Posts filed under ‘winter’
Ready for spring!
You may also enjoy posts by Peter Black, Laura Davis and Glynis Belec and more. Come read what we have to say and leave a comment for the writer.
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?
I became involved with Special Olympics and Ark Industries (The Ark) because of our daughter Jennifer who is intellectually challenged. In 1996 my husband John, Jennifer and I moved from Kitchener, Ontario, to Riverport, Nova Scotia, to help look after my elderly parents. At that time Jennifer was in a Special Ed class in Ontario, and when we moved she was enrolled in the same type of class in Nova Scotia.
Her teacher was very involved with Special Olympics and encouraged all her students to take part in at least one of the sports offered. Jennifer was never involved with any sports before, and like many parents of a disabled child, I felt she would not be able to take part or know what to do. Jennifer became very active in many sports and currently competes in athletics in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter in addition to bowling and soccer. Between Special Olympics and her school she grew in leaps and bounds…
Read the rest of the story and see more photos here.
Today is Family Day in Ontario and several other provinces of Canada. Steckle Heritage Farm, a heritage farm within Kitchener city limits, hosted a day for families to have fun and spend time together. I’ll tell this story from a preschooler’s perspective, for all the young children who visited there today.
Mommy and Daddy had a day off.
We put on our snowsuits and mittens and went to a farm. I waited to see the animals.
Grandma and Papa are coming too. We will see them there.
Matt says hello.
The big barn. Let’s go!
Mommy helped me make a bird feeder. We’ll put it in a tree to feed the birds.
My little sister wanted one too. We got a pine cone on a ribbon for her too.
We went outside again. The snow is deep.
I walked with Papa to see the ponies. My fingers were cold, so Grandma helped me to put on my mittens.
Mommy, Daddy, and my little sister found the ponies too.
The ponies were hungry. They wanted some lunch.
We went into the barn again. I wanted to see the animals.
Here are the bunnies. They wiggled their noses and stayed still.
A baby goat said hello.
More little goats. See, they have water. They need a drink.
A little calf having a rest.
A wooly sheep in his winter coat. Does it keep him warm?
Krista said, “Blossom sometimes grumbles,” and she made the sound.
Kala* showed us a black pig. We said hello. My sister liked him too.
And roosters too. They go cock-a-doodle-doo!
Walking in the snow. Little sister is getting tired.
One more game. Little sister puts the bean bags through the holes.
I play hula hoop.
Mommy says, “It’s time to go home.”
We walk to our car, but little sister is tired so Mommy carries her.
Bye, farm, we had fun!
@ Photos and text by C. Wilker
In February 2012, I attended the Steckle Farm Family Fun Event as a guest storyteller. Many things were planned: toboganning on the hills around the farm as well as seeing the animals. Only thing, there was little snow last winter. A few days before, we got snow, and those winter events could go ahead. The staff at the farm were delighted.
The sheep came close to the fence so the children could reach out and ruffle their heavy winter coats.
Two small children I happen to know were attracted to the bunnies in the barn.
The miniature ponies in their heavy winter coats
Staff member, Krista, leading the calf from the shelter
Fun on the hills with tobogans and sleds, then hot chocolate afterwards
And me, in between stories, with my coat on. Families kept coming and going at many intervals and the fireplace kept going out. It was so cold outdoors and in the Honey House
The heritage barn, parts of it date back over 100 years
Saturday Snapshot meme hosted by At Home With Books. Post a photo, suitable for all eyes, that you or a family member have taken. Link it to the hosting blog and then go and see all the other photos linked there.
Mail carrier bundled up and moving right along
and snow is still falling!
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!
On Monday, February 20th, I was a guest storyteller at Steckle Heritage Farm for their Winter Fun Day. Though we haven’t had much snow, we were blessed with some just the day before so families were able to go tobogganing as well.
For more about Winter Fun Day, see http://storygal.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/steckle-heritage-farm-winter-fun-day-and-storytelling-too/
At Home With Books To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see.