New Challenges

“What do you mean, you’ve never been in a canoe?  You’re a Canadian aren’t you?  And so I stepped into a tippy canoe and sat very still and paddled out into the middle of the lake and heard with a chill up my spine the observation, “Hmm….we must look at the little tear in the bottom of the canoe.  More water is coming in than last year” .  It certainly was fun to glide down a little rapid spot between two lakes but later  terrifying to discover that I must paddle really really hard to get back into the first lake.  No question of stopping or the little craft would be swept against some nasty rocks and since we already had that worrisome tear, we wouldn’t want that!  My arms!

” I wonder if we could drive the car through this bit of water?  Bring a long branch and we will test how deep it is. ” This after several kilometers of torturous track during which I had to get out several times while the intrepid driver navigated what looked like a river wash out… ATV for us, of course.  A Toyota sedan will do.  “What do you mean there’s nowhere to turn around!”

” You don’t know how to ride a bicycle?  But it’s simple physics.  If we lower the seat and the centre of gravity is low enough, you won’t have any trouble!  What kind of childhood did you have?   OK?  Look here’s a tandem.  You can do that!” Oh, I can

A bookish childhood.  A studious childhood.  A dreamy childhood.  A thoughtful childhood.  A shy and rather timid childhood.

Time to make up for lost time under the kind guidance of one who understands physics…and other things.

Mushroom musings


Mysterious, magical, malevolent

Secretive, seductive, sensual

Dark, dangerous, deadly

Playful pixie pop-ups

Night-born, nefaste, nostalgic

After a long dry period mushrooms suddenly appear with the first rain.  Little holes in a spectacular red one show that birds take a peck now and then.  Some mole or mouse takes a little bite from the edges of the white ones.  Like Alice, do they grow or shrink depending on which side they munch on?   Tempting though they may be, I’ll stick to the store-bought ones!


Just the bare facts



A pleasant evening stroll in the  nearby town of Parry Sound last evening brought my host and I face to face with a large black bear.  It was about 20 meters away enjoying a flower garden in a residential area  of town.  In my shock and surprise I ducked behind a car that had stopped to take a look at the bear and begged the young couple to let  us in if the bear decided to investigate ….us.  They seemed quite blasé but when their dog started barking and the bear turned to see what was going on, I was panic stricken.   The bear simply lumbered off into the thick bushes along the path of our proposed stroll.  For once..for once ….I had left my iPad at home so  –  no shot.  At news time it was reported that there were more than 30 reports of bear sightings in Parry Sound last week.  The police basically issued a statement saying ” don’t bother us.”  Soooo. …. Here’s my take on it.


Take a selfie with that bear

Show your teeth and toss your hair.


Make a duck mouth – go quack quack

A black bear will sure like that!


The police say ” Don’t call us.

It’s bear country, make no fuss.”


Don’t like wild life,? Move away.

Bears must roam both night and day.


Park at Sobey’s.  There they are!

Making love to a small car.


Pose with Teddy, fur so black.

“Don’t chew on my arm like that”


Oh, he gobbled up my phone.

Now. mom can’t call me from home.


Seguin trail is good for hiking

My long distance bill is spiking!


In  a black bear’s round fat tummy

is my iPhone…that’s not funny!


Next stop Parry Sound’s Best Buy

The Geek Squad will ask me why.


My screen looks all brown and sticky

And my keyboard’s rather icky.


Here’s a lesson for us all

Don’t chase black bears in the fall.







Jasmine Blossoms

imageIt was windy last night.  An empty garbage can banging around woke me up to fears of racoons, skunks, robbers or worse.  A check of the garden revealed Jasmine blossoms blown off the potted bush that will soon have to come in.  For now they scent up the kitchen.  The pretty runner made by a dear friend who is a quilter help boost the illusion that it will always be summer.  I don’t have the exactitude for quilting or stained glass or anything that requires precision.  Better stick to knitting , a simple skill that will produce something cosy.  We’ll need cosy sooner than we like to admit.

Light Source


My garden is fragrant with rosemary, basil, lavender and the many blooms of a Jasmine plant.  Summer is ending and my roses are few but this is the golden season.  It seems to me that sometimes plants give out light.  These brown-eyed susans and the wild golden rod in the lane are luminous. Sunflowers are not a surprise on this list….except for the brown one!

End of a Drought

For about thirty days there was no rain in the Muskoka area.  “great summer”” good boating weather!” ” good for haying” and then a little concern “for the farmers”, more frequent watering of flowers and veggies, some uneasiness, more attention to the weather forecast, grumbling about the ban on bonfires.  As the hot and brilliant days followed one another, a lassitude set in.  It became tiresome to go out in a wide-brimmed hat to face the ever-blazing sun hanging every day in an ever-cloudless sky.  The creek dried up.  The grass turned brown.  The birch trees, delicate as young slender girls, began to drop yellow leaves.  The house kept dark to thwart the relentless heat, seemed gloomy.  Impossible to read or write, each breath a chore.  Cold meals were scratched together and many showers taken in the sulphur-scented well water.  Waiting, impatiently, anxiously, a little indignantly.  We worried about the frogs living in an ever receding patch of mud that was all that remained of the creek and a little dark shadow of panic hung about.  Perhaps it would never rain again.

Then on Friday the scent of pines was more distinct and the air ” smelled of rain”. During the night a light sleeper was awoken by the tap of drops on a metal sheet below the window.  A comforted smile and a turn under the white cover.  Then morning revealed a damp landscape.  All day Saturday it rained a steady moderate rain – no torrents to wash everything away.  It was ” just right”

isaac the Syrian wrote in he sixth century,” what is a merciful heart?  It is the heart’s burning for the sake of the entire creation, for man, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears…….his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or to see any  injury or slight sorrow in creation. ”

So our care and worry about the frogs and the grass and the birch trees was well founded.  It is a good and natural instinct, I think to be happy when a gentle rain comes to soothe that little corner of Muskoka that was parched.  It seemed strange to hear someone in the bus say their weekend had been spoiled because it rained.