Sunday, July 15, 2012

A visit to the Toronto Islands

Waving from the Ferry
     This past weekend, CC and I went down to Toronto to visit our friends, T and J.  It was a super-hot weekend and there was not much relief to be had, but we did venture down to the Toronto Islands.  We had luck with the subway AND the LRT and there was hardly anyone at the Ferry docks when we bought our tickets.  We headed over on the Centre Island ferry and had a great view of the downtown and even had a slight breeze.  There was an India festival on the Island so we saw lots of colourful outfits.  We walked down to the water's edge and walked along the boardwalk until we arrived at our destination, The Rectory, the only restaurant on the Islands, as far as I know.  It was quite busy and there was some great people watching and listening to be had.  I had the grilled Calamari followed by a pulled pork Panini - both very tasty.  We all tried a gingery cocktail to start, which helped cool us off ever so slightly.  The air was very still though.  We then walked over to Ward's beach and then over to the ferry dock just minutes before the ferry arrived to take us back downtown - this time there was even a bit of a breeze.  Toronto looks great at night from the Islands, so keep that in mind if you ever visit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hop and be Free!

     So, the other day, I'm walking in the back yard, look down and think I see a beetle crawling through the grass.  On closer, inspection, it turned out to be a baby toad!  I saw more that day and have seen others since then and I can't get over how happy it makes me.  It seems our still pond was a successful nursery for toad tadpoles (toadpoles?). There are still a few left in the pond and many have limbs, so they will soon be ready to leave and find new homes.  I can't get over how small and perfectly formed they are and wonder what on earth they eat.  Nice to know we have contributed to the amphibian life cycle and it would be great if some set up home in the front yard's stone hibernaculum.  Now there's a word of the day!

Good camouflage!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Canada Day at Lake Kawagama

    Yeah, yeah, I know, I haven't posted in ages, but it has been a busy late spring and early summer, but I will endeavour to post more frequently.
     This past weekend, CC and I drove up with the P family (P, D and E) to our friends' cottage on Lake Kawagama.  We went up on Saturday morning and the traffic wasn't too horrendous (except through Barrie, as expected) and although DP got a bit green towards the end (fragile flower that she is), she wasn't actually sick.  JM met us at the Marina and we loaded up the boat and headed over to the Island where their cottage is, enjoying some water spray along the way.  BM met us at the dock (her new nickname is "drama clown", much to everyone's delight), we unloaded and saw their cottage for the first time.  CC and I luckily got to stay in the bunky, whereas everyone else stayed in the main cabin.  It's on a peninsula, so every window has a view of the water.  We had a quick bite to eat, as we were all ravenous, and then had a tour of their land.  We then went down to the dock to enjoy the water.

     I'm something of a water baby, so I spent a great deal of time splashing around, swimming and jumping in off the dock.  We also enjoyed some G and Ts and snacks, before heading back up to the main cabin.  The island is home to many, boisterous red squirrels, which I watched with great delight, which also delighted drama clown - she enjoyed seeing my boyish side!  Dinner was mixed grill and homemade strawberry shortcakes!  We chatted, listened to music and played some cards and then collapsed into bed.

     We awoke to another glorious day and had our morning coffees to revive ourselves and a bit to eat then I was back in the water, where I belong.  Drama Clown put us to work collecting stray branches, trimming dead wood off the trees, etc. in order to have a big bonfire for later.  We worked up quite a sweat, so I HAD to get back into the water to cool off.  CC and I prepared some barbecued veggies and chicken for a salad which we wolfed down.  That afternoon got quite cloudy and it rained for a while, at times quite heavily, so we sat indoors and read, napped, snacked and played games.  For dinner, DP prepared bow tie pasta with smoked salmon and salad.  As it started to get dark, we prepared a roaring bonfire and had 'Smores.  I was back in the water and swam from dock to dock as the sun was setting.  Towards the setting sun, the water was reflected in orange, whereas the water reflected purple in other directions.  The mossies were out in full force so we hit the hay early for our last night in paradise.

     We were up early on the last day and after breakfast I had a quick dip (go figure!), and then we packed up, thanked our generous hosts, went back to the mainland, loaded up the car and drove home.  We left early to avoid traffic and it worked, so we were home in good time, and were able to relax, do laundry, etc.