Sunday, 4 September 2011
Up on the dirt road leading to my grandfather's house (near the Muskoka region in Ontario).
This was the first time I'd been to my grandfather's house in the summer for about ten or eleven years. We used to go every summer when I was a kid, but after my family moved to the West Coast it got a lot more complicated (five day drives across the country with a full car and at least one smelly dog complicated). It was good to be back, except for the ^#*##&@ weather. One of my favourite things about the lake is the wildlife. I've always lived in a city, and while Canadian cities get their fair share of interesting birds, (and bears! in Vancouver), wildlife is obviously far more present in the country. Chipmunks run squeaking through the forest in the morning--and the house on this trip, tormenting my poor dog. Small toads rustle through the underbrush. Raccoons flick masked and bright-eyed in the shadows, woodpeckers tap, and tiny jewelled hummingbirds flicker among the branches. We even saw a flying squirrel one night, raiding the bird-feeder. And a distant loon--Canada's symbolic bird.
Despite all this, there's a sad lack of diversity compared with years ago. Even when I was a child, the older generations in my family rued the changes to the wildlife, particularly the fish stock, which has been pretty decimated by pollution through the years.
It's not all negative though. The leaches appear to be one of the species not to have made it!
Photos by Shona
top: vintage 1950s top, won in giveaway from Oma Vintage on Etsy, shorts from Barcelona a few years ago, Urban Outfitter sandals, Shona's old anchor necklace, binoculars found in the cottage.