After the past few harried weeks, I've had little energy to post in my picture blog--so today I'm going to put up some photos of something nice and restful. It's a fairly good precursor to next week's back-to-class madness as well (though most universities started again this week, ours begins a week later due to religious holidays).
The pictures were taken in a field on Mont-Royal, a somewhat secluded spot where I used to enjoy sitting quietly with a book, enjoying the sound of the breeze ruffling the trees behind me, which screened me out of view of those walking up the Chemin Olmstead. With this path that (still) leads down through the trees that look tunnel-like, I've always liked how this spot is tucked away just beyond range of notice.
They don't mow the grass too often here--there's no real reason to, of course. Though there are people walking through (the path into the field leads, eventually, down one side of Mont-Royal) you can sink into the long grass and be ignored. I sometimes stopped here on the way to my dishwashing shift, if I felt like walking all the way to work. Once I and a friend had a small pre-noon (pre-work) picnic there, which consisted of a bottle of red wine drunk from inappropriate cups.
Above: a blooming muddle of plant life in the long grass of the field. Alongside daisies, those red things are seed pods from dock plants, or so I was taught when I saw them as a child in New Zealand. We used to feed them, dried out, to our pet birds. The leaves in the picture below belong to the same kind of plant, I think.
Below: thistle plants. The are odd-looking things, their spindly necks topped with bulbous buds that look for all the world, as they open, like droopy purple-dyed punks letting their hair grow out. I remember having fun with focus when taking some of these pictures, using a wide aperture because of the light and then playing with the extremes produced by limited depth of field.
I love coming to this field near afternoon twilight--I still do this now when I visit Montreal. In the summer the light bathes you indirectly, reflected back against the sky, from beyond the crest of Mont-Royal. In a few of these pictures it's faintly warm orange. Near dusk you can hear the complementary thrumming notes of traffic (which sounds distant, but isn't) and warm-weather insects. It's one of the best places from which to experience the feeling of being both within, and apart from, the murmuring heart of the city.