Posts filed under ‘Nature’
Yesterday we had rain, snow, sleet, thunder and lightning all within a few moments of each other and some at the same time. Odd, but I guess it’s spring.
Photos by L and C Wilker
April 22 is Earth Day, a time to be more aware of our environment and our actions that affect it. Today I posted at Canadian Writers Who are Christian. To read my post, click here: Love this Earth: Five Actions for Any Time
Photo by Clickr Photography at Huron Natural park
Ready for spring!
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Carolyn R. Wilker
available from Fanfare Books, Stratford, Ontario; Merrifield Book Shop, Woodstock, ON, and from the author
February photos and here we are in March and though the banks of snow have diminished during some milder weather. Our picnic table had a foot of snow on it and nearly a foot around it, and since it’s in our backyard, we don’t need to shovel it. Today it’s snowing again.
The host of At Home With Books for Saturday Snapshots asks that photos be by the one posting or by a family member and that they be appropriate for all eyes. Go there and link with host and then go on a tour of the world in photos.
When I looked outdoors this morning, I knew it was a day to take at least a few winter pictures.
The weatherman was indeed right about Wednesday’s storm, yet in town, schools were not cancelled.
Snow on top of slush makes ice. Had to get some help for a push, and throw down some sand too.
Snow weighing down evergreen trees, as in one of my poems: an old woman carrying a heavy load
A snow picnic, anyone?
The sky is cold and dreary today, but the sun peeks out from those gray clouds every now and then. Light snow fell last evening, thus the need for the snow shovel this morning. My husband cleaned off our driveway and sidewalk and did some extra shovelling too—for neighbours who cannot do it.
I reread a fellow writer’s blog this morning, her first post for the New Year. She’s a gardener, like me. Perhaps she was rushed, for gardenchatter posted her gardening goals for 2013 that included growing something from seed, “plant a tree, grow a few veggies and share them with friends.”
It was short, but enough to get me thinking of spring when the snow is gone, the frost is out of the ground, and leaves start to open on the trees. Imagining the tulips I planted in the fall popping out of the ground and sending up those long thin stems, and then, behold, a pink and white bloom. Oh, there’s more that will sprout and flower in my garden in March and April, but it’s too cold for them now. After all, there are still snowflakes in the air and snow on the ground.
Too cold for me too, some days, but just the right weather for skiers, such as members of my own family. Suited up with ski jacket, pants, hat, goggles and the right mittens, they’re ready for the ski hill and a day out in the cold. The scene is surely magnificent atop Mont-Tremblant where two of our family members will ski next week.
I’d be untruthful if I said I didn’t like walking on a brisk Canadian winter day. I go for a walk with a friend or on my own, bundled up against the cold, but not at 30 below and not for more than 40 minutes, although one can get some great photographs of winter on this kind of days, if the camera does not get fogged up.
The sky clears again and I can see some blue sky around those clouds. The small ceramic birdhouse, made by my friend, sways on its hanger in the wind, where the temperature is 16 degrees Celsius (below Zero Fahrenheit) that probably feels a mite colder.
I can dream of spring, of seeds and growing plants, but perhaps I’ll bundle up and get some fresh air and exercise on this cold January day before the sun is gone. After all, I do not want to rush my life away.
Indeed I went out, camera in hand, into the wind that was colder than 16 degrees …
walked to the nearby park where few come on these cold days,
where there are some footprints of children who’d come by…
and a woman walking her dog …
Sadie, who came to say hello and wait for a pat.
Guess I’ll enjoy winter while it’s here and wait for spring.
The Christmas tree is just one thing I love about Christmas. The tree can be tall and stately outdoors, the right size for your living room, or even a tiny tree with a few ornaments to bring some décor to a small space. Decorating magazines show themed trees, with everything from angels and shepherds, birds and wildlife to items that have nothing or little to do with the celebration.
One year we attended the Festival of Trees and Lights, created as a fundraiser for a local hospital. Organizations provided the trees and decorated them, then the money raised from bids on the trees went to the hospital in support of their services and programs. Every tree had its own style, its own unique ornaments and garlands and many lights. Each one was a work of art, carefully put together and arranged.
