Posts Tagged "nature"

Saskatchewan election – vote for the grasslands

Posted by on 3. April 2016 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on Saskatchewan election – vote for the grasslands

Saskatchewan election – vote for the grasslands

On the eve of the 2016 Saskatchewan election, it is disappointing to see that the environment and sustainable development have not been a serious topic of debate. We have heard almost nothing what the major political parties will do to safeguard our disappearing native prairie landscapes. The prairie ecosystem is one of the most altered and threatened in North America; only 20% of Saskatchewan’s native prairie remain, and in some areas, such as in the Regina Plains, there are less than 1% native prairie left. Even protected areas do not have a secure future, as a series of political measures have recently undercut their status.     Why should we be concerned how our elected leaders will manage natural resources that belong to the people of Saskatchewan? When we look at the most imperilled ecosystem in Canada, there many reasons why Saskatchewan grasslands matter (as compiled by writer and naturalist Trevor Herriot): Because they are rare and threatened by cultivation and other kinds of development. Because they support endangered species. Because they are diverse. Because they protect soil and water Because they sequester carbon. Because they support ranching economy and culture. Because they contain the cultural heritage of the prairie. Because people need native prairie places they can visit. Because all natural land has value that goes beyond economics. Because we have a responsibility to the future.     When you go to the polls tomorrow to elect the provincial government for the next four years, vote for a MLA representative that cares about, and is interested is supporting our grassland heritage.  ...

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Ian Toews’ Grasslands film screening in Saskatoon

Posted by on 14. April 2015 in Blog / Journal, Conservation | Comments Off on Ian Toews’ Grasslands film screening in Saskatoon

Ian Toews’ Grasslands film screening in Saskatoon

Saskatoon audiences will have an opportunity to view the poetic documentary about Saskatchewan grasslands this week. The film, produced by Gemini award winning filmmaker Ian Toews, will be shown on big screen at the Frances Morrison Central Library theatre, 311 – 23rd Street East in Saskatoon on Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is no admission charge and everyone is invited; bring along a friend or two. Following the screening, author and naturalist Trevor Herriot will provide an update on the state of the province’s grassland, and the work of Public Pastures – Public Interest (a citizen group that draws together rural and urban Canadians who share an interest in conserving public grasslands in Saskatchewan). Author Candace Savage will lead the discussion that follows. We will finish the evening with an informal get-together and refreshments.     The Grasslands documentary is a love letter to Saskatchewan prairies: endangered Greater Sage Grouse perform their mating ritual, herds of bison roam the vast open landscapes. We hear from ranchers and First Nations about their connection to the land. Conservation biologists explain the complexity of protecting the precious remnants of native prairie.     “This film illustrates the beauty and fragility of the grasslands ecosystem, threats to its preservation and efforts to sustain it,” said Trevor Herriot. “The film has been drawing enthusiastic audiences all over the province, a testament the value that Saskatchewan people place on our grasslands. It is an inspiration to those working to preserve this heritage for future generations.” “I wanted to convey that prairie was an expansive, flowing mass of grasslands. And then show people what it is today and what is being done to preserve it,” said the filmmaker and producer Ian Toews.     Originally from Saskatchewan, Toews earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film production from the University of Regina. His works are primarily concerned with the natural environment and often, its degradation. He is the producer, director, and DOP of 7 short films, more than 60 television episodes, and 5 full-length documentaries. Ian Toews’ films and videos have been widely acclaimed and awarded with numerous international awards, including the Grand Prix at the Tampere International Film Festival, the Jury Award at the New York Exposition of Short Film, Canadian Film & Television Producer’s Association Indie Award, 5 Gemini Award nominations, a Canadian Screen Award nomination, and a 2008 Gemini Award win for Best Arts Documentary Program or Series for the long-running arts series “Landscape as Muse”. Toews has screened his films in over 50 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The official Grasslands movie web site: www.grasslandsdocumentary.com You can see the trailer at vimeo.com/102805861 * Portions of this blog post contain information from a press release that I received this morning.      ...

