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.

 

 

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

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Costa Rica Escape A perfect spot for an escape.  We were on a small boat lazily moving along the estuary outside of Tamarindo, Costa Rica, when I spotted this man sitting quietly among the mangroves.  I was captivated and wonder about his story each time I look at this photo.

For more on this week’s photo challenge, visit the Daily Post.

Contrasts

Siberian squill flowerThe new spring growth of blue flowers contrasts with the old dried growth from last summer.  Although the early spring flowers are blooming, Mother Nature is having a hard time letting go of winter temperatures here in Southern Ontario. 

For more contrasts and flower photos, visit Where’s my backpack?

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

 

Bernini's Chair of Peter This illuminated window sits above the altar in the apse at the end of the central nave in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. It is part of a larger sculpture, called the Cathedra Petri, by the artist Bernini designed to commemorate the chair that reportedly belonged to St. Peter.  The stained glass is divided into twelve sections as a tribute to the twelve apostles.

It is hard to image the size of this sculpture or the overwhelming size of the Basilica itself.  The Basilica is 186. 3 m (628 feet or about two football field lengths) from the front doors of the cathedral to the opposite end where this sculpture sits.  Bernini also sculpted the bronze canopy that stands at the entrance of the apse. The photograph below gives you some sense of the dimensions (although have I have to apologize for the poor quality of the photo).

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

The sheer size of the cathedral and the centuries of art work housed in this church was overwhelming but the illuminated Cathedra Petri dominated our attention.

Thanks to Cheri at WordPress for this week’s challenge.