Worth a Thousand Words.

I’ve been organizing my computer files and, in the process, have come across a number of photos taken over the years during my travels . . . photos I had forgotten, but which are interesting or fun all on their own.

I photographed these scrawny little trees from VIA Rail’s train, The Hudson Bay, shortly before we arrived in Churchill, Manitoba. These scruffy little trees are called “flag trees” by the locals up here 1100 miles north of Winnipeg. Because of the strong, steady, bitter cold wind blowing from the north, no branches will grow on that side of the tree. With the only branches on the south side of the tree, you have thousands of green flags—and every one, they say, is pointing you in the direction of warmer weather. (What? Warmer weather in Winnipeg??)

I had someone take this photograph for me. This is an October evening in Churchill, Manitoba, a dozen or so years ago. And that’s me, 600 miles south of the Arctic Circle, trudging down the platform looking for my sleeping car. Blowing snow, temperature in the low 30s, but in another hour or so, I would be in my berth, under a puffy down comforter, beginning a two night ride back to Winnipeg. I had seen polar bears in the wild and I was being rocked to sleep in the VIA Rail sleeping car. What’s not to like?

The day before I left Sydney on the Indian Pacific heading across Australia, I took a tour of some wineries in the Hunter Valley.  I was having lunch by an open window in a restaurant and happened to see this little girl coming along the walkway and encountering a very tempting puddle. She paused for several seconds, then stepped very deliberately right into the middle of the water . . . and stood there. I don’t know what there is about this photo-graph, but it’s one of my favorites. In fact, it’s on my computer’s desktop.