Black and white. Nothing living. No explanations. There’s been a challenge popping up on my Facebook feed in the last week where you are asked to publish seven photos and follow the three rules above. Here are my seven photos. Tomorrow I’ll let you know where they were taken and what they are. But for today you can guess.
Merchants Photographed Around the World
Dave Driedger Wildlife Photographer
Creatures I’ve Photographed
Dave and Hans ready for the walk.
At the invitation of our friend Hans, who lives not far from us here in the San Tan Valley we went on a photography walk to see the Arizona sunset. The walk was in Lost Dutchman State Park an Arizona park we had never visited before.
Hans gets ready to take a photo beside a saguaro cactus that we learned weighs 10 tons. We hoped it wouldn’t fall on him!
Hans who belongs to a photography club carries all kinds of photography equipment along with him on these adventures. We even had to turn the car around just after setting off for the park to go back for stuff he had forgotten. I’m sure the photos he took on our walk were stunning and I am looking forward to seeing them. We were on the walk with forty-five other people. When we introduced ourselves we found out there was one other couple from Canada. They live near Ottawa but otherwise our group had visitors from more than a dozen different American states.Barb, a park volunteer was our guide for the walk. She has a comb pick in her hand. She told us this is an essential tool for a desert walk because it helps to get unwanted cacti burrs off your clothing without hurting your hands. Barb stopped to point out a whole bunch of different plants and trees on the hike. These are hedgehog cacti. Early in our walk we got our first view of the snow-capped Four Peaks way off in the distance. They are part of the Mazatzal Mountains. Only one of the four peaks has an official name-Brown’s Peak so I wondered what we could call the others.
Perhaps one should be named the Amethyst Peak since our guide Barb told us that between the third and fourth peak is the only commercial amethyst mine in the United States. Helicopters take supplies in and minerals out. The miners hike nine miles to work and usually spend about a week at a time at the mine site which has no running water or electricity. Hand tools are used to extract the amethyst. Because we were on the hike with Hans we actually got a picture of the two of us together.
During our two-hour walk it was interesting to watch the sun change Flat Iron, the rock formation behind us. Formed by volcanic activity some 25 million years ago it is a pillared mesa.
Here Barb is showing us some mistletoe growing on a tree. Desert mistletoe will eventually kill a tree but it can take 10 to 15 years to do so. The parasite is spread from one tree to another by birds who wipe their bills on branches or deposit droppings on the tree after eating the mistletoe fruit. Mistletoe is just a fact of life in the Sonoran Desert and there isn’t much you can do about it.
Don’t Dave and Hans look fascinated with all the facts they are learning about the mistletoe?
At this point in the evening Flat Iron reminded me of the red rocks you see in the Sedona area. This rock formation has been dubbed The Praying Hand. It is a favorite ascent for rock climbers.I thought the formation on the bottom left here looked like a hand too and in the one in the centre I could see a face with eyes, nose and mouth.
Later in the evening the light on the distant mountains reminded me of that line from God Bless America about the purple mountains majesty. The song was written using the words from a poem by Katherine Lee Bates. She and her life partner Katharine Coman were fellow Wellesley professors who traveled often to the American West and were tireless advocates for America’s poor. The rock formation in the background of this photo figures prominently in a First Nations legend that tells the story of a group of people who escaped a flood by climbing to its peak. The white line on the rock shows how high the water came. See the hoodos to the left? They are tall thin spires of rock also called fairy chimneys or earth pyramids. There is also a tragic modern story associated with this rock formation. On Thanksgiving in 2011 a plane crashed into it killing six people including a father and his three children. As we neared the end of our walk the sun truly set and we got some colourful views. The news is just full of all this rhetoric about a divided America and so it was kind of reassuring and lovely to hike through the sunset with this huge group of people of varying ages, from varying cultural backgrounds and various geographical regions in the United States who were all so friendly and enjoying nature’s spectacular show together.
Six Toed Cats, A Birthing Chair and His Last Penny
Better With Friends
Filed under Arizona, Nature
I live in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, not a place you might typically look for nature photos, but we have lots of natural beauty here. My friend Suzanne nominated me for a photo challenge on Facebook. I was to post nature photos for seven days. I decided to cheat a little and post seven pictures all at once on my blog. To narrow the field I only chose photos taken in my neighborhood.
