Saturday, July 30, 2016

Flora & Fauna

I would request that my body in death be buried not cremated, so that the energy content contained within it gets returned to the earth, so that flora and fauna can dine upon it, just as I have dined upon flora and fauna during my lifetime. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

No surprises here. This post is all about some of the plants and critters I've seen around town recently. I have one photo collection of just dogs but that's for another time. For now, enjoy some flora and fauna - not necessarily in any orda.

I used to think of robins as the first sign of spring but over the years, I believe the red-winged blackbird became its true harbinger. Still, there's no denying the robin is a lovely bird to see and to hear throughout the summer.

Here's that same handsome specimen, a little bit closer.

Over the past several weeks, through June and July, I've been doing some enumerating work which required a lot of walking around my neighbourhood. All those hours without a camera made me antsy for another walk, one evening. Throughout the previous week, I kept passing this overgrown thistle which shot up out of the sidewalk along the side of the road. On this evening, I decided to go back its location and take a few shots.

The sun was low and it gave life to its rich colours.

Pretty beautiful for a thorny old weed.

My neighbour's beautiful cat, Oliver having a short rest in the warming sunshine, between bouts of virgorous play.

lyin' goslings
This makes me think of that Canadian actor.. what's his name? Oh yeah, Lyin' Gosling(s).

ice cream squirrel
It was a hot day. A perfect day for a frozen treat. And this little cutie somehow scored an ice cream cone of his very own. He sat there on the fence for a long time, enjoying every last bit of it. This was taken through the window, three floors and half a yard away.

A pretty iris growing in a neighbourhood yard.

grey kitty
I was walking home from the park one evening and this sweet, friendly kitty demanded that I stop and give her some attention. She started speaking to me as I approached, and head-butted my hand as I reached down to pet her. She staked her claim by lying on my foot lest I try to depart too soon. We had a good, long chat and snuggle, and then she returned to her driveway to await the next cat lover.

Zeph and Alex
And here's my own sweet Zephyr with my son Alex, who visited me in July. Both of my boys were rather tired.

More photos coming up before you know it.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Magicians of the Universe

Dogs are the magicians of the universe.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The dog days of summer are here!

Like any great community, Peterborough has no shortage of canines. I encounter these sweeties daily, particularly down by the lake. It's the perfect spot for a rest in the grass or for a cooling dip in the water. I've posted several different dog photos before so some of these creatures might seem familiar to you. Some of the subject have appeared on the blog before but each of these images are new. I hope you enjoy them.

A dog can't think that much about what he's doing, he just does what feels right. ~ Barbara Kingsolver
This exuberant pooch and his sister are down by the pier most evenings in summer. Their person flings two green tennis balls far out into the lake and these curly-haired beauties spend the next five minutes swimming out to retrieve them, They return them to shore for the next toss. This one in particular takes a running leap...

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. ~ Rita Rudner
And seems to smile as he sails through the air.

shake it off
Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still. ~ Barbara Kingsolver
That curly coat holds a lot of water. I thought he looked more like a bear in this photo.

roof pooch
DOG: A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow or surplus of the world's worship. ~ Ambrose Bierce
You've seen this guy before too - he's the roof pooch I see on my way to the park. He has his own window through which he comes and goes as he pleases.

window seat
Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear. ~ Dave Barry
I guess this guy makes sure that he gets the window seat on his trips around town. I've seen him a couple of times now.

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. ~ Ann Landers
This little cutie (a Papillon, methinks) worked the crowd which gathered alongside the lakeside patio at Holiday Inn. There was a live blues band performing that evening and several boats had pulled up and docked to enjoy the music. She wandered all around her people's boat, getting treats from those who came equipped, and pats from the rest of us.

big haul2
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
I watched this dog from a long way off as I approached. He wrestled with that branch for the longest time, bound and determined to drag it up out of the water.

comes running
The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state the dog is full of love.
I've also proved, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.
~ Ogden Nash
Until his people called him for some love and attention. He wasted no time reuniting with them.

sister dog
The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog. ~ M.K. Clinton
His sister was not a water dog. She waited patiently for his return. What a sweet girl!

