Huge Plant Leaves
Every day, twice a day I walk from Riddell Centre to the Education Building at the University of Regina and today was no different. Connecting these buildings there is an absolutely beautiful atrium featuring a red piano, floor to ceiling windows and beautiful plants of all varieties. This time I stopped and looked at the leaves on one of the plants. This plant is so huge it’s impossible to miss but I have never noticed its leaves before. These leaves are very large and I was surprised that a plant like this can actually survive in our cold climate (even with the plants being indoor year round). Have a look at this beautiful plant and the close up picture to see the individual leaves. Also notice the unique looking stump in the middle of the pot that extends growth from it.
I really love walking through this atrium because the plants give it a very calm feeling in this space and there is often someone playing the piano (located right behind the plant). My one minute walk through the atrium is a true source of peace and calm during my hectic days at school. I think the shape the leaves make are very unique and add beauty and variety amongst the several plants here. I looked at all the plants carefully and this one is my favourite because of the delicate way the leaves fall over the planter, almost to the floor, as seen in the picture below. Then there are other leaves on this plant that extend far up, as though reaching for the sky. I like the shape this plant creates in this space: some tall, some bending over. Please make sure you enjoy the University’s atrium at some point this semester! I think it would be so cool if they decorated this space for Christmas! I’ll keep my eye open for that!
Welded Steel, Riddell Centre
The most amazing piece of recycled steel parts fell from the sky this week! I walk into Riddell Centre at the University of Regina every single day, at least ten times per week. This steel structure has been here for quite some time, based on its surroundings. This week, after one of my morning classes (about 11:45 am) I chose to walk on the right side of the sidewalk, where there is a huge green space, instead of my usual left side and I “found” this steel art work made of recycled material by John Nugent (former Head of U of R’s Visual Arts Department). This caught my attention because it is very large, possibly 5 feet high and 6 feet in length and its color is not the most appealing. I walked around it several times trying to get a different view and understanding of what this meant to its creator Nugent.
Pictured below are different angles of the art piece. To me it looks like a space ship, laying down. It is on an angled position with the smallest part, the ‘V’ shape making contact with the earth. This was very interesting to me because in class we have been learning about lines in art. The ‘V’ lines drive my eyes to the point at the end, where the art meets the earth. Then I follow the lines to up to explore the circle shape between the ‘V’ that lays on a flat surface supported by another line springing out of the ground. The bronze color was unique because it flows well with Saskatchewan’s farmland environment. Even though I do not find the color appealing I feel it fits our robust landscape. Thank you University of Regina for displaying such unique art work by local artists (John Nugent moved to Lumsden in 1945 where he established his own bronze casting foundry).
On my adventure this week seeking something I’ve not noticed before I was on my way to the Independent Grocery Store at Normanview Crossing. Outside their front entrance sit two very huge planters, which have been there for many years. I have never noticed the very cool tree branches that stand vertical from the soil in the potted plant. There are 2 planters almost side by side and each planter has 4 tree branches each. The branches extend about 3 feet above the planter which are approximately waist high. I do not know how deeply the tree branches are planted but the planter gives the illusion that the tree branches are 6-7 feet tall. Here is another angle, showing the entire planter.
This caught my attention because the plants are at the end of their season but the tree branches are still reaching high, full of life. Perhaps these branches get decorated for the different seasons: I have never noticed this before so I am excited to see if Christmas ornaments will decorate this space beginning next month. I think this is such a pretty and unique welcoming to the Independent Store but I have never noticed how much detail is in the planters and I have been using this store at least twice per month for several years now! The tree branches seem to be between 2-3 inches in diameter, so a very solid width. I think this space could have added beauty by nestling a real pumpkin at the base of the tree branches in the soil!
As I was washing dishes I looked out my window and noticed something odd about the wooden bird house my son had made in his Scouting group. There appeared to be something hanging out of the small hole and I wondered how long it would have been this way. At first I thought it was a bird stuck! The first picture above is the view from my kitchen window. The second picture is taken as I slowly approached the bird house. As I walked closer it still appeared as though there was a very small, brown bird stuck in the tiny opening of the rectangular wooden bird box. I did not hear anything though. I got up really close and this is what I saw:
FLUFF mixed with sticks, feathers and other earth debris that birds would have carried in their small claws. A family of birds spent time collecting white fluff, feathers of all shapes, sorts, colours, and sizes, and other debris to create cozy homes. The birds stuffed this into their bird house and this picture depicts much of it hanging out of the hole. It may be that the bird house is so full the birds could not fit any more in or perhaps another animal decided to spew the fluff back out. Perhaps the bird family working on this home for themselves ran into danger and could not finish their job! It is very curious.
So I kept taking pictures from different angels. This side view better depicts how much fluff is hanging out and it appears as thought there are broken bird parts, such as the stick that looks like a broken bird leg. There is definitely a bird story to this curious workmanship. The reason it caught my attention though is because it started to snow, meaning the birds must be long gone for the season now. This bird fluff must have been hanging in this unorganized mess for several weeks and I just noticed! I appreciate intentionally searching for the “out of the ordinary” every day items, I notice them! And I always find such beautiful things! My world is full of beauty that I seem to by pass on a regular basis. I have learned I need to slow down and enjoy the simple daily joys that seem “ordinary”.
