Jack’s Walk

It reminds me of the Starship Enterprise ©voyager, all rights reserved

We’re having a steamy day today with humidity at 93% and afternoon temps of 32° before the humidex and 44° with it factored in. Luckily, I had trouble sleeping last night (this weather sets off my fibro) so I was wide awake at 5 a.m. and decided it was probably a good time to take Jack out. He seemed a bit perplexed at being woken up so early, but he cheerfully joined me and off we went.  Even that early in the morning the temperature was already a hot 27° and our walk was more of a plod. We did discover that 5 o’clock is a busy time of day for rabbits. We must have seen a dozen of them in front years around the neighbourhood and every time we spotted one Jack would stop and stare. I think he was hoping that one of them would hop over and say hello and he seemed disappointed when they didn’t.

Jack’s Walk

Yum, Yum ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a hot one here today and Jack and I didn’t get out as early as I hoped – a bit of extra gravity from the humidity slowed me down. Instead it was about noon and Jack was obviously anxious to go out so I decided the shade of the woods was our best option. Jack wanted to go swimming in the river, but there isn’t enough shade there for me so I pulled rank and we went to the forest. For once we didn’t run into any strange happenings, but we did find a patch of ripe wild black raspberries. YES! I picked and ate until my fingers were black and Jack was making the “Come on Mom” noises. I offered him a berry, but he looked at me like I was offering him poison and then he made the sad little whimper again. Sheesh! I’d pretty much denuded the patch by this point, but there are oodles more berries still to ripen so I think next time we come (very, very soon!) I’ll bring a bowl and maybe come home with enough wild, “organic” black raspberries for a pie. I know just how to make it good.

I’ll be back (with a bowl) ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

Just a hole?

Jack and I went to the woods today hoping to see Drucilla and Murray from the Stone Tribe, but we couldn’t find them. Jack followed their scent to a hollowed out area in a log and told me he thinks they’ve gone inside. Inside? I told him it doesn’t look large enough for anything to hide inside. Jack took another sniff and said he was sure they went inside and he was just as sure that they hadn’t come back out. I bent down to take a closer look and could see that the opening was large enough for the Stones to pass into, but it was not large enough for them to hide inside. I grabbed a stick and poked into the hole. Surprisingly, the stick was almost a foot in before it hit the end of the tunnel, but at that point it felt solid all around and there were no Stone people hiding from my probe. Jack thinks it might be a corridor or a secret tunnel and that my poor human senses are too dull to find it. I couldn’t argue with that and there didn’t seem to be much point in hanging around so we went back to the path and hurried the rest of the way around because rain clouds were moving in.

Jack’s Walk

I think it makes the park look like the Shady Acres Cemetery ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack asked to go to the park this morning. He said something about smelling pee or leaving pee to smell, but I wasn’t really listening and I might have that wrong. Anyway, I couldn’t think of a reason not to go to the park, so we grabbed some water and off we went. We aimed ourselves toward the gazebo because I wanted to check out the progress of the renovation to the small pond. The city has had it walled off for weeks and I was very curious to find out what they were doing. Well, they’re finished, but….they removed the pond and replaced it with a rock. It’s a nice enough rock, I suppose. It’s big and it has burbling water at its head that cascades in a fake waterfall sort of way, but it looks to me as if it belongs in a cemetery and it won’t have fish or frogs or tadpoles. Damn.

Jack’s Walk

Welcome back, Ranger ©voyager, all rights reserved

Today Jack and I stopped to say hello to one of our favourite horses who is finally out of the barn and back in the field again. We call him Ranger, but that isn’t his real name. We don’t know what his real name is so Ranger will have to do. In the past I’ve tried giving him a few other names, but none of them suited him at all. He is not a Mr. Ed nor is he a high-ho Silver and away. He’s definitely not a Secretariat or a Man O’ War and I’m pretty sure he’s not the Trigger type, either. Perhaps someday he’ll come closer and whisper his name to me, but in the meantime I’ll keep trying to guess. Ranger works for now, but it isn’t quite right either. Maybe one of you has a better guess.

Mystery Fossil Identified

Mystery fossil, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Mystery fossil, root end, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Remember this? When I posted it I thought it might be a dinosaur tooth, but several commentators (Petern, Avalus, kestrel, Jazzlet) suggested it might be coral of some sort. It was Oggie, though, who took the time to look it up and told me it was

 think it is a rugose coral. Middle Ordovician to late Permian. Yet another victim of the PT extinction event – comment section Is this a Dinosaur Tooth?

Well, Oggie was absolutely right. I sent the photos off to The Royal Ontario Museum and they concur. Although they can’t say with certainty without seeing the piece in person, they suggest that it is horn coral, of the order rugosa from the Ordovician period. Mystery solved!

Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions.