Some years ago, as I marvelled over a friend’s artificial tree in her apartment, I learned that it had no less than 10 strings of lights. It must have taken her hours to put them on, but it was a thing of beauty once completed. Unable to put up a tree of that magnitude these days, she has a much smaller tree with ornamental birds perched on various branches.
If I appreciate the beautifully appointed indoor trees, I still love the real ones outdoors that stand as tall as 25 feet or more, with lights and then snow on their branches.
As I write this post, I must admit that our artificial tree is still in its box, waiting to be assembled. We bought our first artificial tree one year when I contemplated the trees tossed onto the curb after Christmas. It seemed such a waste. That was before I learned how they’re recycled.
The base of our tree is a wooden pole with the makings of a tree top on it, then branches—more wooden poles—with artificial greenery on the ends. They all need to be put in the right order so that it looks like a tree. It’s green and that’s where the resemblance ends, until we decorate it and put on the lights.
A fellow choir member helped me to decorate the tree one December. As we hung ornaments, she commented on our wide assortment of decorations, from store-bought to handmade. Snowmen, snowflakes, Santas, mini creche, cross-stitched pieces and angels. When we had finished, we sat sipping hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols. She looked over the tree and called it eclectic.
The first Christmas tree is credited to Martin Luther, a German monk and sixteenth century Protestant reformer of the church. Imagine him walking through a forested area, apparently composing his sermon, when he looked around him and saw the natural beauty of snow on the evergreens and looked up to the twinkling stars in the heavens.
He found the scene so moving that he decided to recapture it for his family. It is written on history.com that he erected a tree in the main room of their home and that he attached candles on its branches and lighted them. From that time, German people started a tradition of bringing a tree into their homes and decorating it. If wood was scarce, they’d build pyramids of wood and decorate them with evergreen boughs.
In 1846, someone sketched a picture of Queen Victoria and her German prince, Albert, for the Illustrated London News. In that picture, the royal family stood around a decorated tree, and because the Queen was so popular with her people, what was done in her home would be reproduced in some way in the homes of her subjects in Britain and the New World.
It makes me sad to hear the term holiday tree. Somehow “Rockin’ around the holiday tree” just doesn’t work for me, nor does “Oh holiday tree.” I know that in Canada, we have people of many countries and differing backgrounds, but to me— having grown up with such a tree in our home this time of year— a decorated tree will always be a Christmas tree.
Time to put up our tree!
My daughter laid out some peanuts for squirrels and chipmunks to find.
Will we catch a fish?
Little fishy goes back into the lake
Bass and sunfish–they all went back into the lake
A real fish story for Saturday Snapshots for At Home With Books host.
If you mean a real story about fish or fishing, that`s correct.
We were camping this week at Bass Lake Provincial Park near Orillia, Ontario. It`s open season for fishing there now and our son-in-law is among avid fisher folk who like to go out with reel and tackle. Only this time he wanted to show his young daughter how to fish, so he bought a rod for her. Thus our little fishing expedition.
Off we went to the dock one clear morning with fishing rods, tackle box, worms and high hopes for catching a fish or two.
You have to know that I am not a fisherman, but a photographer who caught a good deal of the action, including several videos. Worms are fine in my garden, but I`m not about to handle them to put on a hook and dangle them in the water to catch unsuspecting fish.
Granted I have had experience in cleaning and gutting fish, when my sisters and I were children and went smelt fishing late at night with our parents. The next morning, under our mother`s watchful eye, Mary and I washed and cut up the fish for cooking and freezing.
That is not what I was there to do this time; I was there to catch the action on my camera. In fact, all the fish went back in the lake, alive.
One of Sarah`s fish. She caught both bass and sunfish.
One little fishy back in the lake. “Bye, little fishy.”
In fact, our granddaugher was quite calm about the fish going back into the lake. Her mommy, who does not fish and stayed back at the campsite with her baby sister, would be equally as glad of the fish going back in the water.
At first our granddaughter held her own rod, then she gave it to her aunt, with the words, “ Me holp” which really means “ I will help you.”
After which she was delighted to help her daddy hold his rod
… and watch the ducks swimming in the water.
And that is the end of this fish story.