Looking for “Intrusions of Grace” in Nature

This may be the easiest to find, especially with our glorious fall this year. Not intrusions, but infusion of common grace. I’m amazed because everywhere I turn, I see beauty that’s out there and so accessible to me. Like their raison d’etre is for me to behold and enjoy. From the macro scale like these scenery at Banff National Park:


To the medium range, nature in our city streets:


To the micro scale. Last long weekend, I walked the Douglas Fir Trail. Again, I’m grateful for our urban parks:

And what an apt occasion, Thanksgiving Day, for me to discover all these minute wonders on the Trail. First, the colours:

Nature in the miniscule… the varieties of berries. Black against red:

Red against green:

And these pure whites like pearls in the undergrowth:

And the vibrant lives on two fallen twigs… I was mesmerized:

If we’re intruded by grace, I’m more than willing to give in.


All photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects in the fall of 2011. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Signs of Fall

The changing of the seasons is best captured in nature. Immersed in the glorious sunshine and unusually mild temperatures, I took these photos in my neck of the woods on the last day of summer. Yes, I’ve enjoyed my occasional trips out to the B.C. Coast, or my excursions in Toronto, where the sign of fall is the Film Festival. But I’ve been solidly grounded all these years in Southern Alberta.

Here are the reasons…

These are glimpses of Fish Creek Provincial Park, a natural sanctuary of 13.8 km2 (3,330 acres) right within our City’s boundary. It is one of the largest urban parks in North America. This is where I see the signs of fall, Alberta style.



I won’t see the red as in B.C. or the East Coast where maples are prevalent, but here our own golden, rusty shades are soothing and ethereal. Remember the colour scheme in that movie “Far From Heaven” with Julianne Moore, or Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven“?  Funny that both films have the same word in their title.




And with succulent fruits ready for the picking, here’s a sure sign of fall:



All Photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects, September, 2011.


For more wonderful fall photos CLICK HERE to my post Looking for ‘Intrusions of Grace’ in Nature

A Late Autumn Walk

What’s more pleasurable

than a late Autumn walk in the wild

Chopin as companion, ballade cinematic

Tonal colors streamed through earbuds

Sight and sound in perfect harmony



Stripped of adorning leaves,

the birches displayed their true essence.

Backbones strong against the wind,

Branches lifted to reach the remaining sun

Stoic elegance intertwined Romanze Larghetto




And then we met,

A surprise encounter, a momentary start,

Among the low bushes a deer, antlers majestic,

Eyes darted up from his quiet meal,

Weighing my next move.


I walked past without stopping.

It’s not polite to stare,

especially when someone’s eating.

His gaze held me a moment, then let me pass.

I sensed a mutual respect, nature shared.


And so we parted, unperturbed,

after just a split second of cautious exchange,

leaving each other feeding freely,

foliage in his mouth,

and Chopin in my ears.




This is what I was listening to… Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1, Second Movement, Romanze Larghetto.

Alberta Bound

Autumn in rural Alberta is immensity amplified.  Big sky and expanse of farmland is the main scenery, something what W. O. Mitchell describes as “the least common denominator of nature… land and sky.”

The air is crisp, fresh, and dry.  Colors are simple:  Big blue sky, golden harvest, even just hay rolled up in bales.  Farming against the snow-capped Rockies, rustic, serene, rejuvenating, harmonious fusion of nature and human endeavor.

Trees as windbreaks in the summer, nature’s sculpture in the fall.  So the leaves are gone, but only then can we see the beauty of the bare branches, like dancers celebrating the changing of the seasons.

The solitary figure in the field… en masse.

“Think I’ll go out to Alberta,
Weather’s good there in the fall.
Got some friends that I can go to working for…”

For some inexplicable reasons, as I’m posting these photos, a flood of nostalgia whirls up in me.  The melodies and lyrics of those songs and singers that we can claim our own keep filling my mind all day. Not too many up-and-coming like to hang around here, since all the fame and glory one seeks is down south.

But these remain our own: Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Neil Young… and songs about Alberta, about heading west to seek a new life, or to escape from the pain of lost love.  Maybe the wide open country, big blue sky and wide expanse of land do have their healing powers.

And memories, forever clear, keep us rooted… here’s home.


Photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects, November, 09.  All Rights Reserved.

Fall on the B.C. Coast

Took a short trip out to the west coast last week. These pictures were all taken on October 30 in Victoria and Vancouver, still lush and colorful.

Fall’s foliage by the sea, composing nature’s own collage:


Or, was it Jackson Pollock leaving his mark?


There must be some lessons for us to learn from theses Canadian geese, in organization and leadership… and integrity too: They walk as they fly.



And in Vancouver, the beauty of fall’s foliage is best seen where they are, fallen, on the pavement, in the gutter, on the bench.





Came back home a few days ago, just in time to greet the first snow of the season. What a difference an hour’s plane ride can make!

All photos above taken by Arti of Ripple Effects https://rippleeffects.wordpress.com, October 2008. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DO NOT COPY.

Fall Fantasy

Thanks Ellen of The Happy Wonderer for the link to the Round Robin Photo Challenge’s current theme: The End of Summer.  Here are the scenes of the onset of fall in southern Alberta.  This is the time where we see golden colours and enjoy fresh and crisp autumn air.

The weather has been just wonderful this past week.  Getting 26° C (79° F) in October is a rare treat for us here.  To capture fall in its glorious form, I was planning to drive 90 minutes to Banff National Park yesterday.  But just a stone throw away from my home, I saw these views, beauty so close by that I’ve been oblivious to … Banff can wait.  Let me spend some time in my own backyard.  I know it won’t last.

Photos taken by Arti of Ripple Effects https://rippleeffects.wordpress.com