Iceholes of Toronto – Part Two

More photos from my wander along the Beaches boardwalk in east Toronto, with some of my favourites from the walk in this stack.

See also Part One

Iceholes of Toronto – Part One

So, we’ve finally hit the sweet spot of Toronto’s winter…cold enough for the ice to be amazing along the lake, but warm enough I can actually work the camera button without suffering frost bite.

Here and in my next post are a few images I took down at the Beaches boardwalk in east end Toronto.

See also Part Two.

Snow drifting

(Image property of Duncan Rawlinson; http://duncan.co/tag/snowing/)

(Image property of Duncan Rawlinson; http://duncan.co/tag/snowing/)

From thousands of feet, the snowflake made its way from its misty nursery to a gentle caress of Henry’s cheek, slowly melting where ice meets the dampened skin to puddle with its fallen brethren.

Henry faces the sky, his back firmly planted in the snow bank, the drift slowly cocooning him as the crystalline waters descend, tears of boreal gods.

Flakes weave with the hairs of his beard, completing the whitening that age has yet left undone, his thinning scalp protected by the few remaining threads of a toque too old to be merely ancient.

Pedestrians trundle by, eyes held askew, muttering their disapproval as they bow their heads against the wind and cold. But he remains oblivious to their stares and sneers, in a world of his own, one with the thickening storm that swaddles him.

Henry doesn’t feel the cold they feel. He doesn’t feel the wind they fight. Nor does he feel the latex-gloved hands that lift him to the gurney as an unusually cold winter claims another life.

Naturally Christmas Day

As I headed off for my Christmas feast in downtown Toronto, I took a bit of time to photograph some of the natural and urban wonders of my city.

Attached, are some of the natural attractions as Toronto chips its way out of the latest ice storm.

Second Sight

snow leather

A flake of snow falls from the sky,

A crystal of water from heaven’s gate,

And the angelic white contrasts sharply

With the black of leather

As the flake lands upon my glove.

The simple elegance of lines and angles,

Vertices and sides, stand out in my mind

As a moment of magic.

But, by its very nature

A moment is only transitory.

 

Soon, the star of ice

That I hold in my glove,

Succumbs to the heat of me,

Escaping slowly through leather.

Slowly at first, but quickening every second,

The incubus begins to transform.

Tendrils are lost and tiny arms

Begin to puddle on my glove

Until all is lost, a spot of water.

As quickly as it arrived,

The magic is lost;

A moment never to return.

Within seconds though,

Another flake arrives

And the cycle begins anew.

 

This is the very nature of magic.

Transitory but unlimited

And the moments of mystery

Are guided by ourselves.

Their duration a test of our desire

As we get older, our worlds more severe,

It gets harder to find

The magic in our lives,

But it is not because

Magic does not exist.

It surrounds us at every turn,

Simply awaiting our attention.

Call it God, faith, life or dreams,

Magic exists but for the seeing.

 

Sometimes you just have to use

The eyes of the soul and spirit

Or a friend to point the way.

(Image is property of owner and is used here without permission but a little magic.)

Dauphin Lake

Virginal tableau of ice and snow,

Cloudless sky of photonic bliss,

Serenity whispers in my ear

And the universe rests.

A thunderous snap

Violently tears the silence

Only to be swallowed

By the gentle murmur

Of a newborn breeze.

Almost imperceptibly,

The tableau is broken;

Minor movements barely felt,

Tinny cracks inaudibly sensed.

Newly formed leaves turn to watch

The millimeter march of white

As snow and ice shift to shore.

Pushing, crawling, clawing,

An unrelenting progress

Of unimaginable ruin.

Unslaked with its beachhead,

It forces onward and inland,

Carving glacial paths toward homes.

Bending trees, crushing fences,

Invading homes, uprooting lives,

Until the breeze subsides

And serenity returns to the lake

To contrast broken lives.

Image

Image

(Images used without permission; copyright ctvnews.ca)

Learn more about the destruction at Dauphin Lake and our ongoing under-appreciation of Nature’s ability to take back what is hers.

Highway 401

Snowflakes hit the windshield / Like a swarm of angry bees

And are swept away as quickly / To make room for their brethren.

 

Clouds of frozen heaven / Scurry across the highway;

Riders on chaotic steeds / Dancing in a winter rodeo.

 

The car is buffeted / By the ever-changing winds,

And Zephyr’s howling wolves / Keep back all possible speech.

 

Ahead in the gloom, / Angry red eyes of devils

Waiver to and fro / Across sheets of black ice.

 

They slide into earthly clouds / Following well-worn lines,

The desperate marks of earlier travellers / In the uncertainty of the storm.

 

The normally limitless universe / Is bound on this night

By the visible few feet ahead.

The pathetic beams of headlights / Are white canes for blind drivers

Reaching cautiously into the unknown.

Have you herd?

The ground is covered with the crisp snow of January,

The wind howls its plaintive cries of winter.

The herd mill about in tight formation

Trying to stave off the cold.

Most lift their feet one at a time

As if to get brief respite from the icy tendrils;

Their flesh quivering to make blood rise

And warm their souls in the early morning darkness.

There is little communication between the members

As thought is too difficult on this cold winter’s day.

The breath of the herd forms an icy cloud above their heads,

That is quickly blown away to fall as snow in some far off land.

Their minds wander to that time so long ago,

When the sun shone brightly and the grass was green;

A time of plenty when they were warm and active.

 

The wind blows one icy blast, masking out all sound

Even that of their own heart beats.

With ice forming on their coats,

The herd huddles even closer,

More oblivious than ever to the world around them.

Suddenly, one of the herd lifts its head.

A whisper is faintly heard fighting against the breeze.

In response, more to their mate than to any sound,

The herd begins to waken.

The herd jostles as the sound changes

From a whisper to a call to a roar.

The herd becomes a living organism,

Changing from its dormant state to one of vitality.

As the sun peeks over the horizon, and life returns,

A clear call is heard by all:

“VIA train, eastbound for Toronto,

Now arriving on Track 2.”

Another workday begins for the people of Oakville.