

2 Comments

Filed under Day Tripping, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Natural Places, Prairie People, Roadside Attractions

Alexander Ridge Park

Reid Dickie

Most Manitobans know we live on a flood plain due to the regular reminders of our rivers. Many don’t know that we live on a lake bottom, Lake Agassiz to be exact, which accounts for the flatness of the land. For several thousand years this massive lake harboured the meltwater from glaciers, some of them a mile and half thick, that covered the province during the last Ice Age which lasted about 85,000 years. Other than the thousands of lakes that dot the province, most of them remnants of Lake Agassiz, we still have a few beaches remaining to remind us of the huge glacial lake.

In eastern Manitoba there is evidence of various lakewater levels along the edge of the Canadian Shield. In the western part of the province, the Manitoba Escarpment formed the boundary of the big lake. There still remain a few places where the beaches of the lake are visible. You can clearly see evidence of numerous levels of the lake on the Arden Ridge off Hwy #16. Spirit Sands in Spruce Woods Provincial Park is, in fact, the delta of a huge river that drained meltwater into Lake Agassiz at that spot. Around Riding Mountain National Park there are still beach ridges visible. The park offers a short hike that takes you along the ridges.

Just a few miles west of Miami, MB as you climb up the Manitoba Escarpment on Hwy #23, an opportunity to drink in the vistas of the old lake bottom has been created. Called Alexander Ridge Park and located almost at the top of the escarpment, the site features grand views of the flatland below and a satisfying roadside stop. The top picture is one of the long views of the plains below offered from the park. Signage explains the origins of the park and its lighthouse theme, picnic tables await and a wooden lookout tower enhances your 20-mile view of the plains. Several Sea Buckthorn bushes flourish in the well-maintained park. Last fall they were loaded with bright orange berries.

A worthwhile roadside stop but you have to be vigilant to find it. Located on the north side of Hwy #23 is a large sign with a lighthouse on it that identifies the park but you have to doubleback on a side road to get into the place.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Tripping, Manitoba Heritage, Natural Places, Parks, Pioneers, Roadside Attractions

Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, Kosiw, MB

Reid Dickie

Located in the Kosiw district south-southwest of Dauphin, MB, near the northern boundary of Riding Mountain National Park, the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul is a fine interpretation of a type of traditional church architecture found in Western Ukraine. Overlooking pastoral rolling farmland, the cruciform wooden church with its five, eight-sided, metal-covered banyas (onion domes), including the large two-tiered central dome that opens into the church below, has served area pioneers and their descendents since 1921. The figure of the arched sash windows is doubly replicated in the attractive entrance to the place. On the same sheltered grounds is a well constructed wooden belltower, typically separate from the church proper, housing two bells. Watch my one-minute video of the church.

Leave a comment

Filed under Churches, Ghost Towns, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage, Spirit, Uncategorized

“Waste Land” – Another Great Doc!

Reid Dickie

I have another documentary to recommend. Three years in the making, Waste Land follows Brazilian-born Brooklyn artist Vik Muniz back to his native Brazil and to the biggest garbage dump in the world, Jardim Gramacho, just outside of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz returns home to create images of the catadores, a group of about 2500 people who climb mountains of trash to pull recyclable materials out of the tons of garbage deposited daily. Vik’s original plan had been to “paint” the catadores but wound up having the garbage pickers create large images of themselves out of garbage and photographing the results. The despair and the dignity of the catadores is obvious and heartfelt throughout as is the transformational power of art. Suddenly given self-images and seeing their faces on the walls of an art gallery changes the lives of everyone involved in the process. Uplifting and provocative, Waste Land, directed by Lucy Walker, will inspire your imagination and invigorate your spirit. Click the pic to see the trailer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Actions, BEAUTY, Film, Hope, Old Souls, Pioneers, Soul Building, Spirit

Manitoba Heritage – Union Point United Church

Reid Dickie

Union Point United Church, Hwy #75

Two lanes of Hwy #75 flow northward and two lanes flow southward and between them is this pretty little Gothic wooden church, the last remnant of a ghost town. Situated a few kilometers south of Ste. Agathe, MB in the Rural Municipality of Morris, Union Point United Church is a dramatic, albeit final, vestige of a pioneer settlement called Union Point. A few dozen headstones near the church also memorialize the community; the oldest stones read 1879.

According to Manitoba wood carver Warren Breyfogle, who was born on his grandparent’s farm at Union Point, the community was so named because it was the stopping place for both the paddlewheel boats that plied the nearby Red River and for the stage coaches that traveled north and south along the river between Winnipeg and the U. S.

The first Union Point Church, originally serving a  Presbyterian congregation, was built here in 1887. Destroyed by fire in 1939, the present building replaced it in 1940.

