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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

It’s summer and I’m enjoying a bit of vacation time (yay!) and what do I spot on my new Asclepias tuberosa? A monarch butterfly caterpillar!

 

I’ve seen a monarch or two in the neighborhood this year but not many. (Not like during my childhood down south, when my mother used to pull the car over just about anywhere to find caterpillar-rich milkweed by the side of the road.) There’s a reason why these butterflies are listed as at endangered in Ontario:(

That said, awareness of the issues around butterflies and their disappearing habitat is rising, and it’s not all bad news. I’m happy to see milkweed left to grow by the roadside, to find native milkweed varietals at the garden center, and to watch butterflies flitting in the park. If we had more sun and space I’d plant a butterfly meadow, but for now, we went with butterfly weed. Glad we did:)

As an added bonus, I also saw fireflies in the yard a couple of weeks ago for the first time north of the border:) Here’s wishing you a happy and constructive summer!

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That’s right, today is the summer solstice. At 15:54 Universal Time (that’s 11:54 a.m. in my neck of the woods), summer officially starts in the northern hemisphere! For more on the analemma, or figure-eight described by the sun as it arcs across the sky (think the calendar Tom Hanks etched on a rock in Castaway, or check out this composite photo from NASA). And NatGeo has a nice, detailed piece on the solstice here: What is the summer solstice? The answer might surprise you.

What is summer? So many things, not least light, glorious light to do as you will. Or, you know, mess up bedtime;)

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

Bed in Summer, Robert Louis Stevenson

Have a wonderful summer day!

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Nights are cool, maple leaves are touched with red, and while a mosquito recently gifted me one massive and very distracting bite, the pesky little blighters are all but done for the year. It is 46F as I write this, and this year’s fall equinox will take place on September 22nd.

It’s time to come to terms with the fact that summer is on its way out.
/insert brief pause for distraught handwringing… or not

Actually, I think I’m ok with that. Why? Because fall is a terrific season. Because I love pie (mmm, pie:). Because if you were raised on fall as I was, its absence is missed. And because the nagging feeling at the back of my mind tells me that it’s time to get back to work.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t take the summer off. I’m still working, still writing, but I haven’t had much of a presence here. My schedule has been more erratic than usual, as fishing or family or other excursions called me away. And much of the writing I’ve done is tweaking, fixing, editing or otherwise sorting out existing material.

Fall is a great time to dig in and embark on new adventures. To make big plans. Use those extra hours of darkness to dream of the new, and on waking, make those dreams real.

I hope your summer was as fun as mine, and I hope that you, too, are ready for a change. It’s time to get to work.

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Gone Fishing

Oh hello there! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, as apparently I have gone fishing. Not literally, at least not yet, but in the sense that my mind has decided that it’s time for a summer vacation. I’m still working, both on writing and other things, but it seems I needed a little break and I’m taking it here.

Remember what summer meant when the last school bell rang and the doors opened on whole months of freedom and possibility? I’m feeling a little of that right now, and dang it, I’m going to enjoy it. I hope you are too!

 

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The temperature is rising and we are consistently having days around 0C. Um, yay? That is a good thing, relatively speaking, but it’s a cold start to spring. My yard is still half-covered with snow and a dusty layer of grey gravel from winter street maintenance, and I am so ready for color.

Today I give you a random photo from the archives. This is the Floating Market outside Bangkok, in Dumnernsaduak. It takes me back to a July day of light, the calls of coconut vendors, the smell of fried rice cakes and roasted meat, and the sticky heat of morning sun in Thailand. Enjoy:)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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Tornado touched down in Ottawa Monday…

A funnel cloud. In Ottawa. And it’s the, um, 10th Ontario tornado of the season, according to Environment Canada.

Yes, Dorothy, the climate does seem to be changing.

A critical question: If a tree falls in the woods… do you have insurance?

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“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”

— Mark Twain

We spent the weekend refinishing the deck. The wood was a mess, half covered with multiple layers of thick, splintering stain and half exposed to the elements. It was time. The only problem was that I’d never refinished a deck before.

Did I let that stop me? Nope. It helps that Mr Man is ridiculously handy but still. I took Mark Twain’s quote to heart and jumped in, and now, days later, the splinters and uneven steps and flaking are no more. I learned how to use an industrial sander, tons of power tools, and now know that Onion Goggles are perfect for jobs that result in large clouds of airborne particulates. The wood is now smooth, the finish even.

Is it perfect? Well, no. But it’s done. And that’s much better than not doing anything at all.

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