When he died of tuberculosis in his mother’s home, in 1862, 44-year-old Henry David Thoreau had already made his mark on the world with the publication of several books and numerous essays, including Civil Disobedience, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, The Maine Woods, A Yankee in Canada, and his classic, Walden, or Life in the Woods. I trust we’re all familiar with Thoreau’s major works, at least their titles, particularly Walden (first published in 1854). Thoreau — … click below for more!
[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”19″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″] In recent months, I have developed an interest in lichens: wondering what species live in our area, how and where they grow, which plants are their competitors or companions, why they grow where they do, what they live on for nutrition, how they reproduce and spread, what lives on them, and their microbiology. Small, innocuous plants you may mistake for a discoloration on rock or even a disease on a tree, they are nonetheless very … click below for more!
But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man. I recall those lines from a Beyond the Fringe sketch first released in 1964 (see below).* And so it was in my family: my brother was the hirsute Esau to my near-hairless Jacob. I didn’t need to shave until my late teens and even then it was iffy. That was in the late 1960s when sideburns and moustaches were the rage. By the time I could … click below for more!
Climate change is arguably the single most pressing, most important, most challenging issue to affect governments at this time. Our world is suffering and weather is getting extreme in many parts. It’s affecting crops, wildlife, safety, water… everything. But what are Canadian municipalities doing to combat it, to reign in their use of fossil fuels, reduce their carbon footprint, reduce emissions, pollution, and embrace alternate energy systems? Not much, according to a study done by the Ontario Coalition for Sustainable … click below for more!
Pop cans. Coffee cups. Candy bar wrappers. Fast food wrappers. Cigarette packages. Cigarette butts. Dog feces. Bags of dog feces. Flyers. Cellophane package wrap. Water bottles. Juice bottles. Chip bags. Beer cans and bottles. Disposable lighters and pens. Cardboard beer boxes. Discarded newspapers and junk mail. Plastic grocery bags. I just don’t get littering. I’ve never gotten littering. These are just some of the items I’ve seen stuck into snow banks and hedges in my neighbourhood, or dropped on the … click below for more!
Seven cents per hour. That’s what the energy monitor was showing me a moment before I plugged in the kettle. Then it jumped to 29 cents. Wow! And this is mid-peak time, too, my new energy monitor warns. Should I be worried? Better cut back on the tea if I want to conserve energy. It did the same last night when we turned on the microwave at dinner time, but that was off-peak. Still, that’s pretty high, compared to seven … click below for more!
The title of this post is a quote from Henry David Thoreau’s essay, Walking, published posthumously in 1862, but which he wrote and rewrote during the 1850s. I was thinking of that line this week when Council officially opened the new Black Ash Creek Park, in the northeast of the Georgian Meadows subdivision.* I was thinking of it not in terms of the park – a pleasant, family-oriented, structured space with playground equipment, a small pavilion, basketball court and a … click below for more!
Take a look at the back of any of today’s pickup trucks. Notice the exhaust pipe, under the vehicle? It points to the right. The same side of the road that pedestrians and cyclists use.* Notice the bike lane in the photo – that’s where cyclists will be when this truck passes by them. No place to move to avoid the fumes. Yet I have seen vintage trucks with that design, as in the photo to the right (even here in … click below for more!