Jack’s Walk


Green! ©voyager, all rights reserved

More green! ©voyager, all rights reserved

Ha! The forecast was wrong. It’s a beautiful sunny day with blue skies and the air is filled with that earthy scent of spring. I can hear birds singing and the neighbourhood is full of busy squirrels running here and there doing all the things that squirrels do in the spring. Jack was feeling energetic today, too, and he pranced and wagged for most of the walk stopping often to follow a scent or leave a splash of pee. We went past the high school just as the kids were going for lunch and Jack schmoozed with a few gaggles of teens and left happiness in his wake. Best of all today, green is back. The grass is turning a lovely kelly green and there are bunches of fresh green tulips and hyacinths and daffodils getting ready to flower. I can hardly wait.

Jack’s Walk

A cloudy day in early spring. This photo is in full colour. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Well, it’s rain, rain, rain around here for the next 6 days if you believe the forecast. I don’t usually believe the forecast when the weather is supposed to be good, so why should I believe it when the weather’s supposed to be bad. That might make me an optimist and a pessimist which likely equals out to being a realist, which sounds about right. I’m being stiff upper-lipped about the weather, though. I keep telling myself that April Showers bring May Flowers and that it’s like this every year. Spring is wet, but at least this week it’s rain and not snow and the temps are steadily rising and the sun and the flowers and the birds and the bees will be here soon. Hmm… might be an optimist after all.

Tree Tuesday

I love to see the bright, fresh blossoms on flowering trees in early spring, but around here the show hasn’t started yet and the trees seem to be waking up very, very slowly. In Germany, though, the cherry trees are in full bloom and Avalus has taken some gorgeous photographs to share with us.

©Avalus, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

I am a rock. Really. Now go away. ©voyager, all rights reserved

You heard the lady, er I mean rock, now get lost you great slobbering git of a dog! ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s nesting season at the duck pond, which actually has more geese than ducks. Around the pond proper there are several nesting groups, but this couple wanted a bit more privacy and are nesting at the far end of the creek by themselves. Last year there was a small nesting group here so perhaps these two are waiting for the neighbours to arrive. The male was very protective and drew Jack away from the nesting site and gave him quite a verbal drubbing. Honk, honk, honk is obviously a 4 letter goose word for fuck off, buddy.

Jack’s Walk

Hello, my pretties. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Today is one of those ‘April Showers’ kind of days, but Jack and I got our timing right for a change and managed to stay dry for our whole trip around the duck pond.  It’s still blustery, but yesterday’s -4º has given way to today’s +13º and the change is quite pleasant. It’s also pleasant to look around and see signs of spring everywhere. Daffodils and tulips have sprouted, the swans are outdoors at the park again and the trees get slightly fuzzier everyday. Even the lawns are starting to green up. A bit of sunshine would help, but with or without it Spring will keep inching forward. I’d like to poke it with a broom to make it hurry up.

You’re a sight for sore eyes. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

On Guard, ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a cold, blustery day here with overcast skies and the threat of rain. I’m trying to stay zen about it, but I’m disappointed. We had three warmish days in a row and I was feeling all springy and cheerful. Now, my cute straw hat with the ribbon is stuck in the closet again and my black, utilitarian tuque is back on my head. Jack is disappointed today, too. We went to the civic center pond this morning and found it occupied by a small flotilla of Canada Geese who did not like the look of Jack at all. As soon as we got near the water they swam quite aggressively toward him and made it perfectly clear that he was not allowed to swim today.  This is the first time we’ve seen geese at this pond, but I know that the two larger ponds nearby are both crowded with geese right now so I think this bunch wanted someplace quieter for nesting season. Jack barked at them a few times, but they didn’t give an inch and he finally walked away. Poor boy. We walked around the soccer fields instead, but the weather was grim and neither of us felt like wagging a tail.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Proper spring has finally arrived and our temps have climbed into double digits. Today it’s a delightful +13º and for the first time this year I smell that fresh, sweet, earthy scent of spring. I even threw open the windows this morning, but 13º isn’t exactly room temperature so I had to close back up sooner than I wanted to. No matter. Jack and I took a long, leisurely walk around our wee forest this morning and even the overcast sky couldn’t dampen our good spirits. I wore shoes, not boots and a light jacket, not my padded winter coat. I replaced my tuque with a cheerful small-brimmed straw hat with a navy blue and white ribbon and it was delightful to be unburdened of all that heavy winter wear. I think we probably have a few more cold days ahead of us so I won’t put way my winter stuff just yet, but it sure is nice to give the spring wear an outing now and then.

