Saturday, 26 August 2017

Saturday Photo: Bees....

My overgrown, mostly-indigenous garden of perennials has been hosting a bumper crop of bees this summer.  Glad to see that, given the current worry about the fate of bees in the wild.

But last night a few wasps decided to check out the sausages I was barbecueing.  Not so welcome visitors, but I guess all part of the web of life, or some such.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Saturday Photo: Pear Harvest

It's been a wet, rather cool summer but the two pear trees in our backyard have loved it.  There are more pears than the squirrels can eat, and I harvested those I could reach this week.  Not that they're terribly tasty, but getting fruit like this in the middle of the city is pretty cool.

My neighbor Nicola, with whom we share our harvest particularly since they get a lot of down fruit on their side of the fence, said she makes a purée of the pears, freezes small portion,  and then uses them to make pear mousse.  Sounds like a winning idea.  As soon as the pears are ripe enough (and you have to pick them before they're ripe) I'll do just that.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Saturday Photo: The Grand Antonio, and Electricity

One of the grandkids favourite stories is that of The Great Antonio, a Montreal strong man, by Elise Gravel.  He pulled buses with his teeth and other feats of strength.  Gravel's illustrations are delightful, and obviously made a big impact on not-quite-five Thomas.

When we were doing a little morning walk-about near Grand Coulee dam on our recent trip, he got very excited, pointing toward the hilltops and talking about the Grand Antonio.  The adults couldn't figure out what he meant, but then it dawned on us: the high tension pilons carrying electricity from the dam.  They look a little like someone flexing his muscles, I agree.

You could probably do a nice turn on that: how electricity makes the world run, and how it magnifies the strength of all of us.  But I think I'll just be delighted at a little boy's imagination. 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Saturday Photo: Dry Falls and the Forces of the Earth

On our trip West in July, one of the most interesting places we stopped was at the Dry Falls State Park where the ancestral Columbia once ran.

Or maybe it wasn't the Columbia, exactly.  What is certain now is that  an enormous amount of water  surged over this precipice as the Ice Age ended and an ice dam burst, letting free the impounded waters of a massive meltwater lake.  The result was a catastrophic flood (or floods) and this dry, empty landscape which followed.  The dark rocks, by the way, were laid down in another geologic event that staggers the imagination: the great volcanic episode which saw lava spread over hundreds of thousands of acres for perhaps a million years.

All this puts our particular problems in  perspective.  We are screwing things up royally, but our presence on this planet is likely to be only fleeting.  The rocks remain.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

This Just In: Full Page, Back Cover Ad for Road through Tiime in the NYReview of Books!

It was a quiet evening yesterday until my husband shouted from upstairs that I had to take a look at the new New York Review of Books.  So I scurried up to find a full page, back page ad for Road through Time: The Story of Humanity on the Move!

Wow!  I had thought maybe there'd be a little publicity some place, but I certainly didn't expect this! Do hope that it introduces the book to a much wider audience.