Winter (?) in the Beaches

This time last year, the beach near my home in Toronto was buried under several feet of snow and ice (see the photographic evidence here and here), but this year, not so much.

I managed to take the camera out yesterday and was surprised at how Spring-like the area was.

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.

Hoar-ror Show

The silence screamed

As unyielding steel

Violated the ground.

Frozen corpses flung

To cadaverous skies,

Plummeting anew

O’er sacrificed brethren;

Unwelcomed freefall

Not insult enough

To be ignored

By violent injury.

Territory reclaimed,

Only to await

New fodder,

New victims.

Winter, it seems,

Is getting to me.

(Image is property of owner and is used here without permission…the horror…the horror.)

Urban Christmas

And now for some downtown Toronto shots from my walkabout before Christmas dinner.

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.)

Crème de Glace

So beautiful

So beautiful

Leaving the house to go to work,

I open my door to find

My world transformed.

Branches of the trees

Hang a little lower

In the cold morning air,

Suffering the burden

Of a coat transparent.

The rains of late evening

Have been transformed

As o’ernight mercury fell,

And the harsh rough bark

Gained a smooth icy coat,

Glimmers in the early light of day.

 

Droplets that formed

On branch tips and boughs

Are caught in tableaux,

Diamonds reaching out

To cut glace.

In the modest light of morn,

An explosion of stars

As branches dance

On the breeze,

And the horizon is littered

With silvers and golds

Of ice and leaves yet true.

 

An image in transition.

The day is a busy one.

As the run rises higher

And the ebon bark

Absorbs Helios’ glow,

The ice will melt;

Diamonds lost forever,

Stars fallen to earth.

And we’ll await

Another day,

Other magical illusions.

(Written 17 years ago, this seems appropriate today.)

Ice in Toronto

I am one of the lucky ones because I still have power, and I know the storm has been even more impactful east of Toronto (toward Kingston), but here are a few images from my house.