Jack’s Walk

Help me, I’m melting… ©voyager, all rights reserved

We’re expecting rain today and according to the forecast it’s going to be rainy for the next 4 days. Oh well, you know what they say…April showers bring May flowers. At least it’s finally getting warmer. It’s going up to +9º today and the weekend is supposed to get all the way up to +18º. Oh my, that will make the plants get growing and the trees start leafing and I don’t even care that it’s going rain. Proper spring is about to start and I can’t wait to see a bit of colour around here. I hope everyone has a good weekend, especially those of you who are battling with sickness…feel batter soon.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack started picking at his feet and scratching yesterday and around our house that’s a sure sign of spring. It means that the gray grass is getting ready to turn green and Jack’s allergies have flared up. I called the vet and we’ve started the boy’s allergy tablets (Vanectyl-P) and he’ll be taking one a day until the snow flies. The scratching isn’t all due to allergies, though. Jack’s annual spring shed has kicked into high gear and the amount of hair he loses is astonishing. It comes out in clumps when you brush him and your arm can go numb and still there’s more hair to brush out. When he walks you can see hair just floating off and it’s almost impossible to keep up with the hair bunnies that collect in the corners of the house. The boy starts to look a bit shabby, too, with light patches of fur that stick out at odd angles. So he scratches and turns into a little bear who rubs himself on anything handy; trees, telephone poles, the sofa, people. You have to watch out for that last one, people. Jack loves to talk to strangers and he’ll walk right up to anyone and ask for a scratch. If it isn’t offered quickly enough he’ll take his bowling ball of a head and butt you with it and then start rubbing himself around you in circles. Unsurprisingly, not everyone appreciates this. It will be a few more weeks before my little hair machine finishes his shed and until then it’s brush, scratch, rub, repeat around here.

Jack’s Walk

Spring flooding along the Thames River. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I took our walk today along the river and found it running high with some areas of flooding.  It’s normal during spring melt and it’s nothing serious, but it has put parts of the path underwater so our walk was a bit abbreviated today. I don’t think Jack even noticed, though, he was having so much fun splashing around. The boy was just bubbling over with contagious joy this morning, wearing a goofy smile and carrying his tail mast at full up and waving. He was in and out of the water all the way along and even took a bit of float with the current. It was a wonderful outing. The sun shone and the sky was blue and I do declare that it feels like spring. Now, please, can it just get a bit warmer?

Excuses, Excuses

There is a reason why I was hesitant in accepting the co-blogger post, and that is because I am notoriously inconsistent.

I do a lot of prioritizing of energy and time, and as much as I’d like to say this blog is higher on that list, the top 3 spots go to family, work and health – and sometimes, there is nothing left over. My friendships suffer neglect, my roses remain uncut, and I realize that, although I have the material, I don’t have the motivation to put together a post of any kind. For that, I apologize.

I am currently on antibiotics for a sinus infection and the early signs of strep throat, but alongside that I have some nasty bronchitis that seems to be enjoying April far more than I am. Doctor’s orders are to literally stay in bed and sleep until Saturday, but there is emails to answer and projects to sort out and my candidate-in-training is writing her thesis, which must be submitted on Monday (when I have to be in Sweden) – and of course, there’s the children and their shenanigans.

However, I have not forgotten: I still have photos from Canyon Matka, I still have photos from the coin museum (yes, it’s just lots of old, shiny coins!), I still have photos from the aqueduct, plus various random items that show signs of spring arriving. So as slow as I take it, please take it with the best of intentions.

April is for sure this year the cruellest month. And to think it’s only just begun…