Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring (And Romance) Is In the Air

The weather got freakishly warm yesterday, after the rain finally cleared off; and so Emily and I dashed over the nearest park to enjoy some time outdoors without having to brave the elements.  When we got there, we noticed a rather large number of very vocal red-winged blackbirds were hanging out all around us.

It turns out that this demure little lady was the reason for all the trilling and hopping about with wings half outstretched and red feathers fluffed up.  You'd never guess she was the same species! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend in Toronto - Royal Ontario Museum & The Lake

 Hope everyone had a Happy Easter.  We greatly enjoyed our weekend, as we were surprised by a mostly sunny, and at times downright warm, weekend during which to explore a bit more of Toronto.  Spring is coming, slowly but surely, with sunny days, moist foggy mornings, and increasing incidents when we feel brave enough to leave a layer at home and just bring light jackets to cover our short sleeves.

We drove into Toronto and visited the Royal Ontario Museum.  I am sure when the new addition to the museum was built, it must have been quite controversial.  We spent most of our visit this time, looking at all the stuffed specimens of various animals and reading about them.  Useful seeing the animals holding still, but much more satisfying getting to view them alive and moving about.


This little guy kept nestling himself inside the sea anemone, but seemed to know whenever Alex's finger was getting ready to take a photo and popped out each time.

The one exception to my preference for viewing animals in their live state . . . weeeeelll, actually considering the glass, I think this isn't really an exception to that sentiment after all.

Emily liked the sunfish, but wasn't sure if I was pulling her leg about it being that large . . . for real.

Emily's enjoying the Guardians of Ga'hool series at the moment; and so between that and Harry Potter, has a great interest in owls lately.

The lawn in front of the one of the University buildings made me want to go and roll around.  The smell was intoxicating.

My old house, 640 Annette St.  It's the one I have the clearest memories of during my early childhood in Toronto.  I have heard that the neighborhood went through a rough patch, but is coming back to being a safe place to be again.  Gentrification.  We saw lots of houses in the area that had a lot of work done on them; and it was looking pretty nice.  I think we found my old elementary school too - Runnymede Elementary.

Emily colored some eggs, & then colored some more "eggs."

On Sunday, we were back at Jack Darling Park in in Port Credit - Sans coats!  A bit chillier, but we were grateful for no rain and so long as we kept moving, we were quite comfortable in sweaters.

The stones on the sandy beaches along the shores of Lake Ontario are a great place to find fossils.

Wildlife - tons of red-winged blackbirds from the Rattray Marsh Conservation Area
Evidence of beavers!  
See the marks from gnawing?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ahhhhh . . . Springtime in Mississauga!

Just last week, I was grinning my way through a sunny day, wearing short sleeves (when I was out of the wind, that is); and now this . . .

Don't expect we'll be tip-toeing through the tulips and packing away our winter skivvies quite yet.

Still, considering the twisters in North Carolina yesterday, I can take a little Springtime snow with a smile.

One thing about the weather:  It could always be worse!

View from our front porch.

view of the "shared" back yard

one of the trees in our "shared" back yard

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back To Port Credit, then Jack Darling Park on the Shores of Lake Ontario

Well, it was a beautiful sunny morning, so Alex, Emily and I grabbed the scooter and headed back to Port Credit to do some more exploring . . . provide some additional positive feedback for the weather fairies.  Pleeeese keep allowing the weather to get warmer!  We beg you!

The snow and ice finally melted off all the pathways, so we could set Emily loose with her scooter and not have to worry about her skidding out of control . . . well, at least have to worry less about that.

A little ways down the Credit River, and Emily made the acquaintance of Camile; so we hung out with her and her Dad for a bit and learned a bit more about the area while watching the girls zip around the place.

Apparently, there's a great Riverside festival every Summer, and they show films out on the green (not really green quite yet this year, but it will be!).
Oh yeah, and we noticed folks sculling down the river too!  You can see the boat club just across the river in the last photo.  Camile and her dad had to go to lunch, so we parted ways; and Emily, Alex and I took off for the highly recommended Jack Darling Park, right on the shores of Lake Ontario.
We are still getting used to the awe inspiring hugeness of the great lakes.  So much quieter than the ocean; but with enough vastness to impress us tiny short-lived humans.
Alex and I had a plan to see how far we could walk along the lake before we got tired, but Emily quickly apprised us of the wonders to be found on the sandy beaches; so we stopped to skip stones and build a little cairn (It's so nice to have an 3G handy, so you can look up what to call these things!).
A bit more time, and it was soon time to head back home to get a few things done . . . and then bum around, while planning the evening's entertainment.  I loooove weekends!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Scootering around . . .

We found Emily another scooter, to replace the one we left behind in NC. She's happy as a clam (an unusually mobile one) whizzing ahead of me on every path and zooming down hills with a big grin plastered on her face. This is a really good thing - once I've satisfied myself that she's remembering to "look both ways" and all that - because I really, really, REALLY need the exercise involved with keeping up with her!
I expect we'll head out again this afternoon, as the rain isn't that heavy today either. Currently, Emily is trying out her new palette of watercolors. She discovered a great use for all those useless, out-of-date, old business cards, as the card paper they're made of stands up pretty well to soaking.
I do get the distinct feeling that the artist is "yearning for Spring."