Nature Walk

….on the weekend I took a stroll to the naturalized park close to home

It’s not often that our dog, Frances wants to go for long walks anymore. She’s almost 13 and she sleeps most of the day. On occasion, however, when she does want to go for a walk she’s seems to find the energy to make her way to Col. Sam Smith Park. On warm days she likes to go for a swim from one of the three beaches in the park but last weekend the water was a little too green for my liking so I didn’t tempt fate and kept her on her leash.

I love this time of year with the colours changing. Plants are producing berries and seed heads and the grasses are turning brown with lovely seed tops swaying in the wind. The bees are very active these days and the birds are getting ready to migrate. Here are a few of my favourite sightings from my walk last weekend.IMG-3880
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The Last Days of Summer

….normally we start to experience cooler temperatures before the onset of autumn

The first day of fall is only one day away, September 22. You would hardly know that by the clothes people wear to work and out on the street. Sandals, shorts and sleeveless tops and dresses are still the norm. Even the evenings are still pleasantly warm.

Today I witnessed sailboats out on the lake in the late afternoon hours and the swans, geese and ducks are in no hurry to fly south. There are signs, though,  that autumn is close at hand. The leaves are starting to change colour,  many flowers are starting to whither, plants are going to seed and bushes are ripe with red and purple berries.

 

Rest, Tea and Fresh Air

…. healthy eating and a little exercise and I feel better

When I woke up today I still had a sore throat. I read some more and then made myself a breakfast of whole wheat toast with avocado and tomatoes and a great cup of coffee. Yummy! I don’t often eat bread but when I do it’s almost always for breakfast. P1000606

After breakfast, K and the dog went for their morning walk. I decided to pass. I wrote to my son in Rotterdam and tidied up the kitchen. For lunch I heated up some leftover homemade vegetable soup. Why do soups always taste better the next day?

P1000609 After lunch the dog wanted to go out again and my husband wasn’t home so I decided to dress warmly and get some fresh air. It felt good to get out and I ended up walking much farther than I had planned. I also took my camera in case I came across some interesting shots. Winter hasn’t left us and signs of Spring are few and far apart. There are still patches of snow and ice but large areas of brown grass and mud are starting to take over the landscape. I was hoping to see some signs of new growth but it’s still too cold.P1000614 P1000615 P1000616 P1000617 It felt great getting out but I’m afraid I had too much tea with honey and lemon before I left the house and I had to get home in a big hurry. I love how the pictures of the grasses and the decaying Queen Anne’s Lace turned out. Taking my camera on my walks has opened my eyes to the beauty of the most mundane things.

For dinner tonight we roasted the capon we picked up at the market yesterday. The lady at the meat counter was right about how delicious this bird would be. It weighed almost 7 pounds and we probably have enough meat left over for three or more meals.

P1000619To go with the chicken I made a great Brussels Sprouts, spinach and bacon side dish and fresh green beans. My husband made a mushroom sauce but the chicken was so moist that it didn’t really need it.
P1000620After dinner K went for his walk without the dog or me. He felt that the dog probably had enough exercise for the day and I wasn’t sure that I should push my luck by going out again. As it turned out the dog had to go out again so I ended up going for a shorter walk anyway. All in all I walked for a total of 4.3 k. Not bad for someone who wasn’t planning on any exercise today.

Cheers!

Texture

….looking for examples for my next art lesson

Today on our walk with Frances I was on the lookout for interesting examples of texture that I can share with my students back at school. Texture is all around us, from the rough texture of bark and the thorny, prickly texture of burrs to the soft texture of grasses and seed heads and the smooth texture of leaves.

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