summer cruiser

summer cruiser

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer (William Gibson).

snow and cold here still, so I dream of summer and wish I had one of these vehicles…

taken at a car show held on the main street in Midland, Ontario, Canada


snow, snow, and more snow

Not world record setting but a lot has fallen in the past 24 hours and the forecast calls for more. First thing this morning I went out to brush off my various bird seed feeding spots and surfaces in the back yard. Yesterday we set a record for the most mourning doves feeding at once, 21.

This morning after clearing about 6 inches of snow, an hour passed and the seed was lightly covered. By the afternoon, another 4 or 5 inches had fallen. I saw a black squirrel covered in snow who had been digging in the snow on the old wood bench to find bird seed. So out I went with the dog to brush off and reload the seed. The temperature was about -15 C but with little wind it still didn’t feel all that cold. More like a couple of degrees below freezing not 15. Maybe I am just getting used to the lower temperature.

Our forecast is for snow each day for the rest of the week. I am going to try and get some photographs. Although to keep my digicam safe I may limit myself to shooting from the car. Hope my power windows don’t freeze solid.

One thing about this kind of weather, it makes me appreciate summer. I stand on shore and look out across this narrow end of Georgian Bay and see the snow over the solid ice.

It is hard to believe that not so long ago the water was open and flowing and not so long before that I was swimming out there. That my dog was swimming. That we both will be out there again. He has done that for 8 years. This summer will make it 9. I have swum in Georgian Bay every summer since 1970. We used to rent a cottage near here for several summers in the 1960s.

In 1955, we rented a cottage near here. On the day before we left to go home, we stood on the dock and threw pieces of bread for the sea gulls. I must have enjoyed this a lot. The next day, when my Dad was off visiting someone, and my Mom was packing up things with some help from my sister, age 5, I went back out to the dock. It was wavy that day, the dock wet. I went out on the dock and fell into the water. I was 18 months old. Apparently I had enough sense of self preservation to stand up and hold onto the side of the dock. My head was above the water. I was strong enough to stand up to the waves. My Mom looked out, saw me and ran out to pull me up out of the water. She told me later that when she lifted me up I was completely rigid. Once in her arms, my entire body went limp.

a little list of the local wildlife

Yesterday morning early, saw a lone trumpeter swan come around the point and splashdown. Early evening I spotted a mink skittering along the shore groins two cottages over and then swim out to a medium sized rock. Nothing looks else looks like tha slim darting mink body. A couple of mornings a skunk has managed to defeat our garbage storage security system, sigh. Saw my winter buddy, the little red squirrel doing some magnificent stunt work in the trees in the backyard. Black squirrels have been around all year. Thirty years ago we might have done better not to plant an oak in the middle of the front lawn patch. Last week saw a red hawk float by overhead at the shoreline. Turkey vultures and gulls, no raccoons or porcupines. Althought I am sure Ralph and Rhonda are about, I just havent laid eyes on them. Spotted a good sized crayfish swimming away from my sneakered feet when I went wading in the bay two days ago. Heard the pileated woodpecker doing his woodworking. Crickets are singing their hearts out this past week. The maple tree in the back yard, a perennial early leaf dropper, dropped a bunch of leaves this week on the driveway. With the cold overnight temperatures (45 F), it feels like summer is about to slip away.

Five wild kittens live here at least until late September. I have given them all names, probably not a smart move. It will be wrenching to give them to the OSPCA for adoption.

feeling the heat

According to a Washington Post article today by staff writer, Shankar Vendantam, we are not remotely as sensitive to hot and cold as we think we are.

I can remember many debates if not “fire fights” in offices with a distinct gender bias over a/c settings as too cold or too warm.  Some researchers show our perception of differences is part social conditioning and suggestability.  Other research shows some temperature thresholds that do effect working ability.

“In fact, experiments show that people’s ability to attend to a task involving detailed concentration declines after the temperature crosses 79 degrees. Another experiment, which called for sustained attention, found that as the temperature rose from 74 degrees to 82 degrees and then to 90 degrees, people grew more distractible.”

post heat wave

Big storm blew through yesterday and at first I thought it was going to turn into a tornado but no. Intense thunderstorm. Tornados apparently south of us and some north of us. Temperature had danced around 98 F. Then dropped in minutes to below 80 F and ended up for awhile at around 75 F and steadied at about 77 F.

Today I decided to cut the back lawn, amazing how high grass grows with a little water and high heat.

The dog is happy it is cooler, the cat is happy I am cooler, and his sub q therapy continues. He gets checked by the vet tomorrow afternoon.

Sometimes in the winter when it has been cold for too long and Spring seems too far off I think that I will be sweltering in Summer and wishing for Winter. Today and this past I missed Winter a lot.

I know people are a lot worse off for heat and war. I am lucky to live in Canada. So very lucky.