Disproportionate memories

I seem to be making a habit of ignorance. Should I see how long I can keep it up for? What I remember about my childhood home: it was split-level. We had an above-ground pool. My Mom didn’t like it. (I lived there for nine years.) What I remember about my adolescent home: my bedroomContinue reading “Disproportionate memories”

Kneeling at Easter to the Season’s First Bloodroot

It’s Easter … and I saw the season’s first bloodroot … and I did kneel, as a matter of fact. And why not? Why shouldn’t I? I found myself thinking, even–without remembering the poem I posted last year, linked above–that if there is a god, it is a wild thing that lives in the woods.Continue reading “Kneeling at Easter to the Season’s First Bloodroot”

Trout Lilies 2010, Part I

aka Dog Tooth Violet (This for Mary G). Around here, the very first of the trout lily leaves are appearing. Look for them at the base of large tree trunks, between exposed roots, on sun-facing southern slopes. The microclimate there is just warm enough to give them a head start. They will look like tightlyContinue reading “Trout Lilies 2010, Part I”

Look Small: Buds

Somehow spring manages to be surprising every year. The temperatures come up–finally! The snow melts. You’re buzzing with anticipation, anxiously scanning the ground for shoots, the grass for green and the trees for buds. Then, every year, somehow, without looking, everything’s green and you missed the moment of transformation again. Every year. It’s part ofContinue reading “Look Small: Buds”

Look Small: Dead Stuff

The average high in Toronto this time of year is 4C. Yesterday, it got up to 14. Fourteen! Putting aside the global warming concerns: fourteen! Wasn’t it beautiful? Fourteen, sunny, mildly breezey. A perfect day for a walk. It was also the day I finally managed to get myself to a camera store to rentContinue reading “Look Small: Dead Stuff”

Looking Small: Bark

Sometimes during winter, when the more obvious, prettier stuff falls away, you get a chance to notice and appreciate things you overlook in the summer. Like bark. Last Sunday, Frances and I took advantage of unseasonable warmth (it’s amazing how balmy 5C can feel when you’re used to temperatures below freezing) to take a walkContinue reading “Looking Small: Bark”

No Ideas But In Things

 The Toronto Island isn’t generally thought of as a winter-time destination, but as counter-evidence I offer this: a walk along the sea wall, where waves pound up high enough to coat the branches of the leafless trees permanently in ice–and if you stand too close to the water, you’ll get a faceful. All right, it’sContinue reading “No Ideas But In Things”

Skating Lessons

Of course, if I was going to be hacked–inconveniencing me and my twenty-odd readers–it would be during the Copenhagen summit. Fortunately I know all of you were well-supplied with climate news from other quarters and that the only real consequence was that you were spared my nail-biting highs and lows as I oscillated between hopeContinue reading “Skating Lessons”

Daddy Long-Legs

These critters are a staple of childhood natural adventures throughout Ontario–and beyond, too, I’d imagine. The Daddy Long Legs stilts along like a drunk robot on those proposterously long legs. I remember, at my grandparents’ cottage, picking them up and tossing them in the creek to watch them go over the waterfall. Cruel, yes, but I’ve madeContinue reading “Daddy Long-Legs”