Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Summer in the Shire, A Collection of the Best Summer Photographs Taken by Our Friends and Neighbors

I read in yesterday's newspaper the Cloverdale library was sponsoring a display of local photography. The exhibition was titled "Summer in the Shire, A Collection of the Best Summer Photographs Taken by Our Friends and Neighbors".

Normally I'm not one to attend library sponsored events. They tend to be very 'local' if you know what I mean. The last one I attended was an art display of local water color painting. It was dreadful. The artists were on hand (many of them elementary school children), standing beside their water colors, beaming with unearned pride. I found myself in a quandary each time I gazed at those abominations of smeared oranges, purples and greens. Of course, I couldn't say what I really thought if I want to be regarded favourably by the locals. So I lied. I told so many lies that night that I'm guaranteed to have a few extra years of purgatory added to my already long sentence. The artists soaked in my false praise, feeding off each comment like it was summer's clover honey. I made myself ill.

I changed my mind when I read about the photography display and decided to attend. How can one go wrong with photography - unless you go too far down the artsy fartsy path and start messing around with exposure, focal length and of course, subject matter. There was another reason I decided to attend - it is the dead of winter in Cloverdale. It's cold, in fact its down right bitter cold. The cold is accented with snow and ice. Topping the weather are the short winter days. I was in desperate need of a dose of summer's heat and light. I wanted to smell grassy fields and the scent of an approaching summer storm. This summer photographic display would be just the thing I needed to brighten my solemn winter mood.

It was 6:30 P.M. by the time I got to the library. The library closes at 6:30 P.M. I had just stepped into the entry / coat room as the librarian shuffled toward me carrying the key to lock the door.
"I suppose I'm too late to see the photography display," I said. She looked at me over the rim of her reading glasses. I must of looked a right state in the semi dark of the coat room illuminated by one 40 watt bulb. She seemed focused on my dripping nose and unkempt hair (not my fault, the wind was blowing fiercely).
"You look like you need a bit of summer," she said cheerfully. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a kleenex. "Its clean," she said as she handed it to me.
"Yes I do. Can you spare me a few minutes?" I replied before blowing my nose.
She walked behind me, locked the door and waved me through.
"I've got some work to do before I leave so you get yourself a tan. I'll let you know when its time to go." She turned on the bright florescent light fixtures in the small theater and walked away, leaving me alone with these windows into the glory of summer.

The walls of the theater were adorned in absolute beauty. It was my Shire, the Shire of Cloverdale in all its majesty. I enjoyed each photograph. They were really good. Twenty minutes later I walked out with the librarian carrying copies of my favorites pictures purchased from the library's check out desk.

And now, your treat. Cloverdale's Summer as seen through our local photographers....

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