Spring Leaves on Rorie Street
Icicles on the Royal Albert Hotel
Prairie grasses on the bank of the Red River
Canada Goose in Steve Juba Park
October trees on Bannatyne Avenue
Winter Pines at the Goldeyes Stadium
Fall colors at the end of McDermot Avenue
I’m Happy My Taxes Are Paying For This
Wisdom on a Tree
Couples in the Library
A photo of mine is going to be in a cinematography textbook ! One of the things I love about writing this blog is the connections I make with people all over the world and the way my work can be shared with others. A couple days ago Blain Brown from Los Angeles contacted me. He wants to use a photo he saw on my blog for the third edition of his cinematography textbook, a text that is to be published in 12 languages and used in major film schools around the world. His book is called Cinematography: Theory and Practice.
The photo of mine he wants to use is this one I took outside my condo building when the CBC was filming a movie called Jack about Canadian political leader Jack Layton. They were using the exterior of our building and some of the suites on our floor as settings for the movie. I called my post about the experience In the Middle of a Movie Set.
Other posts about my work being used……..
One of my Photos Is In A Book of Saints
A Photograph in The Mennonite
My Photograph is in the Supreme Court Building
I’m in the Pre Raphaelite Art Society Newsletter
Filed under Books, Movies
Filed under Arizona, Nature
A photograph of mine is hanging in the Supreme Court Building in Parliament Square in London England. It’s been there for a month now and 12,500 people have already come to see it. It will remain on display till September 23.
The photograph is one I took at the Manitoba Legislature grounds in Winnipeg. It features the statue created by Helen Grange Young to honor five Canadian women who petitioned the British Privy Judicial Council in 1927 to allow women to be recognized as persons in their own right. The Supreme Court of Canada had ruled they were not persons and therefore they were not eligible to run for public office in Canada. So they took their case to the British Privy Judicial Council. From 1833 to 1950 this council served as the highest court of appeal for the colonies of the British Empire, including Canada. The Privy Council ruled in favor of the women’s petition to be recognized as people.
Earlier this year I was contacted by Mr. Ben Wilson the Communications Director of the British Supreme Court who said they were planning a special exhibition in their building this summer featuring some of the landmark cases that had come before the British Privy Judicial Council during its more than a hundred years of operation. They wanted to include the women’s rights case advanced by the five Canadian suffragettes Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung and Louise McKinley. These women are often referred to as The Famous Five. Mr. Wilson the court communications director said while searching for a photo to include in the display about The Famous Five he came upon a blog post I had written about the women. My post included photographs of the special artwork that has been erected at the Manitoba Legislature to honor them. He wondered if I would be willing to let the Supreme Court use my “wonderful photographs” of the sculpture. I replied that I’d be honored.
Supreme Court Building Parliament Square London
Last week Mr. Wilson kindly sent me photos of the exterior of the Supreme Court building in London’s Parliament Square where my photo is exhibited. He also sent photos of the room where my photography work is displayed with the story of The Famous Five and a copy of the press release announcing the exhibition. The press release highlights three stories featured in the exhibition including the one about The Famous Five. Mr. Wilson also sent a photo of Lady Hale, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court opening the exhibition.
Although together they were a formidable team for advancing women’s rights each of The Famous Five did many admirable things on their own. Henrietta Muir Edwards was a founding member of the Victoria Order of Nurses and published the first magazine for working women in Canada. Emily Murphy was the first female magistrate in the British Empire and was instrumental in having the Dower Act passed which insured wives would inherit a portion of their husband’s estate when he died. Irene Parbly served as a cabinet minister and sponsored the Minimum Wage Act for Women. Louise McKinney a member of the Alberta legislature introduced legislation to support people with disabilities, immigrants and widowed and single women. Thanks to Nellie McClung Manitoba became the first province in Canada to give women the right to vote in 1916. The people of Canada owe a great debt of gratitude to these five women.
Although I wish I could have gone to London to see my photograph of The Famous Five on display in the Supreme Court Building I am still thrilled to have played a small part in having these crusading women’s story told outside of Canada.
Thanks to the Winnipeg Art Gallery I’m in the Pre-Raphaelite Art Society Newsletter
I’ve Put Winnipeg On the Map
The Famous Five