Nine Bridges, to Where?

August 30th, 2018 | 13 Comments »

Last week we added two new bridges on the Timelines trail. They aren’t large constructions but both allow us to keep our feet dry. The first bridge, near the end of the avenue of crabapple trees, avoids the ditch at the end of a culvert that goes underneath a road that connects our village of North Hatley to the neighbouring village of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley — formerly known as Katevale.

 

This ditch is always wet. We've made it larger by driving over it multiple times in a small all-wheel vehicle.
Over time we’ve made this ditch deeper and wider by driving through it in a small all-wheel vehicle.

 

The lines of the bridge are simple, a good fit for the straight allée that follows.

 

The cedar will turn grey over the winter.
The cedar posts and planks will turn grey over the winter.

 

A smaller ditch on the trail needed a smaller bridge.

 

Some months ago we added a similar bridge at another point on the Timelines trail.
Some months ago we added a similar bridge at another point on the Timelines trail. Now we can comfortably cross the streams and drainage ditches.

 

Thinking of these two new bridges made me realize how many other bridges we have at Glen Villa, and how different they are from each other.

There is the big bridge on the road by our pond.

 

The bridge is public, the pond isn't.
The bridge is public, the pond isn’t.

 

There is the little bridge covered with small round logs, that one of our grandchildren named the Troll Bridge.

 

I tried to cover the planks with moss but it didn't work.
I wanted moss to grow on the logs but the moss made the logs slippery so I let it die off.

 

There is the zig zag bridge in the Asian meadow.

 

A traditional Asian belief, that evil spirits move only in straight lines, accounts for the design of this zig zag bridge.
A traditional Asian belief, that evil spirits move only in straight lines, accounts for the design of this zig zag bridge.

 

There is the gently curved foot bridge at the edge of the woods, designed to rise above high water in the spring run-off.

 

I love the curve on this bridge. It rises gently enough to be easy to walk across but the centre point is high enough to avoid high water in the spring run off.
I took this photo when the bridge was new. The wood has now aged to a soft grey, blending into the surrounding forest.

 

And finally, there is the rock bridge that spans the stream that fills the Skating Pond.

 

We uncovered this rock when we dug the pond. My friend Myke suggested that it become a bridge.
We uncovered this rock when we dug the pond. My friend Myke suggested that it become a bridge. Good idea, Myke! It has worked well.

 

Not all bridges serve the same purpose. We needed a large bridge to cross the stream that separates our property from a neighbour’s. They were ok with the connection. And with the signs.

 

No, not a metaphor.
A nod to René Magritte? Crossing in the other direction, the signs are in French: Ce pont n’est pas … une métaphore.

 

Not all bridges are actual. Some are works of art, like this one made from girders that once supported an old covered bridge.

 

The sculptors Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito named their sculpture Bridge Ascending.
The sculptors Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito named their sculpture Bridge Ascending. The fire that destroyed the bridge twisted the girders into curving forms.

 

Some bridges aren’t there at all, or are there only in the eye of a beholder looking upwards and out.

 

An approaching storm colours the skies.
These storm clouds looked to me like a bridge to another world. The storm that followed was a doozy!

 

Who knows where this sky-bridge may lead?  Or who can cross it, or when?

The Skating Pond, August 2018

August 19th, 2018 | 16 Comments »
A side view of the new bench shows how simple it is -- two rocks and two planks.
Sometimes small changes make a huge difference, or as I wrote last fall, Little Things Mean a Lot.  I was writing then about some small changes I'd made at the Skating Pond at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec. Later in the fall, after I wrote about the changes, I made one more. I added a bench.   [caption id="attachment_6599" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] The slate under the bench was left over from a previous project.[/caption]   My sister immediately said the bench looked wrong -- and she was right.   [caption id="attachment_6600" align="aligncenter"

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The Middle of August

August 13th, 2018 | 13 Comments »
The Big Meadow
In the middle of August the garden at Glen Villa is just beginning to emerge from an unusually long dry spell. A few days ago we had rain -- buckets of it that washed out our driveway and threw a section of bank into Lake Massawippi. (We repaired the driveway; the lake itself may take care of the landslide.) Before the rain, plants were wilting badly. The leaves on a catalpa tree we planted years ago first drooped, then began to curl up and turn brown; thankfully they are now starting to recover.

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The Clearing of the Land

August 6th, 2018 | 15 Comments »
This is how the water meadow looked in 2009 after we first cut a path through it.
For several years now I've been working on a trail that leads through the fields and forests at Glen Villa. Sited along the trail are art installations I'm creating that relate to history, the passage of time and the relationship between art and architecture. I wrote about this for the first time in March 2017. My focus then was to figure out what to call the trail. Thanks to my granddaughter Elinor, there now is a name. Timelines. I like the name. It is short and direct yet suggestive of something

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