Winter Shots

Thanks in part to El Niño, I find myself spending more time outside than I normally would during the winter months. Consequently, I’m taking many more photographs with ice and snow as subjects.

I won’t post too many of them here; those interested can click through on the Flickr links to the right.

I hope you are enjoying the mild winter, too.

1) Kettle River Gorge
2) Falkland, B.C. on Dec. 27, 2015.

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End of Autumn Photography

Well, it was nice while it lasted. The colours of autumn have given way to shades of grey once again. I don’t get too excited about winter photography so you’ll notice a significant drop in the number of photos being posted to my various online sites. See you in the spring!

Autumn Pool

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“Miracle on 34th St”

Miracle on 34th St

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A Black Bear’s Stare

There have been a lot of bears around the West Kootenay region this year; sadly, seven have been killed because they came too close to the humans living here.

I saw this one near the Seven Mile Dam, about 15 km SE of Trail, B.C.

A curious black bear near the Seven Mile Dam.

A curious black bear near the Seven Mile Dam.

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The Internal Sea

An internal sea of dynamic, immeasurable chaos resulting in the ultimate simplicity.

I wrote that about the human heart a long time ago. Today, I got the chance to see and hear the sea churning.

I went for an “echo with Doppler” test today at the Trail Hospital. It’s another of the “let’s check this and eliminate another thing” tests I’ve been undergoing since finding out my lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides and the like) are roughly equivalent to pure, dark, Swiss chocolate.

Though it sounds impressive, this test doesn’t involve a giant, rotating satellite dish. Instead, it’s a few electrodes, cold gel and an even colder transducer bouncing high-frequency sound waves around your innards. The echoes coming back are magically transformed into moving pictures (!) for a Genuine Smart Person to interpret.

Based on previous experience with electrocardiograms, spinal taps, stress tests, angiograms and sexual encounters, I was expecting something in the range of 10 minutes or so but I was horizontal for about four times that amount of time.

Laying on my side in an elegant, dignified, Roman-statue-esque sort of way, it was easy enough to steal the odd glance at the screen but something deep in my psyche wouldn’t allow me to look at it for very long. Sure, when the tech turned on the sound and the “fffwoooosh, fffwoooosh, fffwoooosh” sound of my circulating blood filled the room, it was hard to resist… but resist I did. Upon review, I think it was likely that I didn’t trust I wouldn’t say, “What’s THAT?” and “Is THAT normal?!” to the sonographer/ultrasound tech. While no one has ever directly accused me of being a hypochondriac, it’s a well-known fact amongst my family and friends there is no love lost between me and medical institutions.

It also occurs to me, being a visual sort of person, a pulsating grey group of heart muscles just isn’t appealing at 7:30 in the morning. But it was more than that. I felt like I was peering behind the curtain, snatching glimpses of my mortality in action. At 45-years-old, I sometimes feel the gravitational weight of time pressing hard and the questions that generates is equally unappealing, at any time.

Scientists estimate about 95 per cent of the universe is made up of matter so minute it’s detectable only by its effect on normal matter. I think it’s the same with the internal sea… most of it, of us, is on a journey far beyond what we can rationalize, much less control. Instead of trying to find answers in minutiae or build fourth-dimensional dykes, it may be better to just surf the waves.

From a trip to Shadd Lake, SK.

From a trip to Shadd Lake, SK.

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Impressed by Fletcher Creek

When I headed out to see this creek, I wasn’t honestly expecting too much. On a map the landscape appeared relatively common but I was pleasantly surprised.

The walk in is easy and the falls are gorgeous. On another day, I’ll walk down to the base to see what I can capture from there.

If you go, be mindful of where you walk and where you set up for photos; it can be slippery and it’s a long way down from some spots.

Watch for Fletcher Creek Frontage on your right if you’re driving north on Hwy 31 toward Kaslo. You can either take that turn, then left to the parking area or continue a bit farther until you see the second entrance for it. The second turn is where you can see a yellow metal gate and that’s the entrance to the trail. See Google Map HERE.

Just south of Kaslo, B.C.

Just south of Kaslo, B.C.

Just south of Kaslo, B.C.

Just south of Kaslo, B.C.

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Utter Destruction

I’m now looking at this, and other, photographs that I took of the devastation in Rock Creek differently.

At the time, I was aware of the sensitivity of taking photos in places affected by disaster — and walked away when I saw anyone nearby — but it hadn’t hit me emotionally. Now it has.

It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to lose so much, so fast and so dramatically. This could have been worse, too. From media reports, many people had little time to evacuate; lives could have been lost. We still aren’t done with this fire season yet.

I hope no one else has to return to scenes like these.

© Marvin Beatty, 2015

Burned out property and horse trailer in Westbridge, B.C., Canada after a forest fire August 13, 2015.

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