Saturday, June 25, 2016

All Living Things

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace. ~ Albert Schweitzer

As the above quote might suggest, this blog post will feature some of the creatures I've encountered when out walking in the last little while. Despite their seemingly perpetual presence, there's an absence of dogs in these photos because I have enough of them to fill up their own post at some time.

What greater gift than the love of a cat. ~ Charles Dickens
Let's start with my little buddy, Oliver. He belongs to my neighbours Carol and her son, Evan but he's an occasional resident at my place when they are away. Zephyr is still at the stage where he hisses at Oliver from time to time but he allows him to lie down beside him, and is somewhat surprised to find that Oliver usually greets him with a quick nuzzle. Zeph has been a very different cat since my beautiful Skitty died in September. We both miss him intensely but Zephyr's whole personality has shifted from loner to clingy, and from quiet to excessively vocal. Even though he still treats Oliver like an intruder, I think his presence soothes him a little. It also irritates him when Oliver is in chase mode. He is a young cat, after all. Time will tell with these two.

sign sparrow
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. ~ Henry David Thoreau
I was passing by this storefront when a sweet little song caught my attention. I looked up to see this little cutie watching me from its perch atop the letter 'M.'

Swamps where cedars grow and turtles wait on logs but not for anything in particular; fields bordered by crooked fences broken by years of standing still; orchards so old they have forgotten where the farmhouse is. In the north I have eaten my lunch in pastures rank with ferns and junipers, all under fair skies with a wind blowing. ~ E.B. White
This guy was sunning himself down by the lake, about a month ago. I am uncertain what type of turtle he is. I had a quick email discussion about it with Karen at Living in My Valley, who is a former Peterborough resident. We figured it might be a map turtle.

sweet boy2
Cats are connoisseurs of comfort. ~ James Herriot
I've seen this sweetie on my walks before. He always offers up his belly for a rub and of course, I always oblige.

red canary
His idea was to pluck the genes from a red siskin - a relative of the canary from South America - insert them into an ordinary yellow canary and turn it red. ~ Tim Birkhead - The Red Canary: The Story of the First Genetically Engineered Animal.
This lovely songbird is the Red Canary. It was enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of the late spring day. It wasn't the least bit wary of me or my camera. I am not keen on the idea of birds in cages but I do have very fond memories of my childhood pet budgies. There must have been about four or five of them through the years - all of them blue and every one of them named Vicky. Yup, no score for originality but top points for tradition. ;)

squirrel baby2
Ant Prune was holding one of the squirrels in her hand. 'And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.' That was a visual I didn't need. ~ Margaret Stohl
How cute is this little gem? It was a questionable "rescue." I'm not sure that he was in the best of hands (aside from the hand in the photo, which is my own), but he seemed healthy and active. And I learned that he commandeered his own release just a couple of days later.

squirrel baby3
Not much goes on in the mind of a squirrel. Huge portions of what is loosely termed "the squirrel brain" are given over to one thought: food. The average squirrel cogitation goes something like this: I wonder what there is to eat. ~ Kate DiCamillo
I hope he is still doing well.

take off eh
"How do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go forth into the unknown." ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
This was actually snapped back in my old haunts in Mississauga, in April, while I was walking around the neighbourhood lake.

front porch kitty
The smallest feline is a masterpiece. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
A porch kitty watching the world wander past her door.

frog dog afraid2
The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them. ~ Stanley Coren
Okay, so one dog. I'm including this guy because he has no idea how big he is. I watched him standing by the water's edge, slowly creeping up to something. He was both curious and fearful, and the latter won out. His people had to take him away to recover from the scary monster he'd encountered. He continued to watch it nervously from a distance.

frog buddy3
I'd kiss a frog even if there was no promise of a Prince Charming popping out of it. I love frogs. ~ Cameron Diaz
This handsome specimen was his fierce nemesis.

