Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Toronto: Salmon, autumn and Chihuly

The Don River running through Toronto near my family home was once a polluted mess, and flood-controlled into a concrete channel.  When I was a kid, you held your breath near it.  Now Nature is winning over Engineering, and people upstream have cleaned up their act.  I've seen - and been amazed each time - kingfishers, night-herons, snakes and mink in the water.  This trip I saw a BC sight, spawning salmon.  They don't have to swim very far from Lake Ontario, so they are full of energy, leaping several feet out of the water in their battles.  It's a happy thing to see the river recovering.  (But it is still a dangerous place - as I was drawing, a golf ball from the nearby golf course crashed through the trees, bounced off a rock and splashed into the creek a few feet from me.  The salmon seemed unperturbed.)
It was a prolonged Indian summer, so the first fall colours were just showing up in the view over the leafy suburb.
Speaking of colours, the Royal Ontario Museum had a show by Dale Chihuly, the Tacoma glass-blower extraordinaire.  His work is always worth seeing if you have any sense of joy and exuberance.  One new work had long red glass "reeds" stuck into birch logs, beautiful complementary shapes suggesting a campfire, but an ideal uncharred one.  The boat filled with big round glass balls, inspired by old floats for fishnets, was similar to an exhibit I had seen in Seattle - fun to draw.  And the room with various exotic glass shapes displayed on a clear glass roof streamed colours down onto some otherwise awfully grey business-suited visitors.

No comments:

Post a Comment