K is for Khaki

From Nightjar,

K is for Khaki ©Nightjar, all rights reserved


Telling apart tones of light brown is an exercise I find neither easy nor exciting, but the letter K doesn’t really afford many choices. I did learn that khaki is actually a RYB quinary color obtained by mixing equal parts of the quaternary colors sage and buff. Not that this piece of information helped me much, mind you. Hopefully some parts of this sheep’s portrait aren’t too far-off.

Link to previous alphabet post

Jack’s Walk

Drucilla the Prepared, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Murray the Inappropriate, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I had an interesting walk in the woods in the woods today. We ran into two young people from the Stone Tribe – that’s how they introduced themselves. The eldest is Drucilla the Prepared and she has lovely orange eyes and spots. The youngest is Murray the Inappropriate and he couldn’t stop giggling and the whole time his red and white spots kept jiggling as he wiggled and laughed. Drucilla says they are a long, long way from home and have been brought here by Pikes to act as sentinels.

I asked the obvious question. “How did pikes carry you here?”

Murray finally stops giggling and shouts out, “in their hands of course,” to which I reply “fish don’t have hands.”

“Of course they don’t, but what do fish have to do with it.”

“Well, you told me that you were brought here by pikes.”

“Not the fish Pikes,” says Murray. “The Palmerston Pikes, down near Punkydoodle Corner.” Then he starts to laugh again only this time he’s guffawing which makes him start to fart and that makes Jack start to giggle.

“You’d best be on your way now,” says Drucilla. “No more questions. I’ve said far too much already.”

“But, there’s so much more I want to know,” I said.

“Of course there is, but you’ll not hear it from me.”

“Please,” I pleaded.

“Off you go now. Don’t make call for aid.” Drucilla said finally.

I could hear hard steel in her voice and, since I don’t know what “aid” means to someone from the Stone Tribe, Jack and I sensibly, but reluctantly walked away. For now.

I have many questions.


Jack’s Walk

Not the bunny in the story, but he’s cute! © voyager, all rights reserved

I swear this is a true story.

Last evening after supper Jack and I took a short stroll down to the end of our street. On our way back home we spotted a rabbit sitting in the middle of the sidewalk a few houses ahead. The rabbit was small and looked young and he was watching us approach and not moving – basically, frozen with fear and that “Oh, shit, now what do I do feeling.” We approached slowly – Jack has been taught not to chase anything alive and I was sure the bunny would finally bolt when we got closer. Nope. Jack amiably walked up to the rabbit and then bent down and took a sniff. Well, that rabbit turned his head and then rubbed his nose on Jack’s nose and the two of them just stood there for a moment looking at each other. Finally, the rabbit got up on his hind legs and gave Jack a good sniff or two and then he slowly hopped away into the shadows. Jack waited for me to tell him “let’s go” and then he ambled home slowly, deep in contemplation. I got the feeling that Jack was right pleased with the encounter and couldn’t quite believe that it had happened. Me, too.

Jack’s Walk

What the Pluck!

Someone came into our peaceful, wee forest and deliberately plucked out plants by their roots and then scattered them along the entire length of the path. The wreckage looked fairly fresh so it must have happened yesterday or earlier today, but who would do that? And why? It isn’t exactly violence, but it has the look of violence about it and it’s certainly senseless and stupid. Those plants were probably minding their own business, just doing that growing in the summer thing that plants do. I doubt they were shouting out insults or hurling stones at passersby nor were they likely to be plotting to do mischief at midnight. Sheesh! I hope whoever did this get weeds.

Jack’s Walk

Will you carry me to the car mummy? ©voyager, all rights reserved

We had a lovely, steady rain on Saturday night and by Sunday morning the oppressive heat and humidity were gone. Hooray! It’s a pleasant and welcome change from the steamy days of last week that kept poor Jack cooped up for days on end. We decided to celebrate the good weather with a walk along the river and the water was clean enough today that I let Bubba swim. We both overdid it a bit, but in the best kind of way and we came home sleepy and smiley and feelin’ fine.

The Art of Book Design: The Book of Saints & Friendly Beasts

Abbie Farwell Brown. The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts. Illustrated by Fanny Cory. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1900.

A children’s book full of stories about Christian saints and their friendships with animals. The stories are very loosely based on legends, but the author has spun them into fantastic folk tales of adventure. Abbie Farwell Brown was a prolific writer and published many children’s books, including a book about the Norse Gods. I rather like the idea of making fictional stories of the saints. I think it strips them of power and makes them easier to dismiss as merely characters in a children’s book, like Cinderella or Red Riding hood.

Unlike the graphic artwork in most books about Christian saints, the illustrations in this book are charming and sweet and very typical of their time at the height of the Art Nouveu period. My favourite drawing is St. Bridget & the King’s Wolf, followed closely by the energetic Saint Keneth and the Gulls.

[Read more…]