More photos coming up next time around.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

That Warm, Sweet Sunlight

Late afternoon sunlight, warm as oil, sweet as childhood
~ Stephen King

A couple of posts back, I mentioned that there was one evening when the sunlight was gracing us at that golden hour. I had walked to Little Lake where photo opportunities seem to ever-so-kindly present themselves to me, most days. There's always something of at least mild interest to be seen in Peterborough. Come join me on this walk and see for yourself.

pretty in purple
Pleasure is wild and sweet. She likes purple flowers. She loves the sun and the wind and the night sky.
~ J. Ruth Gendler
I pass by this little garden of phlox (and at that time, tulips) almost every time I head to the lake but this time, the late-day sunlight really intensified the purple colours.

creeping phlox
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
~ Alice Walker
Here's a close up view from directly above.

goslings - wild goose chase2
A wild goose never reared a tame gosling.
~ Irish Proverb
The goslings are growing up very quickly - no longer little goosebumps. However, Mother and Father Goose are still very protective of them. Here, the mother is shooing them along, out of possible harm's way.

goslings - nibbling amid violets
The family is one of nature's masterpieces.
~ George Santayana
They paused by the water's edge for a little nibble of grass and tiny, wild violets.

gosllings - sweet face
Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.
~ David Ogden Stiers
After giving it some thought, Mama figured it would be safest to bring them into the water where the Dad was waiting.

goslings - cuties
Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.
~ Brad Henry
And they casually moved along, soaking up those warming rays.

dockters without borders
I would rather sail and hit a rock than sit and rot in dry dock.
~ Lester Roloff
Elsewhere on the lake, this odd sight was approaching - like an oversized wooden alligator.

dockters without borders3
I've learned .... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
~ Andy Rooney
I've never seen anyone move a dock like that but these folks did not appear to be having any difficulties with it. They transported it a fair distance, slowly and steadily.

I have great joy in the tulips and lilacs which make my garden 'look like the waking of Creation.'
~ Helen Keller
On that day in May, the park's tulips were in full bloom.

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.
~ Gerard de Nerval
There were different colours sported in various areas but I quite liked the oranges, yellows and whites of this collection.

harbour boats returning
To me sometimes a mute sky is more expressive than the roaring sea.
~ Munia Khan
The boats had only begun to gather at the marina for the season. Just a week later, it was quite full - but that's for another blog post.

pink warriors2
Life doesn't get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.
~ Steve Maraboli
There are two of these Survivors Abreast dragon boats filled with women wearing pink PFDs, who row to raise awareness and funds for cancer care in the community. Each of these women has had a diagnosis of breast cancer.

pink warriors
She made broken look beautiful, and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.
~ Ariana Dancu
Here are the pink warriors on their return trip, an hour and a half later.

big catch
I worry about kids today not having time to build a tree house or ride a bike or go fishing. I worry that life is getting faster and faster.
~ John Lasseter
This poor fish had a rough go of being caught. It was rather battered against the rocks and then endured the wait while the kid wrestled the hook from its mouth. I'm not so sure that it survived its release back to the lake, but the kid sure was proud of his catch.

pit beauty
Pit bulls are famous, in circles of knowledgeable dog people, for the love and loyalty they bestow on anyone who shows them a smidgen of kindness.
~ Linda Wilson-Fuoco
Some of the sweetest dogs I've ever met, and heard about (I'm thinking of you, Roy Boy!) are pit bulls. And this handsome boy was no exception. Ontario has a very unfair and biased ban on pits. The ban should actually be for people who raise them to be aggressive. Of course, that or even educating the public about responsible dog "ownership" is the more costly and tougher task. This dog is only part pit bull but looks like he's a pure breed. He belongs to his human companion's daughter but was enjoying a lengthy, possibly permanent visit with "grandma" due to family circumstances. The dog tends to bark encouragement when excited, in a very non-threatening way, and a neighbour recently decided to make a call to police about this woman owning an illegal dog. The officer arrived, got down and cuddled with the pooch and got nothing but gentle affection from the dog. Still, she had to reluctantly make the report, and give the woman two weeks to get the papers from her daughter, in order to prove that the pit bull in him was truly watered down with another breed or two. She can and will get the papers, hopefully within the required time (which would be long passed by now). According to the woman, if she could not prove it, this beautiful soul of a creature would have to be destroyed. That's just unthinkable. Our province is very backwards with this law. I hope to see this duo out on a walk soon, so I can know for sure that all is well.

