Art Show

Cooper, Scarlett and me on opening night.

The art show I was included in at CV Arts is now over. I went down and picked up my prints. Lisa and I had many kind comments about the pictures we chose to be part of the exhibit.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by, especially all of my family and friends who came to the opening. I am very uncomfortable in group settings and they made it bearable. Special thanks to Deb, Kurt and Brian for providing the wonderful music. Also thanks to CV Arts for allowing me to show.

Having never taken part in an exhibit like this it proved to be a learning experience. None of the photos sold, which was disappointing to me and also the managers of CV Arts. I would have liked to see them get some of their money back for hosting the exhibit.

The photos Lisa and I picked were closer to ‘fine art’ then most photos I take. We thought they would fit what CV Arts was looking for. The truth is I am not much a fan of fine art photography nor do I think I do it well. My composition is usually off and my processing and printing leaves much to be desired.

I prefer documentary style photography. There are many documentary photographers I admire. My Mother Isabelle was a fine documentary photographer. Most of the photos I produce are in this style. It may be the return of The Milky Way in February, a meteor shower or a conjunction of planets that is the subject and time I am trying to capture. They are often poorly processed and composed.

One of my favourite photos I included in the exhibit was of The Sacred Heat Church that is located on the Akisqnuk First Nation Reserve. The church is dilapidated. The door is open a crack and there is a set of footprints leading up the stairs in the snow.The sky is blue signifying morning. A telephone pole, crooked (bad composition) with a wire connected to the church with The Milky Way in the background. This photo is a testament of the role the Catholic Church has played in First Nation communities and an example of document photography. It is not fine art, nor would any one want to hang it in their house or cabin as a reminder of the atrocities the church has played in Canada and indigenous people.

I would like to say the show was a success, and in a way it was, my kids and grandkids got to see me in a different light. However, it was expensive and opening night was nerve racking. Will I exhibit in such a manner again; probably not.

It would be nice to make some money from photography, but it is far down the list of why I enjoy it. It is the getting out, seeing the stars, flowers or mountains and bringing a little piece home. Often I see something I hadn’t noticed when I clicked the shutter.

When my father lay dying I would bring him small pieces of the forest, a rock or a huckleberry blossom, something to remind him where his soul yearned to be, beyond his bed and walls, in the place he loved so much.

Nowadays, I do it with photos, but they are for me, my family, a few friends and anybody else who sees it that way. After all we are all going to get there sometime and need reminding.

It sounds lofty, but it isn’t, self gratifying; absolutely – it ain’t art, it’s a document.


Quick trip into the big city. We left early and the three hours went by quick with us chatting and the traffic lite. The smoke from the forest fires wasn’t too bad.

We hit Costco. We had shopping lists for four families. It went surprisingly smooth and didn’t have to wait at check out.

I bought a couple of Lavender and Barberry bushes at about the third the price I could get them at home. Then we fuelled up with the cheapest gas in Canada. Albertans love to bitch, but they don’t know how good they have it. Not that I’d ever trade places.

Now I just have to figure out where to put those Barberry and Lavender bushes.


Lisa had her appointment and we stopped at a mall so she could find a dress for a summer wedding we are invited to.

Looking for the dress took longer than Costco and the appointment put together. I walked around the mall looking through windows, but not going in. I saw Louis C.K. working at Sporting Life at the South Centre Mall. He was taller than he looks on TV. But it was him, sure as hell.

Lisa found a wonderful bright pant suit and colourful top. A summer ensemble. She looks gorgeous in it. Now I’m feeling bad for her, because I am going to look shabby on her arm.


The way home was a steady stream of traffic with every kind of driver. I like to hang back and give the impatient plenty of room in case they have to dodge in on the two lane highway through Kootenay National Park. There was a few times I felt like closing the gap and leave them hanging out there in oncoming traffic, but that wouldn’t be good for anybody.


When we were home and unloaded, I checked the garden. Perhaps it was the walk stretching my legs. I had a twelve second fart that broke the quiet of the evening. Even the birds stopped chirping and were struck with awe. A few neighbours came out and looked skyward. I had been travelling in the truck all day with Lisa and it built up. I was impressed I still had it in me.


The good neighbour Larry always gives me some plants. He starts them inside starting in February. To say he has a green thumb is an understatement.

I also start a few plants in March. When I have one or two that don’t look like they are going to make it, I let them convalesce at Larrys, and he breaths life back into them. It is like a spa for plants.

