Flowers from the Bird Lady

BIRDLADY from FORTNIGHT LINGERIE on Vimeo. Parkdale, my neighbourhood since 1993, is known for its many characters. People who make the place unique and colourful, people who definitely dance to their own drummer. For 90 some-odd years, one of those characters was Annie Ross. Born in the building that stands on the south-west corner of […]

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Flowers and Chocolate

I actually came across these dark chocolate and floral bars well before Valentine’s Day, and if I had my act together, would have posted about them before now. The collection is by Belgian chocolatier Dolfin and is called The Parfums d’Eden. It features 4 different flowers (rose, violet, verviene [lemon verbena] and orange blossom), offered […]

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Fish Fight

If your favourite fish is salmon, tuna or cod (yes, sushi-eaters, I’m looking at you), you’re part of the problem. It’s not so much of an over-fishing problem anymore, since fishers in most countries adhere to strict quotas. The problem is more that the quota system doesn’t really work. Trawlers go out onto the ocean, […]

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Moldy Oldies

In 2002 or so, I was tested for allergies and started immunotherapy. Mold, dust and a few other things were the culprits, and I had been having problems for years, especially in the summer. Unlike many people, immunotherapy (aka, a weekly needle) worked great for me. Except the doctor I was dealing with didn’t really […]

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Spring Things

  Due to the mild winter and early spring, we are about 3 weeks ahead of the season here in Toronto in terms of plants and gardens. I’m hearing stories of fiddleheads and asparagus showing up at farmers’ markets already, and the lilacs (which usually are in bloom for Victoria Day) are fully in flower […]

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Signs of Spring

Out and about today, I saw a number of signs that winter is done and we’re moving on. Birds – cardinals in the morning twilight as we walked the dogs, calling back and forth to one another. Mourning doves sitting on a hydro line, cooing softly. And while I was waiting for a bus, a […]

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Floral Study in Blue

Further to my post about wildflowers, I decided to gather some when Greg and I were at the farmers’ market at Liberty Village  last weekend. There’s a low fence around the parking lot where the market takes place and on a whim I plucked a few cornflowers, some huge red clover and a head of […]

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Quincy

Toronto is known as “the city within a park”. Just about every resident lives with walking distance of a park, although most of these are not huge multi-acre swaths of land, but are little in-fill parkettes. Parkettes pop up in the middle of residential streets, and at one point, probably had houses on them. Now […]

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The Greening of Queen Street

The lifespan of the average street tree is a mere 10 years. Those spindly things sticking up out of 3-foot square gaps in the sidewalk never have a chance. They’re not watered regularly, and so much of their root system is covered by sidewalk, it wouldn’t matter if they were. Add to that the indignities […]

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House Mouse

We moved into an apartment building totally paranoid about sharing our space with the usual suspects – that is, roaches and bed bugs. We have neither. What we do have is an ongoing gnawing inside the wall under the windowsill in our office, and the occasional sighting of small grey mice in our kitchen. Having […]

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June Peonies

I had this great plan that I was going to take my camera everywhere this spring and record the progress of winter into summer. The best laid plans and all that, and I seem to have missed lilacs, apple blossoms, tulips, those trees whose name I don’t know but which produce a gazillion tiny little […]

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Last One in is a Rotten Egg

I sort of wish I had used the video function for this. This is a huge puddle created by a blocked storm drain on a side street off Queen Street West. It doesn’t seem warm enough for bathing, but these pigeons didn’t seem to care.  The funniest was when they’d all flutter their wings and […]

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Scrambled Eggs

The coo of a mourning dove is very distinctive. Likewise the whistling noise their wings make as they fly. The two sounds alerted me to some mourning dove action in the pine trees outside our apartment window last week and I was delighted when it appeared a pair of them were building a nest. At […]

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The Sweet Spot

Unlike most of Toronto, I’ve not been overly bothered by our cold, snowy winter. Also unlike most of Toronto, I’m out in the cold four or five times a day at least, which is what happens when you replace children in your life with two large drooling, fur-covered beasts. The huge gritty snowbanks can sometimes […]

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