pit - shake it off
The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.
~ Ambrose Bierce
All this sweetie wanted to do was dive into the lake to retrieve the sticks which his person was tossing, shake off the water and go back for more. Over and over again. He kind of reminded me of a crazy little JRT I once knew.

pit - crazy eyes
How come everyone calls me 'Crazy Eyes'?
~ Uzo Aduba as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren
And speaking about Crazy Eyes.. it's almost time to binge-watch season four of Orange is the New Black. Who else will be watching?

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Sunlight of Love

May their joys be as bright as the morning, and their sorrows but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love.
~ Minna Thomas Antrim

June is the traditional month for weddings. I've had this post in my drafts for a couple of years and since June has come around once again, I thought it would be time to dust it off and present it - although this wedding took place just a tad later in the summer.

Back in July of 2014, we attended a wedding. The groom was the handsome Brodie and his bride was the lovely Andrée. It was an outdoor venue - a ranch in Bethany, Ontario. And it was a beautiful, semi-casual/semi-formal and totally-charming event.

1 latecomers view
It was just off of Highway 7A in southern Ontario, which is not to be confused with Highway 7 in southern Ontario. And yet we did confuse the two which is why we arrived late - but just in time to see the couple pronounced married. Just a few seats over from the right, you can see Lisa (aunt to the groom) turning back to snap a photo of the latecomers.

17 Andrée and Brodie
The happy newlyweds Andrée and Brodie.

10 assigned glassware
While the wedding party was off having photos taken by the professional, it was time for the rest of us to sit back and enjoy a drink. We were each assigned our own Mason jar mugs to keep through the day, and from which to drink our beer, wine or other.

8 plant a tree
Folks explored the barn where we found sweet, thoughtful and endearing touches everywhere. These tree saplings were gifts from the couple to their guests. Along with their names, it bore the message "Plant a tree and watch our love grow."*

9 rub a dub dub
Nearby was a decorative vintage claw foot tub. As far as I know, nobody made use of it that day.

24 Love
And the place cards for table settings hung with clothespins above the word LOVE - created with branches and tree trunk rings.

25 help station
Isn't this a thoughtful gesture? A basket filled with just about anything you might need at an outdoor venue - bug spray, insect bite treatment, gum, hand cream, deodorant, toothpicks, nail files, antihistamines, pain killers, calamine lotion, tissues, sunscreen, tampons and even flip flops in case your feet got tired from walking around in fancier shoes. The bride and groom were looking out for their guests.

19 glasses all in a row
We were eventually seated at long tables in the barn's loft, ready to await the bride and groom. The table settings were simple and elegant. The wedding party arrived dancing, one couple at a time but the lighting was low and I wasn't able to photograph anything but smiling blurs.

21 center piece
Flowers set in mason jars and wrapped in canvas, ribbon and lace (just as the invitations were). I loved all of the creative details.

22 center piece
Soft, subtle and sweetly scented.

23 from the loft
Just the view of the entrance way from the loft. There's a tree which had grown the full height of the second floor and the staircase kind of winds around it.

26 shocking
I couldn't resist snapping this pair of flashy, shocking pink socks. I'd say that he had happy feet.

28 rocky road
May this be the one and only rocky road that this sweet woman and her husband must ever travel.

29 daisies
One of the outdoor decorative touches.

31 through the bridge
There was a rustic, covered bridge on the property.

33 venue at evening
Here's the barn - the reception took place upstairs.

34 venue at nightfall
As night began to fall, the mosquitoes came out in full force which signaled the end of the evening and the beginning of scratching.

Thank you for having such an enchanting wedding, Brodie and Andrée. May you live happily ever after.

*As for the cards which stated "Plant a tree and watch our love grow," their love has indeed grown. It's now two years later and the bride and groom are expecting their first child a little later this summer. 
True love is wonderful!