A Walk In the Bog

I’d have called this post A Walk in the Woods, but that title was already used. And, unlike the Appalachian Trail which is said book’s subject and locale, my walk was in a place where even I could not get lost: Chapman Mills Conservation Area. Moreover, although there were certainly trees, the place leans more to bog than to woods.

It consists mainly of natural river shoreline, wetlands and flood plain areas that are unique in the City of Ottawa. Come enjoy the… scenic lookouts along the trail, walkways and boardwalks that lead pedestrians on a 1.5 km stroll [Ed’s note: Each Way!] through some sensitive and beautiful habitats, and read the interpretive signs telling the environmental story at points along the path.
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority website

Since most of you don’t live in Ottawa, come enjoy Chapman Mills Conservation Area with me. On the weekend I completed the 1.5 km stroll (Each Way!) on your behalf, albeit not at your behest. Although I saw a few dragonflies as I have before, I was unable to get any photos this time. It being autumn, their fancy has lightly turned to thoughts of love. Well, to actions of reproduction, at least. This seems to require constant motion: something about the aerobatics needed to keep two conjoined dragonflies airborne, perhaps.

But there were other things to photograph. Like a turtle happily posing for a shot, inviting me to overlook the general scumminess of the water.

Turtle sunning on log in scummy pond

Like a bullfrog below a footbridge and seemingly oblivious to me and to the general scumminess of the water.

Bullfrog in scummy pond water

Like altogether unscummy New England asters, providing a last splash of flower power before the frost.

2-photo collage of purple New England Asters

And like hard-working bees on New England asters. No rest for the Apis.

2-photo collage of bees on aster blossoms


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Just Like That

It’s your fault.
You designed this horrible marking system.

Perhaps I paraphrase, but I’d swear under oath that this captures the essence of their communication. Thirty aggrieved young adults — heavy on the young — are on the defensive and, therefore, on the attack. They’re defensive because one month into the 1990 university semester, I’m staging an intervention with one of two classes to which I am teaching a 4th-year business course.

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Posted in New Perspectives, Relationships and Behaviour, Thinking Broadly | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Cheese-Slice Face

Here’s a guy or gal looking to the future with hope, no?

Accidental face in cheese slice

Of course, his/her immediate future was maybe not quite as cheery as hoped-for.

Hope is not a method.
Gen. Gordon Sullivan, USA Ret.


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For Those Wondering

For those wondering whether Magellan carried salt as one of his provisions for his round-the-world voyage (1517 – 1521) . . .

The list of equipment shows utensils of iron and copper, and the provisions included seemingly ample quantities of wine, olive oil, vinegar, beans, lentils, garlic, flour, rice, cheese, honey, sugar, anchovies, sardines, salt cod, salt beef, and salt pork.
– Armada de Molucca, “The Great Explorers”, Samuel Eliot Morison

 . . . the answer is, “Yes, but integrated into cod, beef, pork, anchovies, and sardines.” Me, I might have traded some of that salted cod for more wine, since a vanishingly small amount of the former is a sufficiency for me, and what constitutes an ample amount of the latter is in the mouth of the drinker.

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Wasp Wings

I’ve mentioned before how the camera shows me things I can’t otherwise see:

  • By getting me closer
  • By stilling the inherently flitty
  • By giving me the gift of time to look

This week’s wasp photos weren’t tack sharp of their heads and antennae and hairy bodies (Wasps have body hair? Who knew?), but I got several good looks at their wings. As with dragonflies, they have amazingly delicate stained-glass-style wings that at the right angle catch the light. That’s not my first observation when they’re diving into my glass of wine in the backyard, crawling over my plate of food, or buzzing my head, so again, thank goodness for cameras.

3-photo collage of wasp wings showing structure and colour

And from another day . . .

Close-up of wasp showing body hair and membranous wingsNose-to-nose with a wasp

And finally, a wasp with what appears to be restless-leg syndrome . . .


Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Nature Videos, Photos of Fauna | Tagged | 12 Comments


As I gathered up my stuff before exiting the examining room I saw this sign above the table. I apologize for the fuzziness.

Sign urging patience in doctor's office

What a good reminder for impatient patients, eh? Stop for  a moment to consider why the doctor might be keeping you waiting. Some day, that person who needs extra time could be you. True dat.

And yet . . .

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Posted in Management and Work, New Perspectives, Thinking Broadly | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Avocado’s Number

No, no, get a grip, Isabel. It’s Avogadro’s number, and I haven’t thought much about it since I first encountered it in high-school Chemistry class, lo, these 50 years ago now. Nor did I know much about it even back in the day.

I never knew, for example, that Avogadro was an Italian lawyer’s last name, or if I did know, it did not stick.

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The Philosophers’ Stone: Redux


Imagine that.

Each of these Walmart wedges carries only one message, not three.

Photos showing the other two sides of the Philosophers' Stones

So much for the puzzle of trying to figure out the sequence. But a new puzzle emerges. Who would pay $13.97 for just one philosophical statement?

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Buddy & Me: Hello? Isabel?

Does deadline-driven work attract driven people? Maybe. Present company excepted, of course.

When I look back on life in Proposal Land, I wonder why I ever worked like that. On the rare occasions that I venture back, I find myself doing it again.

This concludes the virtual book-launch for my memoirs. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Buddy & Me: Hello? Isabel?


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