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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
My life as a boulder
“Lake Moraine,” oil on canvas, by Carol L. Douglas
I kicked us into gear absurdly early to make it to Lake Moraine before tourists mobbed the place. It was a futile effort; even as we scraped ice off the windshield, cars were winding up the road toward the two beautiful lakes.
We arrived to find a wedding party shooting what has become a popular photo: the ruination of a wedding gown. Slowly, they subsided into the frigid mountain water. Turns out it wasn’t their real garb and they were wearing wetsuits under their faux finery.
“If I did that, my mother would kill me,” Mary told a bystander. She’s right. My inner hausfrau is offended by the whiff of profligacy. I doubt the average couple thinks much about why it’s become a popular meme right now. However, prior generations encouraged their kids to “waste not, want not,” rather than trash the best clothes they’ll ever wear, even in effigy.
I’ve had many photos taken of me painting. I don’t mind being part of the scenery, but yesterday a Chinese tourist flummoxed me. “Do you mind if we take my picture with you?” she asked. In our native argot that means engaging with one another in the photo. After a few shots, I realized that she wanted me to continue painting stonily away while she cavorted around me making victory signs, as if I were a rock or a sign that read “Welcome to Moraine Lake.”
Painting at Lake Moraine, courtesy of Marvin Sodicoff.
Marvin Sodicoff of Philadelphia took another picture and emailed it to me. It’s so nice I used it here. It shows a green cast to the water and the remarkable reflections on the lake surface.
“Mount Rundle,” oil on canvas, by Carol L. Douglas
From Banff, we headed directly to Calgary for art supplies. Calgary was a great surprise to me. I’ve heard it referred to as “Cowtown,” but it is, in fact, a large, modern city sparkling in its western setting. Its contemporary architecture, particularly at the University of Calgary, is exceptionally lovely. I would like to return and explore it.
The beeves of the Great Prairie.
However, the Great Prairie was calling me. The golden evening light poured over pasturage, countless beeves, feed lots, oil derricks and small ponds filled with waterfowl.
We pulled up for gas at 6:30 PM and I realized I could go no farther. Today’s predicted high temperature is 75° F. Oh, bliss! I hope that baking in dry heat will cure what ails us. If not, we’ll have at least seen the world’s largest dinosaur.