Last weekend my husband and I finally had an opportunity to put everything aside and take the canoe out for a paddle. We are lucky enough to live in a city where Lake Ontario, Hamilton Harbour, and Cootes Paradise are only a 10 to 15 minute drive from home, as long as you hit all the green lights of course.
Cootes Paradise, managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens, is an amazing place for birding, amphibians and reptiles. The marsh is quite large, and a perfect setting for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Starting at the Princess Point canoe launch we travelled east along the edge of the marsh, north parallel to the highway, west past Hickory Island, Rat Island, then south before turning east to head towards Cockpit Island eventually ending back at the canoe launch. In total, my husband paddled 7.58 kilometres.
We thought this swan was quite comical with it’s foot in the air.
Turtles catching some sunlight.
A heron taking flight.
In this part of the marsh, there must have been a hundred swans. It was lovely how they parted allowing us to paddle through the centre of them.
I’m not sixty-five yet, I still have another nine years to go, but that has not stopped me from joining the local seniors centre. Our city has a 55+ program. This may be a way to start preparing us for the obvious inevitable “golden age” of sixty-five. Either way, I am having a damn good time as a young senior.
Twice a week I take yoga, one is a gentle yoga class, with an amazing instructor who tells me as long as I am practising breathing I am still doing yoga. The second yoga class is hot yoga, and I have been known to fall asleep near the end, and the nice lady beside me, lets me sleep for the last fifteen minutes or so, then wakes me up. She is a dear. I do love the hot yoga class, I tend to be a little more flexible in the heat.
The third class I am taking is woodworking. My husband is exceptionally talented when it comes to working with wood, either fixing things around the house or building a new deck around our pool. All of our children had the opportunity to take carpentry in high school, and I was always quite jealous of what they were able to learn. Now it is my turn. The first project each student has to construct is a shelf, because it gives us the opportunity to learn all the different machines in the class – a chop saw, table saw, joiner, planer, band saw, router, and belt sander. I actually made three shelves, which are now stained and hung in my sewing room.
Our kids gave me my own tool belt for my 56th birthday plus a level, and a few other handy tools.
My second project was a bat box not baseball bats, but a house for real bats. Bats need homes, and they eat a lot of mosquitoes. When I went to buy the wood for my bat box, I did not examine it very well, and it wasn’t until I went to use it, that we realized it was quite warped in places. I still used the wood, but the bat box looks a bit odd in places, though I don’t think the bats will mind if of course they move in. Hopefully when the weather is nice, I can convince my son and husband to climb on top of our roof, then up the chimney to hang the it. We’ve had some nice days, but I am still waiting. I don’t think they like the idea of climbing the chimney.
Now when, not if, the bat house makes it to the chimney, I wonder who I will be able to convince to climb back up there and clean out the bat house occasionally?
For some silly reason a couple of Robins decided to build their nest atop our backyard gate. Now granted we do have another gate we can use, but if we even go anywhere near, the Robin sounds the alarm! The squeaks or yeeps that come out of its throat are very threatening, and I am concerned that one day, the damn bird is going to dive down, and swat me in the head.
Years ago, a pair of Cardinals that have nested in our backyard for twenty odd years built theirs too close to my clothesline, so every time I went out to hang the laundry I had to continually duck from the Cardinal making a bee-line for me. As much as I may want to remove this nest, and as much as my husband believes Robins are akin to rats, the nest will stay until the eggs have hatched, and the birds have flown the coup.
Can you see the nest?
First view of her three eggs.
The Robin is hiding in the tree as I came too close to snap another picture.