Saturday, 26 October 2019

Saturday Photo: Eviction Notice for Ducks?

Not sure which way the causality ran, but the family (or families, not sure if there were two) of 11 ducks which spent the summer in neighborhood parks have flown off to warmer climes, and the water in the ponds where they hung out has been emptied.

The lower photo shows what the pond looked like on Canadian Thanksgiving Day two weeks ago.  The trees were still pretty green, and the human mother and son duo were sharing something to eat with the ducks.  You'll notice that a few gulls have decided to join the party.

Seasons change, and frequently the other changes that accompany that natural process is hurried along by humans.  Would like to think that the ducks are now paddling around some pond where the first freeze is a month or more away instead of next week. 

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Saturday Photo: When You're Forced to Take a Step Forward for the Planet

The cold weather is coming to this neck of the woods, climate change or not.  Everyone knows you can't live here without having heating, and until now we've relied on a hot-water-heating fuel-oil furnace that probably dates from the conversion from coal in the 1950s.  The rads all seem to be working fine, but the first time we turned on the heat two weeks ago, the boiler cracked and the system drained all the water.
What a mess!  How lucky we were that it hasn't been too cold because we have had no heat since then!  Also good that a few years ago when we had to replace the oil tank we looked into switching over to electricity so we had some idea of what to look for.  We didn't make the switch then, it didn't seem to be the moment.

But the moment surely arrived this fall.  It took two weeks but last Thursday a new electric furnace was installed.  You can see the apparatus next to the remnants of the old boiler in the photo.

Now, in some areas electricity may not be the most ecologically sound choice for heating, but in Quebec where all our electricity is produced from hydro dams or wind farms, it seems to be.  The fact that the new furnace may be more efficient is also a plus.  Consequently we are feeling a little smug as well as snug, now that the work is done.  

One, unthought-about advantage: we now have about 20 per cent more space in the basement to store stuff since the footprint of the new furnace isn't a footprint at all, but just a box on the wall.  Must go mop the floor now to get up the last of the soot liberated when the workmen cut the old furnace apart to get it out.  Then to move my garden stuff into the space, while Lee will take over that corner for his ever-growing woodworking projects! 

Keep warm!

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Saturday Photo: Glass Houses, and On Line Harrassment

A strange thing happened this week: an anonymous person tried to comment on this blog, writing  "Dear Mary; Find a room in the glass house that you like to live in and go hang yourself." 

I erased it immediately, which I later discovered was the wrong thing to do because I now can't report easily: should have marked as spam and then proceeded to report it.

So, here's a glass house I like, the Haupt Conservatory in the Bronx Botanical Garden.  It's a shame that anonymous persons give places like this a bad name. 

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Saturday Photo: No, This Time It's a Video of my Walrus Talk...

"Across the River, The Height of the Land: Physical and Political Boundaries"  That's the title of the Walrus Talk I gave Sept. 23 in Gatineau.  It was great fun to take part in the evening when seven people talked for seven minutes on the general topic "Boundaries."  I was the one who took the assignment most literally, but all participants had interesting things to say.

My reflections grew out of Frenemy Nations: Love and Hate between Neighbo(u)ring States, which will be officially published October 26.  Looking forward to that too...