The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants. ~ Johnny Depp
These two, little strangers to one another, greeted each other with such loving enthusiasm. An abundance of kisses was had by both.

porch pooch
Dogs are often happier than men simply because the simplest things are the greatest things for them!
~ Mehmet Murat ildan
Last, and most definitely least, I saw this porch puppy on my way home.

I'll have more photos for you any day now... closer to seven, in dog years.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Out For A Walk

I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~ John Muir

It's time for another walk around town. Put on your comfy shoes and catch up, will ya?

There is no blue like the blue cup the tall delphinium holds up. ~ Louise Driscoll
The delphinium, also known as larkspur is a beautiful flower, particularly when it soaks up the rays of late-day sunshine. There are still quite a few buds left to open.

When it comes to large boats, I have a yacht to learn. ~ Ken Poirot
My walks almost always take me to Little Lake. It draws many others by foot, by wheel and by water.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell
This touching little memorial on a tree stump had been by the water's edge for quite some time. I assume that there had been a flower in the earth, and that perhaps the candle had been lit a time or two. It was allowed to remain for at least a month before it suddenly disappeared. Rest in peace, Denvar.

mama and wee ones3
I don't have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turn into confident ducks. ~ Maeve Binchy
This mama Mallard and her triplets were out for a stroll by the water. I notice that the water fowl are not overly fearful of people around here. I was only a few steps away.

mama plus contemplating a dip
Don't take me under your wing and tell me that scent is duck sauce ~ Josh Stern
I love how the little guy in front is checking out the height of the drop down into the water. Eventually, they all did make the jump but it was getting darker by then and the photos didn't turn out very well.

mama and wee ones2
Duck love is recognizable in any language. ~ Edmond Manning
For now, they all decided to settle in for a while with their mama.

daddy daughter tete a tete
A girl's first true love is her father. ~ Marisol Santiago
This little sweetie pie and her dad were enjoying a nice little tête-à-tête over something. She had such an intent look in her eye...

daddy daughter speculative
A man's daughter is his heart. Just with feet, walking out in the world. ~ Mat Johnson
Until she noticed me taking their photo. Then it became quite the speculative look. As you can now see, it was a pair of mallards which had held her interest.

robin bathing
Stay, little cheerful Robin! stay,
And at my easement sing,
Though it should prove a farewell lay
And this our parting spring. . . . .
Then, little Bird, this boon confer,
Come, and my requiem sing,
Nor fail to be the harbinger
Of everlasting spring.
~ William Wordsworth
This was one of the first warm days in May and the robin had been happily splashing in the lake until I came along, at which time she stood stock still. Nothing to see here.

three amigos
Now, finally, this House gets to see a 'bromance' close up. Thanks for making that possible. Although I still think 'dudeplomacy' is more accurate, but I'll get over it." - Justin Trudeau as he introduced Barack Obama in the House of Commons.
I saw this around the time that the presidents of Mexico and the U.S. were visiting Canada for the North American Leaders' Summit. This trio somehow reminded me of the three amigos - blue for the U.S., red for Canada and green for Mexico.

Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train. ~ John Milton
There's a lovely church just a short walk from my place and on this evening, I snapped this photo of a nun just ending a stroll of her own.

tiger lily
'O Tiger-lily,' said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind,
'I wish you could talk!'
'We can talk,' said the Tiger-lily: 'when there's anybody worth talking to.
~ Lewis Carroll
Glowing in the setting sun, this lovely tiger lily cleared its graceful throat and spoke to me. I was happy to listen.

Thanks for joining me on the walk. Time to relax with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer. Of course, if it's morning when you're reading this, there's a pot of coffee in the kitchen. Help yourself!

More photos as soon as they're ready.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Diversity is a Blessing

We know in our bones that Canada was built by people from all corners of the world who worship every faith, who belong to every culture, who speak every language. We believe in our hearts that this country's unique diversity is a blessing. ~ Justin Trudeau

Canada Day Sunrise
It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she's something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of. ~ Emily Carr
It was just a few hours into July1 - our Canada Day and already, the sky was celebrating with some fireworks of its own.

