It’s been an eventful summer. A few weeks ago my mother died. She was extremely old, but surprised us all by getting a fever one day and dying the next. I hadn’t been posting here that much before her death and now I think I will officially take a break. Thank you to everyone who’s read and viewed my posts and followed this blog. I’m still enjoying the natural world–both in the city and in the countryside. I looked through some of my photos and have selected this one from Saskatchewan when I was last there in 2011. All the best to you, nature lovers.
Hi people. I’m still alive after my recent break from posting. The old computer suddenly ceased functioning with an electrical short and a puff of the scary scent of electrical burning filling the rooms. Since then I’ve been learning a new system. These dwarf irises are from a Toronto garden in May. Since then great blossoming has taken place. We’ve had daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, redbud trees, magnolias, crabapples and cherry blossoms. These have all gone and now we’re awash with the fading, but still romantic scent of lilacs, lilies of the valley and peonies.
Last weekend I went to the exhibition of students’ art work at OCAD, The Ontario College of Art and Design, in Toronto. I was impressed by the number of students whose work addressed their concerns about the health of the natural world.
One fibre artist, Cassidy Tam, exhibited a large work she’d created along with her idea for a children’s camp called Camp Be a Bee. I didn’t get a chance to meet Cassidy, but loved her art work and camp idea.
On her flyer, she writes:
Have you ever get scared by a furry Bumblebee? Do you know why they like to hang around in the backyard? Get ready for a two-week adventure to explore and learn about pollination and local plants that live in Toronto. From art exploration to scientific experiment, you will interact with other camp members to build a beautiful meadow just like a hard working little bee!
I was drawn to her ideas because of my concern for the health of bees. I’m also heartened when I see people working to bridge the gap of disconnection between humans and the natural world. Helping city children appreciate nature is an important part of changing our attitudes toward the larger world that sustains our lives.
Good luck, Cassidy, with your camp and your art work. Here’s Cassidy’s website. Her card, below, shows her email.
I went to the Brickworks last Sunday. The air was awash with the calls of red-wing blackbirds and soaring and diving swallows. I came upon mallards and cormorants in the ponds, plus a mournful and patient dog awaiting the return of his human companions.
Last June, as I was walking through the wild flowers beside the railroad tracks to go to the Brickworks in Toronto, I came upon this rabbit or hare late in the afternoon. If anyone can identify this animal, I’d be happy to know which creature it is.
On Sunday, I went again to Todmorden Mills in Toronto. It was sunny and relatively mild–around 8 or 9 Celsius. I walked on the little wildflower path through trees and by a pond and streams. On the way, I’d seen a cardinal atop a naked tree–pointed out to me by a young couple passing by. In the woods, I heard chickadees and a red winged blackbird. And a woman walking her dogs pointed out a woodpecker–I think it was a downy–on a nearby tree that she was photographing. I searched the ground for tiny green shoots, leaves and moss, looked in the trees and shrubs for buds and came upon a squirrel looking down at me while munching a nut.
I was thinking about the latest climate change report that came out several days earlier warning again about the changes to the climate that are already here and that will be coming. I thought about what we gain and lose when nature is protected or harmed. When I am in a natural setting, urban or more wild, I feel a link to something larger than myself. I am a living being among others in nature. I know my experience is not unique and that the companionship of humans and non is vitally important for my, and others, well-being.
It’s very windy and hovering around freezing today. Back to dreams of spring. This is another photo from last year, soon to arrive in Toronto, believe it or not.