I don’t have any new Canadian photos to post, but in honour of my country’s 146th birthday I have posted a photo of what I have come to think of as my home. I hope you like it.
To my Canadian friends and family…Happy Canada Day!
I celebrated my 39th birthday today. My birthday gave me cause to contemplate my current context. I spent thirty-eight and a half years in Canada. Now that I live in Jakarta, my understanding of the lottery I unwittingly won by being born in North America has become so much better developed.
Take this photo, for instance. It is a “river” nearby to where I live, and that’s a “motorcycle” on the second floor balcony of an apartment that is adjacent to this river. This photo bothers me, and reminds me that I’ve had a pretty lucky existence.
There are many things in the photo that should bother the viewer…I’m wondering what bothers you.
This year has been momentous. I have watched as my family and I have adapted to our move from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, to Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved from teaching in a public school to an international, private school. I moved from one of the most beautiful places in the world (nah…it is the most beautiful) to a place I haven’t figured out yet. I moved from mountains and rivers to busy streets and overpopulation. I moved from ease and comfort (with a bit of financial challenge) to a place of challenge.
2012…the year of the move.
There’s a story I read, once, that Ansel Adams told about his “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” photo. It is one of the most evocative photos, with the moonlight reflecting off of gravestones and crosses in a cemetery in New Mexico. As he tells it, he was driving away from another photo shoot. He saw the moonlight reflecting off the cemetery as he was driving, so he pulled over to the side of the road, took out his camera and climbed up on his car, set up his tripod, managed a shot and…then the moon moved on. A minute later and he would never have taken this photo.
It’s a cool story because of the timing. Much of what makes a good photo is timing.
Above is my photo taken along the Sumas River. It’s as much of an Adams photo as I’ve taken so far. He will continue to inspire me and I will continue to photograph.
Ah, Monty Python.
As for the photo, that’s a lot of dead fish that are washing up on the sandbar after they’ve spawned. As you can imagine, it smells awesome. Awesome like a dumpster in hot sunlight.
That guy on the sandbar was among the dozens of other guys out on the river. You can check out yesterday’s photo to see the numbers.
I grew up in Saskatchewan and my grandfather used to take me fishing on his boat on Weyakwin Lake. It was beautiful. This is a lot more crowded (both with other fishermen and dead fish) than what I grew up with and I think I’ll keep my memories, rather than replace them with bad smells and claustrophobia.
If you’re a fisherman (is the p.c. version of that “fisher-person”?), then you know already that it’s fishing season here in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Everyone I know is talking about how they want to get on the river and fish, or what they caught this morning before work, or how many “pinks” are running right now. And me?
I like it when others do the work – catch it, gut it, filet it, flash freeze it and vacuum seal it – and then let me throw some olive oil and lemon peel on it, slap it on a cedar plank in the BBQ and eat it. That’s where I shine. The cooking and eating end of things. I’m not really into the whole fishing “thing”.
That said, I haven’t been fishing since I was 14, so maybe I would like it. Hmm…I wonder if anyone’s got some waders I could borrow?
BTW, extra credit if you can tell me what inspired the title of this post. Seriously. I’ll be impressed if you can remember where you first heard that phrase.
The “dam” best day of the year. Actually, my friend Ryan and his brother did the lion’s share of the work on this, but I helped build it a bit higher today. There is little better in this world than using your bare hands to change the course of a natural force like a river.
Someday, when my kids are grown up, I will be able to walk along the trail by the river. As long as my kids are along, however, we must spend time in or next to the river. My son has to be reminded regularly that the river is moving very quickly and that falling in might be disastrous. His response is always, “I know. I won’t. I know.”
So when we went to the river yesterday, I reminded him of all the dangers involved. Then he decided to take off his Crocs to wash the mud out of them.
My wife: “Don’t lose your shoes down the river.”
Ben: “I know. I won’t. I know.”
My wife: “Where’s your other shoe?”
Ben: “I put it right there (pointing at the shore behind him).”
My wife: “Well, where is it?”
Ben: “I just put it right there (with indignation).”
My wife: “It’s not there now.”
Ben: “But I just put it right there! (big pause) Uh oh.”
Ben was carried from the river back to the vehicle, so he was rewarded. My wife and I, who shared carrying duties, were punished for not stapling Ben’s shoes to his feet. Oh, and the photo above, those are Ben’s feet after the mishap.
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.