Simple Gothic details abound on this little church: the rectangular shape, the pointed windows all around and complementary tracery, similar pointed openings in the off-centre steeple with its steeply pitched roof and wooden pinnacle pointing heavenward, off-centre entrance with pointed arch over the doorway and the octaflor stained glass window above the trio of lancet windows. Classic materials were used to build the church: clapboard siding and plain wood trim, all painted white, exposed rafter tails and buff brick chimney. Watch my 2:09 video of Union Point United.

Leave a comment

Filed under Churches, Day Tripping, Ghost Towns, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Spruce Woods Park Today

Reid Dickie

Last Friday I took a drive out to Spruce Woods Park to see how the little park overwintered. Park workers have cleaned up most of the debris that cluttered the ditches. The plastic and metal grid dams that were washed away and strewn about the park have been removed. Some infill in wash-out areas, such as around the park sign and in ditches where water stood all last year, has been done. The huge pile of trees next to the bridge has been removed, likely providing the park with firewood for the next five years. The low road to the campground is still impassable and there remains plenty of evidence of the flood’s impact on the landscape. 

According to Manitoba Parks, the entire lower campground (bays 1 – 7) and all the campground buildings at Kiche Manitou in Spruce Woods were completely destroyed by the floodwaters. Currently the department is assessing damages and planning reconstruction, however, the lower campground will NOT be open for the 2012 season. The upper campground and yurts will still be available.

I stopped at the trailhead of Spirit Sands and took a few pictures. Though they never moved all last summer, the three covered wagons await their horses and a flood of tourists to carry out to the dunes. Other than the lower campground closure and most of the trail system needing repairs, the park will  operate more or less as usual this year. I’m looking forward to watching the natural changes the park will undergo this summer.

The status of several other provincial parks damaged by flooding last year remains uncertain. The department is reporting that availability of parks around Lake Manitoba inundated by high lake levels will vary. Since its campground and park infrastructure were completely destroyed, camping at St. Ambroise Park will not be offered this year. Also on the lake, Watchorn Park was damaged badly and assessments are currently underway, but it’s uncertain whether camping will be available this year. The campgrounds at Rainbow Beach and Manipogo Parks are now under repair with the intent that they’ll be open on May 11. Lundar Beach Park suffered extensive damage and, although repairs are underway, availability of camping this summer is uncertain. Slowly our parks will bounce back.

There have been changes this year in Manitoba Parks. Camping fees have increased slightly, between $1.05 and $3.15 depending on services offered. Park entry fees will be charged this year, ending three pleasant years of free park entry. Annual permits are just $30, amongst the lowest in Canada. Three-day passes are $8 and single day is $4. Permits are required after May 1 and can be purchased by mid-April at any Manitoba conservation office including campground offices, large stores like Canadian Tire and small stores that cater to fishers and hunters.

The Manitoba Provincial Parks Reservation System kicks into life tomorrow, April 2, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.  They should have the latest information on campground availability around the province. In Winnipeg call 948-3333, elsewhere toll-free 1-888-482-2267. Their website is manitobaparks.com

The mighty Assiniboine that caused havoc last year at this time is a much more peaceful river today as you can see. Here it’s rounding the bend at Spirit Sands trailhead. I’ll have many more reports on Spruce Woods Park and my other travels this summer on my blog. Stay tuned. Happy trails!

2 Comments

Filed under Accommodations, Carberry, Day Tripping, Flood, Natural Places, Parks, Spirit

The Party of Peacocks of Souris

Reid Dickie

Last year’s flooding of the Souris River valley displaced the party of peacocks and peahens that are a distinctive attraction in Souris, MB. Normally the peacocks live in a bird sanctuary in the valley but last summer they freely roamed the little town, enthralling people with their lush displays of tailfeathers and startling cries. They spent most of the mild winter on the lam in the town, finding shelter in various backyards. According to the Souris Plaindealer, the two dozen birds have been rounded up, corraled and relocated to a farm outside of town. When flood damages to the bird sanctuary are repaired, the birds will be returned to the valley. Watch my short video report on the peacocks of Souris which I shot at the height of last year’s flood.

Leave a comment

Filed under Birds, Day Tripping, Flood, Parks, Video

2012 Flood Update

Reid Dickie

A much different spring this year than last! Generally the Canadian prairies experienced a mild winter with very little snow in most areas. What snow there was is all gone; we had a thunderstorm on the last day of winter and the trees are already budding like mad. Unless we get a big blizzard, which is still quite possible between now and May, there won’t be flood threats this year. Lake Manitoba is still high and property owners around its rim are struggling to understand and access the government’s compensation package after last year’s debacle.

