Category Archives: Commentary

Wood Buffalo National Park

The correct name for the animals is “bison,” but the park’s official name hasn’t been changed yet.

This park was established in 1922 to protect the seriously dwindling bison herds but also became invaluable to protecting the whooping cranes, as well.

At just under 45,000 km², Wood Buffalo is the largest national park in Canada and the second largest in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2013, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated it as the world’s largest dark sky preserve to protect the habitat of bats and other night-time animals and also to ensure the visibility of the Aurora Borealis.

There’s lots of hiking and camping, including back country camping sites and many kilometres of day hiking trails available.

Happy Sunday.

Clover Time

Although not universally loved, clover is an essential part of our ecosystem. If you have it in your lawn, it will actually push out weeds, and of course, it’s an important food source for butterflies, some birds, cows, deer, rabbits, horses, and many other animals.

And let’s not forget how important clover is to our bee friends. They love it, and if you love honey, much of it results from the hard work of clover bees.

This clover patch was very busy with bees and butterflies until I disrupted them with my picture-taking, but I noticed that they were back as soon as I stepped away.

Naturopathy counsels that there are many health benefits to consuming clover, and of course, don’t forget that it’s good luck! ☘️

Happy Thursday.

SPAM (not the luncheon meat)

I’ve noticed lately that quite a few of my comments on other people’s blogs aren’t being received. https://wordsfromanneli.com/ mentioned that she …

SPAM (not the luncheon meat)

Hi Everyone, please see this short post from Belinda Grover (and take a look at her photography while you’re there!). Apparently comments are going astray and today, I’ve seen two other bloggers note the same issue. Cheers.

Nature Moves Quickly

Three weeks ago, the Little Bison River looked like this:

There are still snowmobile tracks!

And now:

Completely thawed and moving rapidly!

At the moment, we have 18 full hours of daylight, and as a result we are warming quickly (by comparison, Toronto, which is 19° further south, is getting 15 hours). By the solstice in June, we will have 20 hours of daylight with about 4 hours of twilight.

All the plants and animals have to take advantage of this intense period of light and warmth before it again becomes cold.

Happy Sunday and for Canadians, Happy long weekend!

Katlodochee (Hay) River

A week ago, this river, jammed with ice and swollen by a massive rain and snow storm, burst its banks. The muddy-looking chunks toward the left are actually the leftover pieces of some of the enormous ice pans that clogged the river.

The river is still unusually high, but no longer a threatening behemoth.

Happy Saturday.

Ahead By a Century

In this time of turbulent uncertainty, where we once again see a military behemoth threatening a much smaller, peaceful country, we sometimes need to remember what we have and what we can give.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahead_by_a_Century

I think this iconic Canadian song from The Tragically Hip encapsulates that idea. It’s a song with a broad sweep as it weaves together past, present and future. It is about time, memory, loss, disappointment and desire, but it’s also about Canada’s identity and the politics of hope. Generally, it’s song in which we’re asked to drop what holds us back, and to imagine a future unharnessed by personal drawbacks.

Most of all, we’re urged to rethink the present, and to imagine a more generous and accepting future that should not be ahead of us by a century.

It’s very sad that we lost Gord Downie so early, but he and his band mates gifted us with an incredible body of heartfelt, lyrically beautiful music; this song in particular. It’s a huge reminder of all our advantages and why it’s necessary to help a friend who’s fighting a massive, vicious bully.

Glory to Ukraine. 🇺🇦

It’s not Easy Being Green

Today is St Patrick’s Day, and although I don’t have any Irish antecedents, my husband does. He, in fact, is half Irish.

Photo courtesy of Paige Morris

I don’t really understand why St Patrick’s Day has become so popular (is it the green beer? the riddance of green snakes?), but since I’m a half French frog, I do understand the green background and that it confers a certain ability to stand up to the preconceived notions of others.

So here’s to the Irish! May they live as long as they want, and never want as long as they live.

To Spring or not to Spring …

… forward, that is. I find it unbelievably irritating and totally unnecessary. But what is probably a lot more irritating is that although politicians are listening to complaints about their time meddling, it’s only on their terms. Why? Because they want to nail it down to daylight “savings.”

Salvador Dali

Is it just me or is that totally thoughtless? Daylight “savings”? In December? The sun won’t peek over the horizon until 9 or 10 am. Apparently politicians don’t understand this concept. And summer? Try sending your kids to bed at 2 a.m., especially if you live anywhere northish. Yikes.

Salvador Dali

I want standard time. All year. Permanent daylight “savings” will feel like we are in the wrong time zone for most of the year and will affect our health. But apparently, daylight “savings” is supposed to be good for late shopping, so I guess that’s the only thing that matters. We’re just supposed to bow down and accept whatever is best for the God of Commercial Consumption.

Salvador Dali

What do you think?