I’m a Fan of Walking

…thanks to Jez for hosting I’m a fan of…..

Even though Jez is ‘taking a break’ from hosting for awhile I thought I would share my love of walking. Whenever I get a chance to go for a walk or hike with my kids I jump at it, especially now. Up till now we’ve socially distanced ourselves, even on visits to our homes.

On the weekend, after our Father’s Day gathering with the family (in the backyard) my oldest daughter and I got in the car and drove to Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. It’s about a 1 1/2 hour drive north of the city. Andrea had to pick up some race materials from a store in Orangeville so we decided to make the most of the outing and go for a hike.

Everything took longer than we thought. The drive took longer, the hike took longer and getting the race materials was the last thing on our list of things to do. Andrea was hoping to be back in the city by 1:30 but we didn’t even leave Orangeville till 1:30.

None of it mattered though because we had a great walk, we managed to pick up the race materials and the plans in Toronto were somewhat delayed anyway so no one was put out.

Mono Cliffs is an area that I have visited many times, mostly with my students. I think I’ve been up at the Outdoor Education Centre at least ten times. The Provincial Park is right next door and we would often take the kids to the Lookout and the ponds that are situated there. Going in from the other side was new for me. At the end of the hike we walked at least 5K. What a great morning!

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A Photo a Week Challenge – Anything

…thanks to Nancy Merrill  for this very open ended challenge

Sometimes these open ended challenges are more ‘challenging’ than ones with a specific theme. I have, however, created a theme of my own…..Fallen Trees. All these trees were photographed today on my morning walk through Mono Cliffs Provincial Park.

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The Hazards of Trash Collecting – Part 4

….on our 30 Day Challenge Trish and I had a few mishaps

Collecting trash in the parks, along the beaches and in the rocks has its misfortunes. Luckily for us none of them were too serious.

Trash collecting can wreak havoc with your clothes:

Burrs were a constant problem.6-EA0-AD5-B-C3-B7-4-C84-85-AE-5-A2-BBF55697-E ACC70191-3-F13-413-A-AEFD-D36-E93-BE9-E82 153-B5-C4-D-72-E4-4-B56-B8-CD-B60476-E188-EF 3-C144-F3-A-28-AB-413-F-BBD4-D5-FE8-C41-ED99

Climbing over wire fences can cause tears in your tights.
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The insects can also be problem. The midges were particularly bad. Thanks goodness for face masks.
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Wearing proper shoes and gloves is very important. I learned both the hard way. On the rocks I pulled out a broken beer bottle and promptly cut my finger. Luckily I brought water with me and Trish had hand sanitizer. I put pressure on the cut and cleaned it out as best

I could. Once the bleeding stopped I put on my gardening gloves and continued to work.

On another trip I was wearing my sandals. It was towards the end of the challenge and a lot of vegetation had grown in on the pathways. Everything seemed fine until I felt a burning sting under my foot. I quickly looked down and saw a wasp fly out from under my toes. Upon closer inspection we didn’t see a stinger but I did notice red ants in the area and I suspect it was an ant that bit me and not the wasp.
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Towards the middle of May as the weather warmed up it was important to wear sunglasses, hats and sunscreen. There were days when I felt I had been in the sun a little too long.

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The final hazard of course is falling. There were days that I wasn’t comfortable on the rocks and I soon figured out it was due to my low blood pressure. If I didn’t have my morning coffee before we left I felt dizzy on the rocks and I would stay on the pathways while Trish did her thing diving between the rocks to retrieve treasures deep in the crevices. Even on the beaches the rocks were slippery and on the paths rocks jutted up and were tripping hazards. There were a few times that I slipped or tripped  but luckily I always caught myself before going down.

Trish was more adventurous and one day she tried to jump to a large rock for a photo op but she slipped and ended up in the water (only her shoes got wet).2116-ED66-FA85-4009-BB9-C-868-D582-D5238
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In the next segment I will talk about the fun and beauty of trash collecting.

Outdoor Art During COVID-19

….isolation brings out the creativity in people

Walking through the neighbourhood these last seven weeks I’ve come across some pretty amazing art. Some are very simple messages hung on trees, others are temporary works of art on the sidewalks and others clearly took some time and thought. Here are a few of the works I’ve come across.

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I finally found Waldo……
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Art on the Beach

….art installations on the rocky shores of  Lake Ontario 

Much of the beaches in Col. Sam Smith Park in Toronto are man made and made with landfill. Large of chunks of concrete and rebar and lovely old bricks  line the shores of the park and the lake. Over the years people have lined up the bricks and laced them onto the rebar to create interesting sculptures. A couple of weeks ago during one of my walks along the beaches I noticed this interesting sculpture made with rebar and bricks.78-D6-EB0-E-A6-D3-42-B9-862-D-E4-BE98-AEC198

Yesterday I took a similar path when I went for my daily walk and specifically looked for this same sculpture. As with most pieces of installation art in nature it was no longer there. I did see another piece that I think was mostly created by nature but it did seem to have some human involvement.776-DA3-ED-0060-44-E3-B02-A-0-D16-F671007-C-1-201-a

I was inspired to try my own hand at making a piece of sculpture with found objects. The rocks and bricks had such interesting colours and had been worn smooth from the crashing waves. In the second photo you can see that I used bits of wood, seashells, speckled stones and a piece of scrap metal. Can you see the face?
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Walking and More Baking During Covid-19

….at times the streets are empty and it’s an eerie feeling

Today, however, was a beautiful sunny day. The dog walkers were all out and mostly they were alone with their pet. A few people that were walking together were clearly couples who were probably cooped up all day together anyway.

Everyone was very respectful of the acceptable distance between people and when someone came down the street in my direction, either I or the other person stepped off the sidewalk and continued walking on the road. Funny how a few months ago this would have seemed anti-social and weird.D5-FAD72-E-F46-E-4-AF0-82-FE-F7771149-B69-A
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Even in the grocery store people go about their business quickly. People seem to know what they need and they spend as little time as possible in the store. In my local grocery store there are no empty shelves and there was a lot of toilet paper today. The cashiers are all separated from the customers by plexiglass shields at the cash and they all wore gloves. There was tape fixed to the floor with six feet between strips and people observed the social distancing rules.

As soon as I got home I washed my hands, something that I’ve always done but now I’m super diligent about it.

The other thing that both my husband and I have started doing again is bake. Today we started the dough for bread that we will bake tomorrow and while I was in the mood I made an almond cake. We had the cake for dessert tonight with some strawberries and cream. Being aware of the Corona 15 (the 15 pounds that many people will gain during this pandemic) we ate only one slice and then I froze the rest for another day.5-BFA4-CB1-2-CCD-4759-98-D4-5326-D41-ADCF7
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