I plan to make my first recon trip out of the city this coming weekend which will include a visit to Spruce Woods Provincial Park to see how the little park overwintered. I’ll report on that on the weekend. As well, I’ll update the latest information on the summer outlook for Spruce Woods and the other parks flooded out last spring.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Tripping, Flood, Natural Places, Parks

Why It’s Called A Combine

Reid Dickie

 Click the pic to find out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Day Tripping, Prairie People, PRAIRIES

Lucky, Very Lucky

Reid Dickie

“We never know how we will affect people by just being who we are.” – Chris Scholl

Looking back over my six decades as Reid Dickie, I see patterns that define who I am. The older I get and the more honest I am with myself, the more evident my patterns become. Recurring events and themes that were confusing and unhappy at the time now make sense in the long view. By seeking out our patterns, we make ourselves wise, wise about ourselves and others, wise about the world. The trade-off in this life is wisdom for youth. As our bodies age and start to limit us, we are given the opportunity to become wise, to blossom mentally, possibly spiritually. Wisdom is not guaranteed though. It takes work. 

A major pattern of my life has been luck. Starting when I was a little boy I can recall my father often saying to me that I had a lucky horseshoe up my bum. When your father tells you something like that, you tend to take it literally which I did until Mom explained what he meant.  Dad was trying to tell me what a lucky boy I was. In the long view, he was right, as ever! Dad’s wisdom flowed smoothly and naturally through him. He inspired me more and more intensely the older and wiser he got. Every day I aspire to become like him. I have my work cut out for me.

Whether I was born lucky or grew into it, the horseshoe became a lifelong symbol and reminder of my good fortune. It certainly contributed to the notion that we create our own luck. Here’s an example of creating my own luck.

I am one of those incredibly lucky people who knew from a young age what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted to “be.” When I was eleven I decided I would become a radio announcer, more specifically a disc jockey. I remember earnestly discussing this with my parents when I was about 12. Although, as parents do, they both had higher aspirations for their only child: Mom wanted a doctor and Dad wanted…huh? Dad wanted me to be myself. Whoever that was or would be, that’s what Dad wanted me to “be.” Thanks Dad. Though Mom persisted good-naturedly with the doctor thing, we all decided that if I wanted to be a disc jockey, I’d be a damn good one and go to school to learn how it was done well. And I did.

After two years studying Radio and television Arts at Ryerson in Toronto, I got my first radio job in Flin Flon at CFAR where I was DJ, news reader, commercial writer and general joeboy. I loved it! I had made the right choice. Nine months later, in 1971, I got on at CKX in Brandon where I did the all-night show for 23 months. Five nights a week, starting at 1 a.m., I played whatever music I wanted for four hours then two hours of country music from 5 to 7 a.m. and I was done. I loved it! In the summer of 1973 I got a job in a major market – Winnipeg on CFRW-FM. At the time CFRW-FM simulcast the AM station for 18 hours a day and let me free range in their FM band for the other six. Again I could play or do whatever I wanted…and did. I loved it!

Hairy and happy, this is a picture of me in the CFRW-FM studio about 1974. There are more pics of me from my radio days in the Gallery.

For a short time after I got there, CFRW-FM studios were in the Confederation Building on the bend on Winnipeg’s Main Street. The station moved across the street to the old CKY radio studios near Main and McDermot. (The building is gone now.) The FM studio happened to be the very same studio where the CKY DJs who inspired me to work in radio did their shows in the early 1960s. I had come full circle. I had been devoured by the medium and spit out nightly on air, free to do and be whoever I wanted in a major market! It was the fruition of my dream from when I was eleven, a little bit of heaven, a luxury that few DJs thereafter ever got to experience. I created my radio fantasy for nearly two years before CHUM from Toronto bought both stations, turning FM into heavily-formatted CHIQ-FM.

CHUM buying CFRW-FM was another irony of my radio career. When I attended Ryerson in Toronto, I listened to CHUM-FM which was a terrific free-form radio station, a creative leader. CHUM-FM inspired the style of radio I would do in my early career but, in Winnipeg, CHUM was eliminating free-form radio in favour of tight formats.

Since its inception in the 1930s, FM radio had largely been a commercial mystery to broadcasters. Its stereo capacity attracted classical music but it wasn’t until the 1960s that FM’s commercial potential began to be exploited. First it was free-form radio, alternative, hippie stations that played lots of new music, had no format and played no hits. This was the first hint that FM held enormous possibilities to make money. By the mid-1970s FM had come under the thumb of the “format geniuses” and the end of free-form loomed. I was among the last DJs on a commercial station to create radio without formats or any kind of restrictions, other than playing the Club Beer commercials after 10 p.m. College and university radio stations would provide the next opportunity for people to create free-form radio. I was very lucky.