Map of roots
What does multiculturalism mean to these people-and to me? It means a presumption that society will accommodate forms of cultural expression that do not violate our society's core values. These include the right of a Jew to wear his kippa, a Sikh to wear his turban, a Muslim to wear her headscarf, or a Christian to wear a cross pendant. ~ Justin Trudeau
Peterborough is a multicultural city. An accepting city. A respectful city. Multiculturalism was the theme, and the events were organized by the New Canadians Centre on this July 1st. Our Canada Day celebrations began with a parade, which happened in the rain, and therefore without me and my camera. But when the skies cleared, there were all sorts of activities to enjoy in the park. I unexpectedly met up with my dear friend, Carol Anne at the park and we spent some time together.

all decked out
I don't even know what street Canada is on. ~ Al Capone
Neighbourhood homes were all decked out for the event.

firefighters hose
Canada is a nation of people who came from somewhere else. ~ Microsoft Encarta
Red is the colour of our flag's maple leaf so you're going to see an awful lot of it throughout these photos. Here, kidlets were enjoying climbing on the hose sculpture at Del Crary Park - living up to our nickname of "hosers!"

We see the refugees who feel that they have a special duty to give back, and seize the opportunity of a new life. Like the girl who fled Afghanistan by donkey and camel and jet plane. And who remembers being greeted in this country by helping hands and the sounds of robins singing. And today she serves in this chamber and in the cabinet because Canada is her home. ~ Barack Obama
That beautiful smile belongs to Maryam Monsef - the Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha as well as our country's Minister of Democratic Institutions. Twenty years ago, at the age of eleven, Maryam, her mother and two sisters escaped the Taliban and came to our country. They settled in Peterborough where they had family members living. You Americans might recognize her from when Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto were in Ottawa late last month for the North American Leaders' summit, which was quickly dubbed the Three Amigos' Summit. President Obama referenced the Honourable Maryam Monsef in his speech as quoted above. Peterborough is mighty proud of her - with good reason.

In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. ~ Bill Clinton
When the music began, this group of four had all the moves. Note the woman on the left, considering joining in.

Canada has never been a melting pot, more like a tossed salad. ~ Arnold Edinborough.
It didn't take her very long.

scottish dance rehearsal
Wherever you go in the world, you just have to say you're Canadian and people laugh ~ John Candy
A bit earlier, I had seen this group rehearsing their routine.

scottish dancers
In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations; it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir. ~ Stuart Keate
And now it was time for them to perform on stage.

beaver tail
Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it's doing in the Maritimes. ~ Tommy Douglas
Some of the kidlets weren't all that interested. Note the beaver (our national animal) tail on the child's t-shirt. I never got a look at the front but I'll bet it had orange teeth.

I'd be prouder still to say I was Canada's 10th woman prime minister. ~ Kim Campbell
This little girl was very interested in the dancing and had some pretty smooth moves of her own.

tiny dancer onion
Canadian money is also called the loony. How can you take an economic crisis seriously? ~ Robin Williams
Then along came this purple onion who offered to dance with her.

tiny dancer5
When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, 'Well, what do you need?' ~ Steven Wright
A natural reaction. Onions can make me cry too.

east indian dancers
Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them. ~ Pierre Trudeau
A group of east Indian children took the stage next with their routine.

The music continued but Carol Anne and I decided to have a walk around.

A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care. ~ John Wing
Venders were selling all sorts of merchandise. This bowl of colourful bracelets caught my eye.

We'll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us. ~ Andy Barrie
As did these vibrant tie-dye dresses.

A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe without tipping it. ~ Pierre Berton
The afternoon events ended with somebody hauling out this canoe-shaped drum. Everyone was encouraged to fall into the rhythm of the beat or to create their own sound.

By now, dark clouds were rolling in and it began to sprinkle on and off. Carol Ann and I had each walked to the park from our respective homes in opposite directions, both about twenty minutes on foot. We figured we should make our way home, lest we get caught in what promised to be a huge downpour. I hurried on my way, readying a plastic bag for my camera in case I didn't make it on time. I arrived home completely dry, closed the door behind me and looked out the window to see that it was just pouring buckets. I texted Carol Anne indicating how I missed the rain by mere seconds, and hoped that she had also. Just as I hit "send," her cross-posted text came in telling me pretty much the same thing. We couldn't have timed it any better if we had tried.

There's always a lot to see around this city. I'll have more for you next time.