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Spring equinox, 2015 solar eclipse and supermoon

Posted by on 20. March 2015 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on Spring equinox, 2015 solar eclipse and supermoon

Spring equinox, 2015 solar eclipse and supermoon

Happy first day of (astronomical) spring. On Friday, March 20th spring will officially arrive on the prairies at 4:45 p.m. CST. When I woke up this morning, the ground was covered with a thin layer of fresh snow. Not exactly a spring-like weather.     Let’s then celebrate the vernal equinox, one of only two days of the year when all places on Earth (outside of the polar regions) see the sun rise at due east and set at due west along the horizon. Remember that when you set up your camera to capture the sunrise or sunset this week. The sun appears directly overhead at Earth’s equator and all latitudes get approximately equal amount of daylight and darkness. Actually, the sun has been up for more than 12 hours over the last three days. What’s up with that? Sunrise is defined as the first appearance of sun’s circle above the horizon, and sunset as the last moment we see the sun’s circle before it falls below the horizon. Thanks to atmospheric refraction,  an optical phenomenon that causes light from the sun to bend while passing through the Earth atmosphere, the sun circle appears slightly higher on the horizon that it is in reality. Together, these factors add a few extra minutes of daylight to the equinox.     An even more interesting astronomical event occurred this morning – a total solar eclipse. Unfortunately, the eclipse was not visible from North America. The best places to see it was in North Atlantic, south of Iceland, Faroe Islands and Swalbard, a remote archipelago in northern Norway.   Here is an animated gif showing from where the partial and total solar eclipse could be seen. The small black spot that passes within the elliptical shadow (area where you can see a partial eclipse) is the best area to see the total eclipse. Animation source: NASA Solar Eclipse web site. We will have to wait 19 years, until March 20, 2034, to get solar eclipse and spring (vernal) equinox on the same day. To add to the excitement, the moon on Thursday evening was a “supermoon”. This is a point when the moon reached lunar perigee, its orbit’s at closest distance to Earth.  The moon was in a new phase and not visible. If the moon were visible last night, it would appear slightly larger in the sky. Think positive. The spring equinox marks the half-way point between the dark days of winter and the long, sunny days of summer. Over the next few weeks we will experience the most dramatic gain in the length of daylight hours....

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Art of Landscape Photography

Posted by on 5. February 2015 in Blog / Journal, Workshops | Comments Off on Art of Landscape Photography

Art of Landscape Photography

Photography course in Regina – Saturday, 14. February 2015 (noon – 3:00 p.m.) Drawing from over three decades of immersion in the world of photography, I will share my experiences and sources of inspiration. During this three-hour course, you will discover some of the secrets behind the artistry of landscape photography and learn practical tips to help you elevate your outdoor and nature photographs to the next level. If you are passionate about the great outdoors and want to capture the wonders of nature with your camera, join us for an afternoon of learning and inspiration. Location: College Building room CB 112, University of Regina Campus (2155 College Ave., Regina, SK) Registration fee: $45 (includes refreshments) You have to register directly through the Lifelong Learning Centre at the University of Regina. Follow the link and click on ‘Register for Classes’. The Art of Landscape Photography class code is 69903 Room CB 112 is located on the main floor of the College Building. To reach this room, enter through the Conservatory doors on the west side of the building. Go up the stairs and turn left; walk past the glass office, past the couches and go through the green lunch room into the next hallway. CB 112 is one quarter of the way down this hall on your right-hand side.     We will also have a short review of participant images during the class. The idea is to provide constructive feedback and help you improve your photography. You will benefit from seeing other participant’s work, and from in-class discussion what you may be doing right (or wrong). Please select three images that represent the type of photography you are interested in. To make it easier to email and project the files, reduce the size of images to 1000 pixels and save in jpeg format. If you do not have a specialized image processing program, just open your files in Microsoft Paint (or an Apple equivalent). Then click on “Resize”, select “By: Pixels” and type in a value of 1000 in the box that represent the longest dimension (e.g. horizontal). Then select “Save As” > “jpeg picture” (this is important; do not select “Save” as it will over-write your original file). Please include your name within the image file name. You can email the images directly to branimir [at] shaw.ca  Thank you. See you in Regina on February 14th. P.S. There are a few spots left in the Digital Phoitography Course that starts in Saskatoon on 11. Febuary 2015.  ...

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Wishing you joyful, successful and creative 2015

Posted by on 31. December 2014 in Blog / Journal | Comments Off on Wishing you joyful, successful and creative 2015

Wishing you joyful, successful and creative 2015

Dear friends. I wish you a very happy, successful and above all, creative New Year. May your hearts be filled with joy and laughter, and your days with memorable moments spent with family and friends. Now stop reading this, go out there and breathe the fresh air. Bringing a camera with you is suggested but not mandatory....

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