Spring – plant seeds, save bees!

Spring wild flowersThere is a whole world of living, thriving life that is so easily missed unless we pause and pay attention.  These snow drops were peaking up among last Fall’s discarded and dying leaves.  It was only when I got closer to take a photo that I noticed the bees on the petals of the tiny flower.

Did you know that our bee population  is declining? According to an article in the Globe and Mail  and information shared from the David Suzuki Foundation, almost one-third of the food we eat is pollinated exclusively by bees including apples, peaches, cucumbers and coffee.  If the bee population continues to decline, this will have a significant impact on agriculture and ultimately, world food production.  Scientists remain unclear as to the reason for the decline although there are some theories that pesticide use is a contributing factor.

Canadian Gardening  described some strategies that scientist and environmentalists are adopting to address this issue including filling our gardens with pollinator friendly plants.  Personally, I like the guerrilla gardening strategy that a friend recently shared with me – she and her partner plan to, under the cover of night, secretly scatter pollinator friendly wildflower seeds throughout the city.  (You go girls!!!).  So folks, save the bees, take up seeds and scatter.

Inspired by WP Daily Post Photo Challenge, Spring and Where’s my Backpack travel theme, Close up.




Inside a small nest

Over the summer, we visited MOO’s cousins J & J for a family BBQ.   J & J have a lovely ten-acre property in the Niagara Peninsula. Actually, we really went to see J’s new family members, Rusty and Scooter, two donkeys that J bought after they were retired from a local horse racer.

DonkeysWhile we were visiting with the donkeys in the stable, J pointed out the bird’s nest in the rafter’s of the small stable, just above the window opening.  I stood on a stool to see if I could catch a glimpse inside the nest.  I couldn’t get high enough to make out what was inside but all of a sudden the tiniest head popped up, mouth open expecting its mama to come with food.  There were three birds in the nest and each time I made a clucking sound, their little heads popped up expectantly, their beaks wide open.

baby birds baby birdIt was an incredible sight and I couldn’t believe that I was able to witness such fragile life so closely.

I wanted to stay and watch these little babies but I kept expecting mama bird and papa bird to swoop in à la Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and do a number on my head so I stepped off my stool and quietly left the stable to rejoin the cousins and Rusty and Scooter in the fields.

Anyone have any idea what kind of birds these are?

For more interpretations of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme, Inside – visit WP Daily Post.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

NewfoundlandCape Spear LighthouseDuring a recent trip to Newfoundland, we visited Cape Spear – a hauntingly beautiful spot on the most easterly point of North America. Eastern tip of Canada

As I stood high up on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, I was in awe of the power and beauty. It was a cold summer afternoon, the sun hidden by large grey clouds. The brisk ocean breeze carried just a hint of wetness. And as I stood at the base of the lonely lighthouse, lulled by the rhythmic sound of the waves moving across the rocks and the seagulls in the distance calling out to each other, I experienced a sense of peace and stillness. It was only when I walked along the cliff edge footpaths, closer to the ocean and watched the thunderous waves crash against the rocks that I felt the power and danger of the sea. It was both mesmerizing and terrifying.

When we finally made our way back to the car, I saw the signs warning of the danger that I had felt standing near the raging sea. Warning Dangerous coastline


For more examples of this week’s theme, visit WP’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

Fleeting moments

mama and baby racoon001

The large Black Walnut that stands tall in the back garden is home to a mama raccoon and her three cubs.  I caught this peaceful moment between the mama and one of her cubs just before dusk. 

Visit WP Weekly Photo Challenge for more photos capturing fleeting moments and Ailsa at Where’s my backpack for more peaceful moments.

Weekly Photo Challenge – The Sign Says

Local artists in the city have created a number of humorous road signs as part of an outdoor art project.  I love these two!

Duck This first sign, “Duck” is by a friend, Hitoko Okada, a fashion artist.  In this piece, she uses Kaomoji, the Japanese smileys and emoticons.  Hitoko describes that by pairing “duck” on a caution sign, it is a “humorous traffic warning for overhead hazards like falling glass from poorly constructed condos” and other poorly constructed projects.  “In general  a warning for oncoming hazards on life’s unpredictable path when the city and corporation keep passing up the response-ability.”  For more on Hitoko’s art, visit her website, Hitokoo.com.