CFRW-FM added to my luck because it was there I met Linda. She worked in various capacities at the station, one of which was to give me a wake-up call about 1:00 every the afternoon. Linda lived in my neighbourhood so we started to hang out together, fell madly in love and spent the next thirty-three years together. Again, lucky, lucky!

Since getting online ten years ago, I have been contacted out of the blue by three former radio listeners who remember my work at CFRW-FM. All three claimed that my words and music left an indelible impression on their lives, whether it was their taste in music, their outlook on life or as an example of personal freedom. Recently one former listener contacted me and I hope he won’t mind if I quote his first email: I just wanted to let you know that you had a most profound affect on my life. I listened to your radio show on CFRW FM nearly every night. I`m talking about the show you did from 8pm -2am. Your words and music have stayed with me in my life. Right now I can barely type these words as memories keep flooding back. I am glad I was able to finally tell these things to you. Thank you so much. And remember “the harder you pull, the tighter it gets”.

I was surprised, humbled and overwhelmed by this email. I am enormously grateful to this man for sharing with me. Talk about a day-maker! As my friend Chris pointed out in this post’s opening quote, we never know the positive change we make in the world by simply being ourselves, by following our bliss. But every once in a while…

Lucky, very lucky!!

4 Comments

Filed under 1960s, Blog Life, Family, Life and Life Only, Linda, Love, Winnipeg

Correction on Churches page

Reid Dickie

I screwed up!

The picture I’ve have had on my Churches page that I thought was St. Agnes Anglican Church in Carberry is, in fact, Knox Zion Presbyterian Church in Carberry. They have similar designs which confused me.

My error was pointed out to me in a contact through the blog from “Anglican Clergyman.” I appreciate the correction. Thank you. There are pictures and short write-ups about 25 Manitoba churches, mostly in rural Manitoba, on my blog here. This is a picture of the real St. Agnes Anglican in Carberry.

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Life, Carberry, Churches, Heritage Buildings, Manitoba Heritage

176 Containers of Crap Winnipeg Bound

Reid Dickie

Yes, I counted them so you don’t have to. I was on the trail of capturing some footage of the Prairie Dog Central one morning last September and caught this fast freight hauling tons of precious crap to the dollar stores of Winnipeg. Click pic make train move.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Trains, Winnipeg

Happy Birthday Annie Dillard

American writer Annie Dillard, born on this day in 1945, has written some of the best poetry, fiction and non-fiction I’ve ever read including Tickets for a Prayer Wheel, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Teaching a Stone to Talk and  For the Time Being. Annie said, “I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try and put myself in the path of its beam.” and “This old rock planet gets the present for a present on its birthday every day.” and “If Man were to die, wheat couldn’t survive him more than three years.” and “Ecstasy is a soul’s response to the waves holiness makes as it nears.” and “Nothing moves a woman so deeply as the boyhood of the man she loves.” Her latest book, The Maytrees, came out in 2007. Watch Annie speak at Harper’s Magazine 150th Anniversary in 2000. She’s very funny.

Leave a comment

Filed under Momentous Day

My Friend Wrote a Beautiful eBook

            When traveling any path, it is essential to have as many allies as possible in as many different worlds. I am blessed to have Chris Scholl as a spirit ally. We’ve been friends for 12 years, grown together spiritually, traveled together and aided and abetted each other’s development and personal evolution. We are Old Souls, the ones who find each other in times of need.

               In addition to being a therapeutic drummer, imaginative musician and Old Soul, Chris is also a fine writer. His first eBook is now available online and I recommend it. Called Poetistics, this digital photo and poetry collection consists of 85 one-page poems that explore his thoughts and emotions as he grew and changed over the past few years. The poems are short, readable and resonant.  Thoughtful, kind and insightful also apply.

               Each poem has a beautiful and pertinent photograph as a background, usually an evocative nature scene. Words and image come together symphonically and convey a helpful and hopeful message for the future. The font is clear and easy to read. It looks great on any size device from desktop to handheld.

             The eBook comes as a pdf file you store on your computer and view in your chosen format.  Poetistics is available through DNArhythms, Chris’ website here:

 http://www.dnarhythms.com/

             Poetistics costs $22 Cdn. Half the proceeds support the DNArhythms project to buy drums for public schools. I used PayPal with my MasterCard and it was easy, safe and problem free. You can even send the eBook as a gift to someone else’s computer. DNArhythms is always on my blogroll.

           Give yourself and someone you love this shining gift. Thank you.

             Be happy,

                        Reid

Leave a comment

Filed under Spirit