First Snow, Gatineau (Hull) Quebec

This is the post excerpt.

Amazing photo of traffic vehicle lights, urban beauty and abstract dancing forms, avant garde expressive photography. I took this shot during the first snowfall of winter 2016 – 17, Gatineau (Hull) Quebec, Canada. Snowflakes fell for several minutes in late October 2016. It’s now February 2017 and this winter we’ve had more snow than ever! Unbelievable! I love snow and ice and will be posting plenty of gorgeous chilling photos over the rest of the winter season. Spring is on the way … but why rush it?

In this photo the cars and other vehicles are coming off the Alexandria Bridge, after crossing the Ottawa River from Ottawa Ontario to Hull (Gatineau) Quebec. Dynamic energy and very pretty!

Getting Medical Help in Hull (Gatineau) Québec – or not

Eddy Street, looking South from Frontenac, Hull Québec.

march212017 017-adj

Below: Rajah (left) and Traveler. Rajah, rescued from abusive owners when he was a year or so, is now 20 years old, deaf as a post and arthritic. Traveler is a one-year-old son of another rescue cat who came my way. His mom and siblings went to good homes, and Traveler, despite his name, has stayed with me.

These guys are my best friends and are a true source of comfort as I’m dealing with the astonishingly awful medical system here.

I’m prone to depression, have level 10 misophonia and a slew of medical disorders, some not even recognized in this province (!) even though they are in others. The Hull (Gatineau) Québec medical system is so backward that the Hull hospital was declared to be the worst Emergency department in the Western world. Ottawa piled money into it. Some of that may have trickled down, but my experiences there became worse instead of better, and I am sure somebody in management is driving a new car. Nah, Im not vindictive. I know how these things go.

If you need a family doctor you will wait at least three years, and that is the short list – for people with chronic conditions, life-threatening diseases, mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, or pregnancy.  Even if you are a pregnant elephant you`d be getting your doctor just as the calf is reaching its first birthday. A pregnant woman? Hold your legs together honey, it’s only a couple more years. At least you save money on diapers.

The severity of your medical condition is based on how many times you visit the hospital. Now that`s enough to shoot one`s anxiety levels through the roof. Doctors don`t want to work at Gatineau or Hull hospitals due to the situation. They are overworked, the province forces them to take on more patients than they can handle and makes false promises that more doctors will be arriving soon. Um. No. This has been going on for years. And for one reason or another, some of these local docs are downright nasty.  I’ll be elaborating on that later.

As for minor or outpatient surgery … this sends chills down my spine. A few years ago an outbreak of flesh-eating disease at Hull Hospital left one friend with huge chunks of flesh torn out of his leg, and had he not still been IN the hospital at the time, he would have lost his leg or died – which, sadly, happened to a friend`s girlfriend, who was in for minor surgery but had already been released when the disease struck. It travels fast. RIP, poor girl.

Clinics do not accept walk-ins. You will get vigorously snarled at if you presume to think that you will get a doc at a clinic. In all of Hull there is one clinic open to the public and you have to get there early to see a medical practicioner. One of the doctors working there is a known (convicted) pedophile. Yet he`s still practicing medicine in the same place. Bievenue a Hull.

Language wars are alive and well in this province, and none worse than in the Québec medical system. I speak English, German and some French. However, the french spoken in Gatineau is nowhere near the French spoken in France – it`s a bastardized version replete with mispronounced English words, local dialects and nasal slang, often spoken with machine-gun-like rapidity. If you do not speak this language (which Québec residents call french, but many other folks refer to as Gatinese). I was bowled over by a man in a local shop whose French was immaculate. I understood him perfectly and expressed my astonishment, to which he smiled and said, “Yes … I’m from Algeria.”

Unfortunately, if you do not speak the language, you are faced with extremely limited resources in the medical system. The refusal of the system to honor my request for English communication (request for English did exist at one time, but now does not) caused and continues to cause major health havoc for me. Now there are very good and competent doctors and medical staff, and I have been fortunate to encounter some of these dear angels, but for every one who can help you, there are ten that are more likely to kill you. If you are moving to Hull … well … good luck. Bonne chance!


Well, I’m on a public computer and the Library is closing so I’ve got to cut this short. Have a happy day!

Love all


Hull Québec Medical System – Prepare to Die

DEPRESSION IMG_7445-adj4Just a short note today, I don’t have much time! I’ve being going through hell with the medical system here … won’t go into detail but I have a number of strange and interesting conditions (including a severe hearing & sound interpretation condition called misophonia) –  some conditions chronic, some physical, some mental. Cuckoo! Well, I am a writer, what can you expect? In any case the system here is so unbelievable I have to share my adventures with you. Many of these people are the most inefficient, nasty, unprofessional creatures I’ve ever had the unpleasure of dealing with … literally, they have driven me close to suicide for the first time in twenty years (I have dealt with suicidal depression since I was in my teens, fixed it myself with a little help from Sam Coleridge (English poet, Romantic era) when I was in my thirties. So I still get depressed but not suicidal.

Not til now.

Hope to make it back soon and tell you all about it. Actually, I don’t have any readers (I don’t think so anyhow) so it’s more a purge than anything else.