The Road Sign ProjectThe second sign is by Matthieu Leger and is a commentary on the 21st century  “obsession with disseminating one’s location and circumstances.”

For more on this project, visit The Road Sign Project.

For more photos on this week’s theme, visit WP Weekly Photo Challenge


Home – A little yellow camper van

Playa FlamingoEach morning the man drives the yellow camper van down the Playa Flamingo beach road and parks in the spot along the wall marking the stairs to the beach.  Opposite the beach sits the hotel pool and gardens.  The man pops up the top of the van and lifts the back door to reveal the inside of the van.  He pulls out a wooden table and rests it on the back-end of the van and then covers the table with a purple cloth..  The woman remains in the van as their young son rubs sleep from his eyes.  The sun is rising in the sky and the beach goers are starting to arrive with their towels and sunscreen, to spend a day at the beach.

The man is an artist.  He creates beautiful filigree jewelry.  For each piece, he curls and twists thin brass, copper and silver wires into delicate swirling patterns that gently hold amethyst, agate, jasper and other semi-precious stones.  In his nimble fingers, he forms earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces to sell to the tourists.  The man gently lays his pieces on the purple covered table.  The man and the woman laugh and talk with the other vendors on the beach.  They greet the tourists that stop to admire the jewelry with a warm “ola.” The tourists happily stand in the hot sun trying rings and bracelets to make their choice.

At the end of the day, the man and the woman watch the incredibly beautiful sunsets while their golden-haired son plays in the sand with his plastic pails and shovel.  Once the sun has set, the man and the woman pack up the jewelry and their belongs and the man drives up the road to a spot among the trees and the sand overlooking the ocean.  Here he parks his yellow home and the family settles in for the night surrounded by sea and sand and the lingering heat of the sun.

For more examples of home, visit WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Hot, hot, hot…


Even thought it’s winter here in Canada, these days I don’t have far to go to feel hot and steamy. Thanks to the joy of hot flashes, I get heat surges at least once an hour and each time I try to imagine myself in one of these lovely destinations as I whip off layers of clothing.

Italian chili pepper in the Rialto market, VeniceExploring the vegetable stalls and the piled high chilli peppers in the Rialto Market on the Grand Canal, Venice.

DSC02270_0510A warm, breezy night watching the sunset from the deck of the Barba Roja Restaurant, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

IMG_0565 Hiking almost unbearably hot desert trails, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. (For more on this story visit here).

Rainforest, Queensland, AustraliaThe hot, steamy rainforest trails of Kuranda State Forest, Queensland, Australia.

Thank you to Ailsa at Where’s my backpack for this week’s travel theme and reminding me that heat is good.



MOO called my attention to the pink glow of the fading day outside.  As I stepped into the back yard and looked up into the sky, an incredibly beautiful rainbow greeted me.  As I watched, the colours slowly faded into the  soft rose and aquamarine sky and moments later the rainbow was gone.  I walked away feeling as though I had just received a gift, a reminder of the beauty that surrounds me always if I just pause a moment to look around.  It was a perfect reminder, on this Thanksgiving weekend of all the riches and joys I have in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Near and Far

Lake Louise, Banff National ParkLake Louise, Canadian RockiesI think the beauty of Lake Louise is truly spectacular and left me awe-struck. I took these photos in late August, on a grey, misty, rainy morning during a trip to Banff National Park, Alberta Canada.    Lake Louise is a glacial mountain lake in the park.  According to the guide books, the turquoise colour of the lake comes from the rock flour that is eroded from the mountains by the glaciers and carried into the lake.  The rock flour is so fine that it is suspended in the water, creating the blue-green colour of the water. The colour becomes more turquoise depending on the light and weather.

I thought these photos captured this week’s photo challenge theme near and far.  If you look closely at the first photo, you can almost make out a canoe in the distance.