A glorious sight this morning: the sun on orange gold trees.
The gold and orange leaves are vivid in the ravines and streets of Toronto right now. They led me to these photos I took in 2012 at Arrowhead Provincial Park near Huntsville, Ontario. It’s a small park, but that didn’t dim its beauty when we were there a few Octobers ago.
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.
You’ve likely heard that bees are dying in alarming numbers. Much of this has been traced to Neonicitinoid pesticides. Here’s a satirical look at a very serious problem that affects not only the bees but all animals who eat. Put out yesterday by the Sierra Club of Canada: Finally! Some good news for the bees… | Sierra Club Canada
Last week we had some warmer days and on a sunny afternoon, Wednesday the 19th, I walked to Todmorden Mills Heritage Site just off the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. I knew it was my chance to see the wooded wildflower preserve while the snow was still on the ground, ahead of predicted above-freezing temperatures and rain. As always, my mood improved greatly walking in this beautiful setting. I heard chickadees and, I believe, a cardinal above the traffic. And I loved seeing the late sunlight on the snow, trees and rail fences. Here’s some photos from that day.
We’re back to a cold snap in Toronto–around -20°C–which is cold for the city. Here’s two views of a window with beautiful ice crystals this morning.
In an earlier post I spoke about my concerns that the Canadian government is closing a series of libraries in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Since writing that post, I’ve come upon an article on the subject by John Dupuis, a science librarian at York University in Toronto. He speaks about the issues and questions arising from these closures. Here’s the link to his article: Question! What is really happening at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries?.
And, in keeping with Fisheries and Oceans, here’s a photo of the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland from my time there in August.
Science: The systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms. — Collins English Dictionary
I never go through a day without thinking, at some point, about the destruction of nature in the world and the efforts to halt that destruction and restore natural areas. You’ll likely have heard that the Canadian Conservative Party, who are in power now, sees oil extraction and pipeline building as priorities for the country’s prosperity. At the same time, they have fired publically employed environmental scientists, cancelled whole projects and prohibited public scientists from speaking about their findings without first being vetted so that they are “on message.”
Recently the government has closed a series of science libraries connected with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They say this is to consolidate information, digitize it and save money. Apparently, however, a government email has surfaced that speaks of culling the information and lists the savings as around $440,000. This may be a lot of money for most of us, but it is quite a low saving for a federal budget. In the last few weeks, researchers have discovered that materials from the closed libraries, some with records dating back a century, are being destroyed. A photograph showing books and papers in a dumpster has appeared online. I find this deeply troubling.
My own belief is that these destructive actions toward environmental scientists and scientific information speak to the Conservatives’ desire to withhold knowledge (inconvenient truths) of our eco systems from citizens. Not only can destroying knowledge have destructive consequences for our health and wellbeing in Canada and beyond, but it is deeply undemocratic.
I’m writing about this today to do my small part in spreading the word and to say there can be no justification, financial or otherwise, for destroying knowledge or for censoring the messengers. I’ve added a few links if you’re interested in reading further. Plus some photos of the beauty of nature in Canada.