The plants he gives me must feel bad, because they go from a perfect environment to where they must survive.

‘Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen,’ he says, is my motto.

Early Summer

A Blue Heron considers eating a Striped Turtle. The turtle says, not today or tomorrow.

When we were kids, the long weekend in May was the earliest you would even consider being in the lake.

Mom used to say get burned in May and it will turn into tan for the rest of summer.

The sun felt good back then. So did the lake. One would ease the other.

The sun made me sleepy back then. It was like being a garter snake coming out from the clay banks and laying on railway ties. Like everything was okay.


Busier than shit these last few days. It’s close to 100° out there and someone told me the pool was too cold. It’s 78°.

I told them the hot tubs are hotter and the river is colder.


The wasps are building their hives. I was called to take one down. I didn’t feel bad as it was over a doorway. It was a poor choice for the queen. She flew away and I hope she finds a spot underground where it is cool and nobody complains.


There are thousands of tiny grasshoppers out there. They are going to love the coming hot weather.


Lisa says we should get our firewood before they close the bush down. I agree it could be a hotter than hell summer.


Smoke on the mountain.

The smoke has started. It could be a long summer. The smoke is from Alberta and Northern BC. Our forest fire season usually gets going in July. It could be a bad one judging from the heat we are experiencing.

Cinnamon Black Bear and black cub.

Willow and I headed for the bush. I was looking for Yarrow to make a hot compress for my knee that is giving me grief. On the way we saw a female Black Bear and cub.

The Yarrow was up and I mixed it with some of last years dried flowers.

Yarrow sprouts.

The Yarrow was boiled until soft, drained through cloth with the remaining leaves and flowers rolled in the cloth. Once cooled a bit it was put on my knee. It felt good. Hopefully it will do the trick.

Spring Ridge

Marking the season. Clouds with the Milky Way.


The rain will remove the snow.

Rain today and we needed it. Work was a missed mash of issues. Most got the better of me. Lisa has a small white board where I get dressed that says, ‘Make good choices’. She knows I don’t always, but I’m getting better from my younger days where it didn’t take much for me to fly off the handle.

The birds enjoyed the rain, they chirped and sang and were grateful for the worms that came to the surface, making eating easy.

You could almost watch the grass grow. I fear a hot dry summer. We have been lucky the last couple of years. The tourists are coming, no longer slowed by Covid, and each will have a pack of matches and a few fireworks, not content with turning off the lights and watching the much more magnificent Milky Way.

Anger still bubbles in me. Deep down. Watching the destruction. The waste, pollution and noise. Nothing changes fast, I remind myself. It takes time they say. In the meantime I try to make good choices.

Morning Walk

Lisa shows the kids what to look for.

A very nice walk this morning with Kelsie, Cooper and Scarlett. Lisa and I are lucky to have them along. Willow and Lola ran through the creek and fetched rocks and sticks. Lisa and Scarlett brought back pussy willows.

Scarlett decides to cross the creek on her bum. A good choice when unsure.


My father used to say, ‘Horns make poor soup.’ It was a way of saying, while hunting, to choose an animal, not by the size of the antlers, but how it will taste when it is on the table.

Willow thinks the horns taste just fine thank you!

Water water everywhere

Who pissed in my sink?

This is what District of Invermere (DOI) water looks like. I still drink it because I am told it is tested and fine for consumption, plus, I’ve seen Willow drink out of murky mud puddles on the side of a slough and she has always been fine.

Infrastructure and utilities has never been a strong suit of the DOI. Historically to present, Mayor and Council, primarily made up of real estate agents and businesspeople, have been known to act more as a chamber of commerce, who’s primary goal is to attract tourists and figure out ways to fit more boats on Lake Windermere, all the while, and without fail, feathering their own nests. Welcome to a tourist town.

Not that this is anything new or specific to this town. It’s the way things work most everywhere. The best a person can hope for is what is good for a politician; local, provincial or federal, is also good for the majority. In Canada, most of the time it is. If it happens, the politician gets rich in the meantime, we should be happy they didn’t resolve to display further greed and incompetence to make more people worse off.

If one was to complain about the water quality to the officials of DOI, which I would never do (why present concern to deaf ears?), the answer would be, ‘get a home water purification system if you are concerned’.

We are lucky to have an abundance of clear fresh water in the Columbia Valley, it just doesn’t flow through the pipes below the District of Invermere.