Sunday, August 30, 2009

Art in the Park

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, weather permitting from June to September, you will find an array of artisans exhibiting their work on the greens along Lakeside Drive between Front Street and the Arena. For forty-one years now this unique show has allowed regional artists to display and sell their creations in a beautiful setting under the trees. Photography, paintings, sculpture, jewellery, wood, clay and glass are all for sale.With the artists being present to chat and share about how the pieces were created, for any art lover this show is definitely worth the drive to Stratford.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


This morning on my walk I was captured by shadows. Intricate patterns tossed like quilts on the ground casting beauty on pavement as much as on the clean cropped lawn of my neighour.

Life has its moments of shadow...layoffs, illness, accidents, death. Is there a way to look at these life events and see the light creating patterns on the dark, rather than focussing on the darkness obscuring the light?

This is the walk my pastor's family treds right now. As Ben is getting weaker, they are choosing to focus on life. In the words of his mom, they brought him home to live, not to die. Instead of existing in the hospital, they are living together at home. What an inspiration they are to us all...a lesson on facing life's challenges focussing on the light.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mirrored Pleasures

This morning dawned crystal clear and the river beckoned. As I walked down the Nile Street hill, the water displayed an absolutely perfect reflection, a sight we often don't get to see. The rain that we've been having lately has done a better job than Windex in shining up the mirror Avon.

Reflected landscape

Mirrored water fowl

Reflected dragonboats and heron

Reflective thoughts:

On my way around the river I met a new acquaintance who chose to walk with me for a while, and later I encountered two friends whom I hadn't seen for a long time. My Stratford is indeed a place where pleasure often seems to come in double measure.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Cormorants Are Back

We have seen them before. A group of about nine invaded our Lake Victoria area a couple of years ago. Yesterday on my walk I noticed they are back, so far just three that I could see.

Already the top of the tree where they roost is getting bare. Cormorants have been known to strip vegetation, as well as endangering other species such as the blue heron, and eating large quantities of fish (the equivalent of three perch a day).

It will be interesting to watch this saga as it plays out on the Avon this year. I'll keep you posted if things change.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Music in the Park

August 7, 2009

A lot of things have been happening around town during the past twenty days. Let me tell you about some of Stratford Summer Music's outdoor events, where costs are covered by donations rather than ticket sales.

Three or four times a week one can sit on the grassy knoll by the boat house or on the ramparts of Veterans Park and listen to “Barge Music” performed by world class musicians. TorQ Percussion Quartet were amazing as they entertained us with a variety of xylophones and drums. I was sorry to miss the Chameleon Barbershop Quartet, as I heard from those who attended that their show was a lot of fun and not entirely “Barbershop-y”.

The Sax-O-Matics Quartet, added humour and a wheel of chance as well as fine musicianship to their presentation.

On the Holiday Monday, now called Simcoe Day, I wandered down to Lower Queen's Park to enjoy the OLG Bluegrass Blowout and classic car show. For six hours from mid-afternoon until dusk, one could enjoy the music of five different blue grass bands. There was lots of delicious food from various Stratford restaurants and cafes, a sectioned off Beer Tent area,
and a large area for people to set up their lawn chairs, and mingle with friends.

As the evening progressed, the open area in front of the stage became a spontaneous dancing area for many young children who were there.

What I like most about these events, aside from the music itself, is the whole sense of community that arises from people relaxing in nature and sharing a common experience.

This feeling is part of the wonder of my Stratford.