Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Sir Lawrence of Long Toes

One of the earliest frogs with a personality was named Sir Lawrence of Long Toes. He was a cutie, if frogs can be cute, with his white belly and extra long toes. He quickly made The Pond his home and I enjoyed his company.

Many a day I would find him sitting in the pot of ivy next to the bench. His head hung over the edge as I read passages from what I believe were a few of his fave books. Wind in the Willows and the Frog Prince, come to mind. 


He was never one to hop away when I was out and about. He sat calmly, watching me, waiting for the odd worm I would dig up that was tossed his way. Maybe that was the attraction. But whatever it was he has remained a fond memory of frogs I have known.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Orion's Belt - Haiku

geese flying at night
captured by Orion's belt
land in a star field 


Friday, March 03, 2017

Frozen feathers - Haiku

during frigid temps
doves bathe in ice cold water
feathers frozen stiff

There's a story behind this, of course. The sump pump came on and I watched to make sure it was clear. I watched the water pour into the depression in the garden and saw doves had congregated. As the depth of water rose the doves jumped in for a bath. Mind you it was -15C and I as a watcher could only shudder.

They futtered about, rejoicing in fresh clean water to bathe in. Soon the flow from the hose ceased and I watched as they stood, searching and wandering why there was no more flowing water. Their posture was “what!, where did the water go!” as I laughed. It was one of those moments.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Jerry, the Odd One

In the second installment of frogs I have known during The Ponds 15th year celebration, I shall write about Jerry. He was a large lad and rather protective of his territory. He was also one of the first odd ones. Odd in his habits that even today I do not understand.

Jerry wasn't content with sitting in the water or on floating plants. He had to sit on a patio chair. All day, every day for weeks. In the evening he would make his way to a planter box to spend the night. At first light, out he would hop, and yep, up onto HIS chair where he kept watch over his realm.

During one particular sweltering day I became concerned he was dehydrating. I need not have worried as I watched in amazement as he used his front legs to smear himself with secretion from his mouth. Using ancient secrets of frog yoga he was able to completely cover his body with a film that I guess, cooled and moisturized in one application.

Another fine summer day I had company for lunch. We set the table and began the feast. One person, who was a 30 year veteran park ranger in Algonquin Park noticed Jerry in his chair. An eyebrow was raised. I mouthed silly me and moved the chair over to the table, with Jerry in it. He sat silently during the meal even though the conversation was boisterous. My friend would peer over the table, see Jerry sitting still watching us, look at me and shake his head saying “Cheryl, I thought I had seen everything in the wild, but this, I, I,....”. I shrugged and smiled.

It's The Pond after all :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bless his feckin' wee heart...

It's at a time like this when I just shake my head and ask “why me?”

After the last snowfall, the patio needed clearing. When that task was done I walked into the garden to check the roof as over a foot of white shite had fallen. I stood blinking, unbelieving, and sighed.

Up high was the path of a very industrious squirrel. Petit Mc#$^@* the 2nd took it upon himself to dig a way out of his spacious and warm home. He wasn't waiting for me to do it.

Bless his feckin' wee heart...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

G versus G

Another night searching for family. Wasted. It's getting harder and harder to find information online or is it that I've exhausted every site? I'll go with the exhaustion. That thought doesn't leave me depressed about the information highway. More and more organizations/societies want money for access. I get that. After all it costs for web and servers and maintenance, but really? Memberships and donations cost me so why not give a little bit back. I don't need certified documents, a screen shot is good enough for me, besides I know a few ways around ;)

Gardeners are sharing people. We are more than happy to separate a plant and give to other gardeners; sharing the growing demands of a particular plant; harvesting seed to ensure the lineage continues. Heck, I've sent plants hundreds of miles just so they continue to live on. But genealogists are another breed and I'm not so sure I want to join that herd. Sharing information for some, not all I've met, is like pulling teeth. Uncomfortable and awkward.

I'm been in contact with one “distant relative” giving her all the info I have and what have I received in kind? Nada! Not a bloody thing. All I asked for were photographs of a great great grandparent. I have none, nor does anyone in the family. Another branch has ceased communication and that is very sad. I feel my blood was drained providing them with my documentation, and after sending such, I've been tossed aside.

There is no one else in either of my families who is interested in our heritage. None at all. So I continue the search for Cornelious and Edward; and Joseph and Charles. As I said to one the other night, they need to be found, to be recognized if nothing else but for their lives. They came to this country wearing rags, cutting out an existence in forests, and be damned if I will allow them to go unnoticed. We are who we are because of them.

For the time being I need to step away from the Family Forest. The files have already been sorted and stored. It is time to check on the pots in the basement, and begin repotting and watering. That gives me greater joy. To encourage growth and life in the present than to dig up forgotten lives. This is what I need at the moment. I'm sure I'll continue the search, after all I am on a mission and stubbornness be thy name. Life brings memories and I know I'll find at least a new one even if its name is begonia.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Full Snow Moon - Haiku

on this full snow moon
as the celestials dance
winter draws its veil

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fifteen Fun Years

The Pond is 15 years old this year. It began as a “I need a project because the garden has become boring” thought. That thought took on a life of its own. In two months I located, dug, dug, and dug some more, researched, moved shrubs, laid liner and laid stones; everything a novice needed to learn by actually doing.

To say The Pond has been a life changer is an understatement. It's my Eden, my sanctuary when life gets too much and I need a reprieve. There's a serenity about it; calm water with orbs floating around blown by the summers breeze; bird and frog songs are the only sounds; and plants every shade of green on this earth.

It has taught me how to create a safe haven for the wild that take residence in and around it. Frogs of every shape and shade, and toads. One summer I was blessed to find a young snapper floating in it. To think she walked from the river, crossed a busy street, probably fended off a few cats, and settled in startled me, and humbled me. She was returned to the river and bid safe journey.

I have woken sleeping frogs in spring while cleaning it. Who knew they hibernated in the sand! I didn't. So its also become a teacher and me its enthusiastic student. It has also taught me to enjoy just being. With a journal in hand I can sit for hours scribbling my thoughts, feelings, views, if you wish, my ponderings. It enabled me to self publish a book during this time. Something I would never have thought of before.

This special anniversary year I intend to post a few of the residents that never became famous. Starting with this one shot last October, wrapped in leaves warding off autumns chill. Perhaps we'll meet in spring when it awakes.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wind chimes - Haibun

This night is quiet
without music, other than
the gentle wind chimes

Years ago I purchased a wind chime. I tested the sound in the shop before I bought it. Yes, I am one of those who stroke chimes in shops. I need to hear its tones. Are they too sharp, too tinny, too verbose? I'm sure it drives other shoppers mad but one must listen to the tones musn't one before deciding just which one brings pleasure to ones ears.

I was apprehensive about hanging them in the pergola. Wondering if the too close neighbours would complain. Then I had an epiphany! They have no care to others feelings when they run their mowers and whippers at all hours of the day and night so why should I care for what they think. Besides they live in climate controlled houses. Their windows are never open when the fresh air could blow through. They are as stuffy as their homes.

Tonight I listen to these chimes singing in winters wind. Wild, carefree yet melodic. Its song reminds me of a summers breeze, lilting, singing to my soul of days soon to be enjoyed. The bedroom window is open, just a crack, and I shall wander off into dreamland with the song of summer warming my soul.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Crunch of Cold - Haiku

lone walker at night,
bundled in wool hears nothing
but the crunch of cold