Clashing Beauty

Whenever I photograph birds, I try to avoid any human structures in the frame, even houses from a far distance, but that’s not possible all the time. Sometimes, the juxtaposition of human society and nature can be seen aesthetically, and not as a clash.

These pelicans are like dancing musical notes flying into the sky.

A steel and concrete bridge could be a major obstruction to natural beauty, but it’s there because a river runs through it:

A sunset is still a sunset, even from the parking lot of a Costco. This is the first Costco opened on First Nation land in North America. Located in the Tsuu T’ina Nation bordering the southwest boundary of Calgary, Alberta, not too far from the Pond. A sunset is still a sunset no matter where you see it.

That voice from 1992 LA still rings true: we need to get along, human and nature, human and human. Signage in that Costco is bilingual, English and the Dene language (Northern Athabaskan) of the Tsuu T’ina Nation. We’re used to bilingualism in Canada, but this is the first time I see an Indigenous language posted together with English.

A needed directional pointer for things to come, not to stop but to press forward to accommodate multiplicity and live in harmony. That too, is a form of beauty.


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

14 thoughts on “Clashing Beauty”

  1. Your bilingual signs reminded me of those in Australia, where English and aboriginal languages occasionally are joined. I love that first three photos particularly — quite creative!


  2. Oh this is Wonderful! Love that their language is being honored as it should be! (I taught for a year on the Navajo reservation in southern Utah and “Dine” (Navajo language) was spoken by the elders. They were working hard to keep Dine alive.) Twas Decades ago…

    Arti, I Love the flying pelican Parade pictures.


    1. I’d love to hear about your teaching experience on the Navajo reservation! Nowadays and going forward, collaboration among groups is even more crucial. The flying pelicans against the music (power) lines, that’s another one of my serendipitous moments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, your musical pelicans are perfection. I love how you “saw” that. And for whatever reason I don’t understand, I am completely captivated by the sunset over the Costco parking lot. I never thought a Costco lot would be beautiful — but this is because of that fabulous sky!


    1. The power lines did it for me… like the lines on a music score, and the Pelicans didn’t seem to mind. They weren’t that close actually. That’s another serendipitous moment. As for the Costco, it could well be the most scenically situated Costco in NA. Our part of the City is adjacent to the Tsuu T’ina Nation. At first I was apprehensive about a Costco being so close to home, but after it’s done, it’s nicely situated, and the road ways in the vicinity are routed adjacent a provincial park. You can even see the Rocky Mountains from the parking lot! 🙂


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