Sunday, 9 March 2014

Wilderness Graffiti and the Art of Reading (viewer/reader discretion advised)

The photos in this post swing back and forth between different "wilderness" settings, each with its own treasury of messages. I've saved the "viewer discretion" photo for the end (after the traffic lights) — a bit of graphic urban graffiti ... not without talent, but probably not for all tastes!

Peaceful Restaurant, 4th and Balsam
 Peaceful Forest
 Near Clark and Pender

Most of these Urban Jungle shots were taken on the way home from another North Shore forest walk with Leah, Plouf, and Kali (see our whole gang here). The walk was wonderful, but it was raining steadily enough that I never removed my camera from my pack (the forest shots in today's post were taken yesterday, out at Pacific Spirit Park).

Among other things, Leah and I yakked about the power of fiction, and I groused about the way that writing fiction has compromised my pleasure in reading the stuff. I have trouble these days reading as a reader ... just entering the world of a story or novel without thinking about how effectively, or not, the thing is put together. I miss losing myself in a story, having the story become my whole world, the way it would when I was eight or fourteen or even twenty-three.

I think some of my students would argue that analyzing literature has the same fun-wrecking effect for them (those who've had the experience of enjoying literature, that is). I'm happy not to have that problem. If anything, thematic analysis of the sort I get students to do heightens the enjoyment for me. Right now I'm reading Of Mice and Men, which my young literary protege is studying at school, and I'm digging it.

Close Reading

Any guesses what the vertical box attached to the pole is?

(answer below)

Etchings in the Bark

Looking up, reaching down

Angles 1

Angles 2

It's one of those little community bookshare/library thingies! (I think they have a catchier name, but I can't remember — "pocket libraries"?) This one is a bit sad, with its three weather-beaten titles — Who Has Seen the Wind, The Count of Montecristo (en fran├žais), and something by Farley Mowat — but somehow cheerful at the same time. I think I have some material I can contribute next time I'm in the 'hood ...

Checking the map
And now, proceed at your own risk ....

... to the rear stairwell of the Nofo Safeway:

 Not quite the swish neighbourhood profile presented on this wall,
but not completely unrelated either.

Happy Springing ahead, everyone!


  1. I truly envy your ability to snap and walk. I tried it this morning on our walk - but I had to be leash free - and I took pics of only the dogs.
    You photog those images I see but don't snap. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Tony! It's easier to walk and shoot when there's only one dog. I bet your dog pics are better than mine. Most of the time I click the shutter half a second after the photogenic moment.


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