Sunday, December 31, 2017

Passion - Haiku

As this old year ends
perhaps passion shall renew
in life and in love

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Moving Day

It was another sweltering day when I stepped outside. White tips, the grey squirrel was sitting in the maple and began to natter when he saw me. What? Moi? He knows me well enough so I thought a cat must be nearby.

Movement among the shrubs led my eyes to a black squirrel. Struggling, it climbed up the fence and on to the rail. I stood and squinted, wondering why it was so large and then I realised it was carrying something.

Moments later, after running into the house for the camera, my eyes focused on its luggage.  AHA ! It was moving day ! In its mouth was a baby being gently carried along the fence top.  Every time it stopped there were squeaks of I don't wanna go!  Well, I'm imagining that was the phrase.  

I watched as it ran, well more like scampering as squirrels tend to do. Across one side, a tight right onto the chain link fence pipe, then into the hedge. Another squirrel joined the parade but I believe it was more of an escort. Onto the neighbours roof and out of sight.

I had seen this only once before when there was a parade of adults carrying their young ones to a nest in the front garden. Then as now, it's amazing how caring they can be. I do hope they haven't moved far as I've been enjoying watching 5 or 6 youngsters spill out of the nest at first light, wrestling, chasing and cavorting with each other.   

As I watched them scurry across the roof I whispered...don't forget to write.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Hero

I had searched through friends, phone books, the world wide webs for a hero and finally found him. It came about last week when a neighbour called to warn me of a porcupine in the apple tree. Sure, ok, why am I not surprised Ross. An elephant yes, I would be surprised as they aren't native to this area, but a porcupine, ummm no.

While I had him on the phone I enquired who his roofer was, having had a new roof installed the week before. He gave me his name and number with a great reference. I called the next day and left a message. The following day he called me back saying he was in the neighbourhood and could he drop by. YES! I practically screamed.

We met and reviewed my predicament. The removal of the three old roof vents to be replaced with heavy metal; and I would not object to them being electrified. We discussed dollars and time line; and he left saying I'll let you know. I've heard that before but I had hope in him.

Fryday his truck pulled in and I ran out to meet him. Screw the acting cool and nonchalant, I was desperate. Here was a man with tools and knew how to use them! I was NOT letting him out of my sight.

I stood guard as the red fecker was in the walnut tree nattering and foot stomping knowing full well what was taking place. My Hero replaced all the vents with heavy duty screening over the openings, then screwing down the metal roof vents.

This morning I laid in bed laughing while listening to the red feckers wee fists beating on the vents and nattering like a sailor. I finally won and there is no way he can chew through them.
If something does happen, my Hero will be here after one call. Life is good again.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Lost bird song

For weeks I've heard nothing, no call of robins, no chortle of finches; the bird song has become non-existent. While it saddens me I understand nature. The young ones have left the nest so there is no need for their parents to sing them awake to begin their survival training.

I shall remember the two broods of robins nesting upon the side door light. The first brood was exciting to watch but when the second began not three weeks later, I held my breath. They all survived though their parents were thin and worn.

The blue jays, with three spawn, were a delight to watch. The parents brought them into The Pond nightly to quench their thrist while they searched for supper. They are truely clowns when left on their own, and I took such pleasure in watching their antics.

Of course the sparrow who has alighted here for years dropped in for his daily bath. I am unsure if it's the same one but the habits are too similiar to be another. I could superimpose photos each year and its schedules are the same. Alighting in the shrubs, pecking about, then diving into the bird bath for a shower, then flying to the cedar for prunning. It had to be him!

The doves, those mourning doves, with such a sad song. Parents nesting across the street would drop their two dovelings? at The Pond. For weeks I watched while the two siblings cuddled til a parent flew in with a mouth full of food. They both ate well, and I am sure they are the ones now gleaning the sidewalks for seeds..

I'll never forget the pileated woodpecker. He was huge and bright! His squawk always announced his arrival as he landed in the old maple tree every few days to bore into rotten limbs. With a beak full of worms his lady would alight and they would share the meal.

As autumn draws near, their summer voices have been silenced as they seek comfort in the wild. I wish I could join them...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fireflies lost

fireflies have left this plain
seeking companionship
in the heavens.
Perseides cloak the skies
its showers enveloping
fireflies lost
in the seeking of love.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Payback is grand

The saga of Petite La Rouge Petite McRed Petite MacFecker continued at least until Sunday past. Fingers, eyes and toes crossed.

A dear friend dropped by to clean out the eaves troughs and while he was up on the roof he asked if I had chicken wire and heavy wire and don't forget cutters. I'm on it! The vent was twice wrapped with chicken wire and tied off with the heavier wire. Ahhhh, it looks bootiful I exclaimed.

Late afternoon the wee fecker returned from his neighbourhood patrol. I could hear clawing and squealing while inside the house and so I snuck out to the patio. There he was scratching and pulling at the wire. He heard my giggles, turned and ran to a branch above me. Was he pizzed off! He stood thumping his feet all the while nattering and threatening me. I returned to safety inside for my camera.

Back up he went to lay waste to the barricade. He managed to sneak half way in under the first layer but backed out. Around and over he went, snarling the entire time. He was not a happy camper, but I was and rubbed it in with laughter and remarks such as “told ya sooner or later I would win” and “I asked politely to cease the 1 a.m. games of walnut basketball but you wouldn't listen”.

After supper I went out one last time. His poor me I am homeless now human stance didn't fool me one bit. It was a ploy. I knew that, and he knew I wasn't about to be sucked in no matter how cute he was. He's been a shite disturber for a year and now it was payback time.

As night fell I looked out and saw him silhouetted on the eaves. I did have a pang, just an itty bitty pang of guilt but what I've been through the past year, feck him! Find another home, another red to harass and life will be peaceful once more. Well almost.

Tonight I came home to the garden and patio littered with walnut fronds. I guess the pile is his way of saying, I may be out of your home, but I'm near, very near.  If only one of the umpteen contractors, roofers, handy persons would return my call to have ALL the vents replaced and electrically wired I wouldn't feel the need to sleep with one eye open.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I am a child of the night
searching for the light
of fireflys
in the garden

I am a child of the night
seeking that one bright
in the garden

I am a child of the night
irnoring skidders bite
while standing
in the garden

I am a child of the night
with eyes so bright
watching the dance
in the garden

I am a child of the night
at this eve's delight
of fireflys
in the garden 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Frog Music

As daylight settles
in the west,
twilight shimmers
over The Pond.
Lit wicks of candles
weave to and fro
in summers breeze.
The maestro
taps his baton
and the chorus begins.
The contralto leads
with her oorrraaah!
I of course join in
our voices echoing
through the garden.
Listening to our joy
the bad ass bass
provides the oomph
from his rippling throat.

Frog Music,
lulls one to sleep
with a smile on her face
this sultry summer night.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Full Buck Moon - Haiku

through shadows of oak leaves
your edges grasp at the night
full moon buck antlers

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summers return

As the dragonflies have returned so have I.
How fitting I found this Green Pond Darter on the Summer Solstice.

Friday, May 05, 2017

I am Earth

I am earth
                                       found wanting
                                               after the drought
now fulfilled
relishing in
                        the deluge of rain
                                  creating bogs
in the garden
                            all the while
                                                     daffies smile

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