The photo is for depression awareness. Did you know that 80% of people with depression do not get treated? I mean, when you’re depressed and the floor is a black pit swallowing you up, you’re crying and can’t even get out of bed to take a shower, how the heck can people expect you to go to the hospital? And yet, that is how they measure the severity of your condition – by how many times you go to hospital. Sadly, the hospital is a horror show and you are infinitely better off at home in a black hopeless pit of despair.

If you would like the above original photo as a postcard to help raise awareness about depression, please visit my Zazzle product page here:


On the product page you can add or remove text as desired.

Love all,


This is Me!


This is me! Took this selfie April 3 2017. The fun fur on top is part of my parka hood, not a whacked-out hair extension.  I like this pic because it looks part Natasha from some Russian romance; part Lana Turner with the famous one-eyed trumbling tresses look; but mostly hopelessly confused itinerant bag lady, which the medical system here is trying to turn me into.

I am a multi media artist.  As a kid I loved to draw and still have an crazy attraction to black and white, and have been more serious about photography as one of the great loves of my life, over the past few years.  I was primarily a painter for over thirty years, then gave it up for computer graphics (photo art and hand-drawn work) due to the handy UNDO button.  Yep, if artists of previous generations had had an UNDO or DELETE  button they would have jumped for joy.

I’ve done set painting for musical theater, have written and produced my own full-length musical theater play which garnered emphatic response from audience and critics alike … hey what can I say?

Will be 53 y.o. this September, a Virgo Dragon if you follow eastern ^ western horoscopes. I play guitar (badly) and write songs (beautifully), usually cheesy funny novelty numbers, expressive work or just tiddling around for fun.

I can be a grumpy old snark and have a few medical issues to watch out for, including Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety, depression, misophonia, arthritis, TMJ disorder and a hefty dose of phucovitis.

Totally enraptured by Nature, birds, bees, rocks & minerals, critters of all kinds, things you can see and those you can’t because they are just too small … or too big. Information is my weakness – I need to live forever! It’s a wonderful world and way too complex to explore in one lifetime. Also I am very slow. Especially without coffee.

Love all ♥


Fabulous Bright Morning Glory – Family Convolvulaceae

Morning Glory Greeting Cards!

Bright Morning Glory Flower, with Delicate Stamen and Pollen – Family Convolvulaceae

You can see these gorgeous cheerful flowers adorning climbing vines all over the place in Hull (Gatineau) Quebec and other parts of Canada! What a fabulous fragrance!


Spring is coming! In some places, it`s already arrived … here in the Northern Climes of Canada, snow is melting but may not be finished yet! Here`s a detail closeup macro of a beautiful morning glory flower, magenta pink purple in pale and strong hues, and some delicate green yellow at center where the allure of pollen awaits. If you were a butterfly, you`d be having some serious num-nums right now as you drink the bait put out for you by the flower – the nectar. Hope this photo helps brighten your day! You can also get it as a postcard or print or even a clock! at Zazzle (see below).

Please visit my artist’s shop at M Sylvia Chaume Art (you’ll have to copy and paste the link here, sorry, doesn’t work to click through, despite my blood sweat and tears):  https://www.zazzle.com/m_sylvia_chaume*


Morning Glory Greeting Cards and Prints



Have a wonderful day!!

Summer of Wasps 1

Wasps Love Sweet Treats!



Wasps in the adult stage can’t digest solid food. They feast on sugary liquids. This lovely European Paper Wasp female worker has just arrived at one of my wasp feeders, and is enjoying a mix of fermented apple soaking in flat (non-bubbly) ginger ale. She’ll take much of the liquid back to the nest to feed other workers and drones. She may give some of the solid food to the larvae, if there are any left, who convert it into sweet liquid and feed it back to the wasp(s). I took this photo series in August so most of the larvae have already cocooned and hatched. Some met a dastardly end — but that’s another story.


She moves in a bit, her black jaws or mandibles clearly visible as she scrapes and nibbles the apple. If annoyed she can nip ferociously at intruding insects but makes no attempt to sting. Similarly I’ve seen the ladies take out their temper on the wasp drones, who crouch down submissively even though they’re larger than the females. I have never seen the drones nip or act aggressively toward the females.

This little beauty is from another nest, not the one I’m usually photographing / filming … she’s well aware of me but shows no alarm as I adjust camera position. I move slowly and speak to her quietly. Paper wasps have strong face recognition skills which helps them distinguish the harmful from the harmless.


Now a yellowjacket wasp joins the feast. No problem – there’s enough for all. The yellow jacket, in foreground, is easily distinguished from the European paper wasp – most obviously she has black antennae while the European has orange antennae. The antennae are multi-purpose tools which can be used to identify other wasps, explore environmental elements and read the information they impart by feel. I’ve also seen the wasps use their antennae as “hands” to shape and pat individual cells while building the nest.

Yellowjackets tend to fly like little buzzing bullets, zipping around with legs tucked in. They love teasing the Europeans by dive-bombing the nest. The European paper wasps have an elegant manner of flight, rising more slowly and flying with hind legs dangling. These insects most commonly resemble “faeries” because in flight they look exactly like little people with wings, as sunshine creates a golden glow around them.