U of Regina President’s Collection
Monday, October 7th, 2019 I walked my regular route to the Education building from Riddell Centre at the University of Regina. I could not believe I saw this red steel art structure for my first time! I have been walking through the corridor connecting these 2 buildings several times per week for a few years now but this time I was paying attention to my surroundings. I looked out the window and this cool steel structure seemed to have popped right out of the ground! Look how cool it is! I took several pictures and I even tried to take a selfie to show how large this art structure is but I could not get myself and the entire art structure into the picture.
This caught my attention because of its size, color and choice of medium. Steel seems to be a very unique way to create art- I actually do not think I have ever seen anything made of steel and called art before. I am surprised I can walk the same path every day but miss seeing something of this magnitude right outside the window! What a shame for artists to passionately create such beautiful things and to have humans walk right by, with their noses in their phones (with probably unimportant stuff), and not even notice nor pay any attention. I spent a long while walking around this cool art structure trying to understand it (no, I did not climb on it!). I did not come up with any solid answers regarding what inspired the artist nor why this medium was chosen but it brought a smile to my face and I think that alone will make the artist satisfied!
You will never guess what I discovered this week at the university! I was walking around the Green Space this morning (about 10:30), which is in the middle, inner courtyard of all the university buildings. I have around walked this space many times over the past few years. What caught my eye as I walked from the Ad Hum building to the Education building today (Tuesday, October 1) was the hammocks in the Green Patch. The Green Patch is an adorable and relaxing gardening area but I have never noticed these beautiful hammocks. I wish it was not so cold today because I want to spread it out, curl inside and let gravity and the breeze sway me back and forth. I am sure it will lull me to sleep for a few moments! What really caught my attention though was the fact that it is October and the hammocks are still there! Are they not put away for the winter? Or is there an optimist still out there!?
These are so inviting! I am drawn to the hammock even though it is cold (+4 degrees). I enjoy walking around the university campus with my phone in my pocket instead of in my hand because it opens my eyes to the wonders I miss, like these hammocks! I stood here for several minutes enjoying the vibrant colours on the hammocks, picturing myself completely relaxed laying inside one with a smoothie in hand! The solid base of the hammock assures me it will support me and let me relax, even if just for a few moments!
Every day, all year long I have pulled open my front blinds, in my home, first thing every morning. Today was no different except today I actually looked out my window and I saw the most amazing sight across the street in my neighbours front yard. She has planted the most beautiful little flower garden which includes these gorgeous sunflowers that are over six feet high now! I could not believe my eyes! As I ran outside immediately for a closer view my 11 year old daughter asked me what I was doing so I told her to look at the sunflowers and she responded: “What sunflowers?”! This is her bus stop, twice daily and she has never noticed them either! It made me really pause, think and ponder what other beauty I have missed this past summer due to my “busyness”.
This view is taken as I approach the flower garden, getting closer than from my front window. This neighbour is delightful but I only take time to talk to her IF we see each other outside, in our comings and goings. I have crammed so much into my life that I am missing some very basic things such as good conversation (looks like this neighbour could really school me in gardening!) and beauty. I need to learn to slow down. This last picture is taken up close to the sunflowers because the sunflowers caught my attention so quickly.
The other thing of note regarding this beautiful garden is that they are still thriving and doing well! We are well into our third week of September and the grass is still green and the flowers are still doing really well. Most often this time of year our nights have become too chilly for our flower gardens to live much longer. I need to slow down, put electronics away and enjoy my many daily moments found so easily in nature- right out my front door! Thank you sunflowers, for giving me yet another thing to be grateful for today!
There’s a boulder there!
Monday, September 16, 2019 I walked my regular route to my bus stop. Two years ago this house re landscaped their backyard and grew these lovely swaying bushes on the sidewalk side of their new fence. Today I walked really close to the greenery to feel its softness before the weather quickly changes and I’ll be forced to wear gloves. I almost tripped over the boulder! I have walked this spot many times and I have never noticed this boulder! I am not exactly sure why it is there or if it is even meant to be there but based on its size (see photo below), I am startled that I never noticed it before. The boulder is somewhat hidden (can you find it in the picture above?!) but I actually think it is rather pretty…. I think they should put it beside the greenery rather than under it so its uniqueness can be more easily appreciated.
In Geology last semester I came to appreciate the cycle rocks go through. The more heat and pressure placed on rocks will give rocks beautiful “lines”. This appears to be a unique rock! I would like this boulder to be in a more visible and intentional location so passerby’s can see it! The last photo I took to display how hidden this little gem is!
NEW pedestrian crossing at University of Regina!
The morning of Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 I caught the city bus to school, as is my regular routine, for a new year at school. I had caught the bus the entire previous year but what caught my attention this particular day was the very BOLD, newly installed cross walk outside of the Classroom Building at the University of Regina (pictured above). Before this BOLD cross walk was installed the many students that would get off the buses would have to squeeze through heavy rush hour traffic all day long at this very busy intersection. I never felt safe here before and I wondered if something could be done about this. I was so happy to see this newly installed cross walk completed before the beginning of a busy school year, especially considering this year’s U of R’s enrollment is up over 1,000 students from the previous fall.
I was so pleased with this cross walk that I took several pictures from many different angles at different times of the day to display how much thought and effort the university put into making the campus safer and a more enjoyable experience while on campus. The biggest reason this caught my attention is because of how BOLD the cross walk is. The picture below is a closer view of the island in the middle of the road. This intersection could have been engineered to only provide crosswalk paint lines on the road but safety was clearly a top priority. Flashing lights (bottom picture, far left) have even been added to signal to drivers to take extra caution driving.
Thank you University of Regina for recognizing a need and taking care of it so promptly! I look forward to many years of safe pedestrian crossing at this intersection!