Redux: Green Tomatoes

I expect you’ve been waiting anxiously for news of the green tomatoes rescued from the squirrels. Did they ripen in the brown paper bag, offering themselves up for a bacon-and-tomato sandwich? Did they remain resolutely green and firm, offering themselves up for frying?

They did not. The news is not good, and neither are the tomatoes.

The photo shows their best side. The backside of the large one was badly bruised; the inside was mush. This is as red as they got.

Maybe 2022 will be the Year of the Tomato.


Posted in Another Thing, Photos of Flora | Tagged | 10 Comments

Beady Little Eyes

We were out with friends at Hog’s Back Falls . . .

. . . when I saw this little guy near the locks.


I got as close as I dared with my camera, but he never moved. If he had, I’d likely be nursing something broken in my own fall. I believe there would have been some tripping over my own feet as I moved to get out of the way.

Maybe he didn’t see me; maybe he didn’t care.

I kinda wish I hadn’t seen them. The beady little eyes, I mean. They make the creepiest of creatures a tad less creepy.


Posted in Nature Videos, Photos of Fauna | Tagged | 16 Comments

Only So Many Days

As I write this, it’s Remembrance Day in Ottawa: a day of solemn services, quiet reflection, and a cutting wind even in the sunshine. Thanks to Facebook, I know that it’s also the birthday of a one-time work colleague and veteran. For him, today is presumably also a day of cake, lactose-free ice cream, and cheery greetings from friends.

“Wow,” I think. “That would be weird: having your birthday on Remembrance Day.”

And it got me to thinking. The only thing I associate with the day of my own blessed birth is a once-in-7-years coincidence with Mother’s Day. No statutory holidays. No national milestones. No memorial events. Family birthdays and anniversaries hit all around it like carnival balls missing the intended target, but nothing else lands on the actual day. *Did* anything else happen on May 14?

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Posted in Laughing Frequently, New Perspectives, Through History | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Never, Maybe, Sometimes, Yes!

Never: in fact, I won’t even stay in the room. Well, maybe as background noise when I’m knitting. Sometimes, but only if I have a player/team/country to cheer for. Yes! Anywhere! Anytime!

“Huh?” you might be thinking. “What *are* you talking about? And why do you keep changing your answer?”

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Posted in Laughing Frequently, Sports and Exercise, Sports Videos | Tagged , | 10 Comments


I may have spoken once or twice about the depredations of squirrels. Magnolia blooms. Bedding-out plants in balcony flower pots. Tulip bulbs. Service-berry tree and flaming-bush berries. Bird seed in squirrel-proof feeders. But the depredatory nature of the neighbourhood squirrels has risen to new heights; their depredation has sunk to new lows; their agile depredaciousness seemingly knows no bounds.

Squirrel hanging by one paw from a bird feeder

In the Before Time, our travel schedule meant that vegetable gardening was out of the question. (Whew!) But in Covid Times, when a friend offered a tomato plant, I took it without question. Turns out, I should have asked one question.

Do squirrels like tomatoes?

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Posted in Laughing Frequently, Photos of Fauna, Photos of Flora | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Timing isn’t Everything

I make some effort to time my autumnal photo shoots to catch the leaves at their peak, but even when there are hardly any leaves still on the trees, the angled light at this time of year shows them off like nobody’s business. The gestalt? One of calm, quiet loveliness.


If I must die,
let it be in autumn:
falling into gold with the leaves,
rising into blue with the birds.

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly, Mortality | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Updown, Updown, and Repeat

I settle into my grandfather’s rocker, look around, and say a word that likely never passed that gentleman’s lips. After getting into the nose-over-toes position I heave myself gracefully up out of this low-to-the-floor chair and head upstairs. Again.

I’ve already gone back up twice — once for a different set of knitting needles, once for the vitamin I take at this hour every evening — and so this third-time-lucky trip is about as welcome as you’d expect.

Coming back down the stairs with scissors in hand and full attention in mind, I round the corner at the bottom and pause before placing my bottom back down in that rocker. Where the heck are my glasses? I’ll need them to read the closed captions on the TV — the only thing that gives me a fighting chance at following the racing-along mumbling that now passes for dialogue in most shows. I squint at the horizontal surfaces adjacent to my grandfather’s rocker, but can’t see a pair of glasses anywhere.

Dagnab it! Or words to that effect. Sigh. Big sigh.

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Posted in Laughing Frequently, Mortality, Sports and Exercise | Tagged , | 8 Comments


You know when you type a topic into the Google search bar and it offers you questions, presumably from a list of common questions asked by others?

What part of the hosta is poisonous?

Oh, that’s not a good start. But it ends worse.

The entire plant, including the Hosta flowers, leaves, stems, and bulbs will make your dog sick and can be fatal in rare cases.

All right, then. What part? All parts.

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Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Laughing Frequently, Photos of Flora | Tagged , | 12 Comments

The Unexpected Gift

We overcome the imprecision of previous age estimates
by making use of the cosmic-ray-induced upsurge
in atmospheric radiocarbon concentrations in AD 993.

Or, as NPR says in slightly more colloquial language:

It’s long been known that the Vikings were the first Europeans to make the long journey to the Americas, arriving in what is now Canada sometime around the end of the first millennium.

But a new article in the journal Nature is the first to pinpoint a precise date: 1021, exactly 1,000 years ago, beating the arrival of Christopher Columbus by nearly 500 years.

The research comes from the only confirmed Norse archeological site in the Americas outside of Greenland, a settlement on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland called L’Anse aux Meadows.

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Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly, You are Here | Tagged , , | 8 Comments