Cataraqui Reflections

Monday, April 22, 2013

Evidence Of Spring Renewal

I opened the curtains this morning to the sight of nubile buds on the tree at the back.

Although it is still cool with early spring-like winds, the new life brings hope for what is to come.

The lilac bush that backs onto my property is also showing signs of rebirth. The scent of lilacs will waft through my bedroom window once again.

I also put out my bird bath for the first time this year. I don't know if there were any takers, but birds abound in the area.

I bought some seeds last year intending to plant them and never got around to it so this year, I am on it. I had some garlic cloves that were sprouting so I planted them too. I have hot peppers, grape tomatoes, lemon basil and the garlic. If all goes well, I will have edible deck plants for the late summer to enjoy. Interesting - the water puddle on the tray looks just like a mallard head. Totally accidental, I assure you. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An Overnighter In Toronto...

started out this way.

The police escort wasn't really for me but it was neat seeing the horses as they made their way from the park at Leslie and Eglinton in Toronto. The writing on the car in front was just a bonus.

My girlfriend Elva took me to Eglinton and Yonge and I got this pair of walking shoes. They are more plain Jane than Mary Jane but they are very comfortable. I am thinking they will also be good for me to wear on the job. If that works out I might have to buy a second pair so I don't wear them out before my trip to Italy even commences.

Shopping is thirsty work so we had to stop and get a beer and rest our legs after walking around. This tavern suited out needs quite nicely.

Here is my friend Elva in a potentially compromising spot on the sidewalk. I was just having a laugh when I saw the sign on our way to the Greek restaurant where we had dinner. The food was delish.

Although only about 10c, there were spring flowers in a planter. I like the rose-looking yellow flowers but I don't know their name, but it was nice to see them.

All that walking did take its toll on my right knee. It is a little sore tonight, but with rest and a little ice, I will be fine for work tomorrow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wolfe Island Ferry and Travel News

. A few weeks back, my sister and I stayed in a hotel on the waterfront of downtown Kingston. There was a great view of the harbour from our balcony and I took the above picture.

In travel news, I think I have saw the shoes I would like for Italy, and if I can find them, I'll only need one pair with me. At the moment, I can only find them in the U.S. and the companies I found don't ship to Canada.They are made by Rockport so they should be comfortable. There is a thick sole with good tread, and they are shaped like a Mary Jane. Here's a pic.


The shoes are shaped with an upward slant at the front to assist steps when walking. The shoes would look fine with jeans or a skirt. They should be rugged enough for climbing the odd hill I might encounter on my travels through Italy. I bet I can find them in Toronto. That's where I am headed tomorrow.

That's it for today. :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Packback Acquired For Italy

The last time I was in Kingston, Ontario, I purchased a backpack that I had tried on 2 weeks prior. It has everything I want except wheels, and I decided that I could do without them.

The pack is small enough to take on the aircraft so no waiting at luggage carousels for me, at least on the way to Italy. I can hide away all the straps and it becomes a mini suitcase with two carrying handles in convenient locations. There is a little day pack that can be zipped off for daily use. In backpack mode, there is a belt at the bottom to help bear the weight and a drawstring tie at chest level to keep the pack tight to my body.

An added little bonus (which I hope not to use) is a plastic cover for the pack itself if I am to encounter rain while wearing it. Too cool.

I have decided to take only a few clothes. That way I will have room in the pack for new items I will probably see on my travels throughout Italy.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ice Storm - Beautiful And Deadly - Updated

When I first opened the curtains this morning, the first thing I felt was wonder at how my dreary backyard had been transformed into an isicled fairy land simply by applying freezing rain.

Sadly, that freezing rain exacted a hefty cost for my friend Kathy, whose home is on the shore of the Bay of Quinte.

This magnificent tree, all decked out in its finery of snow and ice, fell victim to the weight of all that beauty. The trunk snapped in two and now the tree lies scattered in ruins across her lawn. Such heartbreak and a lot of yard work in her future.

Today I was back with my friend Polly and we started to do cleanup. What a shame about the tree and what a mess it left.

After less than 2 hours quite a bit of the cleanup had taken place and the yard was beginning to look normal. Another friend of Kathy's came by and he began cutting off limbs. Meanwhile, Kathy lit a fire on the bay shore and commenced the burning of the tree limbs and debris. I received an email from her that said she was finished for the night, meaning the most of the cleanup was done and what could be burned was burned. This little window portal in my front door looks glazed with an expensive gloss with the ice frozen to it.

This little mountain ash branch is bowed over from the weight of all the ice accumulation but oh, so beautiful.

A close up of that beauty, looks a little like spider legs going in all directions.

More ice sculpture from my back window.

I liked the way the ice obscured the outside behind the little sailboat in my window.

The freezing rain was hard on the willows out front. This one lost several large branches. Note the ice on the wires on Quinte Rd.

So goes the story from today. A small update on my Italy plans is forthcoming and some pictures from my last trip to Kingston Ontario will be posted soon.