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Archive for the ‘Our Earthly Paradise’ Category

Warning Signs

In Food For Thought, Our Earthly Paradise on January 22, 2017 at 10:36 pm

As women around the world banded together to send a collective message to the new U.S. president about equal rights and freedoms, there were other signs from Mother Earth that didn’t go unnoticed – by me at least.

In three seemingly unrelated stories (there could be more) – large numbers of animals were found dead: Dolphins washed ashore in the U.K., and dead pelicans and false killer whales were discovered along the Florida coast. Sad news indeed. And no real answers on why. Innocent animals are always the first casualties, but no one appears to be sounding the alarm. Please tell me I’m wrong. There must be something in the water…We’re poisoning our beautiful world and this is just another resounding reminder of the true cost of our complacency.

This weekend, it was incredibly warm in Toronto and while I was out walking with a friend and her dog we spotted several robins on a lawn. Yes, robins – in January. To me, these birds are always the first sign of spring. Alarming and concerning. This is Canada after all, the true north, in winter.

 

It’s 2017!

In Our Earthly Paradise on January 2, 2017 at 3:33 pm

baywindow

 

Welcome to 2017! I hope you survived the holidays and have come out on top. Now that winter is officially here, we can all look forward to more daylight. (Fingers crossed).

Love the nature theme in the Bay’s Christmas windows this year in downtown Toronto – it’s a beautiful reminder of what is really important in this world.

Super Moon

In Our Earthly Paradise on November 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

supermoonnov2016

Thanks to my husband for capturing this incredible early morning view of today’s super moon over the Toronto skyline. We were out walking last night and got a great view of it then. Will be out again tonight as who knows where we’ll be in 2034 when it will be this close again!

Mother Nature Always Wins

In In the Garden, Our Earthly Paradise on January 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

IMAG0801If you experienced any of the extreme weather last month, you know what I’m talking about when I say Mother Nature always wins.

Here in Toronto, we were hit with an intense ice storm the likes of which we’d never seen before. A forced quiet fell over the city. Planes were grounded, travellers stranded and many residents and businesses went without power for up to a week.

IMAG0803The trees in and around our home took a real beating as the frozen ice literally bent our birch tree in half. Luckily it wasn’t to the breaking point but certainly a sight to behold. Mind you, we’ll have to wait until spring to be sure of the damage. Several neighbours weren’t so lucky and lost trees and shrubs galore.

To be dark and cold around Christmas time was a real eye opener. Some without power complained bitterly, others rose to the challenge and extended helping hands to friends, neighbours and family. The adage — times of crisis bring out the best and worse in people — never rang so true. We lived like our pioneer ancestors for a few days and were simply grateful to have our wood-burning fireplace, loads of candles, and a gas cooktop to get us through it all. On a positive note, it made us stop and think how to better prepare ourselves for the next emergency or power outage. Believe me, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these situations – we’re just beginning to see the effects of climate change.

IMAG0802While we strive to control this world to our own ends by destroying natural habitat, species and ecosystems, we fail to consider that for every cause there will be an effect. How powerless we are in the face of nature’s amazing backlash: The display of brute force, incredible strength and power truly awe-inspiring. Yet, no beauty is more breathtaking.

A Tree Falls in the Urban Forest – A Community Weeps

In In the Garden, Our Earthly Paradise on May 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm

pruningIt’s been a week now; phone wires down and internet service out for half the day, two trucks and an crew of almost a dozen to take this giant on. We’re on edge as the concrete jungle creeps ever nearer the beloved sanctuary and refuge of our urban arboretum. The incessant buzz of chainsaws and wood chippers has my head pounding and eyes growing heavy. There’s clear cutting going on in my neighbour’s backyard and it’s heartbreaking to see an ancient tree being ripped down, limb by limb. Torso thick logs lugged and cavalierly tossed into the chipper. Decades of growth reduced to bark chips a moment later.

chipper

Farewell old linden tree. You’ve served us well. A playground and nursery for numerous litters of raccoons, home to generations of birds, squirrels, countless insects and more recently the rabbit we call Garden Bunny. Goodbye to the deliciously cool shade you provided during the dog days of August, the privacy you’ve afforded many of us neighbours and the endless supply of fresh and fragrant air.

Stripped to the root, the yard now lays bare, naked for all to see the flaws of the landscape open and exposed. Magnified, in fact, as the glorious sun rushes in to fill your void. Picking up the pieces of scattered leaves and fallen branches, we welcome the warm stranger to these once shaded parts, though still in mourning we remember the cool friend who always had our backs.