musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

birds of spring...

I went walking at one of Toronto's finest waterfront parks this afternoon. Colonel Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke is a favourite with bird watchers and for the past few years I've enjoyed trying to spot new (to me) birds whenever I visit. Luck was with me today! I found a large group of long-tailed ducks in a sheltered bay. Most of them were too far away for a decent photo but this guy came close enough for a quick snap. Isn't he lovely? One for my life list.

Long-tailed Duck

A bit farther west, out in the yacht basin, the red-necked grebes were squabbling, pairing off, and joyfully singing the love songs of their people. 

Red-necked Grebes

Red-necked Grebes

The marsh area was comparatively quiet except for the trill of red-winged blackbirds and the quacks and dabbling of mallard ducks.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck

This gorgeous young robin didn't seem to mind at all when I stopped to watch him hunt. He even obliged by posing prettily for me on a rock.

American Robin

Over all, a very fine walk indeed! I don't know about you, but I am very glad it's spring.

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stillpoint... blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

a wee Irish tree...

St. Patrick's Day arrives this Friday and I will definitely be wearin' the green. I can trace my Irish roots all the way back to the 17th century when my maternal grandmother's Dickenson forebears, Daniel and Elizabeth, settled in Edenderry to raise their family. This year, instead of green beer (yuck!) or a tipple of Irish whiskey (Writer's Tears?), I'll be celebrating with something new and different – a wee, green St. Patrick's Day tree.

It's okay. I know you want to say it, so go ahead.

"What the heck is a St. Patrick's Day Tree?"

Well, here's the thing. Last Christmas, son J and I decided to decorate with a live tree instead of our old reliable artificial spruce. We simply couldn't resist this sweet little Grinch's Christmas tree. Isn't it adorable?

I figured it would be a cute conversation starter, take up just the right amount of space in my small living room, and then fade away into the compost bin after the holidays. But, no. Instead of fading away, little tree seemed to flourish.

If you know me, or if you've read my 2015 post about flower power, you'll understand how difficult it is for me to give up on a plant, no matter how sad or how sorry it may look. But once the Christmas season ended it seemed silly – and just a bit embarrassing – to display a Grinchy tree with a shiny red ball. So, off with the shiny red ball and on with a classic white bow tie, perfect for celebrating the New Year.

Little tree continued to thrive. And so when February rolled around, we traded in the formal bow for a jaunty red ribbon with Valentine heart dangles.

Fast forward to March, and our little tree grows fluffier day by day. Last week we dressed him up in a pale green bow with sparkly shamrock bangles. I think it suits the little guy, don't you?

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way

Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

We're already planning a special Easter outfit (photos to follow) but for now, we're enjoying this little bit of Ireland on our table.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

stillpoint... blog of Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington

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