To celebrate Tuffy’s birthday we enjoyed dinner at Longrain Pan Asian, a neighbourhood place here in Long Branch that we’ve visited a couple times. We like to support the local businesses and tonight the Lakeshore was pretty snowy and slippery so we didn’t want to be driving far in any case. When we arrived home, the Newfs were waiting at the door, looking forward to their last walk of the day. For those not from around here, Toronto recieved a pile of snow in a very short time this afternoon, the powdery beautify fluffy stuff. Beautiful.
It started snowing not long after we returned from the cinema and it’s still coming down. We just shoveled about 5 cm of fluffy and if it keeps up we’ll have that much more by morning. The dogs enjoyed a walk in the snow, although they were getting little snowballs jammed up in their paws and had to make a number of stops to pull them out. I don’t recall getting this much snow at any one time last year.
Plenty more snow overnight….fluffy and beautiful.
Each year there is a Santa Parade along the Lakeshore in Toronto, through the communities known as Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch. The parade took place this morning and it was a perfect day for it.
Near the start of the parade Canada Post volunteers collected letters to Santa from kids along the route. Canada Post elves have been volunteering to help Santa Claus with his mail for over 30 years. Since Canada Post has been counting, Santa has written back to over 20 million children in close to 30 languages including Braille.
After taking the dogs for their Sunday morning walk, I snapped a few shots of the canoe garden. Strange sky. Is it going to rain? It’s still so humid my camera lens fogs up when I start taking pictures. A few notes on the new gardens. New gardens are new gardens. They look stark and too empty. I want to fill them up, but I know that they will grow and fill in and be just fine. Patience. The bow and the stern of the canoe are empty. We’re going to use the two ends of the canoe for annuals. The middle area of the canoe is wider and I’ve taken the bottom out – I think it’s more likely we can get perennials to winter in the centre than on the ends where the canoe still has some bottom and where it narrows right down. As soon as we see them around, we’re going to put an ornamental cabbage on each end.
We had a rain that created a water path through the new garden behind the canoe. I used some pieces of flagstone and some pea gravel to strengthen that path so each rainstorm doesn’t erode away the gardens. The garden behind the water path is not yet fully planted. We’ll get to it…
The garden on the near side of the path is mostly an ornamental grass garden. Some of those grasses will grow quite tall and will partially obscure the path and the view of the canoe from the street. Hey, what’s that in there, behind the grasses? Is that a canoe garden? There may even be another garden in front of the ornamental grass garden at some point in the future, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The canoe is sunken into the ground a bit on the stern side, runs along ground level for most of it’s length and on the bow comes just above ground level. We wanted it to sit as naturally as possible in our little landscape, just as if it belonged there.
The giant lime-green hosta from another planet is such a striking element in the garden, it seems to explode over the bow of the canoe. You can see the paddles, which came with the canoe, lying against the canoe. That’s temporary. We haven’t decided how we’re going to use them yet. The folks who sold us the canoe commented that we can’t go canoeing without paddles. I neglected to tell them that this canoe would never float again.
After I came home from work today, I fed the beasts and then thought, hey I feel really tired, maybe I’ll just have a wee nap, just close my eyes for a few minutes. Tuffy P was up in Richmond Hill visiting with her dad. I set up the big comfy pillow on the sofa beside the big John Howlin painting and drifted off to dreamland. Two hours later I awoke, a little dazed and confused. Outside water was puddled on the street. I noticed a limb from the big maple in Nick’s yard next door had fallen to the ground. Apparently, I missed a thunderstorm.
Memphis looked at me as if to say, hey Jack you missed our evening constitutional, let’s get a move on. So off we went for a post thunderstorm walk. The clouds were still roiling about but a breeze was up down by the lake and it was actually pleasant to be out walking. A bit of misty rain started up, enough to notice but not enough to get seriously wet. The streets were quiet, nobody about.
Down at the corner of Lake Prominade and 23rd, a car heading southbound slowed down a little for the stop sign and make the right turn. This reminded me that I intended to write about this corner. Hardly anyone ever stops at this stop sign. I’ve made a point of watching every time I pass by. Cars slow down but a full stop rarely happens. This isn’t just the case for southbound traffic. Cars headed east on Lake Prom rarely stop before making the left up 23rd either. One day a local cop is going to realize this opportunity and set up an unmarked car in the little nook that ends the road just south of Lake Prominade. There is no end to the revenue the City could rake in at this corner.
Now it’s bedtime and do you think I’m sleepy in the slightest? That’s the cost of the afternoon nap I suppose. It was good though.
A long-eared owl was photographed in Sam Smith Park the other day. Check it out at Friends of Sam Smith Park. For those not from these parts, we have two major parks near Long Branch where I live. As you go east, Colonel Sam Smith Park (also the home of Humber College) marks the end of Long Branch and the beginning of New Toronto, at least for those of us who insist on maintaining that old school identity. To the west, Marie Curtis Park marks the end of Long Branch and the beginning of Mississauga (or Lake View if we’re going to stick to the old school names)
Sam Smith Park is a great place. Sometimes when we go walking through the park, or along the lake, we can hardly believe we’re fortunate enough to live a short walk from there.