31 October 2011

Monday forest photo: October 31, 2011

11:30 8C cloudy
Last year at this time, I was moaning about the rain and mud that wouldn't end. Not this year. Meg is staying remarkably clean, and we are both happy not to have to do the twice daily laundry tub bath. The neighbours are saying they have never seen the water level in their pond so low, and they have lived here for 35 years. Our pond did manage to replenish itself after the little rain we have had this fall, and much to our surprise, it never was completely dry. There's no sign of the snowstorm that hit the east coast this week, and I am happy for it.

On a completely unrelated note, I have decided to do a daily blog for the month of November again this year. I have been struck quite dumb with writer's block these last few months, and I am putting myself out there with this commitment to hopefully get unstuck. I know there are bloggers who have done over 1000 consecutive daily posts, so my little 30 day challenge isn't any sort of accomplishment, except for me. So do feel free to mock or ridicule if I don't keep up - that's why I've gone public.

25 October 2011

Monday forest photo: October 24, 2011

3:30pm 10C cloudy
Only the oaks, beeches and the birches have any leaves left in the little woods. It makes for a nice sunny walk, but it's starting to look like it will look until next May. That's life in the north, I guess. Or my chilly corner of it, anyway. In the big city near here, they're forecasting the first frost in the next couple of nights, but my garden had frost weeks ago. It relieved me of having to care for my frost-tender plants for the last month, if that's any consolation (I guess it is).

20 October 2011

Occupation art

"Support Our Neighbors" by Madeleine P.
Madeleine and I went down to the Occupy Ottawa gathering on Saturday. There was a fabulous cross section of people there and quite a few dogs, too. One of the signs read: "The revolution will not be televised" - which may be true, but it will definitely be on facebook. It seemed that the main activity there was taking pictures and videos of everyone else. Madeleine posted this watercolour on the facebook event page, and within minutes the guy (Matt) and his dog (Bella) were identified and he even "liked" it himself.

It is a brave new world we live in, and I'm happy to see lots of people with their eyes open asking questions. I certainly admire the earnest facilitators using the people's mic, consensus decision-making, politically-correct speech and all that, but I wonder if all this good behaviour isn't precisely what the powers that be want to see. And if ever the young testosterone-laden lads get out of hand (and Bella, the golden doodle, too), well, the full force of the state will be brought down on the whole thing and everyone will be written off as hooligans and criminals. Interesting times, indeed.

17 October 2011

Monday forest photo: October 17, 2011

4:30pm 10C light rain
I'm always surprised, when I leave the old homestead, to find that the trees in town still have lots of leaves, and lots of them are still quite spectacular. Things are much more subdued here, but it hasn't dampened Meg's (or my) enthusiasm for our daily walks.

11 October 2011

Monday forest photo: October 10, 2011

3:30 pm 23C cloudy

Another glorious day. There won't be too many of these warm, dry days yet this year, so they are truly appreciated. On my walks these last few warm days, I've noticed that snakes, frogs, toads and insects are hanging out on the paths soaking up the sun. I managed to photograph a couple of insects, but the others skedaddled at my (very noisy) approach. All the dry leaves on the ground equal no sneaking up on anything in the woods.

04 October 2011

Monday forest photo: October 3, 2011

11:00am 10C overcast
Things are changing quickly in the woods. We've had a bit of rain the last couple of days, but that's forecast to end, followed by more sun. Last year at this time we were doing foundation repairs and it seemed the rain would never end. We still have ruts in the lawn from the heavy equipment sinking in the sodden soil. This year, we're having some drainage pipes installed to prevent the kind of yard flooding we experienced last spring and fall and the excavated soil is bone dry. We haven't been on this property long enough to know what normal is, but I suspect it's something between these extremes of wet and dry we've seen so far.

Last week, at the Tar Sands Action training session, we heard from native people who are directly affected by tar sands development in their traditional territories in the boreal forest of northern Alberta. It was incredibly moving to hear how the land, water, air, fish, and wildlife are all being poisoned by the bitumen extraction processes and how they are unable to carry on the traditional activities that had sustained them for thousands of years. I can't even imagine the connection these folks must feel to the land and the despair they must feel at the destruction of everything that underpins them. My own tenure here has been so short, and my connection to this land is merely recreational rather than essential for my survival, but I have a fresh appreciation for this tiny patch of forest and the life it supports.


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